In an affluent Society

Jonathan Hatchett Staff Writer [email protected]

There are a stretch of pages in the first book of Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series that describes his imagined Mount Olympus hanging over New York City. It is perched on a cloud and detached from this realm. This is what comes to mind when I imagine affluent society. 

Affluence is synonymous with wealth. It is not only having money, but having it in abundance. Picture Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pool of golden coins, but replace the duck with Jeff Bezos. The Amazon CEO’s billions are hilariously unattainable. Because of this he is seated amongst those who can make an immediate change in our world. 

I have to be honest, I do not know much about the goings-on of the well-off. Is everything gold leafed? Do candy colored diamonds give their fingers cavities? Do they know the price of a loaf of bread yet? I may never know, though from what I gather, the moves they make are some of the most important executed. Period.

You may have seen the pattern as well. What is continuously presented in media is where, why and how the elite live. We may not know the current state of South Sudan, but at least we know the name of Kylie Jenner’s child, both of which are Stormi. 

Because of their massive wealth and influence, what these people do determines how we live. Well, what if what they do is a detriment to us, say the erasure of global warming? Their decisions to support or combat claims such as this are crucial … and can be stated and fought over on something as trivial as a Twitter post. 

My problem is when the affluent fail to understand the gravity of their influence. Even through debates battled out on Twitter, their words and actions still hold power. In current times, a few keystrokes could spell war for those they represent. I know, ‘Danger, Will Robinson!’ That means we have to make sure who we choose to speak for the people is good at it, not necessarily just good looking. 

If the rich are the ones who continue to decide what is done in this country, the less fortunate should be heard in equal measure. One percent of the population’s voice is simply not enough. We elect people to represent us as a whole, for them to be a collective hive mind. They are to hear the cries of the people and make a change. The ones we have entrusted with the voice of the people should speak up.