I finally watched one of the documentaries that has been on my Netflix queue for a while– Inequality For All. I had heard good things about it, and it lived up to the hype.
The main narrator of the documentary is Robert Reich, former U.S. Labor Secretary. The documentary tries to answer two questions about inequality:
- Has economic inequality increased over time in the US?
- Does economic inequality even matter?
Here were some of the most interesting things I learned from the documentary:
Income Inequality as Measured by the Percentage of National Income held by the Top 1% of Earners Peaked Twice in the Past Century–The Crash of 2007 and the Great Recession
Reich highlights this fascinating plot, where you see the peaks occurring in 1928 and 2007.
He also draws some parallels between the Great Recession and 2007:
- Both were followed by economic crashes
- Both were also followed by social unrest–anger against financiers after the Great Recession, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2007
The Middle Class, not Top Earners, Drives Economic Growth
Fox News and the Republican Party like to justify low taxes on the rich and lax business regulations by using the “trickle down” argument–namely, that the rich are job creators who [Read more…]