My colleague David Brooks asserts that rising inequality is about productivity, not power. People used to say that a lot, but the preponderance of economic analysis has moved the other way, for good reasons 1/
Over the past few years wages for workers toward the bottom of the income stream have been rising faster than wages for those toward the top. If the bosses have the workers by the throat, how can this be happening?
For Democrats it’s political suicide. Class-war progressivism loses to culture-war conservatism because swing voters care more about their values — guns, patriotism, abortion, masculinity — than they do about proletarian class consciousness.
This is a rather strange claim from Brooks, not least because Obama and for that matter even Kerry and Gore all did fairly well in the Midwest running against the sort of "culture-war conservativism" that he describes.
True: "Class-war progressivism always loses to culture-war conservatism because swing voters in the Midwest care more about their values — guns, patriotism, ending abortion, masculinity, whatever — than they do about proletarian class consciousness."
After a decade of saying wage inequality is driven by skills and human capital - a race between tech and education - Brooks goes 180 opposite. Wages aren't a market-wide price for skills, now they are set by heterogeneous firms. Maybe note this reversal?
The Bernie Sanders Fallacy
Thanks to for referring to my work on "The Middle Productivity Trap" today in his column, on how high-productivity firms grow at faster rate than those in the middle of the distribution.
“Productivity is the key to national prosperity.” via
What David Brooks don't understand is that there is a class war against his ilk, the "Intellectual Yet Idiot" (coined by Nassim Taleb) "The Bernie Sanders Fallacy. No, Virginia, there is no class war." - David Brooks
Productivity, inequality and increasing differences between firms on my superstar firm work Why the Saunders "Rigged Economy" narrative isn't the main story
This is a golden age for “Theyism.” This is the belief that there is some malevolent, elite “they” out there and “they” are destroying life for the rest of us.