Monday, June 6, 2011

Income Inequality Surges In America

Illustrator Steve Brodner speaks to Eduardo Porter, New York Times economics and business writer, on growing income inequality in America. Porter points out that 1 percent of the population captures 20 percent of the income. Since the 1980s, deregulation has chipped away at the restraints on banks and businesses and has not necessarily served the middle and lower classes. Porter sees increasing stratification in terms of housing and education and a danger to democracy if these trends are not reversed. Brodner’s illustrations highlight important points throughout the discussion. Watch:


Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Porter: Since the 1980s, policy has served the belief that deregulation, taking the government out of the way, is always good, is never bad. And so if you look at how policy evolved over this period, it was a constant chipping away at the limitations for businesses and very notably, banks. These mechanisms, these tools that have been created like the super fast trading that we see today, all these things are actually zero-sum games, where some people win and some people lose.

So this argument that all this innovation was to serve greater productivity and make the real economy produce more things, and increase everybody’s prosperity, in my view is more like a casino.

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