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Inequality Michel Pireu     | Business Day Friday, March 15, 2019
Adapted from a memo by Nick Hanauer published in Politico Magazine:

Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now? I see pitchforks.

The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse.

And so I have a message for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people.

If we donít do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counter-examples. None. Itís not if, itís when.

Many of us think weíre immune to the same forces that started the Arab Springóor the French and Russian revolutions, for that matter. And I know there are those of you who are convinced that because you saw a poor kid with an iPhone that one time, things arenít so bad.

But youíre living in a dream world.

What everyone wants to believe is that when things go from being merely crappy for the masses to socially destabilizing, weíre somehow going to know about it ahead of time. But thatís not the way it happens. Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning. And then thereís no time to get to the airport and fly to New Zealand.

The most ironic thing about rising inequality is how completely unnecessary and self-defeating it is. If we do something about it, if we adjust our policies so that we help the others and pre-empt the craziesó itís not just that weíll escape with our lives; itís that weíll most certainly get even richer.
 
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