How will you be able to tell from Barack Obama’s “State of the Union” address whether he is truly interested in reducing the level of unjust “economic inequality” in America? If he uses arguments similar to those of Charles Hugh Smith in this piece, you’ll know he’s aiming for just and real solutions.
The issue of income/wealth inequality is finally moving into the mainstream: which is to say, politicos of every ideological stripe now feel obliged to bleat platitudes and express cardboard “concern” for the plight of the non-millionaires with whom they personally have little contact.
I have addressed the complex causes of rising income/wealth inequality for years. Indeed, my book Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It is largely about this very issue.
Here is a selection of the dozens of entries I have written about rising income/wealth inequality.
Income Inequality in the U.S. (August 22, 2008)
Made in U.S.A.: Wealth Inequality (July 15, 2011)
Let’s Pretend Financialization Hasn’t Killed the Economy (March 8, 2012)
Income Disparity and Education (September 26, 2013)
Is America’s Social Contract Broken? (July 17, 2013)
Rising Inequality and Poverty: Can They Be Fixed? (August 15, 2013)
How Cheap Credit Fuels Income/Wealth Inequality (May 30, 2013)
Why Is Debt the Source of Income Inequality and Serfdom? It’s the Interest, Baby (November 27, 2013)
While many key drivers of declining income are structural and not “fixable” with conventional policies (globalization of labor and the “end of work” replacement of human labor by robots, automation and software, to name the two most important ones), the financial policies that create wealth/income inequality are made right here in the U.S.A. by the Federal Reserve.
We should start addressing wealth/income inequality by eliminating the primary source of wealth/income inequality in the U.S.: the Federal Reserve.
Yes, I realize most people’s eyes glaze over when you begin to talk about the Federal Reserve—such an important part of the economic picture in America, and our system of education never touches upon it—but unless the populace dispels its ignorance, we will continue as slaves to the real masters—those at the very height of power and money.
The system represented by, and fostered by, the Federal Reserve is what undergirds economic inequality of the worst sort—they earn wealth not by lifting everyone up, but by skimming off the top of everyone else’s hard work and service.
The private shareholders of the Federal Reserve need to lose their privileged position. End unjust income inequality by ending the Fed.