When Pluto Bites

Food for thought over the weekend – enjoy a good one!

The word plutocracy is rising to the surface in many news feeds recently. I thought it may be something to do with Pluto, the affable independent dog that belonged to Donald Duck (for those of you under 35 – that’s an ancient Disney World cartoon). Or that it meant a political structure that was outside the norm, like Pluto, (before it was recently downgraded to a meteor), when it used to be a planet on the outer boundaries of our universe.

With a bit of investigating, I understand it means a country ruled by the wealthy. An interesting concept when you think about Western democracies – one person one vote. Those in power years ago didn’t consider the pull of the mighty dollar. Today we have plutocracies like the USA, it seems if you have enough money you win elections. Too bad about the vote. Marketing with financial influence dictates the outcome. The richer person wins and then surrounds themselves with wealthy cohorts to govern the country.

That’s why the middle classes pay more tax than the wealthy, and it goes a long way in explaining how Google, Facebook etc. are the most prosperous companies but pay around 10% in tax. I used to be outraged by this, but now I realise human greed is at play and manipulating democracy to selfish gains has been around for centuries. This is nothing different from medieval kingdoms and feudal systems. The same model with a more sophisticated, contemporary ever-present social media virus doing the work for the wealthy pulling strings with paid-for content.

Russia could be considered a plutocracy, but they do have ‘elections’. Saudi Arabia, with the dominance of the royal family, fits the definition of Plutocracy too. The way elections are managed in recent times, makes a mockery of true democracy, making many countries fit the plutocratic criteria.

Inequality is rife in the world and undermines the  fundamentals of democracy. Remember to keep your wits about you wherever you live and make your vote count, so everyone reaps the benefit of a life worth living, caring for your planet and treating others with respect and understanding.

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