Capitalism keeps poverty growing strong

Cartoon image of two men: one poor with empty pockets, the other with bags of money. Text: Capitalism creating poverty and inequality since 1776!
Graphic courtesy of

We are reprinting a Letter to the Editor published in the Mercury News on March 2, 2023. Thank you, Peggy!

The new study by the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies shows disgraceful disparities in wealth. For example, eight households in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties hold more wealth than the bottom 50%, and  23% of the population lives below the poverty line. CEO Russel Hancock arrogantly justifies this by saying “we live in a capitalist system that is based on markets. There’s rules to the game; the rules are fair.”

What are the human costs to this “fairness”? People living outside in the rain and wind or hot sun, or crammed into overcrowded housing; patients suffering in an unequal dysfunctional health care system; and students in schools in poor communities struggling to learn despite inadequate resources and staff.

Capitalism is not fair. It depends on social and economic inequality for its existence and uses money, misinformation and undemocratic practices to maintain its corporate power.

Peggy Elwell

Leave a Reply