“It’s no accident that the size of the financial sector today as a percentage of GDP is at levels equaled only on the eve of the Great Depression. Like the decade leading up to the financial crisis of 2008, the Roaring Twenties were marked by not only financial boom and technological wonder, but also massive income inequality. Worker wages stagnated and those of the upper classes grew, bolstered in large part by stock prices. Another similarity was a rise in debt, both public and private, which was used to mask the declining spending power of the lower and middle classes and its dampening effect on GDP growth.”
Rana Foroohar, Makers and Takers
Paul Jay interviews Rana Foroohar on the global economy, debt, and financial crises.
Rana Foroohar is an associate editor and global business columnist for The Financial Times. She’s also CNN’s global economic analyst and she joins us in the studio.
Here is a link to the original interview and transcript, as well as five additional interview segments.
The Western establishment is caught in a credibility trap. And this intransigence to change and to even rationally discuss genuine reform is going to lead to severe economic and civil dislocations before it is resolved. And they don’t care, because they have been winning for so long that they no longer can even imagine what they might lose.
“The big thing that happens for 10 years [upwards of 20] is that you have asymmetric economic growth where 80 percent of the income distribution gets none of the rewards of the growth after the recession. Of course you get populism after that. It’s natural. It’s just the way it works. Bernie Sanders is a populist. Bernie Sanders’ populism is all about scapegoating. It’s rich people, it’s bankers, it’s Republicans [and the corporate Democrats]—it’s all these people who got your stuff. That’s the kind of populism that we frequently see as opposed to a kind of ethical populism, which basically says we have good values, let’s go share.”
Arthur Brooks, President American Enterprise Institute, ‘Americans are Being Held Hostage and Terrorized by the Fringes’
I could not believe that Politico had the stones to label Brooks ‘center right.’ If he is center right, then Abbie Hoffman is center left.
Notice in the first sentence that Brooks admits that there is a terrible disparity that has been built into the system, although he does not say how. But he then goes on to excoriate and delegitimize anyone who dares to point that there is a systemic problem out, and suggest that it needs to be changed. As opposed to an ‘ethical populism’ in which the effectively disenfranchised approach the politically rapacious figureheads for the powerful and ask, ‘may we please share?’
It really frosts the corporate tools that the public did not stick to the script and vote for ‘reform’ with Hillary. Or Jeb.
Where the powerful use the channels of a society to crush and distort ideas, they will soon enough turn to crushing people while casting a distorted image of them to across the public channels of communication which they monopolize.
And if there is dissent from the system as it is, this if fueled by terrorists, lunatics, and of course, the Russians and their accomplices who have been sowing dissatisfaction.
When disruptive change finally breaks out, no one could have seen it coming— because they have tightly shut their eyes to it, and deafened their hearing with slogans and ideologically slanted catch phrases fed to them by think tanks and the mainstream media.
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