Carrying the water from a far-away river to a thirsty city in buckets is a herculean task, one resembling many of the last century’s and current welfare approaches to alleviating poverty. Besides being herculean and inefficient, it is never-ending on top of it.
Redirecting the river to the city or building a pipeline is far smarter and far less herculean. We have been raised to believe in a market economy that accomplishes everything by itself. In reality, markets operate by rules, rules written into law and enforced by governments. We merely need to modify those rules so the modified economy will work for everybody instead of merely a privileged few. Thus it will stop to grow inequality and instead start creating (and fairly distributing!) prosperity for all. Thereby we would finally accomplish the goal chiseled into the famous Preamble of our Constitution by our nations’ founders: namely to “promote the general Welfare.”
For the longest time, we have had a system that produces vast inequality by design. With the New Deal we got the government to arduously shovel some of the lopsidedly hoarded prosperity back (through steeply progressive income taxes, for example), year after year, month after month, and against a growing resistance from the top. It’s like the old movie scene of two guys digging two holes throwing the dirt back and forth into each other’s hole. Modifying the rules of the system so it does what we all need and want is a far smarter approach. That requires that we put our heads together though. I hope that’s not too herculean. It’s why I keep writing and inviting everyone to comment, discuss, contribute their own pieces, and share the instructive pieces widely.
Summary: Prevention is always better than the cure. That’s also true in matters of gross inequality and poverty.
P.S.: One of the articles in which I went into some detail on a better economic arrangement – in case you missed it and are curious – was What if We Were Paid for Work in Assets rather than Ephemeral Wages?
Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours of spare time each month to research and write news updates and analyses and work on my book. Please widely share links to these articles, so this work is not for naught. You can also help in other ways (including much needed financial support). Only together can we change this messed-up world. Let’s do it! 🙂