“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”
Those who read my ramblings know I’ve written several posts on the poor and hungry here in the Central Valley of California, that it is synonymous to the Appalachian region of the eastern US in the early 20th century, with a standard of living comparable to third world countries (and according to a report being released today by Children Now – a non-partisan national and state advocacy organization – overall Fresno County ranks last in the state for child welfare and well-being with the highest concentration of poverty than anywhere else in California.) And yet, California, in terms of Gross Domestic Product, is the richest state in the richest country in the world, and if California were a country it would be the sixth-largest economy in the world.
But the Valley isn’t alone in its poverty, there is still Appalachia who still lags behind economically, there are the “Rust Belt” states; there are major large areas of poor and hungry everywhere in the US.
If the disparity between the haves and have nots has become such a political issue nationally (as it should be) and locally, what are going to do about it?
If nothing, if government doesn’t directly invest in well-paying job creation (and quality education), by which more can have, it is only a matter of time before the number of have nots will grow so large that the economy will fail, and along with it – as a result – the government, first the county, then the state, then the country, collapsing domino-style.
This is what Plutarch meant.
And the history of all the past great republics has proven him right.