Stocks are Up. Wages are Down. What does it Mean?

Stocks are Up. Wages are Down. What does it Mean?
Fix, Blair. (2020). Economics from the Top Down. 4 September. (Article - Magazine; English).

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[First of a two-paper series]

If you listen carefully, you can hear Jeff Bezos getting richer. There’s the sound again. Another billion in Bezos’ coffers. Let’s put some numbers to this sound of money. Since 2017, Bezos’ net worth has grown by about $4 million per hour — roughly 500,000 times the US minimum wage. This accumulation of wealth would be absurd during normal times. Today, as many workers lose their jobs to a brutal pandemic, it’s obscene. While Bezos is the pinnacle of capitalist excess, his wealth is part of a larger story. Over the last 40 years, stock prices have surged while wages have stagnated. What does this trend mean?

In this post, I take a deep dive into the stock market. I’ll first tell you what the stock market is not. It’s not an indicator of ‘productive capacity’. Nor is it ‘fictitious capital’. So what is it? The stock market, argue Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler, is how capitalists quantify their power. To understand what Nitzan and Bichler are talking about, we’ll unmask the ritual that defines our social order — the ritual of capitalization. Read on to take the red pill and lift the veil of capitalist ideology.

[The second paper in the series, 'How the History of Class Struggle is Written on the Stock Market' (October 5, 2020), is here:]



Publication Type

Article - Magazine

Commentary on

A CasP Model of the Stock Market
Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (2016). Real-World Economics Review. No. 77. December. pp. 119-154. (Article - Journal; English).


capital as power distribution stock market


BN Money & Finance
BN Power
BN Region - North America
BN Value & Price
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Class
BN Distribution

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

14 Oct 2020 00:53

Last Modified

14 Oct 2020 01:11


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