The Politics of the 5%…

It seems popular now days to rally against the one-percent of the population in the U.S. that controls so much of our country’s wealth. I am one of the many who think the distribution of wealth has been skewed too far the last thirty years or so.  We need to bring back a more moralistic ratio of wealth. We need to re-establish the quickly shrinking middle class in this country and do away with the recent lopsided subsidies for the rich.

But if we take a more worldly view of our circumstance we in the U.S.  make up about 5% of the world’s population but we consume a much higher percentage of the world’s resources.

  • We use about ten time more of the world’s resources per citizen than most other countries.
  • In order to maintain our lifestyle we borrow more than any other in the world; we are spending way beyond our means.
  • We pollute the atmosphere more than any other country, although China is quickly approaching polluting more than we do.
  • We account for more than 50% of its war making machinery and sell more weapons than anyone else in the world.

So in a way when looking at it from a world standpoint all of us in the United States are like the 1% we rally so much against. For this reason there are many in the rest of the world that hold us in contempt. But, at the same time covet our lavish lifestyles. Some see us as bullies who come into their country to strip out what we need and then either leave or worse yet force some kind of “regime change” to get more.  Should the rest of the world be rallying against the 5% who are gobbling up the world’s resources for their own pleasure?

I don’t want to leave this post on such a negative point.  Yes, compared to much of the rest of the world we are greedy when it comes to our comforts but we are also gracious with it comes to our worldwide relief efforts. As is typical of everything in this world our country has a good side and a bad side. Let’s just pray that we show our good side more often. That will result in a much more peaceful world than all our nuclear bombs and our outrageous military spending can ever provide.

4 comments

  1. Unfortunately as a society we have a huge blind spot when it comes to our own shortcomings and negative impact on the environment. In my lifetime I have seen an increasing awareness of our impact on the health of the earth, but little in the way of change.

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  2. Hi Bob, yeah change is hard especially when you think you are number one in everything you do. When we as a civilization finally realize that we are indeed a world community and that almost everything we do affects all of us then we will have some real knowledge and maybe real change. Won’t happen in our lifetimes though….

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  3. I just read an excerpt from Pat Buchannan’s book “Suicide of a Superpowe” (on Amazon) and the preface he writes strikes a chord. The last line sums it up “We are the prodigal sons who squandered our inheritance; but unlike the prodigal son we can’t go home again.”
    I am not a doom and gloom Republican and I am not promoting this book…I haven’t read it yet…but, I do want to read it so I reserved it at the library…long wait tho.
    Pat B. is a conservative and I usually don’t care for them but, at times he seems to be right.
    Gotta have an open mind, right?

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  4. Yep, the secret to any possible reconciliation is keeping an open mind and willing to listen to those you disagree with. When we stop doing that no forward progress can be made. But it also must be a two-way thing. If both party’s don’t make an effort nothing happens. I think that is kind of where we are as a divided country right now. No one is listening to the other side. Thanks for the words of wisdom Jane. Let’s all start listening more and talking less….

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