The Best is No Longer Yet to Be

All over the western world the rich are getting richer and the less rich are getting less rich. A person who has invested in education is less able to become a reasonable wealthy person than at any time in the last hundred years. It is harder than ever to earn enough money to be able to buy a house, live as well as your parents or even live as well as your parents lived. Of course there are exceptions but generally people are getting poorer while corporations are getting wealthier. After many generations when most people lived better lives than their parents (give or take the occasional world war) most expect succeeding generations on the Western democracies to live less prosperous more hard working lives with considerably less hope than  the lives their parents lived.

It is difficult to assign a specific reason for this phenomenon; some think that my generation has sucked the wealth out of the future generations while polluting the planet and perhaps there is some truth in this. Some blame the emerging economies. In China and Russia and in the Eastern dictatorships (whether of the masses or otherwise) each generation has improved its life compared to the preceding generation, and perhaps there is only so many people who can improve their lives on this planet.

Others point to the politicians who invariably buy votes by taxing those who work and distributing some of their fruits of labour to those who have no intention of working. A person who earns a living is generally taxed quite substantially. In France the highest rate is 75%, Germany 55% and the United Kingdom 45%. The lower rates of tax are still substantial and on average in the United Kingdom an average person working in an average job will pay more than 40% of the earnings in one kind of tax or another.

In the West, Corporations are treated by politicians as important providers of work and instead of being providers of work have become the modern equivalent of the bad mill owners of Victorian times. Amazon, whose turnover in the UK is counted in billions, paid £2.3 million in corporation tax while getting a government grant for UK taxpayers of £2.5 million. It is an odd thing to happen but it is far from unusual. Ask Google and Starbucks.

The fact that many Western democracies have enacted a minimum wage does not show benevolence on the part of their governments but the rapacious way in which corporations are quite willing to consume their own consumers. The tendency to have fewer workers and a business with absolutely no “fat” contributes to the emerging generation which will earn less, work for less and laugh less than the generation of their parents.

In these matters the East apes the West and it is possible that future generations of the East will experience that the best has past, and not is yet to be.

One Response

  1. If we all helped those who wanted to help themselves we could all be what we are in personal hand to eye coordination, without having stealing another’s labour life/force.
    Getting into debt to become wiser is an elitists con trick, we would be much better off using our knowledge together, than as individuals.
    Put the weekly lotto money into a bank of the people, like Dave did, leave out the interest and there would be no contest.

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