The watchword is gradual and step by step. We basically need to "nibble back" from the wealthy the decision-making and spending powers that they, for lack of any developed alternative in print, have nibbled away from voters and the workforce at large, despite the inevitable violent corrections which make such unconscious nibbling tantamount to slow suicide. The task of making the solution win/win at each step for everyone, as we offer the wealthy more inherent security in exchange for centrifuged power and wealth, is simply a design challenge. For example, if you were wealthy, would you rather live in the "third world" where the concentration of wealth is the highest, or the "first world" where it is the lowest? Most people would choose the "first world" for reasons of social stability and personal security. No matter how much wealth you have, your life is not worth much in a gangster society.
In this country, the most publicized corrections have been outwardly directed in wars, fought mainly abroad. There has also been a number of epidemics, however, such as the influenza epidemic of 1919, the polio epidemic of the 1950s and the current AIDS epidemic, which have hit internally, culled rich and poor alike, and been indirectly attributable to the unbalanced concentration of wealth because of the terrible toll that concentration takes on innovation.
Witness the withdrawal of research funds nationwide over the last two decades. Witness "Polaroid turns away from a rich heritage in innovation and emphasizes marketing in its battle for survival' in 4/4/99 article on our Collapse page. Witness the fixation of CEOs today on cheap innovation from impressionable youth - "Innovation could be walking around in Nike shoes somewhere with his pants drooping around his rear end," [said Bob Cohen, spokesman for the Information Technology Association of Arlington, VA.] - see our 1/24/99 item on "High school talent hunt."
More generally, as the Lincoln Electric Co. of Cleveland points out, employees without job security have a negative incentive to innovate. Thus we run into a creativity barrier in pre-Depression periods like today.
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