A 2013 Oxfam report estimates that the richest 85 people in the world own as much wealth as the entire bottom half of the world’s population (Oxfam 2014).1 Another recent report indicates that 23.1 % of children in the USA live in poverty, the highest percentage among 35 developed countries—surpassed only by Romania,2 even as the country hosts, at 5.9 % of households, the highest share of millionaire households, with over a million dollars in private financial wealth, of any large country in the world.3 A widely disseminated “political economy book of the century”4 documents in devastating empirical and historical detail the increasing “patrimonial” nature of twenty-first-century capitalism showing that it is well on its way to resurrecting a nineteenth-century class system based on inherited wealth that violates even the most basic notions of meritocracy (Piketty 2014).

The direct causes of these extreme concentrations of poverty and wealth are obvious for any who cares...


Neoclassical Economic Economic Thinking International Social Survey Program Economic Arrangement Real Economic Growth 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Benedictine UniversityIllinoisUSA

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