Paul Krugman (and others) have noted recent income inequality figures from Emmanuel Saez at Berkeley. Here is the historical perspective graphed…
Two major trends are immediately evident – downwards from the 20s and then upwards from the the mid-70s. We know what brought the trend down from “the guilded age” but what brought it back up?
I’ve previously noted here Lewis Lapham’s essay “The Tentacles of Rage”. What Lapham describes in this essay matches yjod rise and does so far better than any particular individual or party holding the Presidency or the inititation of any particular policy or the establishment of or dismantling of any particular institution related to governance in the US.
Further, one can see quite clearly how what Lapham describes is presently in full bloom in the broad campaign underway to kill healthcare reform in the US and to bring down a President who likely will, if he is able, move the country back towards the sorts of regulations and perspectives which caused or facilitated the downward trend mentioned above.
I encourage everyone to read the essay with care and with attention to the correspondences between the timeline demonstrated in the graph and the correspondences between the thesis Lapham advances with what we have all experienced since the mid 70s and are still experiencing now.