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Louise Nicholas
Lived in Lyme Connecticut
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Louise Nicholas

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The Role the Stock Market Plays in Concentrating Wealth in the U.S.

This article took some courage to publish, and some real work to write. It draws on freely available (if you know where and what to look for) data from the Federal Reserve to illustrate how much money is taken out of U.S. corporations from dividends, stock buybacks and mergers and acquisitions. Since 1952, U.S. corporations have distributed $14 trillion in inflation-adjusted dividends to shareholders, with 76% of that total, or $10.650 trillion, occurring in just the last thirty years.

My conclusions about the role of shareholders will rub some the wrong way. What I am trying to do here is paint a more objective picture about the real value that shareholders provide to the economy. They do play an important role, to be sure, but it is not what many of us assume it to be, and it comes at a relatively heavy price (more than 5% of our GDP, every year). 

As I say, questioning the value of shareholders here in the U.S. takes some courage. We've come to assume that the goal of "maximizing returns for shareholders" is inseparably tied to the pursuit of profit and even capitalism itself, but it is not, and I am not questioning those very important economic drivers here.

What I am trying to investigate here is the tenet of "shareholder primacy" and how it contributes to the growing problem that this country has with our concentration of wealth. I also attempt to foreshadow what could happen when more of our publicly traded corporations are increasingly automated with robotics and artificial intelligence. This is the "perfect, profit-making machine" and it could accelerate the process of wealth accumulation already underway. 

The way the timing of this piece worked out probably couldn't be worse, given the emotional turmoil wrought by the stock market in recent days.Things usually happen for a reason though, so perhaps this recent roller coaster will help to unleash a different kind of conversation than we might normally have about this very difficult topic. 

#stockmarket   #wealth   #shareholders   #pikkety  
How the stock market extracts value from corporations and fuels the concentration of wealth.
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Self-promotion isn't just for the extrovert crowd.
Introverts are awesome! They are the calm, humble, thoughtful people who are quietly doing a ton of work and taking very little credit! Introverts tend to be deliberative and self-aware; they tend ...
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A Lego machine that builds rows of Dominoes
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Jim Henson's digital dreams came true. [video]
Jim Henson's Creature Shop has come a long way from the days of felt and foam, and nowhere is that more apparent than inside the Digital Creature Shop.
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Farewell Hollywood and Los Angeles!  Now on  my way to #BurningMan  !  Thanks again to my good friend Caleb that got me back behind the Hollywood sign... several layers of LAPD needed to be navigated and many permissions granted!  But what magical evening... the way the city sparkles under the sign; it's like nothing I've ever seen... like a thousand jewels glittering under the sea...
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The crystal clear water of Coral Bay in Western Australia makes spotting marine life an absolute breeze! These humpback whales are on their annual migration north but stopped to play and say hello to some very lucky people onboard this boat. (Photo: www.ningalooreefdive.com)
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Here's a visualization that'll send chills down your spine.
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#‎RugbyWorldCup‬: Power rankings
#6 Springboks http://bit.ly/1I6sMkI
With less than four weeks until the start of the Rugby World Cup, Dylan Cleaver ranks where the nations stand heading into the big event. - New Zealand Herald
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New Zealand's Kevan Mealamu confirms that he will retire after this year's Rugby World Cup. #RugbyWorldCup #NewZealand #RugbyUnion #Rugby
New Zealand's Kevan Mealamu confirms that he will retire after this year's Rugby World Cup.
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Lyme Connecticut - Auckland New Zealand - Airlie Beach Australia
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Living with an honest heart. Living the life that I don't want to vacation from. ♥
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The future is healthy so why risk a life just making a living...
 
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