Q: Why is the rich getting richer?
And the poor getting poorer
Firstly, the poor isn’t getting poorer. If you’ve heard the catch phrase, well, that’s all it is: a catch phrase. Read about it’s origin “here.” If you still don’t believe that the poor isn’t getting poorer, read this, this, and this articles.
Now let’s talk about why the rich keeps getting richer.
The other day, I was coming home and on the street, I saw this old man (mzee, in kiswahili), he was carrying this huge stack of fireword on his bicycle, and they fell right on the road and it broke my heart to see people having to struggle so much, in a country that has so riches to offer. This government has failed its people, truly
Politicians have trillions of kshs. locked away in foreign bank accounts and talk smack about others like what even.
I have been, and still am, studying life on first principles basis. The human society is interesting, and individual humans even more so.
The observation you made leads to all sorts of philosophical debates 😄
the contradiction in human nature: empathetic yet greedy, etc.
You have no idea how hard I’ve tried so far to not write a novel while responding to your messages 😄
Anyway, I told you I was considering closing down my blog project howtolife.org, well I did. I let the domain name expire but good news! I started a new one: Archarhat. The topics we’ve been discussing are the type of things I will write about there.
I think in trying to answer those questions, it would be interesting in considering the socio economic impacts on the individual human character. That’s undoubtedly true that they have a huge impact, but how would it impact a person’s. response if they were in a different country (for example)? Why are some people ready to overlook bad deeds because they’re. getting bribed? Yet they may not need the bribe money
Corruption is everywhere, it’s in the human nature. There’s less apparent corruption in some systems because of incentives to void corruption. If such incentives is built into the system, less corrupt will seem like part of the system. That’s what I think about why there’s more corruption in some systems than others.
Some years ago I spent 1 year in Nigeria and was learning auxiliary lab tech in a hospital. There was a student medical doctor doing internship there too. He was highly interested in politics and apparently he was into politics at the university he studied at. He told me his goal was to become health minister. I asked him if he gets such positing if he would embezzle money for himself. He said yes, he definitely would. I have asked so many people struggling to make ends meet if they’d embezzle money if they were in important position: they all agreed they would. So, can you blame those in positions for corruption? If people commit a legal offense, they’re always willing to bribe the police. If someone is trying to get a job, get into school, they’re more willing to bribe their way in than to earn it. You may say they’re only doing what other people do in order to not be left behind.
But as I said, if you ask them what they’d do if they were in position to make a change, they’d all agree they’ll help their family and friends first. We all would.
Here in Spain my friend works at a company and the boss encourages workers to recommend friends and family. The boss prioritizes connection over qualifications. I can see how that would work well. But if the world is fair, would that be considered fair. But the world is not fair, we can’t deny that. Everyone fends for themselves the way they can.
When I was in high school i was taking care of myself: working, studying, and volunteering at Red Cross to help people (and also gain work experience to get a job more easily in the future) well that, I was helping people and I had nothing. My bicycle which allowed me to move around the city giving private lessons was stolen. The bicycle was so old and cheap, it was clear I wasn’t rich so the person that stole it didn’t mind who they stole it from.
I asked my religion teacher in school: if you’re poor and you help someone with almost everything you have, what would you do if the person proceeds and steal the little you have left to survive? Why should you continue to help that person or even help anyone at all if they’ll proceed and steal from you without caring about you.
I mean, there are people that are very caring. They see some in need and they selflessly help them. That works, less complication. Unfortunately for me, I’m not naturally kind and empathetic. I do selflessly help people, but I ask questions rather than simply doing so 😄
For example: the rich man accumulating wealth, does he live a better life than the poor man? The rich man may have more food, better doctors, more people around him. But does he enjoy the little things and have a fulfilling life? Does he have less worries than the poor man? Does he feel less lonely?
All things equal, everyone would choose extreme wealth over extreme poverty. But think about it. If that man can get enough meal every day and have a shelter that serves him, the struggle he faces everyday is a tangible one. Imagine he fell and feels pain in his leg because of the fall. He can treat it. The extremely rich may more frequently feel pain and not know where or why nor how to go about it. They have more things in mind. More things can go wrong.
There are so many reports of rich people not being more happy and fulfilled as the get more wealth but rather the opposite. To those who can’t appropriately manage their wealth, maybe it’s their curse to bear that burden in comparison with a poor man that only focuses on the here and now. Again, I don’t mean extreme poverty.
So when I see someone that’s not rich and struggling to get by, I don’t always see them as someone that needs more help that someone that’s rich and may be facing more difficulties, albeit of different type.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m aiming to create billions of euros in value someday, and willing to help anyone that wants that do the same. And I would encourage everyone to create massive amounts of value if it depend on me. But some people are better off where they are. Doesn’t mean they don’t need help, but there’s struggle everywhere.
My personal conclusion. If you make peace with the struggle you face at any point of your life, you’ll be able to manage any struggle that may arise at anytime in your life. Well, touché 😄 I just remembered I published an article about this some days ago: what does it mean to be successful?
The human nature is complex 😄
The matter of agency, on its own, is an entirely different topic.
I think of it this way: when people get rich, they get different set of problems that needs more resources to solve. The richer they get, the more they get used to that lifestyle and the more resources they need to solve problems associated with such lifestyle. This problem can include clinging to power. They need more resources to remain relevant and to continue the lavish lifestyle. Imagine a rich man getting upset and stressed because one of their car unexpectedly broke down. They have 3 more cars but the one that broke down is specifically the one they want to use that day. You may say they have more than enough cars why are they buying more. But that’s because their preferences gets more specific and their feelings tied to the preferences the money allows. Their well-being depends on maintaining the lifestyle they’re used to.
Now consider a poor man with lower expectations. Riding a bike and the tire gets punctured. They will say “oh well” and continue the journey on foot. They may get disappointed but not as stressed and upset as the rich man over one of their cars.
If I have 3 cars, do I want to give a poor man a car that will become something to worry about? The poor man will then need money to fix the car when it breaks down. Another poor man will say look at that man that’s rich enough to have a car and yet. still accumulating a lot of money. But the more you have, the more you need to maintain what you have and the more you’ll worry to retain what you have.
I could sell one of the 3 cars and help other people with the cash. But, even if I’m not greedy, I need a certain amount of management skills to be able to do that. You know it’s easier to accumulate resources than to manage allocation of resources.