The True State of Capitalism
In 2009, the average income of the top five percent of earners went up, while on average everyone else's income went down... This is what the political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson call the "winner-take-all economy." It is not a picture of a healthy society. Such a level of economic inequality, not seen in the United States since the eve of the Great Depression, bespeaks a political economy in which the financial rewards are increasingly concentrated among a tiny elite and whose risks are borne by an increasingly exposed and unprotected middle class. Income inequality in the United States is higher than in any other advanced industrial democracy and by conventional measures comparable to that in countries such as Ghana, Nicaragua, and Turkmenistan.
As you can see, it is a recession only for those who are not rich. And the cause of this recession, which in reality does not exist, is not economic but political. If you want to locate the problem that needs to be repaired, look at government policies and processes. Capitalism, as I have said before, is really about state power.
Hacker and Pierson refreshingly break free from the conceit that skyrocketing inequality is a natural consequence of market forces and argue instead that it is the result of public policies that have concentrated and amplified the effects of the economic transformation and directed its gains exclusively toward the wealthy.
The whole thing about less government is all a show. Capital needs a big government as much as the people do. The struggle, then, concerns access to and management of the instruments of governing. When the rich say less government, they only mean less government for the poor.
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