A lot of folks, mostly those who’ve made it, financially, like to repeat the mantra of The Market,” the invisible hand, the just (if not fair; they make that distinction) and unquestionable decider of our fates. It’s all crap, of course. The Market is nothing more than shorthand for one human activity – buying and selling goods and services. Then there’s The Free Market, a glorious meritocracy in which everyone can do whatever the heck he or she would like to do, and those with pluck and brains who work hard will benefit the most. A myth. Never existed, and never will. Why? Because as a group of people gain wealth and power, they tend to use both to reinforce one another, and if it means screwing others, even millions of others, well, the fact they have become rich and powerful is itself evidence of their superiority, at least in their own minds.
However, there’s a fair bit of real evidence, such as research from the Economic Policy Institute, that proves that pluck, brains, skill, and hard work get tens of millions of Americans exactly nowhere, or even somewhere below where they used to be.