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Inequality: The 1% solution | The Economist

by on April 16, 2011

I largely agreed with Joseph Stiglitz’s article in Vanity Fair, which my colleague describes as an example of self-refutingly absurd liberal ideology. To sum up the basic thrust of what I agree with in Mr Stiglitz’s piece: I think the rich are getting much, much richer, while regular people (in the developed world, which is what we’re talking about here) are at best treading water. I think that wealth brings power, and the fact that the rich are getting much, much richer relative to everyone else means that the rich also exert increasing influence over the economy, government and society. I think income mobility and equality of opportunity have declined in America over the past 40 years, to the point where America is now more segregated by class divisions than many European countries. I think a major reason for these shifts has been the increasing dominance, since the Reagan era, of an ideology that is indifferent to or actively celebrates inequality of income.

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One Comment
  1. Nicely stated! From this perspective, it might appear that the top 2% free-market cons on the income ladder literally are fine with the US becoming a third-world nation because they are already “set for life”. They feel that they have “won” their wealth fair and square and the hell with everyone else. Marie Antoinette could have related to that.

    Most of these captains, lieutenants and supply sergeants of Industry will continue to be untouched and unmoved by the degrading human and ecological conditions. They will continue to take (thinking they have created it) phoney wealth from the concocted speculative market-themed gambling systems and the Federal Reserve/economy and exploit human and environmental resources until the entire system destabilizes and collapses (as per Jared Diamond).

    At that time, those who did not have the foresight to split with their loot (feeling misunderstood and misjudged by the country they felt they built), will be shocked and horrified at how the bottom 80% of the income ladder now consistently views them as parasites, thieves and traitors whose greed had destroyed America and wrought havoc and misery for everyone. Sound like a dystopic, lose-lose situation? Some self-refuting absurd liberal ideologues think this is the direction in which we are headed.

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