Dan DiPerna: Capitalism quirks

November 29, 2012 

Capitalism quirks

I think I can summarize Paul Krugman’s Nov. 20 opinion piece as follows: Back in the days of the robber barons, the rich had the biggest slice of the country’s economic pie. Then along came anti-trust legislation and the rise of labor unions. What followed was a half century of broad-based economic good times.

Since the ’70s and ’80s, union power has greatly diminished starting with Ronald Reagan’s famous (infamous?) air traffic controllers’ firing.

The long-term result of this diminution of union power has been a return to the good old days when the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

And here we are. All of the large productivity gains of the past 30 years have gone to the owners and management of the corporations. The other stakeholders, workers, have simply stagnated. Some say that this is the way capitalism works. I say that if this is the (only) way it can work, we are in for continued bad times.

Dan DiPerna

Raleigh

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