George Packer’s The Unwinding

F&O Packer Unwinding book titleAmerican George Packer of The New Yorker was scorching in his take of the state of his union, talking in Vancouver at a writer’s festival.

Writes Rod Mickleburgh: “He drew gasps from the nearly sold-out crowd at the university’s Frederic Wood Theatre, when he pointed out that Sam Walton’s six heirs will eventually have as much wealth as the bottom 42 per cent of Americans. Meanwhile, incomes for the country’s top one per cent have soared by 256 per cent over the past 30 years, while those of the middle class have nudged higher by a mere 21 per cent.

“These aren’t just numbers,” said Packer. “This is a very bad sign. It’s bad for democracy … It’s starting to feel like the end of an empire.”

Read Mickleburgh’s story in Ex Libris, available to monthly subscribers or with a $1 day pass to Facts and Opinions.