Joe Stiglitz makes the sensible point that the “1%” society America has become cannot be sustainably successful. The prosperity of the 1% depends on the prosperity of the 99%. Gross inequality is also economically inefficient and distorts a country’s politics.
Quote “It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality”.
Now well known facts but the inequality threat to the survival of capitalism is crystallising into a definite focus for dissent. It will impact on Australia.