Trickle sideways economics

In Western society the gap between the wealthiest few and the rest has been ever expanding. In fact since 1980 the wealthiest 0.1% of the global population have increased their wealth by as much as the poorest 50%.

In the standard economic model this shouldn’t happen. The theory runs that as the wealthy make money they buy more things and therefore benevolently pass this money to us mere mortals who make the things.

In reality the super rich have now become so wealthy that they continue to accumulate wealth as there are only so many super yachts one can own. The money just doesn’t pass down to the wider economy in the way it should. It also doesn’t get redistributed by the state if your tax status remains based on the island that your yacht is registered in. Amazon is just a huge version of the billionaire on his yacht, making money but staying in international waters to avoid tax.

As we have said, ad nauseum, one of the biggest culprits for this increase in those that already have the wealth is the ongoing program of quantitive easing or money printing. Central banks in pursuing this have pushed asset prices up for those that already own properties and a share portfolio. Which most people globally of course don’t. This is asset price inflation, whereas it’s prettier twin wage inflation has been stagnant which has widened the gap further.

To make matters worse these non-taxpaying corporations have been stashing cash rather than investing in R&D like the super rich and when they do release this money it trickles sideways to investors as dividends.

Increasingly we suspect the squeezed middle might start to resent picking up the tax bill for the very wealthy even more than they currently resent picking it up for the poorer in society. How this develops into change will be interesting to watch.

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