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.