“Capitalism left unchecked tends towards concentration and collapse . . . .”

Billionaire venture capitalist Nick Hanauer penned a commentary piece for Politico that’s getting a lot of notice. He’s basically warning his fellow one-tenth-of-one-percenters that they’re in danger of killing the goose that laid their golden eggs. He also recognizes that our current course is dangerous for our democracy as well as our economy, and he calls for those with the power to steer public policy to get with the program.

He notes, for example: “[C]apitalism left unchecked tends toward concentration and collapse. It can be managed either to benefit the few in the near term or the many in the long term. The work of democracies is to bend it to the latter.”

Interestingly, this piece appeared about the same time as Joe Stiglitz’ closing essay for NYT’s The Great Divide Series, reminding people that income inequality does not occur by chance, but by design, the design of those who have the most influence over government and public policy.

Read together, they’re pretty compelling. Stiglitz says it doesn’t have to be this way, and we can change course. Hanaeur says if we don’t change course, there’s trouble ahead.



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