“Wealth creation, throughout human history, has not been tied to surplus, but rather having the ability and resources to steal or protect surplus.”
Thank you. That is useful information. I appreciate the warning and have taken steps to protect my surplus.
From where did they obtain the ability and resources that enable them to steal?
“Without restraint of some kind, wealth accumulation is by it’s very nature, all about cheating and stealing.”
Without order there would be no economic system to create wealth in the first place. If resources are not produced there will be nothing for anyone to steal.
“…the graphics, which seem ridiculous- are probably accurate.”
They may indeed be accurate, but they are without a doubt sensationalized. The tone and intensity of the presentation is one that will predictably evoke outrage. No objective evidence is presented to explain why one should be outraged. No claim is made that the tall bars are the result of cheating. The clip is designed to evoke an emotional response, outrage, while providing no justification for that response.
“The values built into wealth accumulation systems make the of extreme concentration of wealth into smaller and smaller pockets of individuals inevitable.”
Eventually then, all resources will fall into the hands of the couple of guys under the tall bars. The rest of the dirt poor peons will have nothing. The Tall Bars will become spoiled, lazy, soft and weak. The Dirt Poor Peons will grow hard, resourceful, outraged and strong. Finally, the Dirt Poor Peons will evolve into Morlocks who will then cultivate and dine on the Tall Bars who will have evolved into Eloi.
I notice that the bars on the graph are formed from little green squares that trickled down from the map of the United States above it. (Is this an example of trickle-down economics?) If the green squares are like grains of sand, then the tall bars will act like piles of sand. When they grow too tall and thin, the green squares will slide down the sides like grains of sand, the pile will assume a natural cone shape and resources will spread to a wider population. The Tall Bar guys will start scooping the sand back up and pretty soon the pile will be too tall and thin and the process will repeat. The cycle will repeat forever, or until the sun explodes — at which time all of the global warming deniers will convert.
I am absolutely unqualified to offer advice on how a world economy should be structured. Me tinkering with an economy would be the equivalent of someone opening the hood of a car and turning a few screws and twisting a couple of knobs and expecting the engine to run smoother as a result.
I do know that the amount of money in Trump’s pocket will have no influence on whether or not I vote for him in the future. I will be persuaded to vote for his opponent if I am convinced that his opponent will more effectively represent my interests. Present me with a better candidate and I will vote for her. Hillary was not and would still not be that candidate; it has nothing to do with the amount of money either one has in their pocket.
“Take two people- toss them on a deserted island, …”
Two men? Two women? One of each?
“…give them the exact same tools, how would one end up with far more wealth than the other?”
…by being cleverer, shrewder, and staying one step ahead; by more effective use of the tools to procure resources; by having a greater aptitude for leadership and organizing efforts to increase their effectiveness and efficiency.
If they did not work collaboratively they would both end up dead no matter which one had the most tools. A person can only use one tool at a time. Humans are not equiped to procure resources as isolated individuals; they are instead equiped to operate as participating members of an organized population acting collaboratively to procure resources.
An experiment involving two people deposited on an island is equivalent to a zoologist studying animals in captivity rather than in their natural habitat. The natural habitat for a human is as a member of an organized population acting collaboratively to procure resources.
“Cheating, however, can be up for debate.”
It can indeed.
“What are the rules and who sets them and why?”
The rules are established by consensus of the population as expressed through its political system and encoded as law.
I, for one, do not consider it cheating for a person to try to influence public officials through legal means. If the influence includes bribery or threats, that would be an example of cheating.
The world is a very unfair place. It is dangerous as well. The danger is severe; not one of us is getting out of here alive. Some people will live longer than others, even though they don’t deserve to; that’s not fair. If you are very lucky a few times during your life something might happen that is fair, but don’t count on it.
With regard to slavery: I find it curious that slavery was abolished during the same era that machines were being invented.
“…the whole global economic system is a house of cards.”
Possibly because mankind has not yet devised the bureaucracies that are capable of managing an economy at global scale.
“…what happens when it all falls down?”
Civilizations fall and civilizations rise.