Assistant Opinions Editor
It’s no lie that capitalism generates extreme amounts of wealth, but is that wealth falling into the hands of enough people? Yes, the majority owns the world's largest, most successful companies and employ millions, but these billionaires happen to possess more wealth than half of the world's population combined. The system of capitalism is working, while our moral highgrounds deteriorate with time.
We live in a country whose economic system is structured around the advancements in economic inequality. While the wealth of billionaires is well deserved in response to their continued hard work and success, we must open our eyes to the reality of the immorality of this situation.
Billionaires possess the power to perpetuate the ever growing divide between the rich and the poor. How are there people in 2021 without clean drinking water while Jeff Bezos is playing astronaut and is going to space for fun? The rich should not be criticized for their success, as the poor shouldn’t be criticized for their lack thereof, however, billionaires are seemingly hoarding money that essentially could be used for the greater good.
This point is not put forward with intentions of limiting the opportunity of developing individual wealth. The drive and intelligence it takes to develop and build a company into earning billions in revenue is something that many lack, however, the concentration of our country's wealth being centralized in the hands of so few is concerning and seemingly unfair to the middle and lower classes.
America’s system of capitalism has developed normalcy within the idea that everyday people pay at a higher tax rate than the top 1%. Justine Coleman with The Hill cites ,“the wealthiest 400 families had a 23 percent tax rate, compared to the bottom half of households, which had a 24.2 percent tax rate.” Glorifying the wealth of the super-rich by enacting policies to enforce institutionalized theft are the reason the economic disparity continues to grow. The rich continue to get richer, as everybody else is left hung out to dry.
It is not expected for billionaires to redistribute their wealth among society, but at the end of the day there is truly only so much money that one can spend in their lifetime. Jeff Bezos’ net worth currently stands at a whopping $177 billion. Being the richest man in the world, Bezos himself possesses a mere 1/100 of our nation's domestic product in a year. That is more than being successful, that is the simple definition of being a hoarder.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated that ending homelessness in the United States would cost just over $20 billion. Jeff Bezos, being the richest man on the planet Earth, spent nearly $6.6 billion to go to space for only 4 minutes. Compare these two situations and feel free to compare the ethic behind where this money is going. After all, on his way to space, Bezos thanked all of his Amazon customers and employees then took off with the eerie statement “Thank you all, you paid for this.”
Is this really where you want your money going?
At the end of the day, nobody is hating the success of billionaires. In fact, many of us are jealous of the wealth they have acquired. However, comparing the disproportionate amount of wealth between the upper and lower classes really makes one think about the ethics behind all of this money and where it’s going.
If you had the means to change the world with barely a dent made to your bank account, would you?