Ultimately gross inequality can be fatal to civilization. The wealthy can now anonymously use unlimited campaign donations to influence policy and elections. This is leading to only wealthy individuals having meaningful participation in our government, the definition of plutocracy. Simply put, plutocracy and democracy don’t mix. Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder.
“There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and I can’t remember what the second one is.” ~ Hanna
Money buys power, and the increasing wealth of a tiny minority has effectively bought the allegiance of one of our two major political parties, in the process destroying any prospect for cooperation. The average income of Americans increased just $303 dollars in 28 years. That’s wage repression. There you see the two Americas - A buoyant Wall Street and a doleful Main Street.
In 2011 we realized our real enemies are not robots, but multinational corporations, who have declared war on democracy. In 1981 Ronald Reagan became President and “Reaganomics” became the dominant ideology. At the forefront of this philosophy were three malignant notions: helping the rich get richer would inevitably help everyone else, “a rising tide lifts all boats;” markets were inherently self correcting and there was no need for government regulation; and the U.S. did not need an economic strategy because of the “free” market. Like humanoid robots, corporations have no conscience — they are programmed to achieve their objectives no matter the consequences to humans or the planet.
Although Mayan kings on the Yucatan peninsula could see their forests vanishing and their hills eroding, they were able to insulate themselves from the rest of society. By extracting wealth from commoners, they could remain well-fed while everyone else was slowly starving. Realizing too late that they could not reverse their deteriorating environment, they became casualties of their own privilege.
A relatively few Americans are buying our democracy as never before. And they’re doing it completely in secret. We’re back to the late 19th century when the lackeys of robber barons literally deposited sacks of cash on the desks of friendly legislators.