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Capital: What Is It And How Does It Behave?

Welcome to Happy Ending with Nando Vila.

On this show, our first, we’re going to talk about inequality.

It’s hard to think of a more fundamental issue to confront.

You had the Occupy Wall Street Protests of 2011 that coined the slogan “we are the 99%.” Barack Obama called it the defining issue of our day. Bernie Sanders ran a whole campaign on it.

Wealth distribution in America is grotesquely unfair. Millionaires now own 80% of America’s wealth. At the same time, nearly 60% of Americans don’t have $500 in their bank accounts. Inequality is worse now than since we started measuring it.

The racial wealth gap is particularly hideous. Average wealth for white families is seven times higher than average wealth for black families.

And inequality colors every single issue affecting us today. It is impossible to grasp our health care system, or climate change, or mass incarceration without understanding that those things exist in order to perpetuate the unequal distribution of wealth.

The question is, how we stop this? How do we reverse the trend? Well, to do that we have to grasp a fundamental concept that has been erased from our national consciousness: capital.

What the hell is capital? What does it do? How does it behave?

Time to investigate, the best way we know how: a 1940s film noir parody.

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