The American middle class is shrinking and, contrary to popular belief, globalization and automation are not to blame. Far from inevitable, skyrocketing inequality is a choice. In this episode, we look at the policy choices that have relentlessly undermined the middle class, and why we desperately need to choose a better future.nHeather Boushey: Executive director and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Author of Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict. nnTwitter: @HBousheynMatthew Stewart: Philosopher, D.Phil from Oxford University. Author of Nature’s God and The Management Myth. Contributor to The Atlantic.nWebsite: https://mwstewart.com/ nFurther reading: n(1) http://evonomics.com/new-social-security-system-sharing-economy-hanauer/n(2) https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954
In the U.S., inequality is often framed as the 99% versus the wealthiest 1%. But that’s not quite the right matchup. While the bottom 90% has done dramatically worse over the last several decades and the top 0.1% has done dramatically better, the 9.9% in between those groups still controls more than half of the wealth in the United States. Author and philosopher Matthew Stewart thinks that the 9.9% are not innocent bystanders, and he joins Nick and Goldy to discuss how this group is entrenching inequality and warping our culture.