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MSNBC Anchor on Kremlin Propaganda Channel: Competition ‘Seedbed’ of Corruption

• June 18, 2012 12:41 pm

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CHRIS HAYES: I think the Reagan era symbolized it, in terms of the cultural shift and the financialization of the American economy as an economic shift–and those two things have gone together–are the rising inequality has all kinds of cascade effects and one of them is merit and salary or income begin to become confused for one another, right? We start to think not just that someone is earning money because they deserve it and they're talented and they are smart, but if they are earning money, then they must deserve it and they’re talented and smart. It’s a very dangerous way to think about things. I think it also has created this constant ceaseless status anxiety among the elite themselves because when you get to the top, what you observe in the distribution of income–what I call in the book, fractal inequality, that is inequality that reinscribes itself at every level of analysis–the constant idea that there is always someone above you, there’s always some other step to rise to, it produces this kind of neediness, this kind of acquisitiveness, this competiveness that is the seedbed of a lot corruption, a lot of corner cutting. Because people who are in the upper ranks of Americratic elite, I think there is this sense that they can never feel satisfied. There is always another competition around the bend.

Published under: Chris Hayes, Media, Russia, Video