Das ungleiche Amerika

PARK CITY, UTAH – Der letzte Dokumentarfilm, der anhand trockener Schaubilder und Statistiken abstrakte Aussagen über ein globales Problem gemacht hat und trotzdem ein Erfolg der Popkultur wurde, war Eine unbequeme Wahrheit von Al Gore. Aber der Höhepunkt des diesjährigen Sundance-Filmfestivals war ein bescheidenes Werk mit dem Namen Inequality for All, in dem Robert Reich, Arbeitsminister der Clinton-Regierung, erklärt, wie die steigende Einkommensungleichheit und der Abstieg der Mittelklasse zum Leiden so vieler Amerikaner führt.

Angesichts dessen, dass Präsident Barack Obama kürzlich in seiner zweiten Amtsantrittsrede einige dieser Themen aufgegriffen hat, lohnt es sich, die Botschaft von Inequality for All genauer unter die Lupe zu nehmen. Die Diagramme des Films sind nicht langweilig, sondern absolut mitreißend: Reich zeigt, dass in den Jahren zwischen der Mitte der 1940er und der Mitte der 1970er Jahre eine relative Einkommensgleichheit herrschte, die mit allgemeinem Wohlstand einher ging. (Das letzte Mal, als die Einkommensungleichheit in der Vereinigten Staaten so stark war wie heute, war unmittelbar vor dem Börsencrash von 1929.)

Aber in den letzten zwanzig Jahren gab es einen Höhepunkt im Unterschied zwischen den Topverdienern und der Mittelklasse: Das „eine Prozent“ lebt tatsächlich in einer stratosphärischen Blase. Wie die Journalistin Chrystia Freeland kürzlich sagte, entsteht eine Metaklasse globaler „Plutokraten“, die mit dem Rest von uns wenig gemeinsam haben.

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