Mish. These are the individuals that claim any suggestions of taxation increases are tantamount to Nazi persecution. The slave masters blame the slaves for being uppity and rebellious. We obviously don't know our place.
This is why my contempt, derision and scorn of the leading "intellectuals" on the right grows daily.
"Tom Perkins, the 81 year-old cofounder of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, compared the current “hatred” of the rich to the outrage in Nazi Germany prior to Kristallnacht, a series of coordinated attacks against the Jewish community throughout Germany in November 1938."
I expect any day now that Tyler Cowen or Scott Winship will tell us that under Alexander the Great, the world's wealth was controlled by 20 people, and so now that 85 people control half of the world's wealth, inequality has gotten better.
If we wait for" intellectuals" on the right to agree on the "facts", we will never do anything meaningful about inequality - which is obviously their strategy. As long as we are talking about outrageous comments from puppet masters like Perkins and their sock puppets like Cowen and Winship -they are winning. Shame on the Wallstreet Journal for publishing his letter to the editor.
Balanced reporting shouldn't mean given the right equal air time if what they are saying isn't even credulous.
And if Perkins wants insurance against political blowback that would include confiscation of the 1%ers properties then they should do what economists like myself have been recommending for years - support progressive taxation and remove tax loopholes that allow the rich to take their money offshore. It is only the height of arrogance to political rig the deck so an ever increasing minority benefit and then complain against political pushback. The heat on you 1%ers is just starting to get turned up and you guys have supplied all the fuel -keep pouring more gas on the fire (with hate filled ridiculous speech and blocking reform) and you will indeed become victims.
This is what CHRYSTIA FREELAND meant when she talked about the self destruction of the 1%, in the NY Times.
"IN the early 14th century, Venice was one of the richest cities in Europe. At the heart of its economy was the colleganza, a basic form of joint-stock company created to finance a single trade expedition. The brilliance of the colleganza was that it opened the economy to new entrants, allowing risk-taking entrepreneurs to share in the financial upside with the established businessmen who financed their merchant voyages.
Venice’s elites were the chief beneficiaries. Like all open economies, theirs was turbulent. Today, we think of social mobility as a good thing. But if you are on top, mobility also means competition. In 1315, when the Venetian city-state was at the height of its economic powers, the upper class acted to lock in its privileges, putting a formal stop to social mobility with the publication of the Libro d’Oro, or Book of Gold, an official register of the nobility. If you weren’t on it, you couldn’t join the ruling oligarchy.
The political shift, which had begun nearly two decades earlier, was so striking a change that the Venetians gave it a name: La Serrata, or the closure. It wasn’t long before the political Serrata became an economic one, too. Under the control of the oligarchs, Venice gradually cut off commercial opportunities for new entrants. Eventually, the colleganza was banned. The reigning elites were acting in their immediate self-interest, but in the longer term, La Serrata was the beginning of the end for them, and for Venetian prosperity more generally. By 1500, Venice’s population was smaller than it had been in 1330. In the 17th and 18th centuries, as the rest of Europe grew, the city continued to shrink.
The story of Venice’s rise and fall is told by the scholars Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, in their book “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty,” as an illustration of their thesis that what separates successful states from failed ones is whether their governing institutions are inclusive or extractive. Extractive states are controlled by ruling elites whose objective is to extract as much wealth as they can from the rest of society. Inclusive states give everyone access to economic opportunity; often, greater inclusiveness creates more prosperity, which creates an incentive for ever greater inclusiveness. "
Intergenerational Wealth Mobility is bad but stable since the 1980s. Article ends on a somewhat contradictory note:
"For all the continuity over recent decades, the authors emphasized that parents appeared to cast a longer shadow over their children’s lives, in some ways, than before. As inequality has risen, pushing the rungs on the income ladder further apart than they once were, the average economic penalty of being born poor has grown over time.
“It matters more who your parents are today than it did in the past,” Mr. Chetty said."
The 85 richest people in the world own half the wealth in the world. Davos has listed it as #4 in Global risks. Bill Gates reminds us that the poorest among us are doing better than they ever have. Both Davos and Gates are right. I looked at my inequality link and see that my first post that dealt with inequality was the third post I wrote (08/22/2011) and suggested higher progressive taxes were in order, which is one of Oxfam's recommendations.
Admittedly, like me -he is a self-described liberal. Noah expresses frustration, I shared mine here.:
" Because really, this is a post about libertarianism.
In case you haven't noticed, modern American libertarianism really annoys me. Much more than it probably should, given the fact that I share many of that movement's ideas - distrust of government, respect for personal liberty, etc. But that's exactly why libertarianism annoys me so much: it's so much like me in some ways, and yet so maddeningly different in others. It's smack dab in the uncanny valley of affiliation.
There are two things that annoy me about libertarianism. The minor annoyance is ideological inflexibility; a number of otherwise smart libertarians fetishize the Robert Nozick idea-package to the point of catechism. But much more annoying is the fact that libertarianism has become a hideout for a bunch of white racial nationalists. At the grassroots level there are the Ron Paul people. But at the elite level, the movement includes people like Jason Richwine and Garret Jones, who love to talk about race-IQ correlations. And even non-racist libertarians like Bryan Caplan nevertheless often support the idea of individual-level IQ-based elitism. Then, of course, there are the "Austrian economics" people.
It is easy to see why libertarianism appeals both to white supremacists and to elitists. The logic is that in a free competition, the Naturally Best People will win. That is appealing to anyone who thinks he is one of the Naturally Best People, whether because of his group membership or his individual abilities."
An IKEA opens in Valencia, Spain has 100,000 applications for 400 positions.
McDonald's (2011) has 1,000,000 applications for 62,000 positions.
DC Walmart has 23,000 applications for 600 positions.
I am back, my apologies to my readers; I have been doing a text book project over the Christmas holidays -it just finished last night (and of course caught my traditional cold).
Many economists are saying the dramatic drop in US labour force participation is natural (nothing to worry about) because it is primarily being driven by demographics. Here is an example. (Brent, who sent me the link, included this comment:"Interesting to me, but with a lot of projections from which to choose unsurprising to find one close!")
Zerohedge wonders why, if this is the case, employment among older workers (55+) is still at the same level it was in 2007?