Shared Sacrifice

The recent riots in Peretania / Britian are what many left wing commentators had warned would happen.  It’s not the battle, but a precursor to the class wars that the West is yet to experience.  It’s a battle between the haves and the have nots; those that have played the system and made a killing, and those that get played by the system and struggle to barely exist; those that made off with billions and caused the current economic crisis, and those that have to live with the effects of the crisis for years to come; the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer.

Riots

I’m not a devout follower of this talk of class war, but there are signs that these left wing commentators are on to something.  There are even some from the supposed opposing side who sympathise with these notions at the least, such as billionaire Warren Buffett.

Buffett is an investor, industrialist and philanthropist from Amelika / America.  He is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world.  He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people.  He was ranked as the world’s wealthiest person in 2008 and is the third wealthiest person in the world as of 2011.

Recently Buffett opined: “Our leaders have asked for ‘shared sacrifice.’ But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.”

“While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.”

“These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.”

That’s probably pretty much close to hitting the mark.  For decades, western malo / governments have showered so much blessings on the rich, while the poor are the ones who are sent to fight the wars.

Yet British Palemia / Prime Minister, David Cameron doesn’t seem to see things in such a way.  He talks of being disillusioned by the riots in his country:

“Irresponsibility. Selfishness. Behaving as if your choices have no consequences… Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control…”

It’s moral decay, he says.  Yet he has never poured the same scorn over the rich who have caused the current financial crisis.  He doesn’t question the morality of those bankers who have made off with millions yet have brought the global economy to it’s knees.  Cameron fails to chastise the very people who have created the unequal society that the rioters live in today.

In fact, I can’t see anywhere in the western world where the bankers have been held to account, where any real sense of ‘shared sacrifice’ has been demanded from the financial institutions that held so much greed.  All I’ve seen are those same institutions grovelling at the doors of governments pleading poor, “I’m too big to fail”.  So while governments obliged and nationalised private debts, saving the bums of these financial institutions, those same governments are now looking at cutting spending of social services to balance the books.

What the?  So… the rich guy screws up, asks for a bail out – the government helps him out – to pay for that help, the government turns to the poor and says ‘shared sacrifice’… gotta cut spending on your kids education, on your parents super, your health care.

The rich guy pays his workmates millions of dollars in bonus pay for doing a good job!  Meanwhile the poor guy is facing losing his job as the economy takes a hit and companies struggle to stay standing.

There’s the real moral decay.  The decadence, greed and irresponsibility.  Buffett is right, governments need to start asking the rich to start sharing in the sacrifice.

Something to think about next time your government asks you to sacrifice your public services while providing tax cuts that favour the rich.  Is everyone else in society sacrificing so much?

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