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Moment in Thought
12 minutes | May 11, 2020
Capital & Ideology – The Growth of Income Inequality In The United States
How Income Inequality Grew In The United States The coronavirus has upended the world we once shared but in its path of destruction lies a choice we all must make. And that choice is this. Who is the country for? Does it belong to the higher flying executive, the suburban mother of three, or the blue collar worker trucking freight on yet another lonely stretch of road. The road ahead for us all is long but if history has taught us anything is that through every war, epidemic, and natural disaster humanity will thrive once again. But the question is who. Who gets to thrive in this post-covid world? Some worrying signs already show the pandemic affects Americans unequally. A survey by Goldman Sachs revealed almost two-thirds of American small business owners say that their cash would run out in under three months. And a recent paper by an Oxford Economics professor finds that Americans who normally earns less than $20,000 a year are twice as likely to have lost their job due to the pandemic as an Americns earning $80,000 a year. Over the next four weeks we will answer this question. Who is this country for? Episode one will cover the issue most responsible for our current inequality in the United States, Episode 2 and 3 will touch on when we began to see this shift in income inequality and Episode 4 will take a peek at ideas and policies that might help us create a more equitable society. This is quite the task but luckily we have Piketty on our side. If you’re unfamiliar, Thomas Piketty is a brilliant economist. His first book Capital in the 21st Century conveys a gloomy but descriptive look at the wealth gap in western economies. This podcast focuses on his second book “Capital And Ideology” and extends that scope of inequality by looking at it through the lens of time, location, and ideological leanings of societies. ¨The stagnation of educational investment in the rich countries since the 1980s may help to explain not only the rise of inequality but also the slowing of economic growth. In the United States, per capita national income grew at a rate of 2.2 percent per year in the period 1950–1990 but slowed to 1.1 percent in the period 1990–2020″ Thomas Piketty
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