It's important to understand the distinction being made here between relative and absolute wealth: if the top 10% own 90% of the wealth, then $90 of every $100 of new wealth flows to them. This is politically acceptable to the status quo as long as the wealth of the bottom 90% expands by the same percentage.I think that this is terribly important, and quite frankly lies at the heart of the Tea Party's support. I suspect that it was Bill Clinton who finally ended the Democrat's support for the Little Guy (in the historical, political sense), but there are so many unsavory changes that he brought about that it's an easy charge to level.
Should the bottom 90%'s share of the new wealth rise at a faster rate than the top 10%'s, that's actually preferable, as over time that shrinks wealth inequality while leaving the wealth already owned by the top 10% untouched.
In other words, the top 10% do not suffer any decline in wealth if they collect $80 of each $100 of new wealth rather than $90. This slight reduction in the rate of growth makes little difference to the top wealth holders but it has a much larger impact on the bottom 90% because they own so little wealth.
Every one of these implicit assumptions has been turned on its head: growth is barely above the rate of inflation; by some measures, it has already fallen below the real rate of inflation.
Debt is increasing much faster than income or wealth.
Virtually all of the recent expansion of wealth/income is flowing to the top 10%.
This is why the status quo is doomed: there is no Plan B or even conceptual alternative to the "more growth forever" agenda.
Me, I don't have a good feeling about what's happening. Balkinization is rampant and we've seen that government officials and politicians no longer scruple to pay lip service to the rule of law and to the Constitution. The naked use of power is ascendent.
Not sure what to do about it.