The biggest question in America these days is how to revive the economy.
The biggest question among activists now occupying Wall Street and dozens of other cities is how to strike back against the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income, wealth, and political power in the top 1 percent.
The two questions are related. With so much income and wealth concentrated at the top, the vast middle class no longer has the purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing. (People could pretend otherwise as long as they could treat their homes as ATMs, but those days are now gone.) The result is prolonged stagnation and high unemployment as far as the eye can see.
Until we reverse the trend toward inequality, the economy can’t be revived.
But the biggest question in our nation’s capital right now has nothing to do with any of this. It’s whether Congress’s so-called “Supercommittee” – six Democrats and six Republicans charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in budget savings — will reach agreement in time for the Congressional Budget Office to score its proposal, which must then be approved by Congress before Christmas recess in order to avoid an automatic $1.5 trillion in budget savings requiring major across-the-board cuts starting in 2013.
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Saturday, November 05, 2011