Once upon a time Mr. Capital took his son out for a walk…
• Look son, poor people, there.
• They look just like you and me, dad.
• Well, son, no, they are not like us, they don’t own stock, but they are still very useful for the economy.
• In what way are they useful, dad?
• Well, son, because they are poor, we can hire them for miserly wages, and they will produce for companies in which we own stock!
• Dad, but if they are not paid enough, won’t they go hungry?
• Well, son, our politicians, who we call “public servants,” take care of that. They arrange for the government to give them food stamps to go along with their minimum wage jobs, thus generating millions in subsidized labor for the companies in which we own stock!
• But, if they are not satisfied with minimum wage and food stamps, won’t they want a better job?
• Son, we have many options for them. For example, they can get education benefits by joining the military, go to wars that benefit oil companies, banks, weapons manufacturers, and many others in which we own stock! Or, they can get student loans at high interest from banks that get the money at zero interest from our politicians, banks in which we own stock! And, if they don’t go to college, they can wash our cars and mow our lawns, and take care of grandma when we put her in a nursing home, in which we own stock!
• Dad, isn’t it very costly to give them “so much”?
• No worries, son, we make sure they give our money back to us by selling them stuff our companies make, by opening fast food restaurants instead of supermarkets where they live, by having them pay inflated prices for medications, by charging high rent in apartments — on all of which we own stock!
• Dad, do poor people realize they have all these options?
• Yes, son, our main stream media, our movies, our politicians constantly remind them this is a land of opportunity and whatever they get, they deserve.
• But what happens if in spite of all they do, they still cannot get out of poverty, want help?
• Yes, son, when that happens, our politicians remind them that we have a budget deficit and everyone has to tighten their belts in order to keep our country great, and that the way to fix the problem is to give tax breaks to the job creators, meaning us, the super rich, so we can hire more in our companies, in which we own stock! Not that we have to, but we might.
• Dad, what if they stop believing our politicians?
• Well, we give them politicians that promise change, and a choice of party to support, but making sure they vote only for candidates who belong to one of our two major political parties, in which we own stock!
• Dad, are Republican and Democratic our parties?
• Yes, son, both the Republican and Democratic parties are dedicated to promoting politicians for whom we want people to vote, politicians in whom we own stock!
• Dad, how do we make sure people don’t go to other parties?
• Well, for starters both the Republican and Democratic parties are automatically included in all ballots. Other, independent parties have to gather signatures, get approval by secretaries of state who belong to the two major parties and thus can always kill their petitions, and jump a lot of other hoops to get into ballots, thus preserving the control of the two major parties in which we own stock!
• But, dad, what if the people are unhappy with the job, education and voting choices we give them?
• Well, son, then we call them anti-American, subversive and pass laws to incarcerate them, and forever take away their right to vote, and they will forever be marked and unable to get better jobs. While in prison, they can work for pennies for our companies, and just by being locked up occupying prison space they make money for the prison industry, in which we also own stock!
• Oh wow, dad, I didn’t know poor people could be that useful!
• Let this be an economics lesson to you!
By Rodrigo Brana, originally published on Minds.
The above fable was performed live during our national call on February 4, 2021.