In her income inequality speech, Chrystia Freeland discusses financial disparities worldwide. The global phenomenon sees an increasing gap between the super rich and the middle class, not to mention those living in poverty. Freeland uses shocking statistics to bring this point home. In the 1970s, the top 1% accounted for 10% of national income, where as today the top 1% makes up 20%. Furthermore, the top 0.1% comprises 8% of national income, so where the 1% was thirty years ago.
There are many causes for the stagnating middle class, some political (lower taxes, deregulation of financial institutions and privatization to name a few), but the two biggest culprits according to the income inequality speech are globalization and crony capitalism. Freeland fears meritocratic plutocracy will result in a new aristocracy. She puts the economic transformation Western society is undergoing on the same scope and scale as the industrial revolution, requiring a new New Deal.