Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy by Christopher Hayes

This is a fascinating read that changed my thinking. I used to imagine that one could achieve beyond their station of birth–after all this is the land of the free and the home of the brave, the one place on earth where hard work, diligent study, extra hours returned their investment: what one merits one becomes.

In contrast what really happens is that merit does work but for a very short time. It doesn’t take long before the new generation of those who worked up to the top become the old aristocracy in different form.

For instance, most if not all who enter Congress leave as millionaires, Republicans and Democrats alike. Regardless of what they say, laws passed slant toward the wealthy, as in keeping them wealthy.

The adage that the wealthy should not be taxed at a higher rate, because they reinvest their profit in the economy is bogus. What they reinvest their profit in is making themselves more money! The rich are getting richer as the poor get poorer. Who’s going to stop that, your wealthy congressman?

After reading, and enjoying, my way through his book, I anticipated the conclusion–what can be done to redistribute wealth. I wasn’t disappointed, but I was discouraged. What Hayes proposes is a cross-party uniting of those who want to improve our broken system. Whether Republicans or Democrats or libertarians or conservatives, these have to put aside some of their differences and unite for the greater good.

And that’s where I became discouraged. Not in the history of the world has such happened. Man has been and ever will be short-sighted. The only cure is bankruptcy. We would rather fail then work with those on the other side, even if our differences are minor. Hayes is only 34 years old–he needs to read some history.

Now God, way back when, had a solution. Every 50 years Israel had a jubilee during which all land reverted to its original owners. Those who had expanded lost, those who lost regain, economic life started all over again. Nice.

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One Response to “Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy by Christopher Hayes”

  1. Of course the wealthy make sure their wealth grows. They are wealthy because they understand how economy works. Even with their selfish egocentric reinvestment they still have to make sure their businesses are profitable. That means they need to have people working for them. That is business. With regards to the poor, even the Bible says they will always be us. Next, the problem with the proposition to have a Jubilee is that the land in America would revert back to the peoples who were here before the Europeans showed up. All of us who cannot prove “Original Peoples” (as our Canadian friends call them) ancestry would be out on the streets. The land we call America was not promised to anybody, hence the implementation of a Jubilee is heavily flawed. Jubilee was not a wealth management system as such. I believe it was to protect all citizens against disenfranchisement in the theocracy that was the nation of Israel; not a model for America. Wealth redistribution is punishing to the overall morale of the nation. If followed to its apparently logical end, everyone would quit striving to succeed (work) and rely on the nanny state for everything. Without work being done where does the revenue come from? You end up with systems similar to the failed Soviet, Cuban, and North Korean models; a false economy, soft currency, oligarchy on a smaller scale than our American system, and generally squalid conditions for the average person.That is not good. In the end, my stance is “keep your hands off my money”. I will redistribute to whomever I choose.

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