Today political and economic forces are widening the income gap and accelerating the unequal distribution of wealth.
“We’re living in the age of the global plutocracy, but we’ve been slow to notice it.”
“Crony capitalism” continues to support the interests of the ultra-rich minority, and this rising plutocracy has the resources to tip the scales further in its favor.
“The plutocracy may be a meritocracy, but increasingly you have to be born on the top rung of the ladder to even take part in that race.”
Globalization and technology have elevated the superrich and even the world’s poor, but they are “hollowing out” the Western middle class.
“Those same forces that are creating billionaires are also devouring many traditional middle class jobs. When is the last time you used a travel agent?”
Income inequality can make it easier for the wealthy to succeed and harder for everyone else.
“The dystopia that worries me is a universe in which a few geniuses invent Google and its ilk and the rest of us are employed giving them massages.”
Lets hope that future change will lie in social and political innovators’ ability to create a “new New Deal.”
TED Conferences LLC
Author of Plutocrats, a Financial Times Best Book of 2012.
Author Chrystia Freeland looks under the hood of global capitalism to expose the technological, economic and structural inequalities pushing society in unforeseen directions. Along the way, she takes the temperature of a rising caste -- the super rich -- and shows how the creation of vast fortunes at the top hollow out the middle class in western industrialised countries. This rising income inequality, she argues, has a structural character, and is becoming a cultural and social issue, with consequences for social cohesion and social mobility.
Freeland began her career as an “accidental journalist” with frontline bulletins from the Ukraine in the heat of the Soviet collapse. She is now an editor at Thomson Reuters, and is frequently featured on media outlets ranging from the International Herald Tribune to The Colbert Report.