11 December 2012
Sociological Novel: How to maintain a plutonomy, Chapter 1
A plutonomy means a form of capitalism that is designed to make the rich control a nation's government, its economy and its society.
At a certain place in a certain country, the wealthy have gathered and are having a meeting.
They are the elite of the country. Although few in number, they control the majority of the country's wealth. This is why they can do anything. They have the power to manipulate society to suit themselves. They have the economy, of course, politics, and even the media which forms public opinions in the palms of their hands.
As they all gather under the chandelier, one of the wealthy breaks the ice while drinking his champagne.
"Hey, the global economy is on a bit of a downturn recently. I feel that our wealth has also been on a decreasing trend. Shouldn't we come up with some kind of countermeasure to this?"
"You're so right. Taxes are still just too high! We should really bring down things like the income tax rate."
"-and let's privatize the public enterprises. And relax the regulations. Let's pressure the government to get rid of regulations which are an obstacle to business. And to reduce labor costs, make them allow more temporary workers. The politicians and government officials all got where they are now through our donations and pay-offs; they'll do whatever we ask."
"But the government's budget will shrink by the amount the taxes we pay goes down, won't it? How do we make up for the deficit?"
"That's easy. We just reduce the education and social welfare budgets which have been used for the public up to now. The expensive taxes that we've been paying have been diverted to those that barely pay any tax. That's why we just need to keep raising consumption tax, insurance and pension payments, which they have to pay an equal amount of."
"But surely the public won't allow it. If we do that, public services will be degraded, the burden on individuals will increase, and they'll be critical that the rich get preferential tax treatment, and that workers are treated as disposable. We have to be conscious of the fact that this country is a democracy. Even if we have all of the wealth, regardless of one's assets, when it comes to votes it's one person, one vote after all."
"Which is why we'll use the media. We are also their major stockholders and advertisers; we’ll feed them this information. We'll tell them that freeing the economy will lead to the development of the public and government as a whole, that they should consider the principles of capitalism, and that a large variety of cheaper, high quality goods and services will become available to consumers thanks to this freeing up. We'll tell them that if enterprise profits, workers will also receive benefits through the trickle-down phenomenon. If we run a campaign like this using some kept scholars, nobody will oppose us!"
The proposals decided upon at the meeting were executed by the government, and went unopposed by society thanks to the media's guidance of public opinion. Now then, on to the second meeting ten years later.
To be continued to Chapter 2
The story is an interesting and cynical perspective of the past few generations of society, specifically focusing on the disparity in wealth between the wealthy and the average member of the public. The story shows the wealthy conspiring to widen the gap between themselves and the workers of society.
It may be interesting to read this story along with a song. "Mercedes Benz".