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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 08/16/2013

Friday rant: The OTHER fast train edition

Here’s one that could make you weep. Or should. It’s a collection of ideas about how we succeeded in becoming a third world country in about one generation. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/09/why-is-the-u-s-s-1-percent-so-much-richer-than-everywhere-else/

Did we do the tax code wrong? Did the corporate incentive structure get rigged? Did we discover that some people are just worth a billion times more than you?

It doesn’t matter. We’ve thown the long-cherished ideal of American equality away, and it’s a sad day and we will regret it. The other thing I’ll tell you is that we have archieved a goal that nobody told us was the objective. We were told that a vital economy needed a bit more competitiveness injected into it, and maybe that would mean a bit more money for the doers, who after all couldn’t be bothered to do things without more money. (Meanwhile, everybody else was instructed to do more for less). But at no time did anybody say we were setting out to create a nation of unfathomable economic inequality.

There is a lot of talk about building fast trains. Well, we built one, the one to massive wealth disparity, and it didn’t have any station stops. Once we got on board with the idea that riches were the new American Value, and laid the tracks by which a few could get themselves there, the destination, though unspoken, was foreordained. We can look back and wonder. Or we can look forward and wonder.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 08/16/2013

 
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