Excellent use of real data and correlation, but I am often left with two key questions after discussions of these unsettling macro economic trends and their impact on the emotional state of western societies:
- The data, trends and correlations about income distribution and the feeling of malaise are undeniable. But I wonder which historical period is the outlier / outside the norm. The golden teen years of the baby boomers where massive infrastructure, cold war military industrial complex and mass consumerism spread the wealth to our middle , or our more distant past (and to current extent recent present) where capital is controlled on a global extent by ‘the elite’ whom the masses essentially serve as serfs. Hidden question within this one: in the boom years of the cold war when the modern middle class was born, was the growth in the western ideal social contract (‘the American Dream’) built under a phony economic pretense, e.g. a political ponzi scheme to keep the masses content?
- Not a Dem myself, but much more closely aligned with Mrs. Clinton’s policy approach than Mr. Trump (college educated, so correlation holds), I wonder why all of the philosophical and academic responses to the current economic / social strains we feel must always be regulation and redistribution of capital by these same elites that sold us the phony pretense to begin with? Why are there no other solutions than price controls and taxation dictated by our betters? If higher education is free will it have any real value in the end? If wages are artificially inflated, will we all be replaced with robots and algorithms? Can there be no spiritual, philosophical, market based, individualistic solution to this malaise? Or must we just submit to the will of the state and the whims of the elite?
Despite all of our challenges (racial, ethnic, religious, etc…) you have to take some hope from the fact that, at least at the highest ranks of our elite, there has never been as much growth and redistribution of power / wealth across the world to previously underrepresented geographies, genders, nations, etc… (e.g. see the data above re: the rise of Asia’s middle class). Too bad we can’t just feel satisfied in keeping up with the neighbors.