Firstly, we all must appreciate Nick Hanauer’s willingness to admit the mistakes his fellow people – the plutocrats, those who have earned digits beyond what ordinary people can conceive – made in the last decades. Before the times of rabble-rousing deregulation, United States was once one of the world’s most stable, and equal societies. But as crisis started to hit the nation in 1970s, that title gradually gained illegitimacy. Wall Street execs and CEOs alike are making money thousands of time a median wage one is afforded, and US, as of today, ironically, has had income and wealth gaps comparable to that of a unstable, developing nation.
More people are ending up poorer than ever, and middle-class growth has highly stagnated. At the same time, plutocrats are controlling an increasingly larger share of economic growth and national wealth, further creating more bubbles – which can anytime explode. We may or may not believe it, but Hanauer draws an analogy between American society in 21st century and those in pre-Revolutionary France in three centuries earlier, with one striking, and possibly frightening, similarity: pitchforks are coming. In this matter, he offers only few options: accept short-term bitter pills – that is we must increase minimum wage and taxes, or do nothing but create a police state (one prospect America is increasingly heading towards), and in an outburst, a deadly uprising.
‘It’s not a matter of if, but of when,’ he said.
Listen to his mind-provoking TED talk below to gain more understanding about income inequality today.