Why his solution to inequality in America doesn’t go nearly far enough
BY Connor Lynch, FORBES
To many liberals, the post-WWII period in America was a time of near economic perfection. The government taxed the wealthy over 90 percent and unions became powerful organizations demanding a fair share for workers. It was a period that progressive economist Paul Krugman has always been quick to praise, writing in his 2009 book, “The Conscience of a Liberal”:
“The political and economic environment of my youth stands revealed as a paradise lost, an exceptional moment in our nation’s history.”
This period, which can be called the Keynesian era, was indeed a time of great economic growth and increased economic equality. Looking back today, it does seem like an exceptional time to be in the working class. (As long as you were white, of course.) It was an age of compromise, between the capitalist class and the working class, and perhaps the most democratic period in our liberal capitalist society. During that epoch, it certainly looked as though a form of socialism was on the horizon, with the middle class growing and forming a previously unimaginable kind of egalitarian society within capitalism.
But of course, it was not to be.
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