17 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2020
  2. Aug 2020
  3. Jul 2020
  4. Jun 2020
  5. May 2020
  6. Mar 2020
    1. For Piketty, rising inequality is at root a political phenomenon. The social-democratic framework that made Western societies relatively equal for a couple of generations after World War II, he argues, was dismantled, not out of necessity, but because of the rise of a “neo-proprietarian” ideology. Indeed, this is a view shared by many, though not all, economists. These days, attributing inequality mainly to the ineluctable forces of technology and globalization is out of fashion, and there is much more emphasis on factors like the decline of unions, which has a lot to do with political decisions.
    2. Piketty, however, sees inequality as a social phenomenon, driven by human institutions. Institutional change, in turn, reflects the ideology that dominates society: “Inequality is neither economic nor technological; it is ideological and political.”
  7. Feb 2020
    1. James Bronterre O’Brien, told the people:‘Knaves will tell you that it is because you have no property, you are unrepresented. I tell you on the contrary, it is because you are unrepresented that you have no property …’16

      great quote

  8. Jan 2020
    1. A thousand years ago, the world was flat, economically speaking.

      I don't think we have to go back even this far. If I recall correctly, even 150 years ago the vast majority of the world's population were subsistence farmers. It's only been since the 20th century and the increasing spread of the industrial revolution that the situation has changed:

      Even England remained primarily an agrarian country like all tributary societies for the previous 4,000 years, with ca. 50 percent of its population employed in agriculture as late as 1759.

      --David Christian, Maps of Time (pp 401) quoting from Crafts, British Economic Growth, pp. 13–14. (See also Fig 13.1 Global Industrial Potential from the same, for a graphical indicator.

  9. Sep 2017
    1. Part of the wild success of the Silicon Valley giants of today — and what makes their stocks so appealing to investors — has come from their ability to attain huge revenue and profits with relatively few workers.Apple, Alphabet (parent of Google) and Facebook generated $333 billion of revenue combined last year with 205,000 employees worldwide. In 1993, three of the most successful, technologically oriented companies based in the Northeast — Kodak, IBM and AT&T — needed more than three times as many employees, 675,000, to generate 27 percent less in inflation-adjusted revenue.The 10 most valuable tech companies have 1.5 million employees, according to calculations by Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute, compared with 2.2 million employed by the 10 biggest industrial companies in 1979. Mr. Mandel, however, notes that today’s tech industry is adding jobs much faster than the industrial companies, which took many decades to reach that scale.

      It seems like this would certainly contribute to wealth inequality, since the majority of today's tech workforce is more well-educated than the industrial employees of decades past (who then shared in their employer's rise).