Today I received a thoughtful email about access to the world’s art online. It got me to thinking about the things monetarily rich people actually get in today’s world that an average person with access to the internet may be denied. Obviously there are all sorts of things very rich people can get that very poor people are totally denied. However, consider what the great majority of people of the world now have access to, and by majority I mean those six billion below the top million people in wealth and above the bottom billion in poverty. This middle group of people go from very well off monetarily to poor but not starving poor. These people already have access to the internet or soon will have, and once on the internet a poor person has access to much the same information as a rich one. Everyone has the opportunity to influence opinion of other people anywhere in the world and the opportunity to sell products as well as ideas. This free-for-all opportunity may prove to be a brief window of time before some individuals discover ways to lock up portions of the internet for the private usage of their customers. A lot of that has already happened, and who knows in twenty years perhaps nearly everything will be pay to view, even presently free services such as Google, Craigslist and Wikipedia. People may get tired of intrusive ads grabbing their screen and attention and opt to just pay a fee to get what they want.
There has been a lot of fuss the last few months here in the US over the upper 1% in monetary wealth, but that 1%’s real power isn’t in the goods and services they can buy; it’s in the power they can buy. The 2nd % can probably buy everything they could realistically want in the terms of personal possessions, but they can’t buy much power and it’s power that the rich really crave and possess. The ruling elite of this world is in that upper million I mentioned at the top and it’s vastly less than 1%. They are the major politicians, the directors of large businesses and the media moguls and that includes some of the famous media people who are elevated by a combination of popularity with the public and opportunity given by those in positions of real power. To rise to the top a person must have a lock on some aspect of power or be in the service of someone who does. So, young person, if you want to make it big you must face facts and join the club – any way you can.
This brings us to what really matters to everyone, health and happiness. Even the richest of us wants to be healthy and happy and to live a long and contented life. At present most normally healthy people who reach age five can, with a little personal care, live to be seventy. If they choose to live within their means they can accumulate a reasonable amount of local money, power and fame – enough for personal health and happiness. Perhaps the most important social items for achieving those reasonable goals are fair laws fairly applied which are willingly obeyed by the local public. When the local social situation is honest, such that everyone knows what to expect and to have legal redress when they have been violated, then it is possible to be happy and even contented.
Insist on and fight for good laws fairly enforced.