Do You Get Out of Bed in the Morning to Make Money for Billionaires?
Do You Get Out of Bed in the Morning to Make Money for Billionaires?
By Joe Brewer / medium.com
May 20, 2016

We have been told a great lie about capitalism — that everyone who works hard in life will be successful, make a lot of money, and have a good life. So why is it that most of us wake up on Monday morning with groggy heads, grab some coffee to stir our minds, and go off to jobs that make money for someone else?

Think about it. The logic of corporate capitalism is for owners to “invest” their money in the work that other people do, then get a “return on investment” as all that effort creates value in the world.

Or said more simply, you get up in the morning and go to work to make money for billionaires.

The statistics bear this out. Seventy-four percent of all the new income billionaires get comes from the hard work of other people. They just sit back and let their stock portfolios “do the work” for them. The sleight-of-hand trick in this sentence is that stock portfolio is a stand-in for all working-class people on the planet.

Is this the natural consequence of all market-based societies? Is it somehow a law of nature that the only way to make a society prosperous is to have a tiny elite sucking wealth off the sweat labor of the masses? Most definitely not. But it is the core logic of capitalism. As I’ve written elsewhere, the Story of Capitalism is really a history of inequality and poverty creation. The historic roots go back to the British Enclosure Movement that kicked peasant farming communities off their land in a feudalist society and allowed owners to extract rents from people working the land they now controlled with the backing of Parliament.

All the wealth and prosperity in the world comes from two places — the natural world (which we are a part of) and the social webs of human cultures converting some of the energy and materials of the natural world into things that are useful for our species.

What capitalism does is create systems of wealth extraction that syphon off this natural wealth into their private estates. They do this with the backing of governments that enforce the legal arrangements of ownership that let the capitalist ownership class charge debts and imprison those who don’t pay them. Sound familiar? Isn’t your job (if you are lucky enough to have one at this late stage in the capitalist game) merely a debt repayment program? Wouldn’t you rather be doing something else with your time?

It is vital that we connect the dots and see how it is that 62 people can aggregate the same total amount of wealth as 3,700,000,000. They do it by setting up systems of wealth extraction that syphon away our productive efforts and hoard it in their estates. So we built their wealth and it isn’t really theirs to control. The principal “owner” of all that wealth is the natural world — as we can see in the mass extinction and environmental damages all around us. When that ecological debt comes due it may well mean the collapse of our civilization. Or worse, it could be the death of all humans.

We are currently on a path to extinction, which would be bad enough except that the REASON we are on this path is to make super rich people even more wealthy as we increasingly find ourselves malnourished and deprived.

Herein lies the spiritual choice for global warming, mass poverty, and inequality. Will we honor the sacredness of life on Earth and evolve our global economy so that is in service of life? Or will we desecrate all that is sacred in this world so that a handful of families can have a few more yachts, a few more marble bath tubs, and bragging rights that they are the ones who died with the most toys?

Because if we choose that latter path, it will be all of us dying together. And I don’t think any of us — the billionaires included — really want that.

We can do better my fellow humans. Indeed we must do better.

Onward, fellow humans.

3.5 ·
1
Trending Today
Globalization Makes No Sense
Chris Agnos · 27,877 views today · When I lived in San Francisco, I often would marvel at the movement of goods through the ports across the bay in Oakland. Full container ships would enter the bay one after...
Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body
4 min · 13,595 views today · Vestigial structures are evolution's leftovers — body parts that, through inheritance, have outlived the context in which they arose. Some of the most delightful reminders of...
The Most Astounding Fact about the Universe
3 min · 4,949 views today · This is Neil Degrasse Tyson's response when asked to describe the most astounding fact about the universe. Background music is the cinematic orchestra - To build a home.
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 4,232 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State
George Lakey · 3,350 views today · Instead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over.
To Change Everything, Start Everywhere
8 min · 3,028 views today · To Change Everything, Start Everywhere! The case for complete self-determination—a guide for the furious, the curious, and the pure of heart. To Change Everything: An...
The Foiled Bomb Plot in Kansas That Didn't Make Trump's Terror List
5 min · 2,879 views today · When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage - nor did it...
The London Anarchist Group Squatting Mansions to Fight Homelessness
6 min · 2,645 views today · London squatting activists ANAL (Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians) are squatting empty multi-million pound buildings and opening them up to the homeless.
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 2,632 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 2,380 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
Transition From Caterpillar to Butterfly as Analogy for Social Change
4 min · 2,327 views today · An exceprt from Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview in which Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about the fractal nature of reality and compares the current global awakening and the...
From Sanctuary City to Liberated City
Frank Lara · 2,082 views today · In just one week, with several strokes of a pen, Trump unleashed upon the working class in the U.S. an attack not seen in decades. From his attack on the flawed Affordable Care...
The Fire Within
Words by Sophie Scholl - Illustrations by Gavin Aung Than · 1,806 views today · Sophie Scholl (1921-1943) was a German activist who is famous for speaking out against the Nazi regime. Scholl was a member of a protest group called The White Rose, which...
Michael Moore Wants to Help You Find Your Next Anti-Trump Protest
Sarah Ruiz-Grossman · 1,686 views today · The Resistance Calendar lists upcoming rallies across the country.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,539 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 1,108 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 1,046 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
Redneck Revolt Presents: A Message to the Patriot Movement
6 min · 969 views today · Over the past few weeks, Redneck Revolt has been communicating with a former member of a III% Patriot Militia based out of Ohio. Peter made contact with our organization after...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 805 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Compassion, the Antidote
Martin Doblmeier · 802 views today · Thich Nhat Hanh has published nearly 100 books and is one of the best-known teachers of Zen Buddhism in the world today. In the early 1960s his practice of what he termed...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Do You Get Out of Bed in the Morning to Make Money for Billionaires?