The Root of Rising Inequality: Our “Lawnmower” Economy (hint: we’re the lawn), by Charles Hugh Smith

In a global economy in which debt is the foundation (see Debtonomics Archive), it should come as no surprise that debt merchants have done better than most. It should also come as no surprise when myriad debt bubbles eventually pop and the global economy is put through the wringer. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

This predatory exploitation is only possible if the central bank and state have partnered with financial Elites.

After decades of denial, the mainstream has finally conceded that rising income and wealth inequality is a problem–not just economically, but politically, for as we all know wealth buys political influence/favors, and as we’ll see below, the federal government enables and enforces most of the skims and scams that have made the rich richer and everyone else poorer.

Here’s the problem in graphic form: from 1947 to 1979, the family income of the top 1% actually expanded less that the bottom 99%. Since 1980, the income of the 1% rose 224% while the bottom 80% barely gained any income at all.

Globalization, i.e. offshoring of jobs, is often blamed for this disparity, but as I explained in “Free” Trade, Jobs and Income Inequality, the income of the top 10% broke away from the bottom 90% in the early 1980s, long before China’s emergence as an exporting power.

Indeed, by the time China entered the WTO, the top 10% in the U.S. had already left the bottom 90% in the dust.

The only possible explanation of this is the rise of financialization: financiers and financial corporations (broadly speaking, Wall Street, benefited enormously from neoliberal deregulation of the financial industry, and the conquest of once-low-risk sectors of the economy (such as mortgages) by the storm troopers of finance.

To continue reading: The Root of Rising Inequality: Our “Lawnmower” Economy (hint: we’re the lawn)

 

One response to “The Root of Rising Inequality: Our “Lawnmower” Economy (hint: we’re the lawn), by Charles Hugh Smith

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