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  1. If there’s one person most often associated with the origins of of trickle-down economics, it’s President Ronald Reagan. Few people know, however, that the phrase was actually coined by American humorist Will Rogers, who mocked President Herbert Hoover’s Depression-era recovery efforts, saying that "money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes it would trickle down to the needy."

    Rogers’ joke became economic dogma within two generations, thanks in large part to Reagan. At the center of Reagan’s economic doctrine was the idea that economic gains primarily benefiting the wealthy—investors, businesses, entrepreneurs, and the like—will "trickle-down" to poorer members of society, creating new opportunities for the economically disadvantaged to attain a better standard of living. Prosperity for the rich leads to prosperity for all, the logic goes, so let’s hurry up with those tax cuts already. The legacy of Reaganomics continues to shape modern debates over macroeconomic policy in the United States, from the Bush tax cuts of the mid-2000s to the deficit hawks waging war over the federal budget in Congress.

    Now, nearly 80 years later, Rogers’ quip is getting the punchline it deserves: A devastating new report from the International Monetary Fund has declared the idea of "trickle-down" economics to be as much a joke as he'd imagined.
    Increasing the income share to the bottom 20 percent of citizens by a mere one percent results in a 0.38 percentage point jump in GDP growth.

    The IMF report, authored by five economists, presents a scathing rejection of the trickle-down approach, arguing that the monetary philosophy has been used as a justification for growing income inequality over the past several decades. "Income distribution matters for growth," they write. "Specifically, if the income share of the top 20 percent increases, then GDP growth actually declined over the medium term, suggesting that the benefits do not trickle down."
    https://psmag.com/economics/trickle-down-economics-is-indeed-a-joke
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-12-27)
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  2. Before now, there hadn’t been any attempts to address the measurement of global tax evasion systematically. The reason is simple: the lack of comprehensive information about who skirts taxes. The key data source used in rich countries to study tax evasion is random tax audits – but these audits do not capture tax evasion by the very wealthy, because few of them are audited, and because random audits fail to detect sophisticated forms of evasion involving shell companies and hidden accounts.

    The higher one moves up the wealth distribution, the higher the probability ​​of hiding​ assets

    In our recent study, however, we exploited a massive trove of data leaked from HSBC Switzerland, the so-called HSBC files, to fill this gap. In 2007 a systems engineer, Hervé Falciani, extracted the internal records of HSBC Private Bank, the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC. In 2008, Falciani turned the data over to the French government, who shared it with foreign tax administrations. The documents leaked by Falciani included the complete internal records of more than 30,000 clients of this Swiss bank in 2006-07.
    https://www.theguardian.com/inequalit...-rich-are-even-richer-than-we-thought
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  3. Politicians and policy wonks worry about the persistence of poverty across generations, but affluence is inherited more strongly. Most disturbing, we now know how firmly class positions are being transmitted across generations. Most of the children born into households in the top 20 percent will stay there or drop only as far as the next quintile. As Gary Solon, one of the leading scholars of social mobility, put it recently, “Rather than a poverty trap, there seems instead to be more stickiness at the other end: a ‘wealth trap,’ if you will.”

    There’s a kind of class double-think going on here. On the one hand, upper-middle-class Americans believe they are operating in a meritocracy (a belief that allows them to feel entitled to their winnings); on the other hand, they constantly engage in antimeritocratic behavior in order to give their own children a leg up. To the extent that there is any ethical deliberation, it usually results in a justification along the lines of “Well, maybe it’s wrong, but everyone’s doing it.”

    The United States is the only nation in the world, for example, where it is easier to get into college if one of your parents happened to go there. Oxford and Cambridge ditched legacy preferences in the middle of the last century. The existence of such an unfair hereditary practice in 21st-century America is startling in itself. But I have been more shocked by the way that even supposedly liberal members of the upper middle class seem to have no qualms about benefiting from it.

    The upper middle class is also doing lots right, not least when it comes to creating a stable family environment and being engaged parents. These are behaviors we want to spread, not stop. Nobody should feel bad for working hard to raise their kids well.

    Things turn ugly, however, when the upper middle class starts to rig markets in its own favor, to the detriment of others. Take housing, perhaps the most significant example. Exclusionary zoning practices allow the upper middle class to live in enclaves. Gated communities, in effect, even if the gates are not visible. Since schools typically draw from their surrounding area, the physical separation of upper-middle-class neighborhoods is replicated in the classroom. Good schools make the area more desirable, further inflating the value of our houses. The federal tax system gives us a handout, through the mortgage-interest deduction, to help us purchase these pricey homes. For the upper middle classes, regardless of their professed political preferences, zoning, wealth, tax deductions and educational opportunity reinforce one another in a virtuous cycle.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/10/op...y/stop-pretending-youre-not-rich.html
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  4. Poverty is an economic situation, but whether poverty grows or declines is, to a great extent, the result of political choices that we make. If we speak about poverty outside of the context of politics, we are fooling ourselves.

    Which brings us to the Summit on Technology and Opportunity, the invite-only event that just concluded on Stanford’s rarefied campus. I don’t wish to criticize the individual participants in the event—in isolation, they represent a wide array of worthy charitable endeavors and academic research. But I do wish the criticize the mindstate and political posturing that leads to the White House lending its imprimatur to such an event. With all of the do-gooder conferences in the world, why does the White House come to put its name on one that explicitly holds up technology and private philanthropy and public-private partnership as the solution to poverty? This summit did not spend its time discussing new taxes and government regulations to rein in inequality, or how to purge Congress of members hostile to poverty-fighting legislation; instead, its sessions touted “Philanthropy as a Catalyst” and “Technology to Facilitate Financial Access” and “Tech Talent for Public Impact and the Way Ahead.”

    This purge of politics from the language of poverty-fighting was not a mistake. It was the point. And that is why it is hollow.

    Poverty and wealth are inextricably linked. The economy is not a zero-sum game.

    Poverty is an economic situation, but whether poverty grows or declines is, to a great extent, the result of political choices that we make. If we speak about poverty outside of the context of politics, we are fooling ourselves.

    Which brings us to the Summit on Technology and Opportunity, the invite-only event that just concluded on Stanford’s rarefied campus. I don’t wish to criticize the individual participants in the event—in isolation, they represent a wide array of worthy charitable endeavors and academic research. But I do wish the criticize the mindstate and political posturing that leads to the White House lending its imprimatur to such an event. With all of the do-gooder conferences in the world, why does the White House come to put its name on one that explicitly holds up technology and private philanthropy and public-private partnership as the solution to poverty? This summit did not spend its time discussing new taxes and government regulations to rein in inequality, or how to purge Congress of members hostile to poverty-fighting legislation; instead, its sessions touted “Philanthropy as a Catalyst” and “Technology to Facilitate Financial Access” and “Tech Talent for Public Impact and the Way Ahead.”

    This purge of politics from the language of poverty-fighting was not a mistake. It was the point. And that is why it is hollow.

    Poverty and wealth are inextricably linked. The economy is not a zero-sum game, but the fruits of the economic growth that creates and fuels wealthy nations like ours are hoarded to a shocking extent by a tiny group at the top, which warps our political system

    Philanthropy is the privatization of the social safety net. That is not a desirable state of affairs. Social Security and Medicare and the CDC are robust government programs with millions of stakeholders; Mark Zuckerberg’s charity is ultimately at the whim of two people. We do not need a nation that turns to its tech-enriched kings and begs them to solve poverty. We need a nation that acts collectively to build an economy in which our wealth is shared.
    http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/pove...chnology-it-needs-politics-1789520902
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  5. hey will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.

    But this leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake?

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2016/nov/08/us-election-2016-results-live-clinton-trump?view=map&type=presidential

    Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.

    At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness.

    For the people who saw security and status as their birthright – and that means white men most of all – these losses are unbearable.

    what we know from the 1930s is that what it takes to do battle with fascism is a real left. A good chunk of Trump’s support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal. Such a plan could create a tidal wave of well-paying unionised jobs, bring badly needed resources and opportunities to communities of colour, and insist that polluters should pay for workers to be retrained and fully included in this future.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentis...-the-davos-class-sealed-americas-fate
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  6. by far the most important chart in explaining both the benefits and impact of globalization, free trade, and a changing economy to different constituencies. The greatest benefactors of the extension of the Bretton Woods System (free trade and globalization) following the end of the Cold War have been those who own capital and the poorest people in the world. Unfortunately, as money has moved from the Developed Economies to the Developing World in search of return and comparative advantage, the middle class in the United States and Europe have failed to benefit.
    https://medium.com/@boxerbk/confused-...is-resonating-1154c977697b#.pavz1kzi9
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  7. A Global Architecture of Wealth Extraction has been systematically built up to rig the economic game against you. This is why a tiny number of people (current count is 62) have more wealth amongst them than half the human population. Decades of those using tax havens to hide their wealth, unfair trade agreements designed to extract wealth from poor countries, banking regulations and austerity measures meant to destabilize entire economies so massive transfers of wealth can go from everyone else to a tiny financial elite, and election rules that all-but-guarantee only those who become whores to these financial pimps will ever sit in high office.

    So yeah, it’s okay to feel restless as capitalism winds itself down from these system-level harms to society.

    Why do I say that capitalism (in its corporatist, wealth-extracting form) is dying? There’s a long, detailed story that could be told about this. For the sake of brevity, I will answer with two essential pieces that show how business-as-usual is finished. It is physically impossible for it to continue much longer.

    Reason 1: There Are No More Profits to Extract.
    As eloquently described in the writings of Jeremy Rifkin and Paul Mason, the primary motivator for capitalists — to extract wealth from consumer exchange in the form of monetary gain — is crippled by the fact that the science of wealth extraction has become so advanced that every new wave brings diminishing returns. What is called “marginal cost” by economists, the difference between how much it costs to produce something and what people are willing or able to pay for it, is nearly zero now for everything we manufacture or provide as a service. This zero marginal cost trend is breaking capitalism down by the unexpected outcome of its own spectacular success.

    Add to this that most of the growth in the global economy in the last 40 years has been in speculative finance. The money system grows faster than the productive “real” economy — with the predictable outcome of market crashes, financial collapse, and structural adjustments (wealth extraction) when the mismatch grows too large. What we end up with is bloated debt too large for everyone to pay back. Combined with the end game of wealth hoarding mentioned above, this is a death knell for capitalism as we’ve known it in the last 100 years.

    There is no such thing as an economy that exists without the physical world. The delusional idea that markets are separate from nature has guided mainstream economic policy for a long time — and now we are seeing the consequences in mass extinctions, loss of topsoils, climate change, collapse of fish stocks in the world ocean, rising levels of pollution, and more.

    Physicists would describe this as increasing entropy, which simply means the rise in social complexity of human economies comes with a corresponding deterioration of the larger natural environments they are embedded within. And we have crossed the unprecedented watermark of history in the 20th Century — with exploding population growth, and the crossing of several essential planetary boundaries (any of which, if passed, will place our civilization in jeopardy). At current count, we have passed four of them.
    https://medium.com/@joe_brewer/the-pa...italism-dying-5cdbe06a936c#.enb9lowrb
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2016-04-22)
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  8. Of every dollar of wealth created, 93 cents goes to the top one percent since 1998. You can see why we're told that the only model for any social change is more economic growth, more foreign direct investment, more GDP increase. Very few people benefit from that, but those are the same people who dictate what economic policy and theory is.

    Understanding that every dollar of wealth creates inequality, and every dollar of wealth heats up our planet—because we have a fossil fuels extractive-based system—you realize that there's no way that reforming this current system is going to change the quality of life for the majority of humanity. Quite the opposite. The more we improve the system, the more we're keeping in a vampiric system whose logical outcome will be the destruction of the planet.

    when we start recovering the root causes—we keep on going back, and we say, "The root causes of inequality and poverty and climate change is this brand of capitalism called neoliberalism." Well, what's the root of neoliberalism? The root of neoliberalism is this idea of debt-based currency, and the market determining all aspects of our life. Where does that come from? That comes from our separation from nature, when we became sedentary during the neolithic revolution and stopped trusting the earth to provide for us.

    It also comes from Enlightenment rationalism, the idea that the human mind is the pinnacle of all of evolution, and that we can, using a certain type of Western axiomatic logic, understand everything. The entire world is reduced to the atom, the atom is reduced to the proton, neutron, and electron, and we've figured it all out. What's interesting, when you start looking, is: the root causes are always psychological and spiritual and psychosocial. They're not just economic—of course they're not.

    Economic problems, political problems have roots in a deep-seated humanity. In order to change the world we have to understand where that separation comes from. We also have to find that within ourselves, which is why the anarchist path is essentially the same as the mystical path, whether we want to believe that or not.

    To me, that's the second major lesson in the work. It's related to the third, which is: There's a one percenter in all of us.As the left, as an anarchist, as a revolutionary, as soon as we think that we are somehow holier than our "enemies," I think what happens is we become hubristic, we become moralistic.

    That is a huge blinder for the social justice movement. The benefit of seeing that there's a one percenter in all of us is we understand the primacy of context, we know that in any context we can reproduce this behavior. All the social science points to this, that we're highly contextual beings, whether that's the Good Samaritan studies, or the famous Stanley Milgram experiment where people in a white lab coat tell us to shock someone to death and we will, simply because they appear as an authority figure.

    When we understand the primacy of context, we can organize better. We know what kind of context to argue for, to create, to build, and we can empathize.
    http://www.shareable.net/blog/intervi...nd-perils-of-global-economic-activism
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2016-03-20)
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  9. The red flags and marching songs of Syriza during the Greek crisis, plus the expectation that the banks would be nationalised, revived briefly a 20th-century dream: the forced destruction of the market from above. For much of the 20th century this was how the left conceived the first stage of an economy beyond capitalism. The force would be applied by the working class, either at the ballot box or on the barricades. The lever would be the state. The opportunity would come through frequent episodes of economic collapse.

    Instead over the past 25 years it has been the left’s project that has collapsed. The market destroyed the plan; individualism replaced collectivism and solidarity; the hugely expanded workforce of the world looks like a “proletariat”, but no longer thinks or behaves as it once did.

    If you lived through all this, and disliked capitalism, it was traumatic. But in the process technology has created a new route out, which the remnants of the old left – and all other forces influenced by it – have either to embrace or die. Capitalism, it turns out, will not be abolished by forced-march techniques. It will be abolished by creating something more dynamic that exists, at first, almost unseen within the old system, but which will break through, reshaping the economy around new values and behaviours. I call this postcapitalism.

    As with the end of feudalism 500 years ago, capitalism’s replacement by postcapitalism will be accelerated by external shocks and shaped by the emergence of a new kind of human being. And it has started.

    Postcapitalism is possible because of three major changes information technology has brought about in the past 25 years. First, it has reduced the need for work, blurred the edges between work and free time and loosened the relationship between work and wages. The coming wave of automation, currently stalled because our social infrastructure cannot bear the consequences, will hugely diminish the amount of work needed – not just to subsist but to provide a decent life for all.

    Second, information is corroding the market’s ability to form prices correctly. That is because markets are based on scarcity while information is abundant. The system’s defence mechanism is to form monopolies – the giant tech companies – on a scale not seen in the past 200 years, yet they cannot last. By building business models and share valuations based on the capture and privatisation of all socially produced information, such firms are constructing a fragile corporate edifice at odds with the most basic need of humanity, which is to use ideas freely.
    British capitalism is broken. Here’s how to fix it
    Read more

    Third, we’re seeing the spontaneous rise of collaborative production: goods, services and organisations are appearing that no longer respond to the dictates of the market and the managerial hierarchy.

    New forms of ownership, new forms of lending, new legal contracts: a whole business subculture has emerged over the past 10 years, which the media has dubbed the “sharing economy”. Buzzwords such as the “commons” and “peer-production” are thrown around, but few have bothered to ask what this development means for capitalism itself.
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    I believe it offers an escape route – but only if these micro-level projects are nurtured, promoted and protected by a fundamental change in what governments do. And this must be driven by a change in our thinking – about technology, ownership and work. So that, when we create the elements of the new system, we can say to ourselves, and to others: “This is no longer simply my survival mechanism, my bolt hole from the neoliberal world; this is a new way of living in the process of formation.”

    Even now many people fail to grasp the true meaning of the word “austerity”. Austerity is not eight years of spending cuts, as in the UK, or even the social catastrophe inflicted on Greece. It means driving the wages, social wages and living standards in the west down for decades until they meet those of the middle class in China and India on the way up.
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    Meanwhile in the absence of any alternative model, the conditions for another crisis are being assembled. Real wages have fallen or remained stagnant in Japan, the southern Eurozone, the US and UK. The shadow banking system has been reassembled, and is now bigger than it was in 2008. New rules demanding banks hold more reserves have been watered down or delayed. Meanwhile, flushed with free money, the 1% has got richer.

    Neoliberalism, then, has morphed into a system programmed to inflict recurrent catastrophic failures. Worse than that, it has broken the 200-year pattern of industrial capitalism wherein an economic crisis spurs new forms of technological innovation that benefit everybody.

    That is because neoliberalism was the first economic model in 200 years the upswing of which was premised on the suppression of wages and smashing the social power and resilience of the working class. If we review the take-off periods studied by long-cycle theorists – the 1850s in Europe, the 1900s and 1950s across the globe – it was the strength of organised labour that forced entrepreneurs and corporations to stop trying to revive outdated business models through wage cuts, and to innovate their way to a new form of capitalism.

    The result is that, in each upswing, we find a synthesis of automation, higher wages and higher-value consumption. Today there is no pressure from the workforce, and the technology at the centre of this innovation wave does not demand the creation of higher-consumer spending, or the re‑employment of the old workforce in new jobs. Information is a machine for grinding the price of things lower and slashing the work time needed to support life on the planet.

    the banking system, the planning system and late neoliberal culture reward above all the creator of low-value, long-hours jobs.

    Innovation is happening but it has not, so far, triggered the fifth long upswing for capitalism that long-cycle theory would expect. The reasons lie in the specific nature of information technology.

    In the 1990s economists and technologists began to have the same thought at once: that this new role for information was creating a new, “third” kind of capitalism – as different from industrial capitalism as industrial capitalism was to the merchant and slave capitalism of the 17th and 18th centuries. But they have struggled to describe the dynamics of the new “cognitive” capitalism. And for a reason. Its dynamics are profoundly non-capitalist.

    If we restate Arrow’s principle in reverse, its revolutionary implications are obvious: if a free market economy plus intellectual property leads to the “underutilisation of information”, then an economy based on the full utilisation of information cannot tolerate the free market or absolute intellectual property rights. The business models of all our modern digital giants are designed to prevent the abundance of information.

    I’ve surveyed the attempts by economists and business gurus to build a framework to understand the dynamics of an economy based on abundant, socially-held information. But it was actually imagined by one 19th-century economist in the era of the telegraph and the steam engine. His name? Karl Marx.

    ...

    The scene is Kentish Town, London, February 1858, sometime around 4am. Marx is a wanted man in Germany and is hard at work scribbling thought-experiments and notes-to-self. When they finally get to see what Marx is writing on this night, the left intellectuals of the 1960s will admit that it “challenges every serious interpretation of Marx yet conceived”. It is called “The Fragment on Machines”.
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    In the “Fragment” Marx imagines an economy in which the main role of machines is to produce, and the main role of people is to supervise them. He was clear that, in such an economy, the main productive force would be information. The productive power of such machines as the automated cotton-spinning machine, the telegraph and the steam locomotive did not depend on the amount of labour it took to produce them but on the state of social knowledge. Organisation and knowledge, in other words, made a bigger contribution to productive power than the work of making and running the machines.

    Given what Marxism was to become – a theory of exploitation based on the theft of labour time – this is a revolutionary statement.
    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015...-of-capitalism-begun?CMP=share_btn_tw
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  10. Immaginiamo una società divisa in due classi, uguali per popolazione. Chi fa parte della metà povera guadagna 15 mila euro l’anno, chi fa parte del 50% ricco ne guadagna 150 mila. L’economia va bene e quindi dopo qualche anno i redditi migliorano per tutti. Quello della metà povera triplica, a 45 mila euro. Quello dei ricchi, quadruplica, a 600 mila euro. Si tratta di decidere se lo sviluppo è positivo, perché i poveri sono meno poveri; oppure se è negativo, perché la disuguaglianza è cresciuta da un rapporto di dieci a uno a un rapporto di oltre 13 a uno. I liberali scelgono il primo caso. L’esempio continua a rovescio. Immaginate che la stessa società entri invece in una fase di depressione economica e di caduta dei mercati finanziari. I poveri vedono crollare il loro reddito del 50%, a 7.500 euro, i ricchi del 90%, a 15 mila euro. La disuguaglianza è stata ridotta da un rapporto di 10 a uno a un rapporto di due a uno. È positivo o è negativo? I liberali — e le persone di buon senso — rispondono che è negativo.

    La simulazione è illuminante. Spiega che seguire la sirena della contrapposizione uguaglianza/disuguaglianza porta su strade che vanno verso il nulla; con alte probabilità di fallimento, come suggeriscono le esperienze delle società che hanno detto di volerlo fare. Allo stesso tempo, però, fa disperare perché è inutile. Per quanto sia razionale, non convince e non scalda i cuori dei poveri, che dovrebbero essere quelli che più l’apprezzano. Ciò non dipende solo dallo scarto che c’è tra la razionalità e la percezione politica. Dipende dal fatto che questo approccio didattico elude alcune questioni che i liberali non affrontano con abbastanza coraggio. In particolare, il cattivo funzionamento del capitalismo oggi.

    Vero che il capitalismo e la democrazia hanno sempre dato prova di sapersi riformare. Ma ciò non può bastare. Sulla scena del mondo ci sono modelli che si richiamano al capitalismo, ma sono intrisi di ingiustizia, di privilegi, di corruzione. Per esempio quelli cinese e russo. Ma non molto meglio è il capitalismo di relazione che nega il mercato, fondato sull’intreccio tra il capitale dello Stato e quello dei privati privilegiati dai rapporti politici, vivo e vegeto, anche se non sempre dominante, in America e in Europa.

    La Grande Crisi ha portato nelle opinioni pubbliche dell’Occidente una critica profonda del capitalismo. E al centro di essa c’è il tema della disuguaglianza. Il capitale nel XXI secolo di Thomas Piketty è diventato il manifesto della negazione del ciclo aperto negli anni Ottanta da Margaret Thatcher e Ronald Reagan. Il coefficiente di Gini, un modo per misurare le disuguaglianze, si è trasformato in una formula magica per capire il mondo. Ma la risposta dei liberali è inadeguata.

    Di base, è difficile sostenere che il capitalismo abbia accresciuto la disuguaglianza.

    sono nati i servizi sanitari. L’istruzione si è allargata a dismisura. Gli avanzamenti tecnologici hanno distrutto diseguaglianze in misura impensabile: il telefono, la televisione, internet, le automobili mettono tutti sullo stesso piano. Banalmente, il prêt-à-porter è stato un livellatore sociale portentoso. Lo stesso l’acqua corrente e il bagno in casa. Non entrano nelle statistiche di Piketty, ma l’innovazione sociale — nelle democrazie — e l’innovazione tecnologica sono forze egualitarie che hanno rivoluzionato il mondo e distrutto Downton Abbey.

    le dimensioni della disuguaglianza non sono solo quelle che si misurano in termini di ricchezza, non necessariamente negative. Ci sono anche gli effetti, almeno due importanti, di queste differenze. Uno riguarda il fatto che il patrimonio e l’alto reddito danno accesso a opportunità e potere politico, dai quali è escluso chi ne è privo. L’1% più ricco ha aperta la strada (per i figli) che porta alle università considerate migliori, quelle che a loro volta offrono maggiori opportunità nella vita. E l’istruzione è il veicolo più forte di mobilità sociale: se viene lottizzata o chiusa, diventa uno strumento di ingiustizia. Lo stesso 1% ha accesso diretto o quasi diretto al potere politico, con i privilegi che ciò comporta. Ancora: chi sta ai vertici della piramide della ricchezza quasi sempre è anche al vertice del sistema di governance delle imprese, con intrecci tra i suoi membri che garantiscono retribuzioni incrociate a presidenti e ad amministratori delegati che in numerosi casi vanno al di là della loro capacità di creare ricchezza. Sono le nuove aristocrazie, in questo senso non troppo diverse da Downton Abbey.

    Il secondo effetto importante, e che richiede risposte liberali, è la possibilità che, come alcuni sostengono, la disuguaglianza eccessiva sia un vincolo per la crescita economica e limiti la prosperità potenziale generale.
    http://lettura.corriere.it/debates/le-trappole-delluguaglianza
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