Even noncapitalist countries are becoming more unequal, with economic elites gaining political power.
CHRYSTIA FREELAND: I think the winner take all economic dynamic is something that is existing separate from the politics. The politics in the United States are exacerbating that division rather than mitigating it.
... when you pull back and look at the global picture,... the really remarkable thing is the extent to which this is a global phenomenon. It's happening across the western industrialized world. ... And you're seeing it increase in the emerging market economies. So I think we do have to accept that there are some economic drivers.
CHRYSTIA FREELAND: What's quite interesting and leads me to really believe that there're some deep economic forces involved is it's happening just as much within the top one percent. We saw it in the recovery. You sited those statistics, Bill, about 93 percent of the recovery going to the one percent. Thirty-seven percent of the recovery went to the top 0.01 percent.
MATT TAIBBI: ... the one thing that's consistent in my exposure to the financial services industry is that the people who work within it, and particularly the people you know, at the very, very top, sincerely believe that they have not done anything wrong. And, you know, when you bring up things like the mass sale of fraudulent mortgage backed securities, it's just like you say.
It's always somebody else who made that mistake. You know, "We didn't know at the time that we were selling billions and billions of dollars of junk and we were dumping this on pension funds and foreign trade unions." It was always somebody else who was doing that. And they also have built up this very, very powerful insulating psychological justification for their lifestyles. They've adopted this sort of Randian point of view,...
It is so familiar to hear, "Everyone is doing it!" and "They are doing what should be done!" "There are some deeper psychological/sociological/economic/political reasons for ...!" "They are doing nothing wrong!" "Some one made them do it!" "We didn't know ... !" "Some people believe Randian/authoritarian philosophy!"
These are what is known as "killer phrases". An assault occurs and one of these phrases shows up. An insult, put down, discount, trivialization, demonization occurs and those who should know better bring forth one of these sparkling phrases.
I'm off to the nursing home now to visit with a friend, a quadriplegic MS woman confined to her wheelchair, can no longer use the control buttons or feed herself. She is totally helpless. She is a battered woman without any way to protect herself. In the past her friends have called her family members to let them know what is happening to her. A group of us meet every Wednesday morning for brunch at her home and keep an eye on her actions and behaviors that suggest there may be further abuse. When we see hand bruises, her eyes reveal either terror or resignation. We have called protective services in the past, alcohol treatment was required of her husband and she was sent back to her husband. So we keep vigilant watch.
I wish I could count how many of these "killer phrases" I have heard over the years.
We found her last week in a neurotic meltdown, she had hand bruises on her arms and she was hysterical. and we made the necessary calls to get her protection.
Yes, the cycle continues until her death day.
Yes, "Even noncapitalist countries are becoming more unequal, with economic elites gaining political power." So, which phrase shall we use this time?
At some point, someone who is strong, physically and mentally, has to stand up, take a position for what is right, moral, ethical, and not be diverted by killer phrases.