Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Game Over",...maybe.

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz claims that income inequality is now so bad the American dream is nothing but a myth. He explained that hard work and determination are no longer the keys to success. Instead, being born to rich, well-educated parents is the best indicator of future earnings.

Joseph Stiglitz, who was once chief economist at the world bank and currently teaches at Columbia University, is on tour promoting his new book, The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them. Although Stiglitz is preaching on a topic Americans have heard frequently over the past decade, his analysis and conclusions are still startling.

According to CBS News, he wrote, “America is no longer the land of opportunity that it (and others) like to think it is. To a large extent, the American Dream is a myth.”

The American dream is the idea that anyone can attain a prosperous life through their own hard work, regardless of their social status at birth. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting the American dream — think of Oprah Winfrey’s heartbreaking story of going from dresses made of potato sacks to a media mogul worth around $3 billion.

But the statistics show those stories are aberrations, and the truth is far darker for most poor Americans.

The economist claimed that median incomes have stagnated over the past 40 years, yet CEO pay has gone from 30 times the normal workers salary to 300 times. He also explained that a much higher percentage of minimum wage jobs are held by family breadwinners.

One of the most ironic parts of the American dream’s demise is the fact that other developed countries, even Old Europe, have better upward mobility than the U.S. Unless something is done, the gap between the rich and poor will only widen according to Stiglitz.
“If the root causes of income inequality go unaddressed, America will truly become a two-class society and look much more like a third world economy.”
He added, “People will live in gated communities with armed guards. It’s a ugly picture. There will be political, social and economic turmoil.”


  1. American Dream? Don't make me laugh. That's deader than the dodo. Its ghost is the cause of much of our troubles. We need to deep-six it and consider some more realistic options.

    Sooner or later, it's bound to occur to the armed guards in gated communities and billionaires' compounds that there's no particular reason why they could not easily possess all those goodies for themselves.


  2. That's exactly what some Roman soldiers did at the serious end of their Empire. They put the rich Roman Big Shots assorted Civil Servants, and infrastructure Wonks to the sword, and took their goodies..then made for the hills.

    A bunch of them ended up in eastern Europe just south of the Goths whom they made deals with so they could keep their heads. Romania ring any historical bells?

    In our case I guess it'll be fragments of the National Guard, and police forces setting up a series of successor States in the South, and West. Maybe not a Mad Max world,...but damned close.

  3. In thinking about all that,...yeah there might be some sort of "Rump United States" cowering in some corner of the continent, but who will care.

    It will have the "power", and standard of living of Mugabe's wretched patch of Hell. So ends the Great Experiment. I can see Powerful Nations sending expeditions to loot our Monuments. This as the old European Empires ravaged the treasures Egypt, and Persia.

    The lamp from the Statue of Liberty, and the faces from Mount Rushmore on display is some Asian museum. Bones of dead Presidents unearthed from Arlington, and draped in the windows of some Mega-Store in the Middle East.

    We are in for a long long night.