Okay, so that heading is a cheap shot. And yet, the shot is very much on target. Let me illustrate…
What have all our high-priced economists and their economic machinery done for spreading-the-wealth more equitably among the Middle Class? According to the Middle Class and their spokesmen [lately that seems to be everyone] not much. The socially destabilizing gap between rich and Middle Class in the US is ranked highest among the industrialized nations of the world. The same storm clouds that gathered during economy-driven elections like 1896 [McKinley won] and 1932 [FDR won] have gathered again. Not only here but across much of the world.
This wealth gap is illustrated by some random reports:
* workers in seven of the 10 largest US occupations earn less than $30,000 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics while the 1% garner larger and larger income spikes every five years
* the average major league baseball team is now worth $744 million and the teams and players will gain, according to Forbes, another $12.4 billion from the new 8-year television contracts
* college sports coaches are now among the highest paid state employees in 41 states receiving checks that surpass governors, university presidents, doctors and lawyers [Deadpan.com]
* income inequality even extends to the world of rock ‘n roll according to the Washington Post reporting the top 1% doubled their share of concert revenue from 26 to 56% in the last 10 years
To be sure these income gaps are not the fault of economists, but perhaps they are a kind of failure of their policies. In the meantime the American voting public at large seems to remain fixated on other matters. Take the media’s top three: Celebrities…sports…entertainment!
At the same time priority issues like climate change continue to lag in public interest surveys with 40% of Americans viewing it as a major threat compared with 54% of people around the world [Pew Research Center]. Maybe the Heisenberg Principle of Uncertainty [everything in our lives changes, if only slightly, by the very fact that we engage in it] makes some sense after all….
…economist or otherwise, we simply can’t be certain about a damn thing!
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