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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Fight Was Fixed

Maybe years from now we'll all remember where we were when we first heard of the trickle-down theory of economics. Or not. But it's had such an effect on our financial lives that we should pay attention to just how little, for how long, has been trickling down since the Reagan years brought major tax cuts for the wealthy and other goodies, a policy that went viral, as it were.
 
Oxfam's devastating report Working for the Few gets your attention with this stat: the richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion. Released just ahead of tomorrow's World Economic Forum in Davos, the report details just what such massive worldwide income inequality means:  “Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations. We will soon live in a world where equality of opportunity is just a dream. In too many countries economic growth already amounts to little more than a ‘winner takes all’ windfall for the richest.”

Too bad my favorite economist, Leonard Cohen, is not performing his "Everybody Knows" at Davos.

Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
 
--B.B.

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