Skip to comments.Plutocrats of the People - Why are America's superrich suddenly fretting about income inequality?
Posted on 01/21/2007 1:18:35 AM PST by neverdem
Why are America's superrich suddenly fretting about income inequality?
What's hot for 2007 among the very rich? A $7.3 million diamond ring. Safari in Tanzania. Oh, and income inequality.
Sure, some leftish, Democratic-leaning billionaires like George Soros have been railing against income inequality for years. But increasingly, centrist and right-wing billionaires are starting to fret about income inequality and the fate of the middle class.
In December, Mortimer Zuckerman wrote a column in U.S. News & World Report, which he owns. "Our nation's core bargain with the middle class is disintegrating," lamented the 117th-richest man in America. "Most of our economic gains have gone to people at the very top of the income ladder. Median income for a household of people of working age, by contrast, has fallen five years in a row." Channeling Barbara Ehrenreich, he noted that "Tens of millions of Americans live in fear that a major health problem can reduce them to bankruptcy." Unbound, Zuckerman concluded with a plea for universal health insurance.
Wilbur Ross Jr., No. 322 on the Forbes 400, has echoed Zuckerman's anger over the Dickensian struggles faced by middle-class Americans. "It's an outrage that any American's life expectancy..." --snip--
In other words, if middle-class Americans continue to struggle financially as the ultrawealthy grow ever wealthier, it will be increasingly difficult to maintain political support for the free flow of goods, services, and capital across borders. In addition to Lou Dobbs Democrats, we'll have more Lou Dobbs Republicans. And when the United States places obstacles in the way of foreign investors and foreign goods, it's likely to encourage reciprocal action abroad. For people who buy and sell companies, or who allocate capital to markets all around the world, that's the real nightmare.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
I'm reading a fascinating book right now, "The Mystery of Capital", by Hernando De Soto. It is instructive in why people in the West have prospered, relatively speaking, as opposed to those in third world countries.
It goes a long way to explain why the US can throw billions at underdeveloped countries, and very little trickles down to the population.
Are you suggesting I need to pay for your kids?
John Kerry, is that you?
If you REALLY want to see the cost of health care fall, then outlaw health insurance and make everyone responsible for paying their own medical bills. When individuals start footing the bill, they will scrutinize and contest every line item. They will get smart fast and veto unnecessary procedures proposed by their doctors. They will doctor shop for the lowest price. That would be a TRUE revolution. Unfortunately, it won't happen until the current system totally collapses on itself.
Joking aside, raising a family can turn the rate of economic growth negative, or for astute investors, just slow down the rate of economic growth.
And in some cases I am aware of personally, it helps to increase it.
How? A supportive spouse, and a burning desire to help protect and reward a loving family.
Oh, no. They will never give you money, just health care.
Some revolutions started with the middle class, but it was not the faux middle class democrats created here. It was the middle class of the bourgeoisie merchants, artisans and traders. The labor unions created a class of overpaid workers and called them the middle class. However, they do not want their children to follow in their footsteps. The American middle class was made up of freeholders and sole proprietors. Go to Williamburg and you will see no union halls.
Wow, well said! You got your flame proof suit on? Your going to need it. Wait till the pro-illegal crowd and the free-traitor's here on FR get a bead on you.
One factor which is seldom addressed is, how do you define a standard of living? I have things today that nobody could have at any price when I was young but some things that were freely available to me as a country boy who plowed with a mule are unavailable now except at a very high price or not at all. Who gets to decide what is really important?
Buuuut....these multimillionaire/billionaire whiners never offer to level the playing field by choosing to live on $250K a year and giving the rest away.
obama has a 90 % liberal voting record .
how the heck is that main anything ?
It's mainstream liberal -- but still part of the machinery. What worries me is the stuff out of left field, the real, real wacko stuff.
Ask the Canadians and English what they think about "universal health care"!
In America, we have always had the possiblity of achieving
great economic success: this factor is what makes us different than other cultures.
the super rich in the USA are no longer American citizens. they are world citizens. so they will screw the USA every time.
I am almost certain that none of the nauseatingly, filthy rich executives and board members at American Airlines are concerned.
Still there are conditions and there are businesses for which that isn't true. Conditions under which a stable economy is not as good for business as an unstable one. And businesses and businessmen for whom an unstable economy is great for business.
Under what conditions is instability preferred? Generally, in any stable economy which is sub-optimally stable -- in these it is necessary to go through a period of instability to have a chance to reach a more optimal economy.
This being America we have a bountiful national prosperity that was birthed in such an unstable transition phase we called the Revolution.
There are other cases that come to mind. It may well be, and I believe it is by analogy to childhood development theories, that the most long-term vital national economy must go through a long -- unending even -- series of periods of stability and instability. In childhood development these are called periods alternating of looking-inward and interacting-outward. The most famous "interacting outward" period being the "terrible twos".
And as we know from raising children -- the most important thing for development is how the adults react to and train the child in those periods of "outward interaction".
A brat is a child who has been allowed to run rampant during such periods. And just as there are always brats-waiting-to-be if unchecked, there are businessmen and businesses waiting to use, and very able to use periods of instability to become the adult equivalent of brats -- tyrants and oligarchs.
Medical care is not, and cannot be, a free market for a very simple reason - unless a customer is after some absolutely elective procedure, the customer really needing medical care is not quite a dispassionate rational market customer comparing the prices [not readily available anyway] and quality of the product prior to purchase. Sometimes the bests doctor is the nearest one.
You are supposed to shop medical care via insurance. Pick the best insurance you can afford and that will insure good medical care.