More on American inequality

In: Uncategorized

16 Dec 2011

Another interesting week in the debate:

* Five Books interview with David Acemoglu, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lots of useful references. Sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street. Like many commentators he argues that the banks play a key role in the new inequality. Also that the rich are manipulating political institutions for their own benefit.

* Foreign Affairs interviews Joseph Hacker on economic inequality (video). Hacker also emphasises the way that the rich manipulate the political system.

* Robert Frank makes the point in his Wealth Report blog in the Wall Street Journal that even Republicans are distancing themselves from wealth.

* Time magazine names “The Protestor” as its person of the year. The cover story is by Kurt Andersen. For my spiked review of his latest (2009) book see here.  It does contain an interesting statistic. Occupy Wall Street has: “shifted the national conversation. As Politico recently reported, the Nexis news-media database now registers almost 500 mentions of “inequality” each week; the week before Occupy Wall Street started, there were only 91.” In my view Occupy is more a focus or perhaps catalyst for the debate rather than its driving force.