There’s a lot there I agree with; some I think is more questionable, but it delves into areas which are hard to quantify (e.g., the effect of Bretton Woods on wage.) To wit:
I think it’s much more important to look at wealth and income inequality in combination.
Without objection. As two Americans about to retire prior to Medicare, we will have a seven figure net worth yet qualify for the ACA subsidies, simply because by postponing Social Security and living off Roth investments for a bit, we’ll be officially classified as “poor” according to income limits. The US has eschewed, historically, any tracking of net worth as a factor in, well, anything (other than student loans) forever; it occurred to me some time ago that one of the fairest ways to attack the deficit via increased taxation (if that’s really necessary) would be a tiny tax on net worth. .01% on 70 Trillion is 700 billion dollars, which comes awful close to balancing the national books.
There’s social science that goes beyond economics when we can do some matching of alienation, hopelessness, and despair with interpersonal violence, suicide, and drug overdose deaths.
There is, but it is my understanding (I may be wrong, this was some time ago) that there was no commensurate increase in criminal behavior by the poor during the Great Depression. If so, that stands that theory, taken in a vacuum, on its head.
All these forces are pushing us toward even greater wealth and income inequality while the statistics don’t account for significant offshore wealth (and earnings from offshore capital).
Sure. I have said in other places that compound interest is a scheme designed to prey on the poorest. The top 1–2% avoid it by paying cash, and the next top, oh, 5% or so don’t avoid it, but us it as a cash management tool, essentially using it as an arbitrage tool, borrowing at 3–4% whilst investing at 10%. Everyone else takes it in the shorts. (Imagine how this effect would be muted if the law require simple interest only.)
Where you mentioned the cresting of wages in the 70s that’s easily explained by the new game in town after the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreements
Yea….not sure that’s “easily” explained at all. Do you have a reference which makes this case?
The methods used to make the wealthy whole again after the Great Recession become uglier the closer you look
Yea, I’ve looked. Although I don’t know what other choices Bernanke would have had. As Fed chair, his job was to defend the financial SYSTEM, not the average joe’s finanCES. If you take the position that the financial SYSTEM is discriminatory towards the have-nots as a general statement, then that makes him out to be the defender of the rich……. although I’m fairly certain he wouldn’t see it that way. And SHOULDN’T be seen that way.
, the shorthand version the multi-trillion 1% welfare and perhaps worse, the profiteering done by private equity who paid cash for foreclosed real estate assets (or for defaulted loans that were quickly turned into foreclosed real estate assets — see our current Treasury Secretary’s quick $200 million from his investment in the failed IndyMac mortgage operation).
Which got a funny looking guy like Steve a hot wife as well. :-)
The problem, there, was that all that’s legal. Any decent chart that maps inequality to GDP shows that the rich always get a bump during recessions as they snap up assets at bargain prices. And it can’t be made not-legal and maintain a free market system. All you can do is find a way (and we could have, but didn’t) to re-liquify everyone who took a hit on those assets.
a need for reform and renewal that won’t be delivered by the compromised Democrats and Republicans.
Well, we have a world-wide financial system. No American group can deliver that sort of change in a vacuum. And if you try to do it via some sort of socialism, count me out, as well as anyone who understands the history of that economic scheme. I don’t have a financial death wish.