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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. I think this data misses the point. Of movements of the collective, rather than movement of an individual.
    Compared to 1990, wealth and income is much more concentrated in the top 0.1%. This means fewer people have more power. If that movement continues, we will end up with one entity with all the power, and this power will likely crush any attempts to reign it in (i e, it will be anti-competitive).
    That is the danger pointed out by the critics of wealth concentration.

  2. Mary Wilbur

    Bad investments, or indulging in funding a run for political office or buying a sports team. There are lots of ways to lose big money.

  3. Columbia Stats Guy

    Jon W-

    Your logic is faulty. It is not obvious that, based on the recent historical increases in wealth among fewer individuals will lead to a single entity holding the majority of the wealth. We have no idea what this relationship actually looks like; you do not have enough evidence to make the conclusion you want to make. Of course, your conclusion needn’t be as strong as you’ve written: even an increase in wealth among few is perhaps a reason for concern, though the relationship between wealth and power (you should carefully define what you mean by power) isn’t clear either. [It’d perhaps be clearer once you offer a consistent definition of ‘power.’] You’d also need to be sure that those in the top 0.1% actually stay there, and that doesn’t seem to be supported by empirical evidence, as fuzzily suggested by the article.

    1. David Cearley

      Columbia, your response assumes there is a static amount of wealth to distribute, which is patently false. wealth is not a zero sum game, anyone can create wealth.

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