Monsters of the Economic: Inequality, Fear, and Loathing in America
Presidents Hall, Franklin Hall
The trend toward extreme income inequality within the U.S. and the global economy as a whole is clear. But the numbers don’t reveal the emotional consequences of this information. The threat of downward mobility and economic insecurity generates fear and loathing, increases vulnerability to political manipulation, and impedes our ability to work together to solve important economic problems—including, paradoxically, the problem of extreme inequality itself. This presentation flushes out some of the monsters lurking behind economic policy debates, many of which have been projected onto a vivid cultural screen portraying conflicts between vampire and zombie, robot and werewolf, superhuman and subhuman. Which should we ordinary mortals fear the most?