Search Results

There are still some who believe we’re all in this together. But we’re not, not by a long shot. When the economy is organized so that the surplus is pumped out of one group (whose wages are stagnant), appropriated by another group (the tiny group of capitalists who sit on corporate boards of directors), and then […]

  The next time someone suggests that the problem in the country right now is that there’s not enough bipartisan cooperation, show them what bipartisanship actually looks like. It looks like the Fix the Debt campaign, and the face of that campaign is Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Fix the Debt is a public relations […]

Grotesque inequalities in the distribution of income characterize our time, the Second Gilded Age. The question is, what is causing those inequalities? The only way you can answer that question is based on a theory of value—a theory of how commodity values are determined and how the resulting flows of value are distributed to different […]

The timing could not have been better, at least for me. It just so happens I’m teaching Thorsten Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class this week. It should become quickly obvious to students that, as I have argued before on this blog, we’re now in the midst of a Second Gilded Age. This is confirmed […]

Yesterday, I looked at the enormous wealth of U.S. billionaires and the growing gap between them and the rest of the American people. Today, I want to examine what’s happened in recent years at the bottom of the wealth pyramid. We know that, for decades, the share of net personal wealth owned by the bottom […]

source First, it was conspicuous consumption. Then, it was conspicuous philanthropy. Now, apparently, it’s conspicuous productivity. According to Ben Tarnoff, the acquisition of insanely expensive commodities isn’t the only way that modern elites project power. More recently, another form of status display has emerged. In the new Gilded Age, identifying oneself as a member of […]

Oxfam’s headline-grabbing numbers are bad enough: “Eight men are as rich as half the world.” But the international organization has presented an even more serious and severe indictment of current economic arrangements—which can’t be glossed over by merely encouraging those at the top to pay more taxes. In the background paper, “An Economy for the 99 […]

[modified from the original source (pdf)] We’ve been learning a great deal about the conditions and consequences of the obscene levels of inequality in the United States—now, in the past, and it seems for the foreseeable future. Right now, inequality is escalating within public higher education, especially in research universities that are chasing both tuition revenues and […]

The American Economic Association was, in the beginning, a radical organization—founded in 1885, according to Marshall I. Steinbaum and Bernard A. Weisberger, by “Richard Ely, an avowedly Christian Heidelberg-trained professor at Johns Hopkins with a calling to make economics a friend of the working man.” Now, of course, it is anything but radical. What happened? Steinbaum […]

Apparently, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has dubbed a new asset class Vanity Capital, which relates to lifestyle and identity-related purchases. It’s equivalent to the world’s fourth largest economy. Here is how that spending is distributed globally: As Harry Wallop explains, Lot 25 in the Christie’s auction, Looking Forward to the Past, in New York next month […]