It Took More than Trade to Screw the Country’s Workers But trade is not the whole story of the upward redistribution of the last decade. We also made government-granted patent and copyright monopolies longer and stronger. We also encouraged the financial sector to become bloated, giving big paychecks to Wall Street types at the expense of the rest of us. And, we have a corrupt corporate governance structure that allows CEOs and other top management to line their pockets and rip off the companies they work for. And we also ensured that highly paid professionals, like doctors and dentists, are protected from the same competition that their less educated counterparts face.
This is the topic of Rigged [it’s free]. It’s also the focus of a video series I recently did with the Institute for New Economic Theory, How to Unf*ck America. (Coming soon to a theater near you.)
Perhaps what is most striking about the inequality just happened story is how deeply ingrained it is among people in policy circles. When we make policy decisions that are virtually guaranteed to redistribute income upward, the implications for inequality do not even get raised.