The New 1% isn’t just the Rich, it is the Spoiled Oligarch Heirs (Krugman)

Bill Moyers interviews Paul Krugman


” Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old who teaches at the Paris School of Economics, shows that two-thirds of America’s increase in income inequality over the past four decades is the result of steep raises given to the country’s highest earners.

This week, Bill talks with Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, about Piketty’s “magnificent” new book.

“What Piketty’s really done now is he said, ‘Even those of you who talk about the 1 percent, you don’t really get what’s going on.’ He’s telling us that we are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy. A society of inherited wealth.”

Krugman adds: “We’re seeing inequalities that will be transferred across generations. We are becoming very much the kind of society we imagined we’re nothing like.” ”

4 Responses

  1. -For an example of the significance of norms and institutions to inequality, consider that Denmark’s Gini Index was 24.7 in 1992 and 24.8 in 2011(est.) while the US’s respective numbers were 43 and 47. (And, it is important to note, Denmark ranks highly on the Index of Economic Freedom.)
    -In 2010, the Walton family (of Walmart fame) own more wealth ($89.5 billion) than the bottom 40 percent of America (49 million families).
    -Essential reading on US inequality that Juan has posted in the past: link to

  2. None of this is too surprising.

    Go to:

    link to

    The link contains the study published by Gilens and Page at Princeton that tells us, wonder of wonders, that the US is no longer a democracy but an oligarchy.

    In a related article, see the NYT on Paul Kingsnorth and the end of the world. The wealthy are in control, they have decided that the death of the planet is in their best interest. Go to:

    link to

    My advice: follow Paul and get a farm. Thank the gods I’m over 50 and won’t live to see 2100 – or probably 2050 for that matter.

    The eco-system of the Indian Ocean has now collapsed and the Greenland ice-shelf is slipping away, and . . . hey, look everyone, Chelsea Clinton’s pregnant. A conspiracy? We report, you decide . . . ugh!

  3. There are now even stratifications within the 1%, with the top 0.01% doing much better than the 1% or 0.1%.

    Will this ever devolve into formal titles of nobility? The slave South was on its way there, with rich men bankrolling militia regiments and thus honored with the title “Colonel”. Not too different than how aristocracies originally appeared, such as Rome’s equestrian class. All the South needed was to make command of the regiments hereditary.

    In a privatized future, what hereditary title will be created to signify the ruling families?

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