CHAPTER 19Unequal Wealth

I care not how affluent some may be, provided that none be miserable in consequence of it.

—Thomas Paine, 1796

IN THE ABSENCE OF THE CONTROLS RECOMMENDED BY THE FOUNDERS AND early state regulation, corporations have continued to grow in size and power without limit. But they haven’t done it just by creating new wealth in the economy. Much of it, instead, has been accomplished by increasingly consolidating existing wealth, moving it out of the hands of the middle class and into the hands of the top few percent of Americans economically. Of course, some new wealth has been generated, but nowhere near enough to explain the observable facts.* The past thirty years has, in fact, seen the largest transfer of wealth from working ...

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