The One Percent is more powerful than you think, it's in fact only 0.1 percent and it has displaced the middle class. We are living in the age of the "global plutocracy", of "surging income inequality at the top". Those are Chrystia Freeland's words, a top financial editor, listen to her on TED (5 September 2013):
Well worth listening to her, isn't it? Yes, this is the age of "crony capitalism". According to Warren Buffet, the wealth of the 400 Americans at the top has quintupled in the past 20 years...
Can we get rid of crony capitalism? Very, very difficult says Ms. Freeland but not impossible. And she's leaving journalism for politics, running for Parliament in Canada. And she's also written a book about it, available on Amazon: Plutocrats, the Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else
Plutocrats, according to her, are "alpha geeks": as income increases, social mobility decreases. And it's not just true of the US, it's true of the rich everywhere, emerging economies included (Russians, Brazilians, Chinese etc).
They are "hollowing the middle class" and "devouring middle class jobs". The "trickle down" economic model whereby wealth would spread to the whole of society is a thing of the past. The hyper-wealthy are not trickling down anything to anyone, they have only their own interests in mind.
The thing to understand is that the new economy is not creating that many new jobs for the middle class. There is a decoupling between productivity and job creation.
What is needed now she says, is a "new New Deal".
That's why she's into politics.
And that's why I'm writing FOREVER YOUNG: it's not just a fantasy science fiction novel. It reflects what I think is happening to our society and the way it will look like 200 years from now if we do nothing.
And we need to do something. That's my job as a fiction writer. How about you?