Gleichheit für alle (engl.)

Equality for ALL

«All men are created equal» is a principle that we Americans have heard repeatedly throughout our lifetime. It appears in our Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, and is considered the foundation of American democracy. This principle was intended to guarantee the basic freedoms and natural rights of all citizens of the United States. Many Americans, however, including women, ethnic minorities and people with lesser abilities, poorer education and little or no material possessions have been denied equality from day one of our national independence. As a matter of fact, the Father of our Constitution, James Madison, did his best to limit this universal principle to white, male property owners by inventing a principle of his own, known as the «unequal faculties of acquiring property», which he explained in ‹The Federalist no. 10›. According to this principle, property owners, who were solely wealthy white men back in 1787, are endowed with unequal faculties, from which their rights to acquire property originate. Furthermore, the first object of government, according to Madison, is the protection of these faculties. In other words, the main job of government is to protect the privileged property owners from the unprivileged populace (see «All Men Are Created Equal?» by Steven Hill).

Has equality in America improved since 1776? Well today, the top 20 percent of American earners take over half of the national income, while the bottom 20 percent only take 3.4 percent. Moreover, the U.S. has 269 billionaires, who live in unimaginable luxury, while 37 million Americans live below the poverty line, many of whom, by the way, work two or three jobs (see «37 Million Poor Hidden In The Land Of Plenty» by Paul Harris). On a global basis, the world's 356 richest families own 40 percent of humanity's wealth, while the remaining 7 billion members of our global family have to more or less fight for a slice of the rest of the pie. Nearly half of the human population is losing this fight and now lives in poverty. Inequality is the root cause of all discrimination, intolerance, disrespect, degradation, oppression, exploitation, mismanagement and slavery. Combined with a rapidly growing population, it inevitably leads to mass unemployment, the collapse of traditional social services like health care and old age assistance, a shortage of food, water, housing and energy and ultimately to poverty, hunger and disease. These consequences have already hit many of America's hard-working lower and middle class citizens, whereas the upper class continues to swim in luxury due to the unequal right of propertied citizens to acquire more wealth, more riches and more property than the rest of humanity, based on their unequal faculties.