When I hear that Apple is worth one trillion dollars it makes me want to scream. That is the kind of money that could buy everyone an electric vehicle and convert whole swaths of the world to green energy. It is the kind of money that could solve global poverty if applied correctly. But we have a system that instead silos that money for the sole purpose of making more money. So it sits there replicating itself while the world burns and people starve. That’s a stupid system.
[Please note what I did not say, namely, “We should take their money and use it to fix the world.” I did not say those words.)
I don’t have a religious code. If I were still a Christian, anyone sitting on billions of dollars who doesn’t use it to improve the state of the world would be violating my beliefs (I suppose as long as they’re not gay, though, that would have been fine – and that really is a dig on me, not Christians in general). As it stands the main rule I live by is the golden one. It’s really simple, and yeah, watching any global crisis unfold and not taking forward steps to address it when they literally have the money at their fingertips is reprehensible.
I don’t care about whether they have an “obligation.” I don’t care about whether they feel the children who are getting lead poisoning from the water in Flint somehow wronged them by living in a home that voted blue. Those are not factors in my mind. They can solve a problem and neglect to, opting instead to feed their money into the money-making machine. The money goes in and it makes more money. WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS MONEY?
The “billionaire” angle of this thing is also only a piece of it. Congress has the power to act on this. Michigan has the power to act on this. I almost checked to see which party controls Michigan right now and realized I don’t care — THEY HAVE THE POWER TO ACT ON THIS. It is appalling and embarrassing how long the situation in Flint has continued. And deeply dangerous. It is equally appalling how paralyzed we are in the face of global climate changes that could literally end civilization as we know it, and how bad we are failing as a worldwide species to curb the hate that is rising up everywhere. I do what I can, but I don’t have a billion dollars. I don’t have the resources of the government. I don’t have the POWER that these people have. All I have are the bit of money I can spare for these causes and my voice. So that’s what I use, and that’s why I post thoughts like this.
Call it vilification of the rich, or call it social pressure – either way, they have a choice of how to respond to it. They avoided regulations for years with the argument of self-regulation, but they won’t do the same thing for the big problems. The problems that require their kind of power to solve.
Because this isn’t about money, not really. It’s about power. You need power to solve big problems. And the people who hold the power refuse to solve the problems.