Some nerve from Larry Summers as he talks for more action on inequality and believing we simply need to do better somehow..
Anyway so taking his figures, the super-rich have got amazingly rich (up 275% between 1979 and 2007), while the middle class have got richer but not much (up 40%). Thank God Summers has included figures after 2007 (I’m sure there is a reason why the cut-off is there) because the manufactured middle class have nose-dived since then. By manufactured I mean people have borrowed their way into the middle class rather than a genuine explosion of wealth. This is capitalism after all!
So when the middle class don’t notice their relative poverty despite holding the electoral power, nothing is going to be resolved. As the poor who are getting poorer are condemned into poverty and yet still vilified for their own wastefulness despite being in a system that clearly isn’t working for them, who is going to solve this? The rich? Not likely. The middle class? Not right now it seems. The poor? Nope, they will be condemned for looting and shot. So until the middle class wake up and demand more, forget it. As Zizek argues here (see last post especially), this hardly bodes well for the Occupy protests. The middle class don’t want real change which is understandable, they just want a better deal. They aren’t in it for revolution. In which case, resistance of this sort is pointless. Or as Zizek puts it this kind of resistance is surrender.