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The moment a price is to be had for a luxury, it acquires exchange value, and labor is employed to produce it. A New York lady, for instance, having a nature of exquisite sensibility, orders an elegant rosewood and silver coffin, upholstered in pink satin, for
her dead dog. It is made; and meanwhile a live child is prowling barefooted and hunger-stunted in the frozen gutter outside. The exchange-value of the coffin is counted as part of the national wealth; but a nation which cannot afford food and clothing for its children cannot be allowed to pass as wealthy because it has provided a pretty coffin for a dead dog.

Shaw, p. 22 (1889)

People have been thinking about how immensely screwed up our economy is for a long time.

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True indeed; practically every revolution in history started because the rich were too rich and the poor were too poor.

Here's something you may enjoy:
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest
, edited in 1915 by Upton Sinclair.

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