There is no longer enough purchasing power in the hands of people who will spend it to grow the economy. For the last 30 years, the oligarchy tried to swap in easy credit to put (unsustainable) purchasing power into the hands of the people who were no longer getting meaningful raises, but of course, debts eventually need to be repaid.
There is an old saw – “A rising tide lifts all boats.” – that is, economic growth makes everyone better off. This can be true, but if all the water is dammed up in the yacht harbor, then the only boats rising are the yachts of the rich, while the rest of us are left to languish aground in the shallows. This is where we’ve been for the last 30 years.
The arguments of the Apologists Of Wealth have become more and more ludicrous.
I’ve read that the current young generation is lazy, unlike their industrious parents and grandparents. Well, I work at a tech start-up in San Francisco, and I’m here to tell you: the young people in my office work 50, 60, even 80 hour weeks without complaint.I’ve heard that young people today are childish hedonists who don’t know the meaning of sacrifice. Older people have been making that claim about young people since dirt was new, and (as always) it is horse dung. I mean, who do you think is busy getting their legs blown off in Iraq and Afghanistan? Plus, unlike their parents and grandparents, none of them are draftees. But that aside – hedonists? Most of the guys I work with don’t even have girlfriends. I’ll admit this probably has something to do with the fact that, due to a diet consisting mostly of Cheetos and Red Bull, their complexions look as if they’ve been subjected to carpet bombing by the Air Force, but mostly that they work insane hours.
Can you find hedonists among today’s young? Sure. It’s worth recalling, however, that the much-fetishized “greatest generation” spent the 1920s and thirties dancing until the wee hours at juke joints and guzzling gin.
The B.S. only serves to deflect well-deserved blame from greedy people who have rigged the game so that the lion’s share of the benefits of economic growth go to them (see chart).