There’s a video out there where tennis great Steffi Graf is about to serve at a match when a man shouts, “Steffi! Marry me!” Graf is nonplussed and replies, “How much money do you have?” And the audience laughs. It’s funny, damn funny, but it also highlights the human species focus on money as the defining attribute for living, and respect from other humans. We laugh at the Bower Birds, a species of bird who decorate their nest with shiny shells and stones to attract a mate, yet we are dead serious about billionaires.
And it has gotten a lot worse in the last few years.
We’re living in an age where it is nearly impossible to be invisible. There are cameras everywhere now, and everything that is recorded on a device can be streamed live for all the world to see, instantly. We beginning to understand the depths of human depravity because right now, no one, not even rich people, can hide.
Sports figures, who once could and did prey on women with impunity and public immunity, are now being caught on video hitting and abusing women, and they’re losing money because of it; the ultimate punishment. Moreover, there are many rich people who recently were caught bribing officials at high-end universities, paying smart people to take tests for their rich kids, and more or less paying their way through what normal people have to work years to achieve.
Robert Kraft, a billionaire sports team owner, was snagged paying low-cost sex workers in a low-end brothel.
Hardly a day goes by without someone who has enough money to buy a small New England state is caught on camera behaving worse than a drunken frat boy who knows daddy will bail him out of anything and everything.
So, my question to you is this one: why is it we keep electing rich people to office?
The obvious, and false answer, is that only those who have money can afford to buy the advertising it takes to get their names out there. But we know this isn’t true. We know that the tech-savvy and walk-weary Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used social media and a staggering amount of legwork, to upend an opponent entrenched in Congress for many years.
Historically, the rich have enthralled the American public. We believe their tales that they did it all through hard work, even though we know that over 95% of all wealth is inherited. We believe them when they tell us they’re supplying us with good jobs even though the average American CEO makes over 700% more than the workers who produce his wealth for him. We believe that Zuck will protect our data even after learning he’s been selling it to the highest bidder before FB took over the world.
Our water will continue to be poisoned. The air will become dirtier. Our food will become less safe. The streets will crumble and prescription drug prices will skyrocket. Education will be allowed only for those who can afford it, and women will be a tradeable commodity. As long as the laws are made by those with money, they will be made in deference of those who pay for them.
You voted for this.
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit. Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.