Chrystia Freeland | Plutocrats, the Hollowed out Middle Class and Democracy

Thu April 24th 2014, 7:00 - 8:30pm
Event Sponsor
McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society
Law School, Room 290
Chrystia Freeland | Plutocrats, the Hollowed out Middle Class and Democracy

Chrystia Freeland will discuss the status of plutocrats in North America today, who have never been richer or wielded more economic power. But in democracies where the political economy is not delivering equally throughout society, populists have been gaining ground.

A hollowed out middle class is driving a new political reality in which plutocrats continue to prosper, but wages for over two-thirds of the workforce have stagnated and people with jobs feel insecure about their economic futures. Their frustration is translating to the ballot box, as voters in ever larger numbers respond to populist economic messages from both the left and right. The future facing plutocrats is a simple one: stick to their old political playbook and find themselves out on the political margins or rise to a greater challenge and work with the middle class to help it grow again from the inside out.


Chrystia Freeland is a newly elected member of the Canadian Parliament. She was born in Peace River, Alberta and studied at Harvard University where she received and continued her studies on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. After cutting her journalistic teeth as a Ukraine-based stringer for the Financial TimesWashington Post, and The Economist, Freeland went on to wear many hats at the Financial Times, including deputy editor, UK news editor, Moscow bureau chief, Eastern Europe correspondent, editor of its weekend edition, and editor of Freeland served as deputy editor of Canada‚Äôs The Globe and Mail between 1999 and 2001, before becoming a managing editor at the Financial Times. In 2010, Freeland joined Canadian-owned Thomson Reuters as editor-at-large. She most recently worked as Managing Director and Editor of Consumer News. Freeland was a weekly columnist for theGlobe and Mail, writing extensively about the challenges facing the middle class. Freeland is the author of Sale of a Century: The Inside Story of the Second Russian Revolution (2000) and Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (2012). Freeland is married and the proud mother of three children.

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