Tag Archives: Reagan

What caused the wealth gap? – Occupy Wall Street

11 Oct

Economist Jeffrey Sachs says the wealth gap got started with globalization, which allowed a small group of highly skilled people to sell their skills in a world market while forcing less skilled people to compete for foreign labor for every lower wages. Then Reagan decided to dismantle government and the federal government’s been unraveling since then.

You, in fact, call for a renewed emphasis on compassion and social responsibility.

What are our deeper economic objectives? Among these is a sense of well-being, of life satisfaction. Income can play a role in that, but so do things like social trust and honest government – and compassion for other people. This kind of discussion is considered odd and I think that is part of our problem right now. We don’t have effective ways to discuss these things in our society.

Instead, we have people who represent a cult of selfishness, what I would consider Ayn Rand libertarianism. They are political figures who say that the goal of America is to leave [people] alone, and that ideas like compassion and so on are dangerous. What the Republicans have on offer – which is based on this 30-year misdiagnosis – is cruel and deeply wrong, because they express disdain for the idea that people are suffering and they need help.

We’ve arrived at a crossroads about the real meaning of our civilization. I think that we will need to reflect on how to achieve a higher level of happiness in this country — [and think about] issues of social trust, social connectedness, decency, compassion.

via What caused the wealth gap? – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com.