What, if anything, can the United States do to reverse the upward trend in inequality and the danger that it will lead to populist despotism or a corrupt oligarchy with laws made for the few, not for the many?
I propose two sets of policies. The first requires reforms in labor laws and regulations to better enable workers to organize and bargain collectively with employers. The second requires tax and procurement policies to encourage firms to develop employment ownership programs so that workers own some of the capital that employs them and additional policies that increase worker investments in capital more broadly. By operating on ownership of both labor and capital, the policies can modernize American economic institutions to fit the coming world of artificial intelligence (AI) robotics and avoid Madison’s Scylla and Charybdis choice between anarchy and corruption.