“The headlines may talk about growth, but we are living in a dark economic era. For most families, income and wealth have stagnated in recent decades, barely keeping pace with inflation. Nearly all the bounty of the economy’s growth has flowed to the affluent.
And if you somehow doubt the economic data, it’s worth looking at the many other alarming signs. “Deaths of despair” have surged. For Americans without a bachelor’s degree, one social indicator after another — obesity, family structure, life expectancy — has deteriorated.
There has been no period since the Great Depression with this sort of stagnation. It is the defining problem of our age, the one that aggravates every other problem. It has made people anxious and angry. It has served as kindling for bigotry. It is undermining America’s vaunted optimism.
So what are we going to do about it?
Another option is a strong response to growing corporate power and consolidation. The Open Markets Institute and Roosevelt Institute have sketched out new antimonopoly policies. Other economists are talking about something called wage boards, where companies and workers would negotiate over industrywide pay. Such boards already exist in New York, California and Australia.”
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