torsdag 4 november 2010

NYT om ökade inkomstskillnader i USA

Op ed-kolumnisten Bob Herbert skriver i New York Times om den ökade inkomstojämlikheten i USA sedan 1970-talet utifrån en ny bok av Paul "new politics of the welfare state" Pierson och Jacob Hacker, Winner-Take-All Politics:
"The authors, political scientists Jacob Hacker of Yale and Paul Pierson of the University of California, Berkeley, argue persuasively that the economic struggles of the middle and working classes in the U.S. since the late-1970s were not primarily the result of globalization and technological changes but rather a long series of policy changes in government that overwhelmingly favored the very rich.

Those changes were the result of increasingly sophisticated, well-financed and well-organized efforts by the corporate and financial sectors to tilt government policies in their favor, and thus in favor of the very wealthy. From tax laws to deregulation to corporate governance to safety net issues, government action was deliberately shaped to allow those who were already very wealthy to amass an ever increasing share of the nation’s economic benefits. /.../

The answer becomes clearer when one recognizes, as the book stresses, that politics is largely about organized combat. It’s a form of warfare. 'It’s a contest,' said Professor Pierson, 'between those who are organized, who can really monitor what government is doing in a very complicated world and bring pressure effectively to bear on politicians. Voters in that kind of system are at a disadvantage when there aren’t reliable, organized groups representing them that have clout and can effectively communicate to them what is going on.'

The book describes an 'organizational revolution' that took place over the past three decades in which big business mobilized on an enormous scale to become much more active in Washington, cultivating politicians in both parties and fighting fiercely to achieve shared political goals. This occurred at the same time that organized labor, the most effective force fighting on behalf of the middle class and other working Americans, was caught in a devastating spiral of decline. "
Bob Herbert, "Fast Track to Inequality", NYT 1 november 2010

mer NYT om Hacker & Pierson - Frank Rich, "Who Will Stand up to the Super-Rich?", NYT 13 november

recension på Crooked Timber
av Henry Farrell, med intressant diskussion i kommentarsfältet.

Kommentatorn Bill Murray (inte skådisen, gissar jag) kommenterar på Brad DeLongs blogg (11 nov) ett skattesänkningsförslag i USA som ytterligare kommer att sänka skatten för höginkomsttagare:
"By broadening the tax base and lowering rates while simultaneously cutting programs that benefit the middle and working class, we can realize our long term dream of turning the US into a banana republic or Louis the XVI era France. Those lucky duckies at the lower end of the income spectrum need to support the aristocracy not be supported."
Även: Robert Egger, "5 myths about hunger in America", Washington Post 21 november

UPPDATERING 3 mars 2011
David Leonhardt har intervjuat Hacker och Pierson om boken för NYT Economix. Intervjun handlar inte minst om specifieringar av de kausala länkarna mellan politik och ojämlikhet.
David Leonhardt, "Inequality and Political Power", NYT Economix 3 mars

UPPDATERING 17 mars 2011
Will Wilkinson, "Breathtaking and transformative", Economist Democracy in America-bloggen 20 sep 2010
Kevin Drum, "Here's what's the matter with Kansas", 10 september 2010
Scott Winship, "Hacker mania" - mycket intressant kritik av Piketty & Saez dataset på toppercentilens andel av inkomsterna i USA
M.S., "On the inequality myth", Economist Democracy in America-bloggen 20 sep 2010
Will Wilkinson, "Is rising inequality in America exaggerated?", Economist Democracy in America-bloggen 20 sep 2010
Scott Winship, "What would it mean for theories of U.S. income inequality growth if the U.S experience has been similar to that everywhere else?", 10 mars 2010

Jag har skrivit en recension av Winner-Take-All Politics tillsammans med Larry Bartels Unequal Democracy, som också den handlar om USA:s politisk-ekonomiska omvandling mot mer ojämlikhet både i den ekonomiska och politiska sfären. Winner-Take-All Politics är bra, men inte lika bra som Bartels bok. Recensionen ligger här.

UPPDATERING 1 juli 2011
Alan Beattie kör i FT en artikel på de vid detta laget mycket välkända siffrorna om toppinkomster 1911 till idag av Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez och deras medarbetare. Ekonomen Robert Lawrence intervjuas och säger a) att juryn fortfarande är ute om förklaringen, och b) att den ökande vinstandelen innebär att ojämlikheten knappast kommer minska när vi är ute ur krisen.
Beattie, "Top dogs take bigger slice of spoils", FT 29 juni

Uppdatering 15 september 2011
Fattigdomen som andel av befolkningen i USA är på väg uppåt och på historiska nivåer, konstaterar FT i veckan. Alice O'Connor vid UC Santa Barbara säger till FT:
"We are entering territory which looks like the period before we even started fighting a ‘War on Poverty’ in the 1960s. It’s quite stunning. This is a terrible statement about the depths of the Great Recession but, even more, about the recovery, which has clearly left the poorest out completely."
Andelen fattiga i befolkningen enligt nationell definition var år 2010 15,1 procent och enligt en beräkning från tankesmedjan Brookings Institution kommer den fortsätta stiga och år 2014 nå 16 procent.
Matt Kennard och Shannon Bond, "US poverty reaches record levels", FT 13 september

Uppdatering 23 okt 2011
"My new book, The Price of Civilization, describes why America needs a "mixed economy," one where a more effective federal government regulates business and invests alongside the business sector. In his review of my book, Congressman Paul Ryan, an avowed libertarian, describes my book as anti-American in its values. Ryan is wrong: my book describes how we can restore politics to the true mainstream of American values, rescuing democracy from the clutches of corporate power that Ryan champions in deeds if not in words."
Jeffrey Sachs, "Paul Ryan, American Values, and Corporatocracy", Huffington Post 3 oktober

Lex, "US taxes: crass warfare", FT 6 okt

jfr från oktober 2009:
Matthew J. Slaughter, tung mainstreamekonom och professor på Dartmouth, skriver i FT om att den ekonomiska ojämlikheten i USA måste minskas.
Slaughter, "Time to tackle America’s widening inequality", FT 6 oktober 2009

Uppdatering 13 november 2011
George Packer, som annars skriver för The New Yorker, utgår från Hacker och Pierson i en essä om USA:s ökade ekonomiska ojämlikhet i senaste numret av Foreign Affairs.
Packer, "The Broken Contract: Inequality and American Decline", Foreign Affairs november-december 2011
Packers essä kommenteras av FT Alphavilles John McDermott här (10 november).

Uppdatering 7 januari 2012
"Despite rightwing hatred for him, US corporate profitability is at an all-time high under Mr Obama. Capital has never beaten labour to the same extent. Stocks, as measured by the S&P 500, are up 50 per cent since he took office. Using MSCI indices, US stocks have beaten the rest of the world by 14 per cent; the S&P has beaten the FTSE-Eurofirst 300 by 22 per cent; the dollar has risen 2 per cent against the euro. Judged by results, he has been hugely pro-market." (min fetning)
John Authers, "Obama's chances look good on current trends", FT 6 januari

Uppdatering 3 juni 2012
"The US is going to the polls in a zero-sum economy where the wealthiest take almost all of whatever paltry growth is being generated. The election is set to break all records, with a group of 30 or so billionaires spending more on the polls than the rest of America combined."
Edward Luce, "Americas unlikely class-war candidates", FT 3 juni

Uppdatering 16 juli 2012
Ryan Avent på The Economist skriver om två böcker om USA:s utveckling: Edward Luces Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent och Chris Hayes Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy. Avent köper inte Luces pessimism.
Avent, "Myths large and small", Economist 26 maj och "The institutional void", Free Exhange-bloggen 12 juli.

1 kommentar:

Kerstin sa...

Och i Sverige har vi sett samma sak. Men det är bara i USA som de mer upplysta börjar tala att det handlar om ett klasskrig, som överklassen vinner, och vinner ännu mer ju sämre det går för vanliga människor.