Join us on a wondrous journey through whatever’s on our minds this week. We have no idea what we’re doing. But we’re trying.
Deciding to maybe show solidarity with the rich
Our Goodstuff Patreon Subscribers and listeners just like you! Support your favorite podcasts directly to get exclusive unedited episodes and more.
FOLLOW UP: MLS Comes To Its Senses
It’s Always Just Been “Lying”
This Is Certainly… A Take
Our Economic System Also Sucks for Rich People
The elite should not—they have no right to—expect sympathy from those who remain excluded from the privileges and benefits of high caste. But ignoring how oppressive meritocracy is for the rich is a mistake. The rich now dominate society not idly but effortfully. The familiar arguments that once defeated aristocratic inequality do not apply to an economic system based on rewarding effort and skill. The relentless work of the hundred-hour-a-week banker inoculates her against charges of unearned advantage. Better, then, to convince the rich that all their work isn’t actually paying off.
They may need less convincing than you might think. As the meritocracy trap closes in around elites, the rich themselves are turning against the prevailing system. Plaintive calls for work/life balance ring ever louder. Roughly two-thirds of elite workers say that they would decline a promotion if the new job demanded yet more of their energy. When he was the dean of Stanford Law School, Larry Kramer warned graduates that lawyers at top firms are caught in a seemingly endless cycle: Higher salaries require more billable hours to support them, and longer hours require yet higher salaries to justify them. Whose interests, he lamented, does this system serve? Does anyone really want it?
- Kind of a galaxy-brain take that’s laughable at first, but there’s a good nugget here, I think
- Part of what drives inequality and greed is an intuitive understanding that this economy is built on a zero-sum premise
- The rich understand the risks that come with reduced wealth or social status, and they feel disempowered from confronting it because they’re only an individual
- Most rich people are paupers in comparison with the true elites, so they don’t really see themselves as the ones with power
- Pals, being rich sucks and it doesn’t fulfill you—the constant fear of losing it all or being caught or getting murked by karma are not great headspaces
- What if there was another way? What if you didn’t have to view everybody below you as your enemy? What if we all decided to have solidarity against the exhausting and stupid culture we’ve created?
- Maybe if we exercise empathy and show solidarity to those better-off, but still suffering under this oppressive system, we can get more done
- Where do we set the boundary, though, as far as income goes? Appealing to billionaires seems a waste, but what about families bringing in 250k? How do we define who’s worth the solidarity and who de-facto has to be an enemy?