I went to see the movie Elysium Friday. It’s set in the future on an earth devastated by poverty, overcrowding, and environmental degradation. The wealthy have moved off-earth, to a lavish colony called Elysium.
Mick LaSalle, the San Francisco Chronicle’s movie reviewer says if people in the future want to see what we worried about in 2013, watch this movie.
It’s not about other people blowing us up—It’s inequality—a world where the one percent is so wealthy and isolated, they never have to see a poor person. A world very much like our own, except our rich isolate themselves in gated communities, on private islands and private jets.
Robert Reich, in his weekly column in the Chronicle, says corporations want high unemployment. It keeps us scared, makes us glad for whatever work we can get for whatever wage. The median wage is 4% lower than at the start of the recovery. Corporate profits boom because costs are down.
Back in the 70s, we studied Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which looked like this:
If the majority of people are kept at the bottom, scrabbling for a living, they (and their children) won’t have the energy or the vision to climb.
There is abundance, scarcity and sufficiency. Sufficiency defined as enough plus a little bit more.
That’s what we should work toward: a country (and a planet) where everyone has enough and no one hogs it all.