Tuesday, July 01, 2014

pitchforks and plutocrats around that signpost up ahead...,


politico | But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

8 comments:

Vic78 said...

Here's how one philosopher sees it: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24489-the-compelling-conclusion-about-capitalism-that-piketty-resists.

John Kurman said...

Pitchforks? No, this time out, I think it will be forks.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Brother CNu:


I was in Metro KC in May (as you know).
I purchased the local business paper and read about this tax policy showdown in Kansas.

While Metro Kansas City does not represent the entire state - it is also true that a good portion of the new development and infrastructure that I saw is taking place in Kansas - outward - as the metro area expands.


If "Tax Cuts Don't Work" - why then is New York state running national ads detailing their cuts in business taxes - seeking to attract companies away from their present home base?


Progressives are not averse to "tax cuts" - instead they want "targeted tax cuts" (for the middle class).


The force that drives "Tax Revenues" is ECONOMIC ACTIVITY and DEVELOPMENT.


I assure you that the New York Times has no plans to do an investigation about the eroded tax base of Detroit, Philadelphia or Newark - blaming the problem on policies that are HOSTILE to the very same people that the article that you posted claim are Charlatans and Cranks.

CNu said...

If "Tax Cuts Don't Work" - why then is New York state running national ads detailing their cuts in business taxes - seeking to attract companies away from their present home base?lol, because politicians are empty vessels as surely devoid of answers to the pressing problems du jour as their even emptier-headed cousins, the pimps in the pulpit. Playing a regional zero-sum game to attract companies in search of an extra profit bump from tax breaks doesn't add any value to anyone beyond those companies shareholders. It's the height of stupid irresponsibility.The force that drives "Tax Revenues" is ECONOMIC ACTIVITY and DEVELOPMENT.

I assure you that the New York Times has no plans to do an investigation about the eroded tax base of Detroit, Philadelphia or Newark - blaming the problem on policies that are HOSTILE to the very same people that the article that you posted claim are Charlatans and Cranks.Nor for that matter, will they discuss the living memory historical issues of white flight, suburbanization, and the host of other factors which brought about the economic destruction of those urban cores.

The same is true of course in Kansas, where the business practice of white flight and suburbanization was originally architected and engineered. The reason that part of the KC metropolitan sprawl existing across the state line exists is because of engineered white flight, planned suburban sprawl - it's the equivalent of running cattle down a chute at the livestock pens or the slaughterhouse. You should've gone out a bit further to the real exurb of Olathe to see exactly how that's working out over the long-haul.At minimum - THE PEOPLE need to defend themselves against the "Confidence Men" - who are abundance on both sides of the isle in this corrupt game of political opportunismSam Brownback is an opportunistic, bible-thumping imbecile FUBAR'ing public operations in the state of Kansas and mostly being ignored on this side of the border.

Tom said...

Tax cuts "work" by running up a deficit. Reagan's tax cuts and spending spree led to huge federal budget deficits. Just as Reagan's opponents in 1980 predicted. It's pure Keynes and it does stimulate the economy.


Unfortunately it can't go on forever, or the currency collapses. You have to dig yourself back out of the hole in good times. That was the job of Bush I and Clinton, who both ended up widely hated ... basically for paying the check for what Reagan ate.


This is the reality that most post-1980 "conservatives" constantly try to blur with their "fiscal responsibility" lie-package. Orthodox "conservatives" now stand for an unsustainable combination of low taxes and high government spending. The Laffer component of the lie-package is the most embarrassing part: it consists of reapeating the easily-disproved assertion that Reagan's policies resulted in decreased deficits. It takes 3 minutes to look up the simple fact that Reagan ran up immense debt. Even professional economists would be ashamed to repeat bullcrap of that magnitude, and that's why even economists ridicule Laffer.

DD said...

But it CAN go on forever. We already crossed the financial Rubicon 6 years ago, and what happened? They shoved the losses in a black box, didn't mark them to market, and rolled right along, with those assets in perpetual limbo. The government found a way to recapitalize the power players and the game rolls on. Power Player losses aren't even nationalized, they are ignored.

We all grasp the concept of alpha. We (USA generally and world bigwigs specifically) get all the physical goods and they (Weak players, other nations) get paper money. When they lose their paper money, it's gone. When we lose it...it just stays in the box.

It's a really elegant way to use power. Not good, just elegant.

Even if the currency collapses, do you really anticipate anything but a very close approximation of the current resource and power distribution? I do not.

Money is not real, it is a proxy for power.

Money is not real, it is a proxy for power.

Money is not real, it is a proxy for power.

ken said...

Laffer theory is a theory only talking about government revenue. It's a pretty straight forward logical obvious theory that only the silly refute. It is, that in a non forced labor economic system, you will have zero government revenue if the tax rate is zero, and you will zero government revenue if the tax rate is 100%. In between these two tx rates is a rate that will give you maximum government revenue. Clearly, from the theory you could have your taxes too low and could raise taxes and increase government revenue, or you could have your taxes too high and decrease taxes and increase revenue, or you could have your taxes too high and increase taxes more and still decrease revenue, or you could have taxes too low and decrease taxes and decrease revenue. All our possibilities for the Laffer theory. The argument is what is the tax level that brings in the maximum revenue.

CNu said...

lol..., whew!!!! Glad Willie took the time to set you straight http://youtu.be/dgzH2_JKVCs?t=1m5s