Inequality fuels greater cognitive dissonance too.

Economist Thomas Piketty

Economist Thomas Piketty is compared by New York magazine to a “rock star”, because tickets for his events sell out in advance.

Piketty asks questions about Economic Inequality that the Examiner feels need to be discussed locally.

Yesterday in our post about big corporations being able to buy the internet, commenter Humboldt Turtle said “We are already an oligarchy.”

The Turtle might be on to something, Piketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century shines some light on this notion.

capital in thePiketty writes; “Nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago, when the country’s founding fathers created the nation, they proudly believed they had rejected Europe’s tradition of inherited aristocracy and rentier wealth. Instead, it was presumed that people ought to become rich through hard work, merit and competition.”

“inequalities of wealth were often tolerated because everyone hoped they could become rich. That was the American dream which fostered admirable waves of entrepreneurial energy and – crucially – provided a social glue.”

Shonagh Rae from the Financial Times writes;

Piketty’s work touches a very raw nerve about the reality of the modern American dream. Of course, as a cynic – or anthropologist – might note, a dream does not necessarily need to be “real” to work as social glue; all that is necessary is for enough people to believe in the illusion. But can the American dream now survive a shift towards oligarchy? Can the egalitarian myth still act as a social glue? These are the big questions implicit in his book; and if Piketty’s analysis is correct, they can only become more acute in the coming years as inequality fuels not just more inequality – but greater cognitive dissonance too.

Full story here:


Go to Eureka Books and buy one


3 thoughts on “Inequality fuels greater cognitive dissonance too.

  1. We are in oligarchy – but only because we are allowing ourselves to be duped. Thing is, we have the power and system to turn this around on a dime in ahistorical fashion.

    I don’t think it’s possible, but I also don’t think it’s improbable. The right is collapsing before our eyes (because of overwhelming evidence like, say, US and global wealth inequality and climate change) and it bodes well for democracy. The key will be to dislodge as many hangers on as possible and create a new power dynamic of left and left-right. And I still think the best two names for these groups would be Democrats and Republicans, but the Democrat standard bearer would be in the mold of an Elizabeth Warren, and the Republican standard bearer would be in the mold of a Dwight Eisenhower.

    We can do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It needs to be pointed out that income inequality has plagued societies for millennium, with solutions almost as old, but here we are ignoring the problem until an eloquent lettered academic tells us it’s OK to be concerned again.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s