December 12, 2016: Post 2 – Humans, Wealth, and Politics

December 12, 2016: Post 2 – Humans, Wealth, and Politics

The big political news seems to center around Putin loving Trump so much that Russia tried to ensure his election.  Some of these humans know why, or at least have a very good idea, but nobody is talking openly yet.

Trump is selecting a murderer’s row of multi-national corporate leaders supplemented by overt racists in key positions.  Nothing unexpected is happening.

A new report on income and wealth came out and went somewhat under the radar.  The ultra-rich are getting richer, but most people end up with about the same real income as their parents.

slide1For people born in 1940, there was a 92% chance that they would make more than their parents by the time they were in their 30’s.  Now that chance is 50%.  In other words, half the people in their 30’s are doing worse than their parents did in their 30’s.

That means (1) the pie is remaining the same size relative to our population, or if the pie is growing, (2) ultra-rich people are eating more of the pie.  Based on the data, both things seem to be happening.

Rich people are eating more of the pie now than they have since the 1950’s, and about the same amount as in the late 1920’s.  The pie can only get so large – it cannot grow forever.

Some humans think the poor people are eating too much of the pie.  However, they had no pie in 1950, 1960, 1970, and so on.  They have even less today than ever.  To assert that you do not have enough because the poor people have too much is to say this:  you would have more pie if all of the poor people who are not you were dead.  This seems immoral.

Here is something that is objectively true and not that profound: the world is finite.  The pie cannot continue to grow in size.

It should be noted that when Androp Gerard was born, there were about 175 million humans in the USA, and there are about 320 million now.  More humans are taking a slice of the pie.  Globally, those numbers are 2.5 billion humans 60 years ago and 7.5 billion humans now.

Global resource disputes among humans and extinctions of other species seem almost certain to intensify as long as the human population continues to trend upward.  This cannot continue forever though.  The current uber-tribalism in the USA might be explained by simple resource shortages: too many of us are not doing as well as our parents, and we are blaming each other.  That trend seems likely to continue for the near future, but who knows?