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In a meeting with economists this year, Mrs. Clinton intensely studied a chart that showed income inequality in the United States. The graph charted how real wages, adjusted for inflation, had increased exponentially for the wealthiest Americans, making the bar so steep it hardly fit on the chart. Mrs. Clinton pointed at the top category and said the economy required a “toppling” of the wealthiest 1 percent, according to several people who were briefed on Mrs. Clinton’s policy discussions but could not discuss private conversations for attribution.
Now to give HRC somewhat of a benefit of a doubt, perhaps she was referring more to the 0.1% who make $1.2 million a year (at least if you are 50 years old) and above and not the actual 1%, who make around $350,000 a year. But even so, I sure hope there were some qualifiers and caveats in that conversation. What would it take to “topple” the super-rich? A 90% income tax? A wealth tax? In his best seller Capital in the Twenty-First Century, inequality researcher Thomas Piketty documents how it took two world wars and a global depression to reduce the power of inherited wealth. I’ll pass on those. And once again, isn’t wealth obtained though entrepreneurial capitalism different than through crony capitalism (or maybe even giving speeches)? The value added sure seems like it would be different. We should want more billionaire entrepreneurs, yes?Published in