Why Income Inequality Is Going to Get Catastrophically Worse
Mar. 17, 2014
Inequality is endemic to the core structure of an America that operates more as a plutocracy than a democracy.
There’s been a lot of discussion about the historically high levels of income and wealth inequality lately — mostly from people on the shorter end of that stick — with good reason: There’s no end in sight.
In his new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” economist Thomas Piketty argues that worsening inequality is inevitable in a mature capitalist system, based on his analysis of 200 years of data. But inequality isn’t just an evolving condition like a crippling allergy that comes and goes, or just grows, enumerated by horrifying statistics. Nor is it just the result of a capitalist-utopian idea of free markets in which everyone gets a fair shot armed with equal information (which simply don’t exist in the real world, where markets are routinely gamed by the biggest players). Inequality is endemic to the core structure of an America that operates more as a plutocracy than a democracy. It is an inherent result of the consolidation of a substantial amount of both financial power and political influence in the hands of a few families.