How profoundly has Occupy Wall Street altered our political discourse? Consider Laura D’Andrea Tyson, a former top economic adviser to President Bill Clinton. Tyson has just penned an op-ed that applauds Occupy protestors for focusing the nation’s “attention on rising income inequality.” They’re right to worry, she goes on, about our “concentration of income and wealth.”
Back during the Clinton administration, Tyson and her fellow insider economists — Republicans and Democrats alike — sang a somewhat different tune. All seemed to agree, by century’s close, that only the plight of the unfortunate, not the wealth of the fortunate, rated the nation’s rapt attention.
At a 1998 Federal Reserve conference, Tyson asked Americans to imagine the nation’s economy as an apartment building. Some people live up high in penthouse luxury. Others live in the rat-infested basement. What should the nation do? Pillage the penthouse? Forget the penthouse. Advised Tyson: “We need to do something about that rat-infested basement.”
We now know better. We now know we’ll never empty those basements so long as we allow folks in our penthouses to accumulate ever more wealth and power. In this week’s Too Much, more evidence why....
Read it all with chart graphs, memorable quotes and pictures of the millionaire bandits at: