Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Inequality supported by power structure [Letter]

The root cause for inequality, especially concerning health and economic advancement, stems from the tendency among a subset of humans who patronize only those individuals who are subservient to them ("Inequality is the new norm in the U.S.," Jan. 15). From that viewpoint, I credit the majority of people of the United States for bending over backward to get ahead in life without knowingly hurting others or looking the other away when confronted with injustice.

If there is a change to be made, society must understand the factors that modulate new ideas. In prevailing conditions, a businesses is not allowed to gain traction without letting someone who is part of the power structure to be in the front seat. I characterize a person who belongs to the power structure as one who demands unrequited obsequiousness and expects a person to be groveling for collaboration. When I was younger, I had no problems with such situations since I was still learning, but at 45, if I am subjected to that sort of relationship, I would rather stay poor than enjoy the privileges that advanced education and experience have afforded me so far.

Consider my circumstances. I came up with an idea for a social networking application last year that allows an individual to interconnect with another without first needing to go to a broker (existing social media networks). I term this a self-brokered method of networking with others. During the course of developing this idea, I came across individuals with strong expertise in marketing and business development who expressed substantial interest. But over time, these individuals eventually deferred their individual judgment to somebody who is part of the power structure.

That tendency to voluntarily take a back seat shows a trend of being intimidated to submissiveness. Eventually, it turned out that without this representative from the power structure, my business was a non-starter. When a self-directed person needs to be subservient to the power structure to meet certain personal or family needs, he or she makes a compromise — as I have in the past. But that compromise inevitably results in being burdened with a "give an inch, take a mile" mindset. Serving in the National Guard, I have had the opportunity to speak with a number of people on this subject and I have found that I am not alone. This is unsustainable for the good of society in general. No wonder the rich are getting richer as they are being propped up by the power structure.

In his book, "The Vested Interests and the Common Man," Thorstein Veblen writes that a "generation of public spirited men (alluding to contemporaries of Adam Smith) went, perforce, on the scant data afforded by their own historical present, the economic situation as they saw it in the perspective and with the preconceptions of their own time; and to them it was accordingly plain that when all unreasonable restrictions are taken away, "the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord." To this "natural" plan of free workmanship and free trade all restraint or retardation by collusion among business men was wholly obnoxious and all collusive control of industry or of the market was accordingly execrated as unnatural and subversive."

"It is true," the author continues, "there were even then some appreciable beginnings of coercion and retardation — lowering of wages and limitation of output — by collusion between owners and employers who should by nature have been competitive producers of an unrestrained output of goods and services according to the principles of Adam Smith and his generation."

Suresh Kalkunte

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Milking the rich is not a solution
    Milking the rich is not a solution

    I was saddened and disappointed to read The Sun's editorial regarding President Barack Obama's State of the Union address ("Mr. Obama's tax plan," Jan. 21).

  • Obama is a socialist, not a 'populist'
    Obama is a socialist, not a 'populist'

    President Barack Obama is a populist? How about cradle-to-grave socialist? There is no area of your life where government will not intrude, impose its will and dissipate any sense of individual responsibility you might have had left ("Obama turns populist in State of the Union speech," Jan....

  • Mr. Obama's tax plan
    Mr. Obama's tax plan

    It's a pretty safe bet that Congress is not going to react to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address by immediately turning around and agreeing to his priorities like free community college and mandatory sick leave. When was the last time any presidential initiative got that kind...

  • If it's bad, Obama did it; if it's good, he didn't
    If it's bad, Obama did it; if it's good, he didn't

    Thank you Peter Morici ("Blame Obama for movie's censorship," Dec. 23) for helping all of us to understand that it was President Barack Obama's fault that Sony initially canceled the release of "The Interview" because he didn't rally around this stupid movie and left the movie industry to...

  • How Republicans are ruining America
    How Republicans are ruining America

    On the national level, the cost of citizens not voting is quickly becoming apparent. Economically, the seeds of the next recession have been sown by the Republican weakening of financial controls so once again the greedy of Wall Street can gamble on dangerous financial derivatives with...

  • It's not the size of the government that's the problem
    It's not the size of the government that's the problem

    Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They're wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for.

  • Dem's better for the economy? That's a laugh
    Dem's better for the economy? That's a laugh

    Thanks for running the John Hanger's recent commentary ("Democrats run the economy better," Oct. 30).

  • Do Democrats run the economy better than Republicans? Of course not
    Do Democrats run the economy better than Republicans? Of course not

    I read John Hanger's commentary "Democrats run the economy better" (Oct. 30) and it should have been titled "Democrats run the economy into the ground."

Comments
Loading