My recent posting on the ratio of CEO to average worker income brought a stream of great commentary. Here is another comment from @Kyrie Eleison that I am posting as a guest blog in its own right. I particularly liked the cited old military adage: ‘A cave is a grave‘, for those who think gated communities for the rich are the answer. It reminds me of the lines in Wilfred Owen’s First World War poem ‘Strange Meeting’:
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled
I agree completely. No matter how nice or luxurious it may be, any “gated community” designed to keep people out also keeps its occupants in. I’m not sure if this is a part of the plan – creating one’s own prison? I’ve seen a lot of rumors circulating around about the construction of a lot of hardened underground bunkers. There is an old military adage: “A cave is a grave.” Again, all of this is speculation, but if any of it is even a half-truth then there is certainly a deficiency of wisdom on someone’s part.
Getting back to the figures: I must reiterate that unless someone can assert that the figures presented in the well referenced UCSC study are either manipulated or are not credible at all, then maybe I will consider a differing view. Figure 8 is somewhat less than the figure on your chart, but look at the trend prior to and then after 1990. At one point it peaked above 500x. Keep in mind that the data stops in 2008. Even the Gini coefficient from 2010 ranks us worse than an oppressive regime like Iran. Yes, that’s right – even the people in Iran get a better share than us. Not by very much, but wouldn’t you think it should be?
I remember reading a narrative from an Australian citizen who had spent some time living in various developing nations, and upon visiting the U.S. it looked more like a banana republic than a nation that would call itself a superpower. Is it because the people here in America don’t work hard enough? In the ’50s a family could get by with one income earner and still have enough left over to save up for a better life. Nowadays, most families require two incomes and still depend on overtime or multiple jobs just to enjoy the same standard of living. Did the average worker suddenly become that much greedier than their parents and grandparents? I don’t think so. Here is some food for thought: http://www.tnr.com/article/trb/94938/wall-street-income-inequality
Here is some more: http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/britt_23_2.htm