Jared Bernstein points out something interesting about economic theories:
Deregulated markets, “rational market” theories, eroded labor standards, the retreat of unions, regressive taxation, financial engineering, global arbitrage, low rates of job growth, growth that eluded the middle-class and the poor… all have contributed to almost unprecedented levels of wealth concentration.
Such dynamics are self-reinforcing. The narrow slice of winners, enriched beyond imagination by these forces, use their wealth to insulate themselves from new ideas that threaten their position by purchasing not just political power but even “ideas,” through bogus think tanks and media operations.
They and their representatives ensured that when history provided a unique, crystallized moment of clarity as to their fundamentally corrupt paradigm, too few would see it clearly and when those who did sounded the alarm, no one would listen.
And now we’re arguing about debt ceilings, budget cuts, and super-committees, not to mention whether evolution and climate change are real or conspiratorial notions of the left.
I know this is a dark vision of reality but before you get too deeply bummed out by it, let me say that I’m by no means alone in this analysis of the problem, and I’ve begun to see some hints that more and more of us are getting the picture. And that has the potential to create a welcoming climate for new ideas that challenge this paradigm, ideas that have been sorely missing for too long.