US Wealth Inequality Update

Pretending Not To Panic

US wealth inequality continues and has reached the level where 20 Americans are now worth as much as half the population. The 400 richest own as much as the bottom 61%. The 20 fit on a bus. The 400 fit in a restaurant. While the data may seem extreme, the estimate is considered to underestimate the inequality because, while the wealth of the bottom 61% is relatively easy to track, the wealth of the wealthiest may be greater if off-shore holdings and loopholes could be accounted for. A majority should hold authority in a representative democracy, but change is hindered by the role wealth plays within the political parties.

(Click on the infographic for the link.)

forbes400-graphic1-2-01-400x200Billionaire Bonanza” -Institute For Policy Studies

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Economics Without Scarcity

The “dismal” science is predicated on the premise that there is not “enough” of something? This immediately raises two questions:

What are the scarce somethings?

How much is enough?

high building - 1As automation, exhaustion of natural resources and pollution of the environment become ubiquitous  we are seeing changes in what is abundant and what is scarce. At the same time, our aspirations rise as we develop the possibility of higher standards of living. What was “enough” yesterday is unsatisfactory today. “Old” economics could content itself with looking at the supply and demand of entities people were willing to pay for. “New” economics must cast a wider net to address issues that used to be the purview of psychology, anthropology, biology, ethics, to name just a few.

Let’s pull together some New Economic Thinking with Analysis and Action  suggestions (NETAA) on this site. I’ll make a few provocative comments to kick us off. Please add your own thoughts and comments as well as links to other interesting sites on this topic. Maybe we can pave the way for a better world for our great grandchildren.

 old car - 1