2 Responses to The Purpose of Wealth

  1. Bill Hall says:

    Right on Craig. This is an important conversation. I have been reading Howard Zinn’s “Peoples History of the United States” after I dusted it off from many years on my book shelf. I found it interesting that the distribution of wealth in colonial America before the revolution was very similar to what we have today. The same is true for much of the 19th century. It makes me wonder if the middle class as we have lived it is an accident or aberration in our national history. It did not exist before World War II in any way that we would recognize today. It evolved after the war in response to a combination of favorable economic and political circumstances. It seems that wealth inequality has been a constant and intentional part of our economic system.

  2. Hmmm…a very good point, Bill!! Sadly, when Carole and I visited Europe this fall, many of the tourist attractions we saw were the vestiges of past plutocracies.

    I’m sure some economists can (and perhaps have already) created a model that can project an optimal wealth profile for a society…balancing the need for innovation and progress that benefits all people against an unsustainable tendency to accumulate great wealth in the hands of just a few. Perhaps this would be an interesting possible outcome for some deliberative work about wealth.

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