A Tale of Obscene Wealth and Inequitable Capitalism
Follow up: do you think American power and corruption are diffuse? Be as detailed as you like in responding.
Brilliant synthesis Pen. Two other books delve into a slightly different angle: “The 9.9 Percent” by Matthew Stewart (quite philosophical, some big jumps in logic that were new to me, acerbically funny) is one. The other is “Thank you for Your Servitude” by Mark Leibovich. It’s darkly harsh, and more rooted in everyday realities.
Both have left the idea of the 1% behind mainly. They are a terrible drag, but focusing on them excuses by ignoring the next tier down.
The big idea, so to speak, is the myriad of ways that capitalism unchained has hollowed out the middle class. The top 10% have created a self-perpetuating system that it would take years for any government to unwind.
Truthfully it reminds me of the pre WWI aristocracy in Britain, an area of study for me in my university days. It took two wars and a Depression to leave but a shadow of it left - a shadow that stills punches, unfortunately, above its weight.
Thanks for your insights and well-crafted pieces.
To paraphrase Churchill, “capitalism is the worst form of economy, except for all the others”. The problem arises when the government starts exerting too much power in the private sphere and vice versa. That attracts the worst from both the private and the public realms. The free market has its issues, and nothing human is perfect, but it incurs far less than any other.