By Richard Telofski , Contributor, US Daily Review.
If you believe that the “Top 1%” of U.S. wage earners exercises inordinate amounts of power on our society, then you must also believe that the Top 1% will be instrumental in reshuffling capitalism as we know it to allow for more government intervention in the system, impacting the Top 1%’s own position at the top.
So then why the heck am I saying this?
Because of the results of a recent poll.
In the results of the Bloomberg Global Poll, as reported in a Bloomberg Business Week article titled “Capitalism Seen in Crisis by Investors Citing Inequalities,” over 70% of survey respondents felt that the capitalist system was in trouble with about one-third saying that the system needed a “radical reworking of the rules and regulations.” Only about 25% said that capitalism is doing just fine as it is.
The poll, taken in late-January 2012 among 1,209 investors, analysts, and financial traders, also showed that 70% thought that the European financial crisis will cause social unrest in Europe during 2012. As a way to address this problem, 75% of European respondents and 80% of Asian respondents felt that government action is appropriate in addressing income disparities. American respondents were somewhat less favorable toward government intervention in income disparities, but not overwhelmingly so with 50% favoring such a remedy.
I smell a change on the horizon; a change which will contribute to a redefinition of the system of capitalism; a change that, contrary to what the press might like you to think, will probably not be initiated by the Occupy movement.
Given the results of this survey, that change may likely be driven by those who derive the most, rather than the least, benefit from the system as currently configured.
From the poll results summarized above, we can see indications that the financial elite are inclined to support changes, significant changes, to the current capitalist system. And if those elites support those changes and if you believe as I said above that the Top 1% holds inordinate power, then you must also believe that those changes are likely to happen, redefining capitalism for all, and probably reducing the fruits of capitalism, at least somewhat, for those elites themselves.
Yes, it is ironic.
But, why might this irony occur? Two reasons.
First: Power. – The Top 1% is more powerful than the 99%. I’m not saying that I necessarily subscribe to this idea. But for the sake of discussion let’s just go with this common meme. Following on the idea that the elites have the most influence in our society and economy, if the elites did have the power to stack the deck in their favor in the first place, then they would also have the power to reshuffle that same deck if the situation demanded such.
Second: Inevitability. – So, if the elites theoretically have the power to reshuffle the deck, if they see a future of inevitable social unrest that would likely impact their ability to grow or perhaps even keep their wealth, then why would they not favor changes which would mitigate severe negative impacts on that wealth? Given the power assumption, would the elites use their power to soften any massive social unrest that might knock elites farther down the income scale than if the elites did not do a “controlled” deck reshuffling?
The answer is yes; of course, they would.
And the results of the survey indicate what kind of a “deal” might take place.
Reshuffling capitalism, as we now know it, is not necessarily about altruism, which is how this theorized elite action may appear at first blush. Rather, the elite reshuffling of capitalism from its present form may simply be about survival; a survival which might be enabled by those with the power, even if exercising that power means a diminishment, instead of a complete loss, of that same power.