Asher Edelman the former Wall Street tycoon who was the model for Gordon ‘Greed Is Good’ Gekko in the 1987 film Wall Street shocked the financial world earlier this year when he endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The multi-millionaire explained that when ‘the average American has not had an increase in pay in over 15 years’ it is terrible for the U.S. economy because businesses need more than the top 1% to keep them afloat—they need a strong robust middle class.
Edelman’s assertion was not groundbreaking: President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the same argument 80 years ago during the Great Depression.
FDR realized that maintaining a strong middle class and reducing poverty were beneficial for the rich even if they had to pay higher taxes because glaring inequality is often synonymous with unrest violence instability and upheaval.
History bears that out – from the French Revolution to WWII.
Too many Americans—and too many Republican politicians—have not learned the painful lessons of history and cling to the failed ideas of Reaganomics – neoliberalism and trickle-down economics.
If they took an honest look around the world they would realize it’s much safer to be rich in social democracies like Switzerland Germany the Netherlands and Sweden than in Honduras and other countries where they are surrounded by widespread desperation.