Inequality (or: Freeloaders Will Be the New Peasants)

Late last night, I wrote a draft of a possible talk on inequality. (I have not given the talk and might change topics.)

I have thought and written about inequality recently.

On May 5, I wrote (but never published) this on the topic:

Freeloaders Will Be the New Peasants

Everything is connected.

More drug addicts means more government services, which fosters an atmosphere of laziness and dependency, which, in turn, fosters drug use—inertia and dependency being the defining characteristics of drug addiction.

Lazy people need government assistance and increasing government assistance means increasing taxes and national debt, which depress the economy, pushing more people toward poverty, which fosters laziness.

Compounding that is our increasing dependence on technology will result in a decrease in self-reliance.

Furthermore, allowing drug use (as more states have done) will result in more drug users, which will result in more poverty and crime, which will result in a greater need for government intervention, which will result in more people dependent on the government, which will strangle independence and initiative in individuals. Which will result in more people demanding government assistance. The middle class will be swallowed up.

Everything is connected.

Soon, America will resemble the very society from which America was the escape and revolt.

We talk about how bad the economy is, in America and worldwide. And a lot of people have lost jobs, or had their pay or hours cut. A lot countries are broke. However, more millionaires and billionaires were created last year than ever before. It is not that the economy is bad. It is that it is different.

There is a typical path to success. Of course, there are exceptions to the typical path, but the path to success usually looks the same: work hard in school, go to college, work even harder there, then work enthusiastically and harder than the average person.

Here is my concern:

It seems there will be greater numbers of people needing greater amounts of assistance from the government. There will be more and more freeloaders in America in the future. And who is gonna pick up the tab? The rich? Will the government borrow more money to pay for the increase in social services that will not be funded by taxes (because the freeloaders do not pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits)?

Greater numbers of poor people mean that the rich are left to bear greater and greater percentage and amount of the financial burden of paying for social services. And the rich aren’t gonna like that. What will they seek in return?

And the poor, the drug addicts, the unfocused, the lazy really have no grounds upon which to demand services. What do they contributed to society or economy?

So we will end up with what is essentially a feudal economy. There will be people with all the money and property and vehicles of economy (businesses), and there will be people with literally nothing: no property, no money, nothing that contributes to the larger economy. The second group will serve the first group. Just like in feudal societies, or in Downton Abbey.

Some might predict that America would turn hard to socialism before inequality reached a crisis state. But I don’t see America’s wealthy going for that. So it will not happen.

Maybe it is nothing to be concerned about. It seemed to work fine all the other times in history that that economic system was in effect… which has been more often than not. This has been the most common economic system throughout human history.

Then, tonight, on Marketplace, was this story:

UPDATE: The morning after this post, The Verge posts a story on an absolutely terrifying new drug… that is being used by the poor.

Everything is connected.



  1. Wow… whew… do you hear my applause? Excellent treatise on inequality, yes… and hard work. Beautifully thought out and written and I agree wholeheartedly. The good news is reversal is doable. There is a God who works in the lives of men and women as they pray. To quote from the “Marketplace” article: “The bad news is that time is fast approaching, according to Reich. The good news is that it’s reversible. The film is a call to action of sorts: Reich says we’ve saved capitalism before, and we can save it again.” God help America; God help us all.

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