Twenty years ago it was risky to point out the growing inequality in America. I did it in a New York Times essay and was quickly denounced, in the Washington Times, as a « Marxist. » If only. I’ve never been able to get through more than a couple of pages of Das Kapital, even in English, and the Grundrisse functions like Rozerem.
But it no longer takes a Marxist, real or alleged, to see that America is being polarized between the super-rich and the sub-rich everyone else. In Sunday’s New York Times magazine we learn that Larry Summers, the centrist Democratic economist and former Harvard president, is now obsessed with the statistic that, since 1979, the share of pretax income going to the top 1 percent of American households has risen by 7 percentage points, to 16 percent. At the same time, the share of income going to the bottom 80 percent has fallen by 7 percentage points.