This is how empires collapse: one complicit participant at a time.
Before an empire collapses, it first erodes from within. The collapse may appear sudden, but the processes of internal rot hollowed out the resilience, resolve, purpose and vitality of the empire long before its final implosion.
What are these processes of internal rot? Here are a few of the most pervasive and destructive forces of internal corrosion:…
Inequality in the U.S. is now the highest ever recorded in the country.
Inequality in America today is twice as bad as in ancient Rome, worse than it was in Tsarist Russia, Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, and worse than experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America.
Economist and inequality expert Thomas Piketty notes that – according to an important measure – inequality in America today is the worst in world history:
For those who work for a living, the level of inequality in the U.S. – writes Piketty – is “… probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world …”
In other words, there might have been some squalid country in the distant past where the disparity between people without any job and the king was higher than between a jobless American and the top fatcat in the U.S.
But the spread between the minimum wage American worker and the American oligarch is the greatest in world history.
Indeed, inequality in America has become so extreme that the “99% versus the 1%” meme is grossly inaccurate … because it’s really the .01% versus the 99.99%…