Bumper Sticker: “Earth can no longer afford the rich”

Robin Craig sometimes sends me thoughts or “Brain-Starters” as a prompter for me to reflect upon my ideas. Here is his latest, and below it my response as I sent it to him… what do you think?

> Brain-Starter:
> ——————
> A bumper sticker reported on a web site says “Earth can no
> longer afford the rich.” What philosophy underlies that claim?
> What would happen if the rich disappeared?

Scarcity (that there’s not enough to go around) and Entitlement (that we have a birthright to resources) underlie the claim. Earth cannot afford to not have the rich. Ideas do and always have created the value upon which our civilisation is based. Today is the richest time in humanity’s history, largely because we have embraced the pursuit of personal objectives with a minimum of restrictions, leading to a more pure market structure for labor, goods and resources, and the consequential creation of additional goods and resources through innovation and ingenuity.

Without the rich, the world collapses. Human beings need hierarchy: Without hierarchy, discipline and focus, we tend to pursue laziness rather than achievement leading to the breakdown of the very value that such a bumper sticker would purport to advocate.

But I imagine that you already knew all that 🙂