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Economic Inequality: How Can We Close The Gap? Should We?

Economic inequality is a topic that brings about many different opinions from many different people.

This story is from Blake's Take, an independent political blog.

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Economic inequality is a topic that brings about many different opinions from many different people. Some people believe that the rich are too rich, while some people believe that the poor are too poor.

This issue is deep rooted. Everyone wants to make money, everyone wants to have a leg up. We are selfish as a society, it's just how it works.

This may just be me, but what I see popping up everywhere is a group of people in our society who find this issue to be a huge problem and want to see change. Just look at the Political Revolution that Bernie Sanders created. The whole message was, how can we all be more equal? How can we make sure everyone is taken care of?

Is this even a good thing?

I see the future leaders of our Country in the Political Revolution I referenced above having a say and speaking out to try and close the gap.

But again, I say, is that even a good thing?

The Left wants everyone to have a chance, while the Right wants everyone to have a chance, as long as they work for and earn it.

That makes sense. That sounds like the American Dream to me.

So, what's the issue? Why is this still a conversation that dominates a lot of political conversations?

The issue is that when everyone is taken care of, some folks who don't need any assistance are impacted. "Handouts" have a price tag. This is where the debate starts.

My question is, Why can't we give assistance to those who actually need it, while preventing folks who are just "lazy" from taking advantage of the system. Why is it that hard?

I believe "handouts" are a good thing as some people really do need the assistance of the government and should be given the chance to get on their feet, or back on their feet.

But, I can also see the other side of the argument. We are getting lazy as a society, we want to do the least work for the most money. Since this is a new way of thinking and a new way of life, why would we ever give "handouts"?

But, doesn't that make us smart? Isn't that also the American Dream?

This is why we still debate this issue every single day. What is going to be the new standard of society in the future? This is the question that we all need to answer.

All in all, I just don't want anyone to suffer. The way we get ourselves out of poverty and away from economic inequality is by helping those who need it most by giving them the chance that our brutal world doesn't just hand to them.

I would love to see legislation that puts safeguards in place to make certain that our government assistance programs are working how they should be and not being exploited by people who just don't want to work for their living.

I'll leave you with this. If 10 people take advantage of the government, but 1 is given the chance to get out of poverty and cures cancer, i'll take it all day every day.

  • Blake Tarmann

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Follow Blake's Take on Twitter here.

Some thoughts...

"This issue is deep rooted. Everyone wants to make money, everyone wants to have a leg up. We are selfish as a society, it's just how it works."

Not so. I just want to have enough. And I want everybody else to have enough, too; so I don't have to feel sorry for them.

"My question is, Why can't we give assistance to those who actually need it, while preventing folks who are just 'lazy' from taking advantage of the system. Why is it that hard?"

Because people are creative. The best countermeasure is therefore to get creative, too, and create a system that simply can't be taken advantage of. Metaphor: Safe crackers will always figure out how to crack the latest and most sophisticated bank safes, unless we get rid of bank safes.

"But, I can also see the other side of the argument. We are getting lazy as a society, we want to do the least work for the most money."

Considering that every day more and more of us are getting replaced by machines, robots, and software, and the fact that many of our jobs today are BS jobs that serve no useful purpose (or even only exist to harm people and uphold our tremendously out of balance inequality), we ought to rethink our way of life, away from living for earning money through employment (increasingly difficult with growing unemployment) and towards a more meaningful and enjoyable life that focuses on passions, callings, and human companionship --- with our material needs taken care of by a flexible mix of automation, volunteers, and money seekers that has a safety floor and safeguards against excessive hoarding built in.

Hi Dirk, thank you for your response. I appreciate your thoughts and want to add a bit to the conversation.

In regards to your comment about wanting to just have enough, I wish we had more people like you!! Maybe it’s just a difference of opinion, but all I see is a world of rich who want to be more rich (I obviously don’t blame them) and poor who want to be more rich, but struggle so mightily to get there because it’s a world tailored for the wealthy. Do you agree?

Creativity is exactly what we need...but is that even possible with the polarized politics we live with today??

We are going to have to do something. Computers are making tasks that humans have done for many many years look easy. How can we as a society continue to live and prosper when jobs are disappearing? How can we expect people in poverty to ever get out of it when they don’t have anywhere to work?

Just my thoughts! I would love to keep the conversation going!

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I dig this Blake. I like the message and think it is very optimistic. Do I agree this is the way things can be ? No. I wish the fraud levels were as low as 10% but they are probably much higher. Especially when our elected officials and businessmen point to loopholes that allow them to take advantage of our system. It is what it is, I just try to get mine and help others.

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This is such a great and heartwarming post. It is sad that anywhere in the world, there are economic inequalities which is one of the most talked about issues but easily take for granted.

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@blakes__take @dirkdroll I think something important here is to define what “enough” is. I would suggest that for you and me, enough is different than the homeless man living on the sidewalk. He just wants to have shelter (maybe not?). He wants to have food in the pantry that he can eat whenever he wants.

What is “enough” for you and me? Is having extra money to take that vacation, enough? Is it being able to buy that new car? How about adding that extension onto the back side of the house? When is enough, really enough? You always want just a little bit more, but I don’t see any of us begging for money on the street corner, living in a box and getting our meals from a soup kitchen.

Let’s not pretend like the vast majority of American’s don’t have “enough”.

Hi, Blake:

"...it’s a world tailored for the wealthy. Do you agree?"

Yes. That's why I focus on system analysis and appeals to rethink our attitudes which support such a system that creates scarcity and suffering in an economy of abundance.


"Creativity is exactly what we need...but is that even possible with the polarized politics we live with today?"

Sure it is. Creative minds are around and active. I thow my own hat into the ring, here and on my own blog where I write a lot and also share a lot of other people's work (especially video documentaries, meetings, and speeches).

The polarization is one of the tricks by which the estalishment maintains the status quo. It is a tactic for us all to actively oppose and not participate in.


"Computers are making tasks that humans have done for many many years look easy. How can we as a society continue to live and prosper when jobs are disappearing? How can we expect people in poverty to ever get out of it when they don’t have anywhere to work?"

That's one of the topics I write about a lot. You can take a look at my articles on it (and my book, if I ever find time to finish it having to do all my writing in my spare time).


"When is enough, really enough? [We] always want just a little bit more, but I don’t see any of us begging for money on the street corner, living in a box and getting our meals from a soup kitchen."

Actually, you may see me living in a box some day... What's enough for me? Mostly healthy and sufficient food, healthcare, a roof over the head and a room permitting privacy, and a safeguard that these things never disappear. Add to that a little disposable money for transportation, music instruments (if I didn't have them already), an occasional restaurant visit, and -- very importantly -- access to books and a computer with Internet access for my reading and writing passions, and I'll be quite well supplied. To make me really jappy, turn my roof over the head into a a hut with its own garden where I can grow my own herbs and berries and keep a dog, and you would have a blissful Dirk Droll, especially if I could do my writing full-time, not in spare time. ;-)

I think our world is affluent enough to afford this kind of life for everyone. The basics should be guaranteed, and extras available to obtain through compensated work. The line to be drawn between socially guaranteed basics and acquired luxuries might have to start between a small apartment and a private hut with garden and gradually rise to include the hut with garden in everybody's assured basic setup as long as they don't choose to live in an overcrowded city.

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Hi, Pat:

"I just try to get mine and help others."

Suggestion: Help people like me in our determined projects of curing the faults of this world. (hint: they are not eternal nor impervious to change, many developed over time and can be either rolled back or replaced with better ways; change is part of life and can be steered in good directions; however, it won't happen if we don't try)

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Hi, wonderwall:

The "taking for granted" of the evils in our world is exactly the main problem.

The issue reaches deep roots so we must probably dig up on it to keep up. Closing the gap is merely an ideal right now as it is a herculean task. What we can do now as citizens is to make sure that we remain steadfast in helping one another go up against inequalities. Did you know that in Japan bus drivers strike by not letting customers pay fares? But they continue driving. It affects the private company significantly with no income than the grieving public

Carrying the water from a far-away river to a city in buckets is a herculean task, one resembling the traditional welfare approaches to alleviating inequality. It's never-ending on top of it!

Redirecting the river or building a pipeline is 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 "promote the general Welfare" (quote from the famous Preamble of our Constitution) instead of continuing to grow inequality.

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 it back, 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 want is a far smarter approach. That requires that we put our heads together though. I hope that's not too herculean. (hence I keep writing ;-)

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