As John Cavanagh and Chuck Collins write in the current issue of The Nation — a special look at rising inequality, “Over the past three decades, market-worshiping politicians and their corporate backers have engineered the most colossal redistribution of wealth in modern world history, a redistribution from the bottom up, from working people to a tiny global elite.”
Historians divide history into epochs. We’ve all heard of the Gilded Age, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. Our current epoch, however–a period that has seen soaring fortunes for a new American superrich and a fading American Dream for nearly everyone else–lacks a label.
Some commentators have tried to supply one. Paul Krugman calls our past three decades of growing inequality the Great Divergence. Berkeley economist Harley Shaiken speaks about the Great Disconnect, his tag for years of stagnant and declining wages amid a growing economy. But neither has really caught on. That’s why The Nation is joining the Institute for Policy Studies in a new contest.
Please tell us what you would Name Our Epoch! Send an email toNameOurEpoch@ips-dc.org with your suggested label for our excruciatingly unequal times. Put your thinking cap on now–we need your entry by July 4. An all-star panel of judges–historian Howard Zinn, journalist Barbara Ehrenreich and novelist Walter Mosley–will determine the winner. In addition to the satisfaction of coining a phrase that may go down in history, the winner will receive personally autographed books written by each of the three distinguished judges.