Oligarchy followup

adam smith wealth of nationsI recently wrote a piece about the risk of America moving away from popular democracy towards a growing oligarchy of the rich and powerful. In it I mentioned that our economic system is slanted deliberately slanted to favor the wealthy and that no evidence supports that the rich are by nature benevolent or that trickle down economics is anything more than a theory.

Today I came across a review of a new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, claiming an integral element of capitalism works to widen the gap between rich and poor. Using some of the largest datasets ever on income and wealth the author, Thomas Piketty, says that during times of economic expansion returns or earnings on capital investment experience faster growth than the general economy. That means that those who have money to invest, the rich, are going to get, “richer, and richer, and richer.”

This supports something I heard a speak to truth billionaire say recently on television, that he has so much money invested in so many places that he personally doesn’t know just where it is. All he knows is it continues to make him even wealthier and he performs no labor to earn it.

The capitalist system in the United States is simply rigged against the average wage earner and the only institution in our economy with the means to control it is government. If inequality continues as it has since the late 1970s the only thing that can prevent devastating social breakdown is government taking steps to fairly redistribute some of the excessive wealth.

For a visual example of what has been taking place in America over the past almost half century, watch this video.

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