These trends of income inequality are due to the unintended consequences of what looked like great ideas at the time! And, this is just the beginning. For instance, the dynamic of the 1980s when computing power dramatically increased and business information was available in more timely and visible forms — the buzzword of the era was Just In Time, created rapid change. Companies invested in inventory management systems and saved millions on physical management. My point: this technology advance tipped the balance of power toward larger systems with access to capital and away from smaller companies and less technically skilled employee. Add to this the privatization of retirement plans such as 401(k) s and salvation for everyone is understood as the profit machines of larger corporations. The rich become our saviors.
An obvious remedy is not to toss out capitalism or market intelligence, but to update the corporate charter. Incorporation is a right granted by the state, it can be revised to reflect the current technology and needs of society. That is large systems are useful given 8 billion people to feed everyday, but there is no need to grant large systems, such as corporations. legal rights to be bullies. The Benefit Corporation (BCorp) is an example of a updated corporate form that provides a balance of return on capital, labor, and risk to investors, employees, community. After all, where does capital come from but the combined efforts of people and the resources of the Earth? In a B Corporation returns are appropriately shared in a model that reflects the value generated by the interrelated and interdependent forces that keep such systems healthy and productive. This is not socialism — it is sustainability.