from the transcript
Plutocracy is not an American word but it's become an American phenomenon. Back in the fall of 2005, the Wall Street giant Citigroup even coined a variation on it, plutonomy, an economic system where the privileged few make sure the rich get richer with government on their side. By the next spring, Citigroup decided the time had come to publicly "bang the drum on plutonomy."
And bang they did, with an "equity strategy" for their investors, entitled, "Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer." Here are some excerpts:
"Asset booms, a rising profit share and favorable treatment by market-friendly governments have allowed the rich to prosper...[and] take an increasing share of income and wealth over the last 20 years..."
"...the top 10%, particularly the top 1% of the US-- the plutonomists in our parlance-- have benefited disproportionately from the recent productivity surge in the US...[and] from globalization and the productivity boom, at the relative expense of labor."
"...[and they] are likely to get even wealthier in the coming years. [Because] the dynamics of plutonomy are still intact."
And so they were, before the great collapse of 2008. And so they are, today, after the fall. While millions of people have lost their jobs, their homes, and their savings, the plutonomists are doing just fine. In some cases, even better, thanks to our bailout of the big banks which meant record profits and record bonuses for Wall Street.
Now why is this? Because over the past 30 years the plutocrats, or plutonomists — choose your poison — have used their vastly increased wealth to capture the flag and assure the government does their bidding. Remember that Citigroup reference to "market-friendly governments" on their side? It hasn't mattered which party has been in power — government has done Wall Street's bidding.
So! It's called Plutonomy...and it didn't just happen by accident. And making the rest of us poorer was also intended since, as many conservative economists have noted - a prosperous and comfortable working class is increasingly difficult to control. Putting the middle class on a downward spiral makes them less trouble for employers to manage; so at some point in the latter half of the 20th Century, many, if not most of the major corporations realized it was more beneficial for them to work collectively for their common interests, than fight against each other for market share.