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Forum Post: Lost Decades: The Making of America's Debit Crisis and the Long Recovery (Chinn & Frieden, 2011)

Posted 9 years ago on Oct. 21, 2011, 2:16 p.m. EST by CorporationNotPerson (129)
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Lost Decades. I have found this to be an excellent read. Written by Menzie D. Chinn (University of Wisconsin) and Jeffry A. Frieden (Harvard University). They anticipated a movement like Occupy Wall Street.

Here is an excerpt (citations excluded):

"After 1890, this wealthiest 1 percent saw their share of the country"s income go from 10 percent in 1980 to 23.5 percent in 2007. One of the most visible indications of the increasing disparity of wealth and income came from evidence of galloping pay increases among corporate executives. In 1980, the country's 100 best-paid executives made 100 times the national average wage; by 2007, they made 770 times he average wage.

The gap between the rich and poor grew wider during the boom years between 2002 and 2007. While the effects of debt-financed growth were felt almost everywhere, they were particularly favorable to the very wealthy. Over the course of the Bush expansion, two-thirds of the country's income growth went to the top 1 percent of the population. These very rich families, each earning more than $400,000 a year, saw their incomes rise by more than 60 percent between 2002 and 2007, while the income of the rest of the nation's families rose by 6 percent. American's could hardly help but notice the extraordinary explosion in the prosperity of the rich and the super-rich.

The general feeling that the financial frenzy was leaving the middle class behind bubbled up into fury once the crisis hit. Even before the crash, many Americans were put off by the enormous salaries and bonuses bankers were paying themselves. Now it seemed that even as the financiers profited handsomely from the boom, their machinations had brought down the entire American economy. Outrage grew apace, as the government threw hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money into bailing out some of those most responsible for the crisis, while the culprits continued to pay themselves huge bonuses" (pp. 155 - 156).

I believe Lost Decades is a must read for those in the Occupy Wall Street movement. I got it from the library .... don't have the money to purchase books anymore.



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