You Noticed How The World Got Better Last Year As The Rich Got Poorer, Right?

Wealth inequality is the very terror of our age, isn’t it? As Oxfam keeps telling us that the plutocrats swallow up ever more of the global resources us out here are left with mere crumbs, just the lees and dregs of the economy to make us happy. So, we all are cheered by how much better the world became last year, right?

After seven years of steadily rising wealth, the richest people on the planet saw the combined value of their assets slide by 3% from a year earlier to stand at $68.1tn as financial markets plunged against a backdrop of rising tensions, with China hit the hardest by the decline.

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How Remarkable – More International Trade Increases Competition In The Face Of Domestic Concentration

Not that this is a hugely surprising conclusion. If the domestic economy is thrown open to international trade then there’s an increase in competition for the domestic producers. This is rather the point of having that opening. But the implication of this is obvious. For those who worry about increasing market power, increased economic concentration, the answer is obvious too – have more free trade. Actually, this becomes a litmus test. For those who do so complain but don’t argue for lowering trade barriers we know they’re not being serious.

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The American Economy Is Becoming Less Concentrated, Not More

This is one of those findings that no one is going to take a blind bit of notice of. For the original contention – that the US economy is becoming more concentrated, less subject to market competition – is too convenient to a certain type. That type wanting to insist that a less competitive economy means we can go tax the rich bastards who own companies more, for they will be exercising their oligopoly power. The actual answer being that the US economy has always been – and will remain so for forseeable futures- quite local and regional.

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