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As I've said before, to have an afluent rich, you have to have an extreme poor. And as a general rule, you need to apply that to an entire monetary union. However you will often see demonstrations of this, within heavily congested areas of a monetary union. Namely, cities. You'll never see it in brochures or on post-cards. But as perfect testement to this statement, you have the 2-million strong, life-size example that is Vancouver.

Anyone who's been here can vouch for the very large, and very prominent hobo community that exists within Vancouver. Perhaps why I feel so comfortable here. In fact this is now my fourth visit here in less than 4 years. I love this city.

But somewhat belieing this love, this city is the best example that I could hope to fathom, of everything that I stand against: Vast inequality.

I still reside within the wealthy end of this spectrum. So I guess it's easy for me just overlook it. Just like everyone else does.

So first let me just clarify how I came to the realisation of this theory. That rich people; people stockpiling unnecessary sums of money, are the reason for so much poverty within society.

The best way to demonstrate economic phnomena, is to simplify. Reduce an economy until it consists solely of the variables you're trying to justify. So imagine an economy, that has 10 people. And in this phantom economy, the currency they use is the pound (£). And take this economy back to its monetary origin. There wasn't a monetary rich/poor divide at the big-bang. So at some point, everybody started equal. And at this origin, everyone has £1,000. So the total monetary value of that economy, is £10,000.

If you're having trouble with that analogy, then imagine a poker tournament as a very short-lived economy. Spanning, often over just hours, rather than centuries. And at the start of this tournament, all 10 members of this economy, start off with the same number of chips (money). Whether they all start with 100 chips, 10,000 chips, 1,000,000 chips is irrelevant. Within an economy, wealth is relative. You're only rich in comparison to those around you. If everyone has the same amount of money within an economy, then there is no rich or poor.

And imagine that within this economy, this poker tournament, that one player, is better at playing the game than the others. Whether it's the game of poker, or the game of capitalism. There will always be inequlities within a players ability. And in the poker tournament, this player will start to build up a significant chip-lead. In the economy, he will build up a financial lead. And the only possible way to gain such a lead, is at the expense of others. As this player gets richer and richer, the others get poorer and poorer.

And as a general rule, if a player has a lead, it's because they know how to play the game. So this lead will continue to grow. The gulf between the richest and the poorest players, will become greater and greater. And in this poker tournament, the players only need to possess the wealth, equal to or greater than the ante, to remain in the game. The same in the economy. People only need very small sums of money to provide themselves with food and shelter.

But in the poker game, at some point, the players with the lowest chip counts will be forced gamble their last remaining chips. At some point, the ante or the blinds, will consume all of their remaining chips. At which point, losing that hand to the superior player, they will drop out of the tournament. They will drop out of the economy.

The real life equivilant of this, would be a person becoming so poor that they can no longer afford to provide themselves with both food, and shelter. They become, a hobo.

And in the poker tournament, does the chip-leader then bail out this fallen adversary? Or does he turn his attention to the remaining players in the game and do what he can to further accumulate any wealth that they still possess? Knock them out of the game as well?

This, in essence, is unregulated capitalism. And many Western economists would argue, particularly those advisors to the Bush administration, that the market needs to be left, to the greatest extent possibly, unregulated. That for the market to work, there cannot be interference.

But what happens in this economy as it continues to develop? Well this economy now has 1 hobo, 8 middle-class, and 1 aristocrat. And the aristocrat will probably employ, 2 of the middle-class players. In the poker tournament example, perhaps bribing players to form an alliance. Or paying them to get him another whiskey. But apart from these players that this now firmly in control player chooses to employ. To subsidise. Apart from them, the rest will continue to fall victim to this player. Until they too, can no longer afford to play the game. And they drop. Out of the economy.

Translate this example to the wider world. The biggest corporations, are continuing to grow. And the individuals whom possess the largest sums of money, are continuing to get richer. What is that stat that you'll often hear? 10% of the population possess 90% of the money. And seeing as an economy is all relative. You can only get rich at the expense of others. Then as the few get richer and richer, the only possible conclusion is that there is less money being shared among the many.

And was this money shared evenly, then we would perhaps all be able to live... amicably. There would be little room for affluence. But we would be able to exist. But this isn't the case. The economy is a spectrum of rich to poor. And as the rich end of this spectrum continue to increase the gulf, those at the poor end are dropping more and more, off the end. They have no money. They cannot provide themselves with even the most basic food or shelter.

And this is unregulated capitalism. There are a few at the top. Better at, or more willing to play the game. And as they gain, they force more and more people out of their homes and into nutritional delinquency.

Which is why I've repeatedly said that if a capitalist economy is to work, there needs to be a cap on the money that a person can possess. There is only so much to share around. So the more one person has, the less another has.

And I've always said that this cap doesn't have to be ridiculous. People can still have the resources to live affluently. But set a cap at say, £20 million. That's more than adequate to provide yourself and your family with guaranteed security. But with no cap, then as with the poker tournament, the key players will continue to get richer and richer at the expense of the others. Until ultimately we live in a world of 2 classes. Well, 3 actually. You'll have the aristocrats. You'll have the hobos. And then you'll have a third class. Those whom the aristocrats choose to employ. Their servants.

And we will get to that point. That we will have a choice. We can choose to live, sucking on some rich guys dick for milk. Or we can live free. Live free and on the street.

And you know it makes me laugh. Often I watch the celebrity apprentice over here. And I see Donald Trump donating $20,000 to charity here. And $30,000 there. Thinking he's this great man. What a great thing he's doing. When in reality, his billions of stockpiled money, is the indirect reason for many of the homeless that you'll see on the streets of New York everyday.

And I'm not saying that people shouldn't benefit from the money that they earn. What I've always said, is that you have to spend it. Buy a football club. Spend a billion or 2 on an exotic yacht. Or a really, really, good hooker. But just make sure you spend it. Because that way it will filter back through to the people at the bottom of the spectrum. And that will greatly, greatly reduce the number of people living in poverty.

And it's not like you won't be gaining security still. You will have possessions of enormous value. It's just you now have this wealth stored in the form of these possessions rather than in the form of money. But if you honetly have more money than you can actually spend, then why do you need it? Give it to the people that do. If you can't spend it, you don't need it. Give it away.

And I suppose you could make the argument that by saving money at a bank, they will then invest it, and the resources will filter through to the bottom of society. Which may have some remnance of accuracy. But it doesn't change the fact that wealth is a relative measurement. And by keeping that money, you're preventing others from financially gaining on you.

And just try to fathom for a minute. Just try to fathom the sums of money we'd be talking about, if all of a sudden, a cap of £20 million was immediately enforced on a persons wealth. How much money; how many billions would all of a sudden become available?

Take just Roman Abramovic for example. According to Wikipedia he ranks way down in 51st on the worlds rich list with a measly $8.5 billion.

But if $8 billion of that was suddenly made available to those people living in need of money, then how many people could be afforded acceptable accomodation and nutrition? $5,000 say, would be enough for a person, living prudently enough, to survive on for a year. If I had to, I could live on that. 1.6 million people therefore, could be given the chance to eat and live in shelter for a year.

Well in 2005, according to the associated press on MSNBC, there were 744,000 homelesses in the US. Roman Abramovich alone, was he not choosing to stockpile his billions, could twice afford to give homes to every single homeless person the US for a year. And still have enough left over to waste money on things like yachts and Andrei Shevchenko. And Abramovich ranks way down in 51st. He is a mere peasant to the like of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

And that is just an example of how, by removing the rich, whom have money simply for the sake of having money, you could improve the lives of millions of people.

Carry on in unregulated, uncapped capitalism though, and the rich/poor spectrum; something that cannot move at one end without an equal movement at the other, will continue to grow. Further delving a gap of inequality within society. Until it will get to the point one day, that... well who knows. Eventually it will have to get to the point that life is like a scene out of Shaun of the Dead. Just zombie hobos everywhere.

And this is why I detest the concept of capitalism. It is encouraging personal gain at the expense of others. You can be a winner, only by screwing other people. Which may be something of a natural tendency within people. But what is the point in forming society just to act like you would without it? Essentially capitalism, sentences the many to the will of the few. The poor become servants to the rich.

And have you ever heard that before? One of the violent arguments opposing globalisation perhaps? That globalisation will sentence poor countries to an existance of slavery to the rich?

This example I've used can be applied to entities other than people. Businesses. Even countries follow the same trend. And the developed world, we are the chip leader. This time though, the game isn't about money. The game is about power. And we hold a significant lead, in economic power over the developing countries. And what we are doing, is getting their existence so reliant on providing for us, that soon, and probably already, they do not have the power to exist without us. They have essentially been sentenced to an existence of service to us. They have reached the point that the power they hold, cannot influence anything that we do.

And I don't think that many people in the developed world, appreciate that fully. Or perhaps they do, and perhaps they just don't care. Afterall, playing this game as countries, we are the aristocrats. We are the ones who gain.

Affluent Vancouver And I came about to writing this, because I was walking through Vancouver yesterday. And it is somewhat mind-boggling the stark contrast of just a few blocks as walk from the hobo areas to the afluent areas of downtown. In my budget druggie hostel, I'm staying fairly near the hobo epicentre. And I can walk for just 10 minutes before I'm surrounded by modern glass buildings. Lakes full of personal yachts. Dicks in suits discussing what's better. Armani of Boss.

And I write this piece in Vancouver's large, posh and modern public library. And from my vantage point here; severely restricted by all the books, I can see about 25 people. And it struck me as I got here today at opening, that some guy was able to locate and pick out 2 books as quickly as it took me to sit down at a table. This guy not overly groomed.

And it took me until a little while ago to pick up on what was going on. On why there are such queues here in the morning. Well of the 25 people I can see from my seat, 3 are hobos just in here for the shelter. This guy found his books so quickly because he has no intention of reading them. He turned to the right page awfully efficiently as well. And since he's got to that page, he's been asleep above his book.

And this is just one of countless demonstrations of the divide in Vancouver, caused by the upper-classes here. I say caused by the upper-classes, who do you blame for this divide? Do you blame the rich for steaming ahead? Or do you blame the poor for not keeping up? I guess though that this is the hobo night-time. It's a Sunday so the library is only open 5 hours today. That means that they only get 5 hours of sleep today.

And without wanting to sound too arrogant, there isn't much in my life I haven't achieved when I wanted to. And there was a time, that I craved to be rich. My life plan was pretty much, go to university and get drunk for a couple of years. Then take over the world. In a business sense. And if I'd wanted it, I'm sure I could already have more money than I'd need to retire. But it's something that I don't want now. The lifestyle doesn't appeal to me. I like the daily struggle. I like to wake up and not know what's going to happen. And if you have a lot of money then you can be sure that you will end that day safely. As I travel, it'd just take one person to acquire my bank details and my life would be turned upside-down. And I like having that edge. As I've said before, I don't want the security of knowing how everyday will go. I like there to be uncertainties in my life. A condition that would effectively be removed by amassing large sums of money.

Affluent Vancouver More than that though, I have no desire to become excessively rich. Just because I've grown to the realisation that my gain would be at the expense of other people. And I've never said that I'm an unselfish person. I look after myself and myself only. But that doesn't mean that you cannot consider the wider impacts of your actions. If you have the perspective to see a wider vision, then to act in your interests, and solely your interests... Well that takes you to a level of selfishness that even I'm unwilling to match. At some point, you have to ask yourelf, just how many people are you willing to screw over to ensure your security. And I will screw people over. No doubt about it. We all will. But I'm going to limit this. I'm not going to do it when I don't have to. Which is why I've lost any desire to be rich. I will do what I have to to achieve the financial requirements to exist comfortably. Legal or not. By taking money from the excessively rich, you're effectively bringing people in off the streets. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. But even if he'd stolen from the rich and spent all the money in the pub, it would have filtered down to the poor. So by that rationale, how can stealing from the mega-rich be a crime? They legally put people out on the street. And you illegally brought them back in. Figure that. This is where some of the differences of opinion between criminal law and Jro law lay. So I will do what I have to do to achieve financial sercurity. By any means that I deem to be legal. I don't care what official opinion on the matter is. But then I'll stop there. I'm not going to screw other people over, just because I can. I'm not going to stockpile money unnecessarily, knowing that it's taking it away from other people. I'm a selfish guy. But I'm not so selfish that I'm knowingly going to put other people out of a home. Better yet, I'm not going to put millions of people out of homes as the mega-rich do.

And that's really as simple as I can say it. I'll do what I have to do to survive. And unlike the hobos sitting in the library around me, if that means illegally taking from someone who has more money than they can spend. Probably to an extent that they wouldn't even notice it. If it means doing that, then so be it. I'm not going to sit idly by and allow my life to deteriorate whilst others live in unnecessary luxury. I doubt it will ever come to that. I plan too far ahead. But who knows what's around the corner?

This is how I view the capitalist economy. And this is how I address it.


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