Rent-seeking is indeed corrosive. It is a feature of every society with shrinking growth and diminishing prospects. The same applies to inequality - its growth and decline of the middle class are linked with decline cycles of once-innovative societies. Are we in a decline cycle? I like to think so. And I also believe that the root of decline - as before - is stagnating broad innovation. Over the last few decades - the decades of slowing growth - innovation and technology came to be equated with IT only. Unfortunately, we cannot eat IT or put it in our gas tanks, and it even does not seem to significantly increase productivity in the services sector. The root of inequality, rent-seeking and other social ills is stagnating growth and stagnating innovation. My recent book 'Baroque Tomorrow' explores this topic in depth.