Who Benefits From Economic Recovery?

Currency from around the world.

You know the ABBA song….

Everyone is supposed to benefit, right? “A rising tide lifts all boats” is the saying that comes to mind. This statement assumes that an economic recovery will benefit everyone equally. What really happens is the very wealthy benefit the most because they have much more money invested in the economy. But, shouldn’t there also be a proportional benefit to everyone less well-off? This is not necessarily the case. The very wealthy, who often generate wealth from the labours of others (by owning stock in a company, running a large successful business etc.), have many more revenue streams than a working person. The average working person is reliant on generally one source of income: his or her job. Perhaps they have some sort of retirement savings plan that is generating dividends or interest but this dwarfed by the revenue generated by the very wealthy.

This would not be a problem if the very wealthy, whether these are individuals or corporations, properly reinvested their proxy-generated wealth in those who actually did the work (through raises, new job opportunities, education etc.) or by paying their fair share of taxes. In practice, this is not true. There is never enough wealth or profit for these individuals and entities and reinvestment in their workers or in society in general is a very foreign concept.

This is the biggest argument against unfettered capitalism. Without oversight by the government and by extension the citizens, wealth continues to be concentrated with the very few. Capitalism in its purest form, arguably seen in the US, lends itself to the creation of monopolies and oligarchies with the vast majority of people fighting over what little wealth is leftover.

I despair sometimes seeing how the world works. Everyone seems to think that the system we have is best we can get but it is very broken. The problem is I have no idea what can be done to fix it. Politicians are so compromised by the system of lobbyists and other politicos that they no longer represent the interests of their constituents. It seems we are too few in number and too powerless to make any lasting difference.

Who benefits from economic recovery? Far too few benefit.

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