Societal Stability

I don’t know many people bemoaning the upper middle class, but many more should be bemoaning the super rich. Of course it takes hard work to make it. But people that have made it take for granted the entire society providing the structure that allowed their success. It’s not at all surprising that people tend to just project the view of an individual onto an entire society, but it’s definitely an unjustified form of folk economics. Americans seem to be in denial of the steep class structure underlying society. We don’t live in a place where anyone has a chance of making it. Social mobility here is significantly lower than many other developed nations. You do recognize that there are limits to the levels of inequality that a society can handle right? You get what happens when society breaks down right?
You’re absolutely right. As long as you sweep under the rug that productivity continues to climb while wages continue to stagnate. And it shouldn’t concern anyone that the top 5% owns more than the bottom 95% and that that inequality is accelerating. It isn’t relevant that in the capitalist game of musical chairs there is a permanent shortage of jobs. We should also ignore the fact that major corporations like Bank of America and GE not only didn’t pay taxes last year, but between them netted $3billion in tax benefits. We should ignore the fact that the financial crisis was caused by criminal fraud (well documented in Inside Job) that has gone unprosecuted. A new study by Northwestern University economists, called The “Jobless and Wageless” Recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-2009,” found that the economic “recovery” is highly uneven: corporate profits captured 88 percent of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than one percent. And we should definitely ignore articles like “The Quiet Coup.” “The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.”


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