April 23, 2014

NOPE, BUT IT WOULD EMPOWER THE POLITICAL CLASS, WHICH IS ITS REAL PURPOSE. Piketty’s Tax Hikes Won’t Help the Middle Class.

I am not disputing that something unhappy is going on in the global economy. Nor am I disputing that this unhappiness is unequally distributed. But the proportion of this unhappiness due to income inequality is actually relatively small — and moreover, concentrated not among the poor, but among the upper middle class, which competes with the very rich for status goods and elite opportunities.

If we look at the middle three quintiles, very few of their worst problems come from the gap between their income and the incomes of some random Facebook squillionaire. Here, in a nutshell, are their biggest problems:

Finding a job that allows them to work at least 40 hours a week on a relatively consistent schedule and will not abruptly terminate them.
Finding a partner who is also able to work at least 40 hours a week on a relatively consistent schedule and will not be abruptly terminated.
Maintaining a satisfying relationship with that partner over a period of years.
Having children who are able to enjoy more stuff and economic security than they have.
Finding a community of friends, family and activities that will provide enjoyment and support over the decades.

This is where things are breaking down — where things have actually, and fairly indisputably, gotten worse since the 1970s. Crime is better, lifespans are longer, our material conditions have greatly improved — yes, even among the lower middle class. What hasn’t improved is the sense that you can plan for a decent life filled with love and joy and friendship, then send your children on to a life at least as secure and well-provisioned as your own.

Well, here in America, part of the problem is that the middle class is being targeted for destruction by a coalition of the very rich and the poor.

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