American inequality is unequally distributed, and got lumpier after the Great Recession

Since the Great Recession, the wealth gap between poor whites and poor blacks and Hispanics collapsed (all the poor people are living in similar poverty), but the wealth gap in the middle class grew: middle class blacks and Hispanics are worse off than middle class whites, a phenomenon that's increased since 2008/9. Read the rest

Interview with author of "Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America"

Andrew Leonard of Salon interviewed Charles Ferguson (director of Inside Job, the documentary about the unpunished criminals who caused the current financial collapse) about his new book, Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America

Ferguson: I recently was at a dinner in New York City and one of the people there was a very, very successful man who is on the borderline between venture capital and private equity. And this guy went into an extended rant about how he was at a disadvantage because he had to pay 15 percent capital gains taxes. When I was first dealing with venture capitalists in a significant way, the capital gains tax rate was 28 percent, and nobody was complaining. Then they got them reduced to 20 under Clinton, and then later 15 under Bush. Plus, they got a rollover provision so if they took the proceeds of a venture capital investment and rolled it over into a new venture capital investment it was tax-free. At that point, we’ve reached nirvana, what more could there be?

But now we’re in this environment where this guy was loudly and aggressively complaining that he has to pay 15 percent to the government. And if that’s where you’re at, then of course you are going to complain about Dodd-Frank. You are going to complain about everything. If you have already got 96 percent of what you want, why not take the remaining 4? That’s where the culture of American finance is right now, and I think it’s really dangerous for the country.

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