Well, “solved” may be a strong word. But I think I’ve found a two-part set of practical economic policy solutions which address my own suggestion in the #MOBP that there be a political movement to redistribute the pre-COVID $20 trillion in U.S. GDP as a permanent solution (including reparations for for Black people) to the country’s economic and resource inequality.
Former-Amazon employee Chris Smalls is currently outlining one part of the solution. In his recent interview (below) you can see his fully-evolved workers’ justice plan but I only want to highlight his reference to “cost-of-living” concerns and the fact that working people are currently not paid the “$30” an hour he says should be going to people now producing more wealth than ever, including the $200 billion of individual wealth for Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon. As I explain in the #MOBP, this is precisely where the concept of “buying power” as a mechanism of managing potential “social unrest” originates as working people realize they are not paid enough relative to their production of goods and wealth. Rather than all that wealth going to one man it could be used, for example, to hire more Amazon employees but at fewer hours, higher wages, and with more benefits, who could work with far less oppressive timetables and surveillance.
In their new book Angrynomics Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth, i think, give details to my broad idea of redistributing the GDP. You can see Blyth discussing his work in the video below but, specific to my point here, in Angrynomics they write:
So let’s think this through. In Germany, France, and the UK, for example, the government can issue 20–30-year bonds at negative real interest rates. The US 10-year treasury bond is similarly on a negative yield, after inflation. This is analogous to striking oil. Here’s why. Let’s say the UK government issues 20 per cent of GDP in 15-year gilts (bonds) at a zero real interest rate – to keep the maths simple. In 15 years, the real value of the debt is unchanged. Now if the proceeds are invested in a diversified basket of global equities, which are currently priced to deliver 4–6 per cent real returns, the value of the assets will more than double in real terms over the same period. The fund would have a net asset value equivalent to 20 per cent of GDP. The existence of negative real interest rates for the government is like discovering oil. It is a source of wealth. The surplus generated every 10–20 years in this way could be distributed in the form of individual trust funds to the 80 per cent of households who own the fewest assets. These trust funds could be drawn upon for specific earmarked uses, such as housing, education and healthcare, and business start-ups.
Lonergan, Eric . Angrynomics (p. 138). Agenda Publishing. Kindle Edition, emphasis added.
This seems to be a perfectly non-revolutionary way to, without raising or even using any tax revenue, generate – at minimum – roughly $4 trillion every 10 years or so (20% of $20 trillion) which could be used to pay for a lot of stuff people need. It also, it seems, speaks to a kind of process that could be expanded to a greater percentage of GDP or in other ways replicated/approximated to redistribute wealth we are generating without the kinds of revolutionary processes most of us hope to avoid. Mostly, this two-pronged approach provides basic, practical baselines for the development of political platforms, demands, campaigns, etc.