Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Slicing the Pie

Distributive equity co mingled with Productive fairness...that is the essence of the today's American economic dilemma. Are the wealthy unfairly keeping for themselves too great an amount of the profits of the American economic pie, and thereby denying the poor their deserved share; or are the poor demanding too great a portion of the economic pie--an amount unwarranted by their contributions to making it; and thereby denying the entrepreneurial class their just deserts?

Welcome to Republicans versus Democrats circa 2012.

Who contributes most--and in what proportion--to the American economy? Is the creative intelligence and managerial drive of the entrepreneurial wealthy and successful the main cog in the economic wheel; or does the American economic wheel have a million spokes: the wheel of American democracy's exceptional economic benefits only rolls because because three hundred and fifty million souls vote and maintain adherence to a legal and economic system without which American productivity and profit would not be possible.

America requires in its political charter the consent of the governed; does American capitalism demand the same (especially if we define 'consent' as the acquiescence of a happy "working class"--that is, non-managerial/non-entrepreneurial class)? 

The challenge facing us is how to make both sides happy; or at least content. To function smoothly and well, America must create and allow an economic system to flourish in which the wealthy don't feel fools, feeling short-changed in their received profits and salaries to their talents and drive, and the poor feeling that they are being denied a decent wage-life (and, when ill-fortune knocks them down, a hand up), an economic system where their relative poorness denies them good health, a reasonable family life a sense of personal dignity--including the chance to better their situation if they strive for it?

The formula for achieving such a "just" society balance should be a worthy goal for all the out-of-work hedge fund mathemeticians!!

Is there such a thing possible: a fairness formula delineating the proper line between the haves and the have-nots? Can such a line ever be defined and maintained within the shifting and definitional complexity of three hundred and fifty million people (with disparate abilities and needs), not to mention six billion worldwide?

The smooth and non-revolutionary future of the American and world system awaits a deep examination and sensible evaluation of proportional contribution and proportional benefits of all participants in America's and the world's economic life.

When it hasn't happened in prior advanced economic systems, revolution or dissolution has been the inevitable result.


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