What has gone wrong with capitalism?
It seems it has taken a wrong turn. But how? Staring at the scenes of the redundant workers leaving Lehman Brothers in 2008 – followed by all the subsequent carnage - started, for me, a decade of thinking and research and that's yet to complete -seeking Humane Economics.
Like millions of other people I knew then, in my gut, that something had gone wrong. That we're working harder and longer – yet increasingly ordinary people have trouble making ends meet, and many more live in fear that their jobs could disappear at any moment. The anger over the bank bailouts was palpable. And it's not going away.
My guest today is Les Leopold, his book Runaway Inequality was, for me, something of a revelation not only putting flesh onto the bones I have been discovering but giving scale to the enormity of the situation we find ourselves in post COVID.
Because he not only documents, from public sources, how this inequality has been growing since the 1980s, but how that it continues to accelerate to this day – and why. He also lays bare the mechanisms that explain why the assumption that market forces will reassert balance has proved to be wrong.
The mechanisms behind the accelerating inequalities that means that in that time the average CEO has moved from being able to own the equivalent of 45 homes, and his workers 1, to being able to own the equivalent of 829 – while his workers increasingly have little or no chance of own one.
That last statistic – the ‘Generation Rent’ one – is the most crucial one of course! Condemning a generation to a lifetime of housing and financial insecurity, given that, due to this process of financialisaton, rents continue to level-up consuming all available income, making saving near impossible.
The book explains not only why capitalism is out of balance but also will continue to accelerate inequality. Until we do something about it!
You can find his book at https://runawayinequality.org/buy-the-book/
Watch the video interview at https://youtu.be/HyVUqi1sFwA
See HumaneEconomics.co for more and to join the linear-conference and network.