I’ve been meaning to post this great presentation on economic inequality and its corrosive impact on democracy by esteemed economist Richard Freeman. I recommend listening to the mp3 while exercising, thus learning while burning.
You might not hear much you haven’t heard before, and some will be put off by the section where he insists on figuring out whether the historically large profits of the top 1% and up are due to their productivity or “rent seeking” (the power to claim profits beyond what you’ve produced). But that’s what you gotta do in economic settings.
What’s notable is the fact that Richard himself is so plainly and boldly calling it like it is. He’s a long-time Harvard economist and establishment figure at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Those who’ve followed his work, and I’m a disciple, won’t be surprised…he’s always included power, distribution, and political economy in his analysis.
But in this lecture he is particularly outspoken and on target.