Chrystia Freeland: The rise of the new global super-rich

  • May 25, 2014 · 4:00 PM
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In "Plutocrats," Chrystia Freeland explores the growing gap between the working poor and the increasingly disconnected mega-rich.

Though the topic is not new Chrystia Freeland articulates the gap in wealth with a clarity, eloquence and intelligence that captivates and is thought provoking.  

Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds — and so is economic inequality, says writer Chrystia Freeland. In an impassioned talk, she charts the rise of a new class of plutocrats (those who are extremely powerful because they are extremely wealthy), and suggests that globalization and new technology are actually fueling, rather than closing, the global income gap. Freeland lays out three problems with plutocracy … and one glimmer of hope.


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  • Arif

    Right on Christina! I would as far as to remind us that we all are born freaking curious -- we can't do without turning the rock, go on top of the mountain, figure out the nature of gravity and end up in a more mysterious place where time and space are bound together. So ignorance is of our -- our culture's -- making. In an autocracy, one could blame the dictator, but in the Western democracies, I find it hard to believe if it's not mostly self-inflicted.

    1 · May 30

  • Arif

    A more fundamental question that warrants asking is the nature of money and our irrepressible desire to chase it. In the relatively wealthier countries of the "developed world" the need to accumulate of more money is less spurred by the control over the survival of the others around and more with the raw lust for the buying power -- for physical assets, gawked-at-ness / fame, prestige, but little else. In fact, one can argue, that the very insistent chase of money is a symptom of a larger moral/existential deficit that we unconsciously try to run away from. Money chase, is thus a distraction that keeps us forever evading the deeper problem that we find unprepared, uncomfortable to face.

    1 · May 30

  • Christina z

    ignorance is a political weapon that benefits the powerful, not a general condition rooted in some inexplicable human condition.

    1 · May 27

  • Mike_

    I think there is value to having these types of discussions. Life is often not fair or equitable. I believe in the concept of equality of opportunity. I believe that the best life strategy is to try to protect yourself from the consequences of unforeseen events that can have devastating consequences, which I would agree is easier said than done. I think discussing our definition of success in more detail would have been enlightening. Regarding Cat, I suspect that much of the CEO compensation is based on performance. I think the question might be were the targets required to obtain that 60% increase reasonable?

    May 25

    • Christina z

      As Chomsky reminds us, caring about other people is a dangerous idea in N. America today and signals the transformation from a struggling democracy to a full-fledged authoritarian state. }paraphrasing.

      1 · May 27

    • Christina z

      As far a CAT goes: When talking about the bigger picture (global rather than regional) of why and where the divide of wealth disparity occurs, your apathy of the real issue is telling..and I guess you missed/ignored my other points...for a good reason? These systems you laud are only favouring a few.

      May 27

  • Christina z

    Caterpillar Chief's Pay Jumps 60%
    http://online.wsj.com/news/arti...­

    So, Catapillar was a good example because it proves one of my points succinctly. While the two of you were arguing as to whether the union not agreeing to a contract that would see the workers take a huge pay cut was the seed of a bad economy or not- the CEO of Catapillar was handed a 60% raise in recent years and neither of you paid it any mind.....catch my drift yet? Splitting hairs over whether union contracts are too fat is irrelevant when you are discussing the markable income gap in countries around the globe. There are *declines* in unionisation rates, stagnating minimum wage rates, deregulation, and national policies that favour the wealthy. In Canada, Armine Yalnizyan notes that falling top marginal tax rates are part of the explanation for the rise of the richest 1 per cent of the population...

    May 25

    • Christina z

      and instead of paying any attention to these changes that people used to fight hard for, we spend our time acquiring material goods we don't need and fighting our neighbour over who should get that $60/year tax break...ugh!

      May 25

  • Kevin

    There was an entertaining exchange of ideas and I was spurred to think through preexisting concepts of wealth and success.

    May 25

  • Andrea

    Would love to join you but I'm 'dragon boating' on Sundays from 2 - 5!

    May 18

  • Liliana W.

    Hi. is this a Ted Talk and discussion?

    May 11

7 went

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