Very useful historical perspective and analysis of the current recession in the West.

Summary: with the “rich” taking a wildly disproportionate cut of many countries’ income, the “middle class” (non-rich, non-poor) have run out of avenues to continue their spending (no more debt,  wages falling behind inflation). This hurts the whole of society, including the “rich”. How can we design a society which allows us all to have fun, but live within our capacity limits? And what should be the role of government within in?

NB this has all happened before, people:

“with great economic power had an undue influence in making the rules of the economic game.”

Quote from Eccles in the 50s about the 20s. And Karl Marx had it pretty much spot on, too (about capitalism).

Also worthwhile noting the relative lack of extreme income inequality in Germany.

Jobs Will Follow a Strengthening of the Middle Class – NYTimes.com.