JOBS, PHILANTHROPY & THE RICH
Some people wrongly say, "For all their faults, we need to let the rich stay in power because they provide us jobs and give to philanthropy." Here's why this is wrong.
Saying that the rich provide jobs is really like saying that the slave owners during the slavery era provided work for the slaves. We don't need class inequality--some rich and some poor--in order to do all the things that are presently done by working people in what is called a "job." When ordinary working class people democratically control the things that we need to produce goods and services--things such as the land and the buildings and machinery and equipment, etc.--instead of the way it is today with those things owned and controlled by a small capitalist class, then we won't need the permission of a capitalist (i.e., to be hired by a capitalist for a "job") to use these things to make the products and services that we need or want. We don't need "jobs"; capitalists need "jobs" because a "job" is the way they get us to work for them to make them richer from our labor. Read more about this here.
The rich want us to think that if there were no rich billionaires then we wouldn't have the things that were built or funded with money the rich gave to philanthropy. Sure, some universities and libraries and performing arts centers and a host of non-profit charitable organizations are partly or largely funded by donations from the very rich. So what! An egalitarian society with no rich and no poor and genuine democracy would create all these good things and much more.
The function and purpose of philanthropy is to prevent us from having an egalitarian society that would make life FAR better for most people than it is today. But don't take my word for this. You can read the words of the son of the fourth richest man in the world and one of its major philanthropists--Warren Buffet--saying so as reported by The New Yorker:
Peter Buffett, Warren Buffett’s son, wrote in an op-ed for the Times last year:
As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to “give back.” It’s what I would call “conscience laundering”—feeling better about extreme wealth by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity.
But this just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place. The rich sleep better at night, while others get just enough to keep the pot from boiling over. Nearly every time someone feels better by doing good, on the other side of the world (or street), someone else is further locked into a system that will not allow the true flourishing of his or her nature or the opportunity to live a joyful and fulfilled life.
Note that Peter Buffet says that the philanthropy "just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place."
Much of what is called "philanthropy" is actually very bad, even apart from its role in keeping the structure of inequality in place. This is particularly true of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropy of which we would be far better off WITHOUT, as you can read about in detail here.
An academic study of philanthropy is reported on here:
"Philanthropy among the elite class in the United States and the United Kingdom does more to create good will for the super-wealthy than to alleviate social ills for the poor, according to a new meta-analysis."
AS LONG AS THERE IS A RICH UPPER CLASS, IT WILL CONTINUE TO TREAT US LIKE DIRT
Our rich upper class of billionaires and almost-billionaires, like all other wealthy and privileged and powerful upper classes in history, must treat ordinary people--the have-nots--like dirt. Why? They must treat us like dirt in order to make us accept our place at the bottom of an unequal society. They treat us like dirt in countless ways, seventeen of which I discuss in some detail here, where I discuss why the rich MUST treat us like dirt to remain the rich upper class that they are.
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