Many years ago long before the recent upheavals I published two very boring

Many years ago long before the recent upheavals i

This preview shows page 4 - 6 out of 25 pages.

Many years ago, long before the recent upheavals, I published two very boring books crammed with sta- tistics: The Endangered American Dream (1994) and Turbo-Capitalism: Winners and Losers in the Global Economy (2000). Although both were widely reviewed, and also trans- lated in some ten languages— Turbokapitalismus is now in the German dictionary—they made not a bit of difference.
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WINTER 2019 THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY 15 The learned fools on the Left simply missed the point: because I was not advocating redistribution by taxa- tion, they stopped reading before my prediction of how it would all end, while the right-thinking could not swallow my contention that sometimes free markets and free trade were best impeded for a bit, to slow down their effects to a human pace. But now I find 783,000 Google entries for Turbocapitalism, many more for “Geo-economics,” and 14,000 comments on “Why Fascism Is the Wave of the Future,” all duly attributed to me. Because I can now claim prophetic status, here is another prophecy: If Trump is not re-elected (because of his lack of career skills), Trumpism will still be—just as it has won almost every election held since his own, in Europe and beyond. The short answer is three decades without real wage growth and a staggering increase in income disparity. KEVIN G. NEALER Principal, Scowcroft Group H istorian Yuval Harari offers a context for the current populist neuralgia in observing, “For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists, and criminals combined.” It is not a bad time to be alive and it is far from obvious why everyone is so grumpy. My senior partner, Brent Scowcroft, wryly ques- tioned us about the source of the current anger. Waving toward our office window, he challenged us: “I lived here in 1968. I know what chaos looks like. Where are the cars burning in the street? What is the reason for the current anger?” In America, the short answer is three decades with- out real wage growth and a staggering increase in in- come disparity. Globally, the top 1 percent of earners has captured twice the share of growth as the bottom 50 percent of earners. The World Inequality Report notes, since 1980, much of public wealth has become private wealth across the range of national incomes, with real public wealth now negative or close to zero in many of the world’s richest countries. As an example, oil and gas assets have gone from over two-thirds publicly owned in the late 1970s to less than one-third public now. Private wealth is not at the ex- tremes of the first decades of the twentieth century, but the asymmetry of benefits resulting from economic growth is a durable source of unrest.
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