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  •  "thirty years"? (1+ / 0-)
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    You have to conclude from the data that the whole economic system in the U.S. is basically set up to give the most return and growth to the truely wealthly and has been that way for the past thirty years.

    The past thirty years has only been a refinement.  The basic trend has been in place for much longer than that.  And of course it's only the modern equivalent of something that's been going on since the first material-based social hierarchies.  The details are different, but the basic idea would be instantly familiar to feudal lords ... or ancient Chinese emperors, for that matter.

    "If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner." - Nelson Mandela

    by Bearpaw on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 11:53:53 AM PST

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    •  I think you are mistaken (0+ / 0-)

      If you look at a graph of human population, you see that the big leap to a algorithmic function begins at exactly the same time as the American Revolution.

      Now, it can be (and has been) argued that this is also about the time of the Industrial Revolution. But, recall that the American Revolution was not so much a tax revolt as it was a revolt against the British Board of Trade measures intended to prevent the development of manufactures in North America, to preserve the typical colonial scheme of America exporting only raw products, and importing finished goods from England. Also, the steam engines of Watt and other British makers were not that efficient and useful, and never became very widespread. It wasn’t until the early 1800s, when Oliver Evans (who can be called the first American engineer) developed high-compression steam engines, that there was widespread use of steam engines for things other than cotton and woolen mills, and pumping water out of mines.

      I believe the American Revolution really was a revolution. An oligarchy that believed it had the right to rule as a birth-right was forcibly shoved off the stage of world history for at least three quarters of a century, and the infant United States unleashed the inventive and productive powers of a people as never before. And it was NOT based on the ideas of Adam Smith, but on Alexander Hamilton and others.

      Here is Henry Carey in his 1851 book against British economics, Harmony of Interests:

      A great error exists in the impression now very commonly entertained in regard to national division of labour, and which owes its origin to the English school of political economists, whose system is throughout based upon the idea of making England ``the workshop of the world,'' than which nothing could be less natural. By that school it is taught that some nations are fitted for manufactures and others for the labours of agriculture, and that the latter are largely benefited by being compelled to employ themselves in the one pursuit, making all their exchanges at a distance, thus contributing their share to the maintenance of the system of "ships, colonies, and commerce." The whole basis of their system is  and , and not production, yet neither makes any addition to the amount of things to be exchanged. It is the great boast of their system that the exchangers are so numerous and the producers so few, and the more rapid the increase in the proportion which the former bear to the latter, the more rapid is supposed to be the advance toward perfect prosperity. Converters and exchangers, however, must live, and they must live out of the labour of others: and if three, five, or ten persons are to live on the product of one, it must follow that all will obtain but a small allowance of the necessaries or comforts of life.... (p. 46)
      ...The whole system [of British free trade] has for its object an increase in the number of persons that are to intervene between the producer and the consumer -- living on the product of the land and labour of others, diminishing the power of the first, and increasing the number of the last; and thus it is that Ireland is compelled to waste more labour annually than would be required to produce, thrice over, all the iron, and convert into cloth all the cotton and wool manufactured in England. The poverty of producers exists nearly in the ratio in which they are compelled to make their exchanges in the market of Great Britain....

      Telling a conservative the truth does about as much good as shoveling fleas across a barnyard. - The shade of A. Lincoln

      by NBBooks on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 01:09:46 PM PST

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    •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)

      If you look at charts of CEO pay against median income or similar measures, you see a high point around the roaring 20s, followed by a Great Depression plunge, very gradual growth in the 1950s to the 1970s, a notable rise in the 1980s, a huge surge in the 1990s, a bit of a collapse after the tech market crash in the 2000s, and then a resurgence to very close to the 1990s peak now.  

      Jerome a Paris rang that chart in a recommended post sometime this week.

      The timing is important, because it tells us when to look for the causes of the change.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

      by ohwilleke on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 02:11:22 PM PST

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