Inequality in America today is twice as bad as in ancient Rome, worse than it was in Tsarist Russia, Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, and worse than slaveholding societies in 1774 colonial America.
Lest we forget, extreme inequality helped cause the Great Depression, the current financial crisis … and the fall of the Roman Empire.
Bad government policy – which favors the fatcats at the expense of the average American – is largely responsible for our runaway inequality.
A who’s-who of prominent economists in government and academia have now said that runaway inequality harms economic growth, including:
- Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair
- Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz
- One of America’s leading economists, Robert Shiller
- Former chief IMF economist Raghuram Rajan
- Former U.S. Secretary of Labor and UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich
- Stanford University professor John Taylor
- University of Oregon professor Mark Thoma
- University of California professor Emmanuel Saez
- Paris School of Economics professor Thomas Piketty
- Famed economist John Kenneth Galbraith
- Harvard Business School professor David Moss
- Paris School of Economics professor Romain Rancière
- London School of Economics professor Robert Wade
- University of Notre Dame professor David Ruccio
- Harvard professor Lawrence Katz
- Arkansas State University professor Christopher Brown
- Global economy and development division director at Brookings and former economy minister for Turkey, Kemal Dervi
- Societe Generale investment strategist and former economist for the Bank of England, Albert Edwards
- World Bank economist Branko Milanovic
- Deputy Division Chief of the Modeling Unit in the Research Department of the IMF, Michael Kumhof
- Former executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Policy Development, and deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department, Bruce Bartlett
- IMF economist Andrew Berg (IMF economist)
- IMF economist Jonathan Ostry
- Federal Reserve chairman from 1934 to 1948, Marriner S. Eccles
- And many others
Even the father of free market economics – Adam Smith – didn’t believe that inequality should be a taboo subject.
And yet the powers-that-be in Washington and Wall Street are accelerating the redistribution of wealth from the lower, middle and more modest members of the upper classes to the super-elite.
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