Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
-- Abraham Lincoln (noted Communist)
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman lays out in stark terms the way we have (yet again) come to privilege wealth over work in our economy. This struggle is not new, and it is not easy to force those with wealth and power to more equitably divide the proceeds of labor, rather than gathering it all for themselves. But force them we must.
Krugman in the New York Times yesterday:
It seems safe to say that “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the magnum opus of the French economist Thomas Piketty, will be the most important economics book of the year — and maybe of the decade. Mr. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality, does more than document the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. He also makes a powerful case that we’re on the way back to “patrimonial capitalism,” in which the commanding heights of the economy are dominated not just by wealth, but also by inherited wealth, in which birth matters more than effort and talent.It's worth your time to read the whole column. Krugman quickly and clearly illustrates how the entire economic program of the G.O.P. has been one of always prioritizing wealth over work; inheritance over labor. I think this is one worth sharing far and wide to remind everyone of the stakes of the mid-term elections.