The game is rigged. I know because I’m winning
The rich get richer isn’t a saying, it’s literally how capitalism works. All that stuff about hard work and ‘hustle’ is bullshit. It’s not called ‘laborism’ lol, capitalism is all about CAPITAL. Let me give you the example of my life.
I married into money. For your purposes, I am labor and my wife is capital. You can see the whole game play out within our marriage.
Let’s look at how our monthly income breaks down.
I get up and write every day, which is labor. Light labor, but labor nonetheless. My wife gets up and studies, but her income comes from investments, which is capital. I haven’t really put this together before, the breakdown is shocking even to me.
Labor accounts for just 35% of our income, and we spend it all. Groceries, phone bills, I pay that. This is the normal life most people know, and all I knew before I got married. Money goes in, money goes out, month after month.
Capital is the vast majority of our income, and most of it gets reinvested. And then it makes more money the next month. This is what people really don’t understand. At least I didn’t until I married into it. Money fucks like rabbits in the bank and if you’re a laborer, you’re just getting screwed.
Now let’s look at our wealth. As mentioned, we spend nearly 100% of my income, so the labor share is really zero, but I’ll be generous and include the profits from the sale of a company that we spent seven years building. Like most labor, that was stupid. We could have put the money into an FD and earned much more lying on the beach.
As you can see, 90% of our wealth is from capital. And this amount just keeps growing. If we keep reinvesting the interest, our wealth from capital will DOUBLE in about six years (interest rates were about 12% here, now 6.5%). There is no fucking way I can double labor’s share of wealth, because we spend it all. Maybe we’d get fancier groceries, but I’m not creating any capital.
How Wealth Is Income
Now think about how these two things connect. My wife gets income from capital. When she reinvests that income, she gets more capital. This creates more income, which creates more capital, and so on. The thing just snowballs if you leave it alone.
‘Investors’ want you to believe that deciding what to do with money is somehow the hardest fucking job in the world and it just isn’t. Investing isn’t a job, it’s a hobby. People like taking meetings and feeling important. They could just put money in a fixed deposit and be fine.
On the labor side, however, all of your money goes into income and only a tiny bit goes into capital if you’re lucky. Labor income barely grows on its own, you have to keep doing it to just stay in the same place. If you mortgage a house or buy a car or go to college, congratulations, now capital owns you. Now you have compounding debt, which — on the other side of the balance sheet — is someone else’s compounding interest. It’s literally debt peonage, working for the new aristocratic class who capture your debt as income, and then passes it on to their kids. Capital really is the capture of other people’s labor.
This Is How Capitalism Works
This is how capitalism works. It says so right in the name. CAPITAL. Hard work is for suckers. Labor gets groceries, if you’re lucky. Labor gets debt, to keep you laboring more.
The biggest lie capitalism ever told is that it’s all about labor. Capitalism is about CAPITAL. Rich people literally make poor people believe that if they just work harder they can join the club, and that’s a joke. You know how to join the club? Be in the club. Grandfather your kids in, marry in if you’re lucky. Then tell everyone else to ‘work harder’ while you literally just collect interest.
Can you break into capitalism through hard work? Yes. My wife’s family didn’t have shit and they made a bunch of money. Good for them, but this is still a bad system. My wife didn’t work for these investments and I did even less. The system works great for us, but because I married into it I’m keenly aware that this is by chance. Capitalism is a terrible allocation of scarce resources (ie, what an economy is supposed to do) and can obviously improve. Here’s how.
Seize The Means Of Wealth Production
My point is not that everyone should be poor. It’s that everyone should be rich. In politics we talk about ‘incentives’ and ‘hard work’ and ‘no handouts’, but this is slave talk. It’s a common idea that poor people need to be motivated by starvation or the whole economy will fall apart. What the fuck? This is not how rich people are ‘incentivized’ at all.
Rich people are incentivized to do nothing through compound interest. It’s literally a handout. My point is that we should extend this benefit to everyone else. Capital is actually very good at making up money. We need to make it up for everyone else.
Marx talked about seizing the means of production, but fuck the factories. You need to seize the wealth, the actual means of capital production. Socialize the stock market, and just collect a universal dividend. Mandate 50% worker representation on boards (like in much of Germany, in case you think that’s nuts). Then for services that are more efficiently shared (like health, education, and transport) just provide that shit for free. People can live richly without competing to melt the Earth. The final labor right is what rich people have. The right to not labor at all.
You might ask then why would people work? Again, that’s slave talk. You don’t have to be motivated by poverty. Rich people aren’t, and they still work, for the extras. If this means we’re paying hospice nurses $100,000, maybe that’s what they deserve.
The second biggest lie that capitalism tells us is that we can’t change anything because everything will fall apart. Everything is falling apart for most people, the whole fucking Earth is falling apart. Every economic system in history has changed and capitalism is not the end of history. Capitalism will change, the only question is how.
My suggestion is to seize the means of wealth production. Champagne socialism if you will. As at our wedding, I think everyone should have champagne.
I still need money, if only to balance the labor/capital relations within our household. Sign up for my Patreon to get articles early and exclusive stuff I only write there.
*By champagne I also mean like $10 bubbly, which I call champagne because fuck France. No appellations without reparations.