Thank you, Barry Ritholtz

Once again, big shout out to Barry Ritholtz.  He is one of very few voices heard and broadcast in the mainstream, who also is willing to keep hammering away at the wholesale purchase of the American government by corporate interests.

Today’s installment, a post by Washington Blog.  Not that I agree with everything in this article or all of its conclusions, and probably Mr. Ritholtz doesn’t either, but the main themes are what’s important here.

But I’m still wondering about inequality.  This article, like many about inequality, includes a lot of statements that I find distracting or not informative on the topic.  When you state that inequality is worse now than in 1774, even including slavery, I’m not sure what that means.  The original article cited, from the Atlantic, is also not so certain that this is a bad thing.  They counted food and shelter as wages for slaves, and apparently some slaves also received small wages.  I don’t know how they estimated work hours, but that average slave wage may have ended up calculating out to higher than the amounts people working part time or even full time minimum wage today might earn.  I don’t think that means that slaves were better off.  I think the real conclusion of less inequality in 1774 is just that everyone was awfully poor.  Especially compared to today.  That doesn’t mean that inequality today isn’t a problem.  Just that comparing to 1774 is not really relevant.

And the charts showing net worth by income distribution are also confusing to me.  I thought economists agreed that credit expansion among consumers is a good thing.  Lower net worth for lower income people might imply that there is more credit available at lower incomes than before.  More credit = more spending = economic growth, right?

At any rate, all of that aside, the parts about the government and corporate handouts, etc., are really worthwhile.

You guys keep up the good work!

Also related:

Many of the largest corporations pay little, no, or even NEGATIVE taxes.

Private equity business (that of Mitt Romney and the very, very low tax rate) now trying to get into the too big to jail club, like the big banks.  That is, feel free to commit felonies, small fines may be imposed.  No one will go to jail.

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