During the recent recession, concerns about the rich being too rich have resurfaced. Movements like occupy wall street have aimed anger at the “one percent” of top earners in America. Television and radio personalities have reported that the top one percent hold fifteen, twenty, thirty, or even forty percent of the countries wealth. Some billionaires, like Warren Buffet have demanded that their taxes should be raised and that they can afford it. meanwhile, many people with low incomes in the tea party movement have supported lower taxes and decreased spending on programs that aim to improve their economic standing.
Closer analysis shows that the richest and most powerful people in America are much fewer than the three million that make up the one percent. The one percent includes physicians, lawyers and small business owners. The battle between working class interests and upper class interest has many fronts. The democratic party often pushes for more redistributive programs while the republicans tend to support lower taxes and decreased domestic spending. The working class also clashes directly with top executives through unions that lobby for higher wages and better treatment of workers.
Although money has transformed entirely into an abstract concept in 1969 as it is no longer linked to the value of metals, it continues to have a tangible impact on our daily lives. Level of income is a significant factor with a strong influence on what type of life one leads. Access to safety and security, quality food, or even food at all are some of the most obvious ways. Longevity, mobility and comfort among other things are also determined by level of income.
In most industries, there are different markets for the same category of products. Markets for the wealthy and markets for the poor. Product and services available to the less wealthy are generally lower quality as tends to be the case with cars, homes, food and health care. Although it is clear that the things that are available to the poor are of inferior quality, it is often the case that the difference in quality is far less than the difference in cost. In the advertising discipline, it is common knowledge that price is an important factor in the valuation of a product. If a billionaire sees a a brand new Rolls-Royce for two thousand dollars he is very unlikely to be interested. This is the basis of the argument that money gives an exaggerated reading of wealth inequality.
In an age where elections often involve millions of voters who are unlikely to get a direct view of the candidates or their actions, money is increasingly important in the distribution of messages, positive or negative, truthful or misleading. When money becomes so essential to the functioning of the political process relationships are built between people and groups with money and political actors who hold elected office. When policy makers become chronically dependent on the wealthy, it becomes difficult for lawmakers to maintain objectivity if they want to be reelected. When money becomes so clearly linked to political influence it leads to the question of whether or not political equality can exist without income equality.
Many mainstream democrats, like Ted Kennedy, argue that everyone deserves an equal shot at life with equal