As the old saying goes, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The good news is, most Americans have never forgotten our history. The bad news is, that’s because they never learned it in the first place. We’re in a time when the divide between the rich and the poor is ever-growing. People have literally taken to the streets to complain about income inequality. But this is nothing new. An interesting article in the NY Times Sunday edition explores income inequality throughout the ages, from ancient Venice to the Industrial Revolution. Spoiler Alert: it doesn’t end well for anybody. Turns out rich people, once they get money, like to create their own upper class and block anyone else from entering. Then they shut out ideas from the so-called 99% in order to advance their own ideas and interests. Which eventually leads to destruction, since all their ideas suck. Basically rich people are like Burger King. They start out with a great idea, they claw their way to the top, then they rest on their laurels, and pretty soon they’re third in the industry and they’re making creepy commercials where a man in a Halloween mask breaks into people’s bedrooms.
It is no accident that in America today the gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the Gilded Age. Now, as then, the titans are seeking an even greater political voice to match their economic power. Now, as then, the inevitable danger is that they will confuse their own self-interest with the common good. The irony of the political rise of the plutocrats is that, like Venice’s oligarchs, they threaten the system that created them.
What you have to keep in mind is, most of the people who accumulate massive amounts of money are generally doing it to fill a void in their life. So instead of getting mad at the 1%, you should feel sorry for them, because while they have endless cash, they're lacking the most important thing of all: Love. That’s the one thing money can't buy. Oh, and it can’t buy an endangered baby panda either. Those aren't for sale, trust me. I tried offering the workers at the San Diego zoo $100K for one of those things and it was a no go, they were being real dicks about it.