The financial crisis has had a negative impact of people’s opinions and views about bankers, politicians, stock brokers and financial investors. Too many of us they are seen as ‘evil’, greedy, undemocratic and money-making people who only intend to enrich themselves. Of course, there might be a slight truth in this as every single individual person wants to live a good, happy and ‘wealthy’ life. However, we must not forget that this consumer-driven economic and capitalistic society has been created by us in order to make life better for us all. Indeed, GDP (gross domestic product) has significantly increased in most western countries since World War 2 and living standards have also improved as a consequence.
The majority of people living in the West are ‘well off’ although ‘capitalistic dominance’ and economy-driven incentives has created a ‘wealth gap’ in Western society. The wealth gap refers to the inequality of income distribution, meaning that the top layer of rich people are getting richer and the majority of middle class and lower class people are becoming ‘poorer’. This wealth gap is one of the main reasons why people are ‘blaming’ governments and politicians for failing to steer/direct the capitalistic dominance of a free economy. In other words: governments in Western countries are not doing their job of ensuring the (fair and equal) income distribution among their citizens. This is however, merely impossible as a capitalistic society has the main purpose of freely trading goods and services based on supply and demand. Balancing supply and demand is very difficult as a free economy is very dynamic in terms of market fluctuations and internal and external factors which influence the supply and demand of products and services. Therefore, when the financial crisis began in 2008, it was mainly a result of people wanting to meet the supply of other people’s demands they couldn’t possibly meet. A good example is the ‘supreme’ mortgages schemes that were given to people who simply couldn’t afford them and yet ‘desperately’ wanted them. The thing that I’m trying to say is that not the politicians, bankers, stock brokers or financial investors have necessarily caused the crisis, but our entire Western capitalistic and economy-driven society is responsible. Our desire of gaining as much as possible by giving as least as possible may be a good way to explain that. After all, the dominant capitalistic system basically stimulates individualistic and materialistic behaviour. Therefore, before putting the blame on bankers, governments and politicians, think about the fact that it’s in our human nature to live a good, happy and (wealthy) life by satisfying ourselves with (luxury) goods and services.