Chrystia Freeland is worried that the virtuous circle of U.S. capitalism, in which the fortunes of the tiny minority at the top were bound up with those of the rest of society, has been broken:
as the story of Venice shows, virtuous circles can be broken. Elites that have prospered from inclusive systems can be tempted to pull up the ladder they climbed to the top. Eventually, their societies become extractive and their economies languish.
That was the future predicted by Karl Marx, who wrote that capitalism contained the seeds of its own destruction. And it is the danger America faces today, as the 1 percent pulls away from everyone else and pursues an economic, political and social agenda that will increase that gap even further — ultimately destroying the open system that made America rich and allowed its 1 percent to thrive in the first place.
I have bad news for both Freeland and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: the circle has been fundamentally broken for more than three decades.