Inequality and Britain’s oligarchs

Michael Roberts Blog

In a recent post, I argued that the recent rise in the inequality of incomes and wealth in some major advanced capitalist economies, like the US and the UK, was not the cause of crises under capitalism, and in particular, the Great Recession.

A correlation between rising inequality, slower growth and economic recession does not prove causation.  Indeed, I argued that rising inequality has been a consequence of capitalism trying to avoid slumps from declining profitability by trying to squeeze more out of the workforce in increased surplus value – during the neoliberal era.

The British think-tank Resolution Foundation published a study by Paolo Lucchino and Salvatore Morelli that looked at all the empirical evidence on this issue.  They concluded that “efforts to validate empirically the posited relationship between inequality and crisis have so far been inconclusive”.  Morelli had worked with the eminent ‘inequality economist’, Sir Anthony Atkinson (see…

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