COLUMN: Socialist approach to global wealth needed

Chris Kok

From the factory worker in China to the executive in America, our global society makes the wealth of this world, but this wealth is not distributed by society.

A small portion of society makes the most important economic decisions that could mean life or death consequences for those who have no say. These elites are to economics as monarchs were to politics. There is the Halliburton monarchy, the Monsanto monarchy, etc. These monarchs make decisions in their best interests, not in the interests of society. It is time that we, the citizens of this planet, have democratic control of our economy so that it can be run for human interests rather than private profit.

Under the control of these economic monarchies, there has become a great divide between the rich and poor. According to the United Nations, 2.8 billion people live on the equivalent of $2 or less per day. The three richest people in the world control more wealth than 600 million of the poorest people in the world.

Capitalism is driven by profit. Goods and services that are profitable are produced while those that are not profitable are not produced.

People in the world are starving not because there is not enough food, but because it is not profitable to feed them. Industrial accidents, such as Bhopal, are not cleaned up nor are the victims fully compensated because that threatens the profits of major companies.

Our government recently signed a $453 billion “defense” budget. Every dollar spent on “defense” is a dollar not spent to feed a hungry person. Though it is profitable to build weapons, humanity does not benefit from the destruction they cause.

These problems arise because the economic monarchies represent the interests of a few people. Their focus is on profit – at any cost. It is time for all people to have an equal say in what gets produced, how it gets produced, and how it gets distributed. Essentially, it is time for socialism.

When profit is taken out of the economic picture and replaced by social needs, many new opportunities will be available. Education will be seen as a benefit to society rather than a burden on taxpayers, and resources will be available to build effective public transit. Farms and industry can be developed in an ecologically-friendly way without concern about profits. Hunger and homelessness will fade into history.

We have the resources necessary to feed, house, clothe, medicate and educate the population of the world. When we do this, we will unlock all of the human potential.

People will not be judged by their capitalist positions of worker and consumer, but rather as equals, humans working for the benefit of society. All people are created equal, but they have not been given equal opportunity. Not only is our economic system depriving the poor of a decent living, but it is also depriving humanity of its possible contributions.

Capitalism’s reliance on profit is not allowing mankind to reach its full potential. If we are to progress in the future we need a socialist economy; one where all people’s needs are met, people’s creative potential is maximized, and where people cooperate for the benefit of all.

Chris Kok is a senior international relations major and a point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]