AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (5 comments)

  1. Robert puharic

    I love fairy tales. It’s always nice to see Dorothy get away from the flying monkeys and get back to Kansas. Nice.

    And it’s nice to see the right tell us how hard the wealthy work…and that we middle class should learn from them and appreciate them with doey eyed puppy love.

    The fact they invent credit default swaps that are merely legal ways to bankrupt the nation…well let’s not talk about them. The fact ratings agencies were left on their own to value instruments that no one had a CLUE about…well let’s ignore that, too.

    The fact is, middle class workers work HARDER than your Wall Street heroes. It wasn’t Wall Street bankers who pulled the survivors out of the collapsed WTC. It isn’t billionaires who got to 3 jobs every day to feed their families

    Perhaps if billionaires learned from middle class wage earners instead of the right singing the praises of the rich, this country would be a better place

    But fairy tales are nice.

    1. There’s a couple of things, one is that it’s an American tradition that you don’t get too big for your britches once you get rich“…

      Charles Murray again offering up another pointless mea culpa for co-authoring the Bell Curve?

      Perhaps if billionaires learned from middle class wage earners instead of the right singing the praises of the rich, this country would be a better place“…

      Perhaps if the country got rid of the socialist parasites & statists that want to spend other people’s money it would indeed be a better country…

  2. Todd Mason

    Kudos to Murray.

    When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s in a small town in Wisconsin, the richest guy in town went out his way to appear ordinary, and teachers had enormous respect.
    Nostalgia usually informs our notion of the good old days, but this change is truly poisonous.

  3. James F Monahan

    Hmm. I wonder where all those 19th century mansions on the upper east side of New York came from.

    1. Todd Mason

      Those are relics of the last Gilded Age, in which robber barons also earned opprobrium. James Monahan makes the common mistake of assuming that equality is the normal state of affairs in America when the opposite is true. From the Economist:

      “Another important issue is the extent to which inequality (or equality) is normal. Here we may have been misled by the middle of the 20th century which saw a dramatic reduction in inequality, known as the Great Compression. This was down, Mr Piketty suggests, to the effect of world wars, high taxes and high inflation which destroyed private wealth (by contrast, in the 19th century, many upper class people lived quite comfortably off the income from government bonds).

      This he expresses in the form of a capital/income ratio. In 1910, national wealth (or capital) was about seven times income or GDP; a ratio it had maintained for the previous two centuries. By 1950, this ratio had dropped to three times. It has since climbed rapidly and is back between five and six times. A similar process has occurred in France (in fact, the capital ratio is even higher).”

      http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2014/03/demography-and-inequality

      In periods of slow/no growth, accumulated wealth keeps appreciating when wages do not. And, no, it does not trickle down.

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