Venture capitalism has a disproportionate impact on the economy. It helps to ensure that technological innovation enriches the few and sustains jobless economic growth. Industrial policy in the hands of the government ideally creates wealth and spreads it around. Venture capitalists pick a handful of winners as part of a process of concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands.
There's been a steady drumbeat of headlines about this, starting with Governor Brownback's woes in Kansas. It took an interesting and unexpected turn to reveal what's really been happening in many other states. The collapse in oil prices has changed a whole lot of things.
Sen. Bernie Sanders offered a devastating indictment of Ronald Reagan in one chart showing the decline of earnings and growth for the middle class compared to the top 10 percent.
Reaganomics, the plot to appease the rich and condemn the rest, got its comeuppance last week in President Obama's State of the Union speech. The president asked: "Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?"
In 2014 Republicans bullied Democrats. Republicans proved, once again, they will say and do anything to win. Republicans don't care if they scuttle our democracy along with the fragile economy, to them winning is all that matters.
As inequality grows, the rich become more powerful than the rest of the population, enabling them to veto any policy that impedes their one-sided enrichment. They also become less empathetic toward the rest of the population, whose lives seem less similar to their own with each passing year.
Reagan projected an inclusive form of optimism for certain citizens. Yet Reagan's was far from universal and shut out too many Americans.
Name the hawkish former president that liberals love to hate who cut taxes shortly after taking office, presided over a booming economy with low unemployment, reduced the national debt and whose legacy shapes much of today's debate.
Unless we want an America that is a tale of two cities, a tale of two nations, a "Downton Abby America on steroids," then let's hope that the refreshing message of progressives such as Bill de Basio seize the moment, and the public votes a stop and frisk of Reaganomics.