So long as all the increased wealth which modern progress brings goes to build up great fortunes, to increase luxury, and makes sharper the contrast between the house of have and the house of want, progress is not real and cannot be permanent. — Henry George.
Every year Forbes Magazine comes out with editions about the richest men and women in the world and in the United States. This survey has become so popular that it has spawned offshoots — the richest athletes, the richest movie stars, etc. No one is interested in the poorest of anything, that doesn’t sell magazines.
I admit a little voyerism, and if such an edition is in my doctor’s waiting room or the barber shop, I will quench my curiosity. But I also admit that after a certain point I find myself asking, “to what end.” I admire the super wealthy who commit a large portion of their their wealth to ending disease, feeding the poor, etc. But the question remains why does the contrast between the house of have and the house of want — the great divide –continue to grow and is it real progress and can it be permanent.
I suspect George is correct that at some point the gap will become too great and their will be an upheaval. What form the upheaval will take only time will tell, for it to be peaceful we must find a way to follow the wisdom to feed the poor, care for the sick, and give everyone the opportunity to improve their lot in life.
What do you think?