SINCE THE 1980s, there has been an extreme divergence across wealth distributions within developed countries as wealth inequality has rapidly increased. As the inequitable distribution of wealth has reached staggering heights, levels of inegalitarian capital ownership not seen since the eve of World War I, it has had profound political, social, and economic consequences. Wealth and, in parallel, income inequality in the twenty-first century poses the most fundamental threat to the stability and legitimacy of liberal democracies in the Global North, brought forth by a wide range of political economic realities: the extreme accumulation of wealth and resultant rising capital-income ratios; the increased share of capital income in national income and resultant decline of the labor share; high saving rates at the top of the distribution coupled with rising household debt at the bottom; slowing demographic and productivity growth; stagnant wages in line with a major decline in organized labor; increased economic instability as a result of financial deregulation; the decline of public wealth as a result of fiscal austerity and competition; and the rise of monopoly and monopsony power.

Download Paper