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Luke Hutchison

TED Fellow,

TEDCRED 50+

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Is capitalism sustainable?

Bono stated in his TED2013 talk that the numbers show that we can eradicate all poverty worldwide by 2030. While I really hope that is true, it begs the question: Is capitalism sustainable? Is it possible to have a rich and middle class without a poor class? The sad reality of capitalism is that if there is an exponentially small number of people with exponentially large wealth, there has to be an exponentially long tail of much poorer people who are each contributing to that wealth. Not that we necessarily need an exponentially small number of people with exponentially large wealth, but would the world keep running without capitalistic incentives that increase the separation between rich and poor? Can we eradicate all poverty without the rich sharing their riches? What happens to civilization when nobody is willing to work in the factories and orchards, or build roads?

(Please don't take this question the wrong way! Personally I wish that nobody had to work menial jobs. I just don't understand how we can eradicate poverty when so many jobs will always translate into low-paid labor.)

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  • Mar 17 2013: Larry I have been writing and talking about this for some time in how "we the people" have become nothing more than Cheerleaders, waiting for our elected officials and Talk Radio to tell us how to vote and what to do!!
    While what you suggest is very noble, and very sensible, you overlook one thing. As long as Money is THE power, those with the most Money will have the ultimate influence to keep this from happening. Many would say you are overreaching Governments' Power.
    What it will take is States agreeing to adopt a new way of operating, creating much Havoc at first. People will move and shift about, but it will be a gradual change taking roughly 20-30 years or more for full acceptance. But my prediction is Mother Nature will help expedite things, dealing us a heavy blow on our egos and all that we have come to know as "important". We will then be forced to make some changes!

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