Usually Friday evenings on The Money Principle are reserved for lightness, the personal and the kind of entertainment that eases us gently into the weekend.
Today is different. Today, I decided to share with you a chart that a South African friend of mine who is politically to the left of Karl Marx – and has similarly strong sense of social justice and desire to change his world – shared on Facebook.
This friend of mine is also economist; I don’t hold it against him – he is not a mainstream economist and he did try to break away: he took my sociology of science and science dynamics course when he did our Masters programme.
I wanted to share this with you although it is obviously simplistic.
Still, it draws attention to several interesting points:
- If you are not obscenely wealthy at the moment you are mostly really screwed.
- Poor people and the middle class – people with jobs who sell their labour – generate the value that lines the pockets of the very wealthy. How, you may ask? If you drive a taxi but don’t own the car you pay 50% of what you take to the owner. If you work for a consultancy (or a law/accountancy firm) you’ll find that your time is charged at more than twice the money that you are paid. This is also known as exploitation.
- Capitalism is eating its middle class; there are many ways in which this happens but one is that the ‘middle income’ jobs that the middle classes did are largely gone. And they are probably not coming back.
- Inequality at different levels of society is increasing at unprecedented rate at the moment.
- We still believe that THE problem of the world today is poverty. In fact, the serious problem is inequality.
This is serious stuff for the weekend. Still, it is probably time we start thinking about what this means for us as individuals and for the societies we live in.
You can check where you fit in today’s complex class system and take the BBC class survey. I was slightly surprised that I belong to the elite – it doesn’t feel like it most of the time.
Which of the seven classes you fall under? What are the threats to your future? Please share in the comments.
Enjoy and share the chart on the workings of capitalism.