Economic Growth, Corporate Power & the American Dream

In The Dream Hoarders Richard Reeves addresses the class inequality in America today, fed by denial by those in the top 20 percent that they’ve benefited from “opportunity hoarding” and gaming the system.  Until this important sector of society acknowledges it’s advantages from birth and being in the right place at the right time the equality so important in our democracy will lead to further problems.  Revees puts himself in this top 20 percent, so is transparent in this regard!   The first chapter is online, and here’s a quote “The upper middle class gains most of its status not by exploiting others but by exploiting its own skills. But when the income gap of one generation is con-verted into an opportunity gap for the next, economic inequality hardens into class stratification” ( p. 11).

Perhaps some stories of the worlds of these dream hoarders can be helpful, including where they work as this inequality is fed by income from the corporate world including the world of entertainment.   “Last September 2014 e-commerce giant Amazon acquired Twitch, a live-streaming video company, for $970 million. Not long ago a new billion-dollar company would have been a boon to job creation. Yet Twitch employs just 170 workers. The story of Twitch illustrates an important lesson about the digital economy: at the same time it has generated enormous wealth for shareholders and entrepreneurs, it has resulted in few new jobs…”

Read more:

Is the 80% fueling the income of the top 20?

“Had our ancestors been asked to predict what would happen in an age of widespread prosperity in which most religious and cultural proscriptions had lost their power, how many would have guessed that our favourite activities would not be fiery political meetings, masked orgies, philosophical debates, hunting wild boar or surfing monstrous waves, but shopping and watching other people pretending to enjoy themselves.George Monbiot, The Guardian, 20/01/14

Read more Monbiot in a series on taming corporate power, if at all possible before too late, in The Guardian.  This is site Monbiot.

Related to this is the popular, though weighty, tome by Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Robert Reich has a lot to say about problems with Capitalism that we urgently need to address before more time passes.  

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