The Economics of Strife and Struggle
Written by Timothy Schoonover on 12 June 2020 in San Ramon, California.
While learning about the classic novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, my freshman English teacher told the class about a quotation of unknown socialist origin: "No society is more than three meals away from revolution."
This quotation is more relevant now than at any time during the past century in the First World. The coronavirus pandemic has cultivated unquestionable unequal economic hardships unseen by most people living on Earth today.
As a society, we take for granted the security we enjoy in First World countries. But due to the prevalence of instant communications, we are not being ignorant. We recognize the problems of developing countries, but we watch from an outsider's perspective. People will often summarize this by describing the problems we face as "First World problems", in contrast to the problems of life and death in developing countries.
The security we once knew is now gone. Millions have been left unemployed and politicians have no way of truly empathizing with these people. The politicians in Washington have never understood a world without income security or privilege for themselves or their constituents.
What would a man do for his starving family? Any crime or immoral deed is considered in our most desperate moments. Our most desperate moments are not solved by throwing money at the problem. No politician's calming words can throw hunger and survival off of people's minds.
What really sent the ball rolling was an excuse for theft. This started with the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn. While a tragedy, in nearly any other economic climate, this likely would have been a much smaller situation, but it catalyzed massive rioting, protests, and of course, looting.
Why would a native Minneapolitan loot Target when it could cost local jobs and take money out of the local economy? Why not target a Walmart, where the economic impact would be much lower on their local economy? When there are mass poverty and unemployment, local jobs and politics are not considered. A hungry person only considers their next meal. An unemployed person only considers their next paycheck for rent and food.