Public employment and pensions are swollen. Work in the underground economy, where taxes are evaded, is rife. Modern infrastructure is lacking. The commonwealth exports little for an economy of its size.
They didn't seem to stand a chance and were judged incapable of going up against their adversaries, Wall Street's bankers and financial managers, either intellectually or in terms of economic knowledge.
And, surprisingly, they have hit upon the crux of America's problems with precisely this sentence. Indeed, they have given shape to a development in the country that has been growing more acute for decades, one that numerous academics and experts have tried to analyze elsewhere in lengthy books and essays.
It's a development so profound and revolutionary that it has shaken the world's most powerful nation to its core.
Inequality in America is greater than it has been in almost a century. Those fortunate enough to belong to the 1 percent, made up of the super-rich, stand on one side of the divide; the remaining 99 percent on the other.
Even for a country that has always accepted opposite extremes as part of its identity, the chasm has simply grown too vast. Those who succeed in the US are congratulated rather than berated. Resenting other people's wealth is viewed as supporting class struggle, which is something very frowned upon.
Still, statistics indicate that the growing disparity is genuinely overwhelming. In fact, the wealthiest Americans now own more than the "lower" million Americans put together. Nearly two-thirds of net private assets are concentrated in the hands of 5 percent of Americans.
In comparison, the upper 5 percent of Germany hold less than half of net assets. In alone, at the same time as the US was being convulsed by mass layoffs, the number of millionaires in the country skyrocketed.
Indeed, if you look at the reports it compiles on every country in the world, even the CIA has concluded that wealth disparity is greater in the US than in Tunisia or Egypt. A New 'Gilded Age' In a book published inAmerican political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson discuss how this "hyperconcentration of economic gains at the top" also existed in the United States in the early 20th century, when industrial magnates -- such as John D.
Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J. Morgan -- dominated the upper stratum of society and held the country firmly in their grip for years. Writer Mark Twain coined the phrase "the Gilded Age" to describe that period of rapid growth, a time when the dazzling exterior of American life actually concealed mass unemployment, poverty and a society ripped in two.
Economists and political scientists believe the US has entered a new Gilded Age, a period of systematic inequality dominated by a new class of super-rich. The only difference is that, this time around, the super-rich are hedge fund managers and financial magnates instead of oil and rail barons.
A Threat to the World Economy The academics fear this change could have serious consequences for the country's economic future.
As they see it, this extreme inequality threatens to dramatically slow growth in the world's largest economy. This is part of a development, they argue, that has been under way for years but remained largely hidden in the years of cheap credit, rising real estate prices and excessive consumption -- when it seemed everyone was on the way up.
And the problems only came to light with the arrival of the financial crisis. Through the s, income for Americans across all social classes rose nearly in lockstep, by an annual average of roughly 3 percent.
Starting in the s, however, this trend underwent a fundamental transformation. Granted, the economy continued to grow -- but almost exclusively to the benefit of the country's top earners.
The major economic expansion under President Ronald Reagan benefited only a few, and the problem only grew worse under George W.
At least since the beginning of the millennium, it has no longer been a simple matter of two societal extremes drifting further apart.An Exhausted Democracy Donald Trump and the New American Nationalism. Is America capable of preventing Donald Trump from coming to power?
Although the candidate is himself no fascist, his campaign. Investor George Soros is pessimistic that a solution will be found and says time is extremely short. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, he warns that Germany could develop into a hated, imperial power.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is just one example of the sudden outbreak of tension between America's super-rich and the "other 99 percent." Experts now say the US has entered a second Gilded. Spiegel Online (SPON) is one of the most widely read German-language news websites. It was founded in as the online offshoot of the German news magazine, Der Spiegel, with a staff of journalists working independently of the magazine.
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Thomas Robert Malthus FRS (/ ˈ m æ l θ ə s /; 13 February – 23 December ) was an English cleric and scholar, influential in the fields of political economy and demography. Malthus himself used only his middle name, Robert. In his book An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus observed that an increase in a nation's food production improved the well-being of the.