Preview: What the 1% Don’t Want You to Know

The median pay for the top 100 highest-paid CEOs at America’s publicly traded companies was a handsome $13.9 million in 2013. That’s a 9 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new Equilar pay study for The New York Times.

These types of jumps in executive compensation may have more of an effect on our widening income inequality than previously thought. A new book that’s the talk of academia and the media, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old who teaches at the Paris School of Economics, shows that two-thirds of America’s increase in income inequality over the past four decades is the result of steep raises given to the country’s highest earners.

This week, Bill talks with Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, about Piketty’s “magnificent” new book.

“What Piketty’s really done now is he said, ‘Even those of you who talk about the 1 percent, you don’t really get what’s going on.’ He’s telling us that we are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy. A society of inherited wealth.”

Krugman adds: “We’re seeing inequalities that will be transferred across generations. We are becoming very much the kind of society we imagined we’re nothing like.”

Learn more about the production team behind Moyers & Company. Watch the full show »

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  • nnyl

    So many people are struggling to just get by and are so disgusted by what has happened that they’ve given up. I know because I talk to them. Hard to engage people or even get them to vote because they don’t see that it makes a difference.

    We don’t have a voice in our government, we don’t have a voice in the media. A few thousand people speaking up around the country is not doing much to counter the message of the oligarch media machine. So what can we the people do about it?

  • Anonymous

    We need to convince those that give up to re-engage. Push back against the voice of money. It will only get worse if we don’t. Remember, contra the comment on the FB page, “Economist Paul Krugman explains how the United States is becoming an oligarchy – the very system our founders revolted against”, our founders were oligarchs revolting against a a distant monarchy. Only with much effort and time was the franchise of democracy universally extended. These cats are trying to turn back the clock to one when only free, white men could vote. Don’t give up! Keep pushing, Help those who have given up find their voice once more and use it.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with ‘nnyl’ about discouragement and too few making a difference.

    It seems the REAL ISSUE IS not just to inform and simply convince and even just ‘get the message out’ —
    BUT HOW TO inspire to action (nonviolent and effective) and organize NOW?
    Because once there is this protest – be it not well organized, media saavy, focused, and resilient — the existing NSA state and a militarized police mentality, plus the dominant MSM media that has successfully distracted us and knows how to create fear or divide and conquer – is READY and OPERATING VERY POWERFULLY to turn back those early stirrings and all along the way of movement of change towards a more democratic, human and (sane) world – not just for the uberrich & self-appointed ‘entitled and exceptional.’ (Think Occupy.) And they know how to use religion too — a very powerful arm of oppression, not just of spiritual things…and the gun lobby, and human stories that even clever, compassionate liberals relate to in ignorant, shadow-oriented ways – and on and on. They know how to twist the true important and valuable conserve-ative instinct and twist it into death oriented, innovation-killing group think and intolerance.

    We must have economic ways of protest too – I think of the bus boycott in Selma and ‘voting with your feet’ – and dollar. I think about the fact that every time we BUY anything, we are (often) ‘voting’ for the side of repression and oligarchy. (I still occasionally shop at Target and Home Depot and then, who owns my phone contract and all the rest.) This I know I must change – like I know I must pay my taxes and participate. Here — I recommit myself to change.

    What I know is that I am vowing to live with happiness and purpose and in community – while I take direct action to counter the neo-fascist and ecology-destroying, true freedom killing, inhumane, unconscious practices that are part of this economy and increasingly part of this country’s/this world’s trajectory!

    May God bless and preserve this planet’s future generations – and us with an awakening!

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with the title of this episode.
    “What the 1% Don’t Want You to Know” implies that the “1%” know themselves and I don’t think that they do..

  • nnyl

    I’ve been saying for years that we were on the path to plutocracy.