This week, Paul Krugman joined Bill Moyers to discuss a new book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty who teaches at the Paris School of Economics. In the book, Piketty shows us that two thirds of the increasing income disparity that we’ve seen over the past 40 years is the result of huge raises given to the highest earners in the country.
“What Piketty’s really done now is he said, ‘Even those of you who talk about the 1 percent, you don’t really get what’s going on.’ He’s telling us that we are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy. A society of inherited wealth,” Krugman said.
“[R]ight now, what we’re really talking about is Gordon Gekko’s son or daughter. We’re talking about inherited wealth playing an ever-growing role.”
As Moyers points out at the beginning of the show, there is virtually no chance of a democracy surviving this “patrimonial capitalism” as more and more the wealth becomes concentrated in ever fewer hands.
There can be no doubt that this is exactly what the men and women Piketty is referring to are aiming for. One needs only to look at the actions of the Koch brothers with the Americans for Prosperity and the other organizations that they hold influence over from their large monetary contributions.
“When you have a few people who are so wealthy that they can effectively buy the political system, the political system is going to tend to serve their interests. And that is going to reinforce this shift of income and wealth towards the top,” Krugman explains.
Watch a clip of his remarks below or the entire show here.