The main economic story of the last four decades is the massive upward redistribution of income that has taken place. The top 1 percent’s share of national income has more than doubled over this period, from roughly 10 percent in the late 1970s to over 20 percent today. And this is primarily a before-tax income story: The rich have used their control over the levers of economic power to ensure that an ever-larger share of the country’s wealth goes into their pockets. (Yes, this is the topic of my book, Rigged.) (It’s free.)
Anyhow, the rich don’t want people paying attention to these policies (hey, they might try to change them), so they endlessly push out nonsense stories to try to divert the public’s attention from how they structured the rules to advance their interests. And, since the rich own the newspapers, they can make sure that we hear these stories.
This meant that last week the New York Times (3/28/17) gave us the story of how robots are taking all the jobs and driving down wages. Never mind that productivity growth is at its slowest pace in the last seven decades (Beat the Press, 3/19/17). Facts and data don’t matter in the alternative world, where we try to divert folks’ attention from things like the Federal Reserve Board (who are not robots, last I checked) raising interest rates to make sure that we don’t have too many jobs.