Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's Not The 1%, It's The 0.1%

You see those post-war years, ending with Reagan?  That was the lifespan of The American Dream.
Paul Krugman finally got around to posting this clearer visual representation of wealth inequality of the United States.  It is striking that our New Gilded Age is looking so familiar, both in the conspicuous consumption of the few, and the percentage of the nation's wealth they have hoarded amongst themselves.  This is not sustainable.  The rubber band needs to snap back, the pendulum to swing back, the wave to crest and recede, pick your metaphor.  Somethings got to give, or we're going back to landed gentry and aristocracy in all but name.
If Saez and Zucman are right, and I have every reason to believe that they are, even those upset by trends in US inequality are living in the past. They still think Gordon Gekko is the problem — but if you look at my first chart, you see that things have moved on a lot since 1987, when Wall Street came out. Back then scrappy self-made predators ruled; now we’re much more likely to be talking about their children and heirs.
Patrimonial capitalism is already here, to a much greater extent than people realize.

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