The Book of Threes

U.S. HAS REGRESSED TO A THIRD-WORLD NATION

But it goes far deeper than that, which is why Temin uses a famous economic model created to understand developing nations to describe how far inequality has progressed in the United States.

The model is the work of West Indian economist W. Arthur Lewis, the only person of African descent to win a Nobel Prize in economics. For the first time, this model is applied with systematic precision to the U.S.

The result is profoundly disturbing.

In the Lewis model of a dual economy, much of the low-wage sector has little influence over public policy.

Check. The high-income sector will keep wages down in the other sector to provide cheap labor for its businesses.

Check. Social control is used to keep the low-wage sector from challenging the policies favored by the high-income sector. Mass incarceration – check. The primary goal of the richest members of the high-income sector is to lower taxes. Check.

Social and economic mobility is low. Check.

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Three is the Magic Number

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