The citizen must vote with more than his or her dollar, because those with more dollars have more votes, effectively quieting any one person of average socioeconomic status. I cannot say that I blame the wealthy for the disparity we see today. It is not their fault that our culture encourages their irrational behavior. It is, the blame and subsequent responsibility, to be shouldered by every rational citizen of the universe. Like parents correcting our children, we must not punish those who have only done what they thought was right (and most people fall into this category. Only the truly psychopathic/sociopathic people who feel no remorse must be curbed and censured). We must collectively repeal the power of robber barons and insiders, Ponzis and Madoffs, in all spectra of life, be it politics, business, health care, military, infrastructure, etc.
All those people who, while rationally discussing what is most important, choose money or capital or material wealth as their highest goal, must be brought to understand that no finite substance in a finite material plane will ever satisfy our collective desire, as one human race, for limitless, unadulterated Bliss. The chemical high that so many receive (including this author) when we earn (or steal) material wealth/money is short lived, and not only can it not satisfy our unending desire for happiness, but it is easily the most powerful narcotic/stimulant in the world. I have heard it said that no drug would work in our brains unless we didn't already have those chemicals and the ancillary receptors in our brains to begin with. In other words, there is no need for chemical drugs to produce hallucinations, euphoria, sloth, etc. Those chemicals already exist within us. And it is in our nature to place ephemeral, immediate pleasures over long term, rational pleasures.
This immediacy affects both sides of the consumer/producer scheme. The consumer wants whatever shiny, advanced, expensive, trendy item is shoved in front of his face by the awesomely powerful media. And the producer will stop at nothing to amass the most amount of capital he can in the shortest period of time he deems reasonable. Both sides are seeking nothing more than a neurological/chemical/hormonal high which, like in the mind of any addict, will never be as good as the first high.
Psychologists have so far concluded, in studying happiness, that the happiest people are those who have a firm belief in a higher power. In studies of materialism and happiness, materialism is directly, negatively correlated with happiness. This means on average, when materialism increases in a person, happiness decreases, because, for instance, when we watch TV, we are aware of what else we might accomplish in the time we spend soaking in whatever information the people on the other end want us to think, creating displeasure.
I am in no way saying that everyone should drop what he/she is doing and convert to Christianity or shave his/her head and chant "Hare Krishna!" I also think our ideals of freedom, liberty, justice, and individualism should be protected. However, I think we are forgetting our responsibility as one human race to help and protect each other as well. Freedom, liberty, justice, and individualism do not work if everyone is only looking out for him/herself. That sort of selfish ideal is the cause for all suffering in this world. We must take a step back from our rat race and recognize that the balance in the world has been lost. Too few people, with knowledge they do not share, fear of humanity en masse, and too much power make all the major decisions in the world on our behalf, and they are screwing it up royally!
Have none of our leaders heard of the broken window fallacy? Do none of them understand that a world at war is a world that will always come out with a net loss? It is our job now, as citizens of the universe, to reclaim our power as a collective to share our knowledge, our technology, our resources, and our hearts. We were not designed to squirrel away wealth at the expense of each other, our planet, and our fellow species. We were designed (by whatever force you believe in, be it evolution or Jehovah) to shine brighter than the sun, and the effulgent light of our splendid hearts and minds was meant to shine on our brothers and sisters until they were strong enough to shine on their own. We were not meant to deplete everything and everyone we come in contact with, but rather we are meant to replenish this Earth and all its people. That other way is there?
We must systematically change our infrastructure and systems to reflect a more locally based, renewable form of living. We must continue to be a consumer society, but the focus should be shifted away from exploitation of laborers and "cash cows" and towards self-fulfillment and self-realization.