Paul Krugman: Old-money dynasties are destroying the American dream

"We are becoming very much the kind of society we imagined we’re nothing like"

By Bill Moyers
Published April 21, 2014 12:59PM (EDT)
Paul Krugman                                   (billmoyers.com)
Paul Krugman (billmoyers.com)

This piece originally appeared on BillMoyers.com.

The median pay for the top 100 highest-paid CEOs at America’s publicly traded companies was a handsome $13.9 million in 2013. That’s a 9 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new Equilar pay study for The New York Times.

These types of jumps in executive compensation may have more of an effect on our widening income inequality than previously thought. A new book that’s the talk of academia and the media, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old who teaches at the Paris School of Economics, shows that two-thirds of America’s increase in income inequality over the past four decades is the result of steep raises given to the country’s highest earners.

This week, Bill talks with Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, about Piketty’s “magnificent” new book.

“What Piketty’s really done now is he said, ‘Even those of you who talk about the 1 percent, you don’t really get what’s going on.’ He’s telling us that we are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy. A society of inherited wealth.”

Krugman adds: “We’re seeing inequalities that will be transferred across generations. We are becoming very much the kind of society we imagined we’re nothing like.”


Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers is managing editor of the new weekly public affairs program, "Moyers & Company," airing on public television. Check local airtimes or comment at www.BillMoyers.com.

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