Income inequality is not an inevitable result of our global market system. This system is described as “free” but that is true only if you understand “free” to mean “used for free.” Rather the global market system is “used for free” by some, but it certainly isn’t fair. Rather our economic system has adapted and adjusted to the manipulations of those in power. This includes our own government’s tax policies and trade policies.
Over the past 60 years we have given tax breaks to the wealthy and we have subsidized specific crops (corn, soy, etc.) and by extension industries that use those crops (Coca Cola, McDonald’s, etc.). Further we have deregulated the financial industry, eliminating transparency for property ownership allowing banks and financial institutions to create speculative investments resulting in speculative bubbles. Millions have been left homeless as a result while mortgage servicers (owned by banks) plundered huge foreclosure fees from families across the country. Read an excellent, concise history by Robert Lieberman at Foreign Affairs here.
The resulting crash has left millions unemployed, even as the rich continue to get richer. Similarly we have allowed corporations to lay waste to our global environment. In the end we have a market system that is cost “free” for an elite few and not at all fair – not fair for people nor for the environment.
Let’s re-adjust our economy for fair trade. Fair for all and in a way that the environment “fares” well. We are a creative, caring and imaginative people. Tax policies, regulatory policies and trade policies can be changed. We are not victims of our government or corporations. As in every time and place we have political will to use to bring change. Let’s use it.