Celebrate the Facts!
Civil unrest spawned by a range of grievance politics combined with static income growth rates resulted in a revolution; it is unclear the American Empire’s counterrevolutionary responses will be robust enough to mitigate the problems. Wealth redistribution strategies in the 1930s and 1960s tamped down violent movements by initiating social programs and democratic structural change. The lesson learned from the tepid response to the Great Recession of 2008 was those stimulus bills were too small, informing the Biden Administration’s resolve about the proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal, but much more will be required to return to social stability.
The Biden Administration has less than two years to jam through programs necessary to raise wealth among lower-class elements before mid-term elections and probable loss of one or two houses of Congress, which would stop progressive legislation and ensure economic trends that caused this unrest get worse.
In 2019, 290,720 ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals with a minimum of $30 million in wealth owned $35.4 trillion, an increase of 9.7% percent between 2018 and 2019. To place that number of 290,000 in perspective it is about the population of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The strongest regional returns were recorded in North America where the number of UHNW individuals increased by 14.5% to 105,080, about 36% of the global UHNW class. There was an almost identical rise in collective net worth, up 14.4% to $12.4 trillion.
Income disparity continues to increase while wage growth for people who earn their living remains stagnant. The upward mobility promise of the American Dream has vanished:
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year, dropped 4.3% in the United States during the 2020 pandemic year. Interesting observations:
Authoritative demographic information on grievance protest groups is unavailable and so any discussion of the composition of these revolutionary groups is conjecture. Grievance politics is where one party blames the other for their privations and is ignited by partisan media reinforcing their consumers in echo chambers. The logical extensions of this were evident during a tumultuous 2020 presidential campaign where a disenfranchised radical group of loosely aligned political groups stormed the capital attempting to overturn the results of the election.
When people are divorced from investment in society, they have little to lose and this becomes the seedbed for radicalization resulting in civil unrest. We are in a Revolution, discussed in an earlier investigation, and whether that revolution is successful in overturning democratic governance in the United States is a function of increasing the relative wealth of lower-class Americans.
The United States government and large corporations have responded to the ransacking of the capital on January 6, 2021, with a variety of measures:
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections for United States GDP growth rates from 2021 to 2024 average about 2.6% annually, which, if true, would not move the needle in raising incomes of lower-class Americans without some innovative federal government intervention.
Interesting proposals that have been discussed:
The Biden Administration has a short period to get something going. Traditionally mid-term elections revert to the opposition party and the Democrats have slim majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is likely one or both will revert to Republican control resulting in legislative gridlock.
Information on UHNW was obtained at https://www.wealthx.com/report/covid-19-wealth-impact-the-world-ultra-wealth-report-2020/. United States government economic statistics were discovered at https://www.bea.gov/. Unemployment data were provided by https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf. Information about QAnon demographics were provided by https://civiqs.com/results/qanon_support?annotations=true&uncertainty=true&zoomIn=true.
Michael Donnelly investigates societal concerns with an untribal approach - to limit the discussion to the facts derived from primary sources so the reader can make more informed decisions.