By Younas Chaudhary
Will complacency make us a nation of delivery drivers and pizza makers? Millions are overdue on their car loans, roughly 50% have $1,000 in their savings for an emergency, and we blame the rich for our economic woes!
Blaming the rich for your economic woes is outright wrong. Thanks to the ingenuity and hard work of entrepreneurs, all of us have benefited and our country has progressed a lot.
I grew up in rural Pakistan in the 1960’s where a class system dictated our position in society and future. If you were born rich you stayed pretty much the same for generations and if you were born poor, you stayed poor forever. There was no upward mobility and there was significant inequality.
When I moved to Canada in the 1970’s, there were abundant opportunities to make money provided you were consistent and worked hard. I worked hard instead of blaming the rich! Inequality was less in the seventies but today people from different walks of life around the world are blaming the rich, their governments, and climate change as reasons for being poor. That is wrong.
It is true that during the pandemic, billionaires experienced the “biggest surge” in wealth since public records began. According to Oxfam, a British charitable organization, the world’s 10 richest men saw their wealth double from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion. And 99% of the world lost income and more than 160 million people were pushed into poverty during the pandemic. Lockdowns prevented daily wage earners and those in informal jobs from working, factories shutdown, many were laid off, and several sectors were heavily impacted by physical distancing and travel restrictions.
However, in the post-pandemic era, a consumerist culture built on convenience and immediate gratification (Uber deliveries to your door and daily deliveries of Amazon packages) is making people spend more, waste more, and not save money. When they have nothing left at the end of the month, they blame the rich!
Over time, people have taken undue advantage of government subsidies thinking that they will continue forever. I remember in my early days when immigrants with advanced degrees often chose driving taxi cabs in Canada to pay no taxes and get benefits from the government too. That made them contribute less to society.
Blaming the rich is very common now. We forget that hybrid work and our call for shortened work weeks has lessened global productivity. Work-life balance is now heavily tilted towards life and not work.
Entrepreneurs work long hours, take risks, work hard, and create jobs for millions of people. They pay taxes that help federal, state, county and city governments. There is no logic or reason for blaming the rich for your economic woes. Instead, roll up your sleeves, work hard, be consistent, and lift yourself.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.