. . . I see pitchforks, as in angry mobs with pitchforks, because while people like us plutocrats are living beyond the dreams of avarice, the other 99 percent of our fellow citizens are falling farther and farther behind. . . .
[T]he problem isn’t that we have some inequality. Some inequality is necessary for a high-functioning capitalist democracy. The problem is that inequality is at historic highs today and it’s getting worse every day. And if wealth, power, and income continue to concentrate at the very tippy top, our society will change from a capitalist democracy to a neo-feudalist rentier society like 18th-century France. That was France before the revolution and the mobs with the pitchforks.
So I have a message for my fellow plutocrats and zillionaires and for anyone who lives in a gated bubble world: Wake up. Wake up. It cannot last. Because if we do not do something to fix the glaring economic inequities in our society, the pitchforks will come for us, for no free and open society can long sustain this kind of rising economic inequality. It has never happened. There are no examples. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state or an uprising. The pitchforks will come for us if we do not address this. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when. And it will be terrible when they come for everyone, but particularly for us plutocrats. . . .
At the rate we’re going, he notes, the top 1% of Americans — who earned 8% of all national income in 1980 and now earn 20% — will earn 30%. Leaving the bottom 50% of us — who earned 18% of the nation’s income in 1980 — to earn just 6%.
As Donald Trump and the Republican Congress seek to eliminate the estate tax on billionheirs . . . and to slash taxes yet further on the wealthy (like himself) . . . while blocking hikes in the minimum wage and killing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau . . . they should listen to or read Nick’s full argument. It’s not just the threat of pitchforks; it’s that rising inequality is terrible for business as well.
Read his argument. Share it with everyone on your list. Especially with the Republicans who represent you in Congress and your state legislature.
(Or do they more faithfully represent the Koch brothers, and the other funders of the REDMAP project that put so many of them there?)
Quote of the Day
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.'~Martin Luther King, Jr.
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