The Tyranny Of Averages

Globally, the top 1% are capturing most of the money, but this gets averaged out into a figure politicians can regurgitate, to make it look like we’re all doing fine. Graph via Piketty et al.

Cabinet Secretary Marcia L. Fudge is fudging it. She said “The United States is the only major economy in the world where the economy as a whole is stronger now than before the pandemic.” This is both a bald-faced and beard-faced lie.

Bald in that China has actually grown faster without killing lots of people. Beard in that it’s hiding something.

The truth is that you are not an average. If you sit in a room with Jeff Bezos the ‘average’ net worth of that room is $94 billion. Do you have $94 billion? No.

The truth is that per-capita GDP doesn’t mean shit. It’s just a number that you can nationally feel good about, while it’s actually hoarded, untaxed, and often not even in the country.

This blind view of economic growth is like a body-building plan based on cancer. Yes you’re getting swole, in the lymph nodes, and you’re fucking dying. You’re not getting stronger at all.

As Richard D. Wolff said: