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Rising Social Disorder Is Inevitable: Here’s Why

We are in a very peculiar point in history. On the one hand, we’re reassured that all is well because Every One of the World’s Big Economies Is Now Growing. (NY Times)

Yet at the same time, we read that “Something Is Very Wrong With The Global Economy”: Richest 1% Made 82% Of Global Wealth In 2017 and are asked, Can the World Survive a Winner-Take-All Global Economy?

Even the authors of the rah-rah NY Times piece on the wonderfulness of the global economy expressed concern that this “growth” may not be distributed any more equally than the previous 10 years of “recovery.”

We already know absolutely nothing will change because neither the inputs nor the feedback loops in the economy have changed. As Donella Meadows explained in her seminal paper Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System, the only ways to change a system’s outputs (in this case, widening income and wealth inequality and rising social disorder) is to change the inputs or add a new feedback loop.

The status quo has not changed the inputs or added any new feedback loops, so the output of the system–extremes of widening income and wealth inequality–cannot possibly change.

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This Chart Defines the 21st Century Economy

One chart defines the 21st century economy and thus its socio-political system: the chart of soaring wealth/income inequality. This chart doesn’t show a modest widening in the gap between the super-wealthy (top 1/10th of 1%) and everyone else: there is a veritable Grand Canyon between the super-wealthy and everyone else, a gap that is recent in origin.

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