Cautionary Tales for Development Folk

January 18, 2014

‘Working for the Few': top new report on the links between politics and inequality

January 18, 2014

‘Rage may overwhelm us all.’ Vintage Martin Wolf in the FT

January 18, 2014
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Superb writing from Martin Wolf in the FT:

“In the past three decades we have seen the emergence of a globalised economic and financial elite. Its members have become ever more detached from the countries that produced them. In the process, the glue that binds any democracy – the notion of citizenship – has weakened. The narrow distribution of the gains of economic growth greatly enhances this development. This, then, is ever more a plutocracy. A degree of plutocracy is inevitable in democracies built, as they must be, on market economies. But it is always a matter of degree. If the mass of the people view their economic elite as richly rewarded for mediocre performance and interested only in themselves, yet expecting rescue when things go badly, the bonds snap. We may be just at the beginning of this long-term decay.

The result is the birth of angry populism throughout the west, mostly the xenophobic populism of the right. The characteristic of rightwing populists is that they kick down. If elites continue to fail, we will go on watching the rise of angry populists. The elites need to do better. If they do not, rage may overwhelm us all.”

Martin Wolf graphic


  1. Very realistic.However in the United States most of the population appear not to be worried despite the losses of the middle class or the inefficiency of the government policies. Only thinking academics and policy researchers are concerned about these very dangerous paths.Is there anything that could be done to move the interest of the people toward a better understanding of these events, or is it better for the majority of the people to be kept in the silence of their lack of knowledge?

  2. Lot of rage still in Brazil about public services that don’t meet the FIFA standard for the stadiums and access routes that have often evicted people. The latest manifestation are ‘rolezinhos’, mass trip to shopping malls by poor young Afro-Brazilians who tend to be turned away from these centres of consumer citizenship. World Cup in June, presidential elections in October. Exciting times.

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