COMMENT #1: Hey Marty, I’ve never written you in this vein, but (always extremely talented) rich guys saying “Let the chips fall, free market capitalism” are gonna get washed away by this wave and we both know it. When the mass of people don’t even own a vegetable plot despite working their rears off for the dream, you know socialism is here however bad (Marxist) it is. If “capitalism” can’t offer a life (a living wage and a damn plot to park your ass on, not mountains of debt and stress, unless you happen to be born with a certain set of Republican talents) then “capitalism” is out however great it really and truly is. I will never mention politics again but revert to philosophy which is where we really live, and the only thing I really know anyway.
COMMENT#2: Are you blind, Mr. Armstrong?
Don’t you see, that wealth equality is going out of hands?
It cannot be, that a 8 people control (Oxfam 2017) as much wealth as 50% of earth’s population and it get’s more extreme each year. All life is one and it is a responsibility of the heart to share. Capitalism has failed as the majority is not benefitting anymore from it.
REPLY: You are confusing capitalism with oligarchies. Disposable income has been declining because of taxes. Under Marxism, we pay between 300 and 800 times more than previous historical periods of taxes. The Roman Empire had taxes that would rise from 1% to 7% — not 50%+. ALL Republics collapse into oligarchies because once one person pretends to represent many, they will NEVER put the interests of the many before themself. The lack of term limits means these politicians need money to sustain their position and therein allows the oligarchy to grow with power and influence.
CAPITALISM is the freedom to decide your own fate — not that oligarchies get to own everything. Under a Greek Democracy, only the head of the household voted. They were the Congressman representing everyone in that house. Under SOCIALISM, income taxes were invented meaning every person had to account to the government for what they earned. Women, who didn’t previously vote, suddenly were entitled to vote because they were being held accountable for their individual earnings and government began passing laws to protect people which then dictated things such as abortion or whatever.
So do not confuse an oligarchy with capitalism. They’re on opposite sides of the table.
As for the disparity in wealth, I volunteered in Washington to convert Social Security to a wealth fund during the ’90s. The Democrats would not vote for it because they wanted to change the fund manager when they came into power. The wealth disparity is NOT created by income but by investment. The government regulations restrict investments for the private citizen. The reason there are hedge funds offshore is very simple. We are over-regulated, so a fund manager who complies with the SEC goes to jail with the CFTC. You cannot hire a fund manager to make the decisions for you, so you have to decide between all the various investments yourself. Hedge fund managers make all those decisions but they cannot raise money domestically.