The Chart That Scares The "1%" The Most

Tyler Durden's picture

Capitalists have been gripped by 'systemic fear' making them worry not about the day-to-day movements of growth, employment, and profit, but about 'losing their grip'. An interesting recent article by the Real-World Economics Review on the Asymptotes of Power focuses on the fact that the capitalists are forced to realize that their system may not be eternal, and that it may not survive in its current form. The authors fear that, peering into the future, the '1%' realize that in order to maintain (or further increase) their distributional power (their net profit share of national income - which hovers at record highs) they will have to unleash even greater doses of social 'violence' on the lower classes. The high level of force already being applied makes them increasingly fearful of the backlash they are about to receive (think Europe to a lesser extent) and nowhere is this relationship between the wealthy capitalists and social upheaval more evident than in the incredible correlation between the Top 10% share of wealth and the percent of the labor force in prison. In order to have reached the peak level of power it currently enjoys, the ruling class has had to inflict growing threats, sabotage and pain on the underlying population.


During the 1930s and 1940s, this level proved to be the asymptote of capitalist power: it triggered a systemic crisis, the complete reordering of the U.S. political economy, and a sharp decline in capitalist power, as indicated by the large drop in inequality.

As we can see, since the 1940s this ratio has been tightly and positively correlated with the distributional power of the ruling class: the greater the power indicated by the income share of the top 10 per cent of the population, the larger the dose of violence proxied by the correctional population. Presently, the number of ‘corrected’ adults is equivalent to nearly 5 per cent of the U.S. labour force. This is the largest proportion in the world, as well as in the history of the United States.



Nowadays, the notions of systemic fear and systemic crisis are no longer farfetched.

In fact, they seem to have become commonplace. Public figures – from dominant capitalists and corporate executives, to Nobel laureates and finance ministers, to journalists and TV hosts – know to warn us that the ‘system is at risk’, and that if we fail to do something about it, we may face the ‘end of the world as we know it’.

There is, of course, much disagreement on why the system is at risk. The explanations span the full ideological spectrum – from the far right, to the liberal, to the Keynesian, to the far left. Some blame the crisis on too much government and over-regulation, while others say we don’t have enough of those things. There are those who speak of speculation and bubbles, while others point to faltering fundamentals. Some blame the excessive increase in debt, while others quote credit shortages and a seized-up financial system. There are those who single out weaknesses in particular sectors or countries, while others emphasize the role of global mismatches and imbalances. Some analysts see the root cause in insufficient demand, whereas others feel that demand is excessive. While for some the curse of our time is greedy capitalists, for others it is the entitlements of the underlying population. The list goes on.

But the disagreement is mostly on the surface. Stripped of their technical details and political inclinations, all existing explanations share two common foundations: (1) they all adhere to the two dualities of political economy: the duality of ‘politics vs. economics’ and the duality within economics of ‘real vs. nominal’; and (2) they all look backward, not forward.

As a consequence of these common foundations, all existing explanations, regardless of their orientation, seem to agree on the following three points:

  1. The essence of the current crisis is ‘economic’: politics certainly plays a role (good or bad, depending on the particular ideological viewpoint), but the root cause lies in the economy.
  2. The crisis is amplified by a mismatch between the ‘real’ and ‘nominal’ aspects of the economy: the real processes of production and consumption point in the negative direction, and these negative developments are further aggravated by the undue inflation and deflation of nominal financial bubbles whose unsynchronized expansion and contraction make a bad situation worse.
  3. The crisis is rooted in our past sins. For a long time now, we have allowed things to deteriorate: we’ve let the ‘real economy’ weaken, the ‘bubbles of finance’ inflate and the ‘distortions of politics’ pile up; in doing so, we have committed the cardinal sin of undermining the growth of the economy and the accumulation of capital; and since, according to the priests of economics, sinners must pay for their evil deeds, there is no way for us to escape the punishment we justly deserve – the systemic crisis.

Although there are no hard and fast rules here, it is doubtful that this massive punishment can be increased much further without highly destabilizing consequences. With the underlying magma visibly shifting, the shadow of the asymptote cannot be clearer.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Big Corked Boots's picture

fuzzy yellow balls?

- oh, wait - I get it now....

Alpo for Granny's picture

Whoever junked me you try to live off of of Prime Cuts in Gravy. Fixed incomes and Keynesians don't go well together...

Dr. Engali's picture

Whoever junked you probably doesn't get it. There seems to be two or three government trolls around tonight.

Stackers's picture

I hate it when people call facist crony oligarchs ... "capitalist"

Dr. Engali's picture

Yeah me too. Whoever wrote this doesn't know what capitalism is.

uno's picture

the oligarchs who benefit also own the MSM

Poor Grogman's picture

The reason that there is disagreement on why the system is at risk is because the sole underlying reason is deliberately obscured and overlooked.

That problem is FIAT MONEY.

The creature that is spawning this monstrosity cannot stand scrutiny.

Fiat money is based on lies, fraud, and government complicity, pure and simple.

We are continuing to reap the ever greater fruits of FIAT CURRENCYs miserable legacy.

Enjoy your ride to hell everyone....

flacon's picture

The thing these "capitalists" (misnomer) fear the most is CAPITALISM - that is why they call themselves capitalists because they are really monsters, thieves, and rapists - NOT CAPITALISTS. 


Sort of like Bush: "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system." ~ George Bush


Hey George, the free market wants to destroy this system, and YOU CAN'T STOP IT no matter what principles you abandon. 

nmewn's picture

"I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system." ~ George Bush

GW...came in as a social conservative and left as conservative

sitenine's picture



I <3 Iceland

@ flacon FYI, that article was published a year and a half ago.

boogerbently's picture

We all know that won't happen here because the bankers OWN the politicians.

All we can hope for is that they learned their lesson (not likely).


that Americans learned that BOTH parties in our two party system are greedy crooks and vote them ALL out (also, not likely).

reader2010's picture

The difference is Iceland has democracy.

El Viejo's picture


Wages of private sector workers compared to public sector (second graph down):

Corporate Taxes:

CEO Income:

On the charts below notice how extreme incomes and low cap gains tax coincides perfectly with 1929 and present day. (Similar to ZH graph)

Chart of top 1% income:

Tax Rates:

Also look here for other charts that has two peaks (1929 and today):

Income disparity:

Income and Tax Rates:

Republican Scam:

It started with Trickle Down justification of More for Me.

Stop worshipping political idols! Vote Out All Incumbents! Last time it was Democrats. This time make it Republicans. (They resist tax increases for their rich buddies.)

Impose Term Limits! Let em know we are still out here and we mean business!
It’s time for the lying Republicans to go! Next time it will be the Democrats turn again!
Throw em out! Especially Bahynor and Pelosi!


Michael's picture

I'm not going to badmouth California much anymore. Not that I bad mouthed them much in the past.

Our brothers and sisters of liberty in California can gift to their com padres in flyover country the biggest win against big agra ever seen.

The upper management at Monsanto must be going crazy in their offices thinking of ways to defeat the California GMO initiative.

Fuck Monsanto! 

California Puts Initiative To Label Genetically Modified Foods On November Ballot

California Ballot Initiative Forcing GMO Labeling Could End Monsanto!_Dr.Joseph Mercola_

Thank You California!


Bolweevil's picture

I have a skull where my head used to be and i vote.

blindfaith's picture



Where is MORMON CHURCH money when you need it?

They should have funded this instead of hate.

Dr. Engali's picture

When he started spewing that compassionate conservative crap I knew we were in trouble.

flacon's picture

Yep. "Safety net" MY ASS! It's all just a freakin' scam. Yet I think George Bush believed he was doing "good" for the people. At least with Obama we know he's a mischevious little sneak. 

jeff montanye's picture

mischievous little sneak doesn't do justice to obama's crimes imo. 

a ten year old shoplifting candy who puts it in his little brother's pocket as the store manager closes in maybe qualifies.

the first president of the u.s. to go on record claiming the right to kill fellow citizens by executive order essentially through all space and time is a little different.

to call him monster insults john wayne gacy.

Gazooks's picture

'Yet I think George Bush believed he was doing "good" for the people.'

fuck, I'm sick of cleaning coffee off screens & keyboards

Treeplanter's picture

Bush is a Methodist, far from social conservative, an establishment guy like Daddy.

e_goldstein's picture

He just did what his bitch banksta massas wanted him to do.

mcguire's picture

the error that i see is that the author disregards the possibility that social upheaval is welcomed, or more accurately, engineered... he is wrong, there is a group that does not look backward, but rather forward... a group whose plans seem impossible to the pedestrian mind because they are centuries in the making...

"... in politics nothing is accidental. If something happens, be assured it was planned this way" -FDR, Freemason.  

constantine's picture

BOTH chaos and order is evident throughout our world and the universe.  The notion that there is a 'group' that is able to entirely weed chaos out of, of all things humanity, and order all events as though a carefully controlled labratory experiment is laughable; it is true, they are out there and they try, however.

This 'group' has been comprised of a range of thinkers, from some of the greatest enlightenment minds such as Marquis De Lafayette and Benjamin Franklin to some of the most deranged, such as Albert Pike.  One has about as much chance of finding concensus amongst the members within a Baptist Church or Synagogue... and yet one is to believe that all aspects of human history is a carefully crafted perpetual motion watch... many things are accidental... the joke is on us.

nmewn's picture

I concur.

We're talking about people who without some type of "intervention" can't balance their own checkbook yet seek to balancce everyone elses.

Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

It's real easy to balance everyone elses checkbook- just steal all of their money!

Gazooks's picture

'...chaos and order is evident throughout our world and the universe.'

order=a visible galaxy of quantum law basis, realm of possibility, dynamic creativity and life  

chaos=invisible 1% black hole at center sucking order indiscriminately, static realm of absolute possession and death,...and central banking

yofish's picture

Wasn't that, "I've destroyed the village to save the village"?

Escapeclaws's picture

Capitalism was best described by Fernand Braudel in his three volume history, Civilisation matérielle, économie et capitalisme (XVe???XVIIIe siècles), Paris, Armand Colin, 3 volumes, 1979. Capitalism concerns big enterprises that exist above the level of small market-based business. If there is a promising small business, it is usually absorbed by a capitalistic enterprise, but small business itself should not be mistaken for capitalism. Capitalism always subverts civil government to eliminate and not foster competition. The partnership between government and big business excludes small business altogether. Small business likes to think of itself as capitalistic, but that is more a fantasy than a reality.

Errol's picture

Mr Grogman, fiat money is worse than

" based on lies, fraud, and government complicity, pure and simple."

Its foundation is coersion, the threat of violence by the state if it isn't accepted as the only true and proper means of conducting commerce.

People should have the freedom to select the money that suits them.  As I recall, the Constitution has some constructive suggestions...

traderjoe's picture

You seem to be referring to the legal tender laws and not fiat per se. A privately created debt-money coupled with legal tender laws is the issue, IMHO, not the existence of fiat money.

Poor Grogman's picture

I Agree with that, basically fiat money is IMPOSED by force on society, or it otherwise would not be accepted.

  If you really look carefully at the destruction that FIAT MONEY always creates wherever it is used including the wars, famines, social decay, anxiety, poverty, dependency, wealth concentration etc.

You are left with no choice but to view it as a crime against humanity.


Thus the constitutional prohibition on its use...



He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

"Whoever wrote this doesn't know what capitalism is."

That is correct. 100 points to you.

This is all gibberish.

I suggest: Niall Ferguson, The ascent of money.

palmereldritch's picture

Do you mean Niall Ferguson the official Bilderberg historian and Rothschild/Kissinger biographer?

....Niall knows NWO


0z's picture

Just to be clear; When this ignorant chap says "capitalists", he obviously doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about, 'cause I'm a capitalist and my system doesn't exist!

Pure Evil's picture

Is it time to unleash the Zombie virus?

palmereldritch's picture

Save it and release it when that new movie comes out,
George Washington, Zombie Hunter - in 4D

JohnKozac's picture

I also suggest: Adam Fergusson, When Money Dies.

G-R-U-N-T's picture

I suggest the Road to Serfdom by Hayek together with Atlas Shrugged. Both will give one perspective on worldly reality.

mcguire's picture

i suggest: the book of daniel and the book of revelation.  

Lower Class Elite's picture

Pre-1960 Looney Toons will give one a much clearer perspective than a self-contradicted Austrian noble and a greedy Jewish bitch.  No, seriously.  All you need to know about pretty much everything is contained in Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Escapeclaws's picture

And fortunately, Rand defines reality in her objectivist philosophy so we at least don't have to bother our little heads about what is reality. Thank you Ayn Rand!

Newsboy's picture

@He_Who Carried

You got way less bashed for mentioning Niall Ferguson than I did the other day, and I didn't even recommend him, just linked to him saying the highest risk of Euro breakup would be this week we're in now, which I thought was ballsy. He was trying to argue for the big solution of evyrybody giving up national sovereignty, but hey, he knows which side his bread is buttered on, I guess.

economics9698's picture

Revolution.  Kill all communist, fascist, and socialist.  Better yet sent them to Venezuela.