No Growth and No Equality: Political Economy of the Intellectual Property Rights Economy
Herman Mark Schwartz (Ph.D. Cornell) Professor at the Politics department of the University of Virginia
What are the sources and consequences of rising wealth inequality in America? The combination of (1) the use of state created monopolies around intellectual property rights (IPRs) for profitability with (2) firm level strategies to transform their industrial organization by pushing physical capital and non-core labor outside the boundaries of the firm (3) leads to rising levels of wealth and income inequality among firms as well as individuals. Income inequality among firms in turn (4) reduces growth in productive investment and thus in aggregate demand. Slower growth reflexively firms from investment, aggravating the shortfall in aggregate demand. Decreased protection for IPRs and increased protection for subcontracted workers would help increase aggregate demand and thus push growth back to its prior level, as well as reducing wealth and income inequality.