Boing Boing: Dear fellow zillionaires: they’re coming for us with pitchforks


I like this Hanauer guy.

The key takeaway here is not one about discontent and revolution; as alluded to in the comment sections I believe we simply have it too good and are too poorly informed for anything approaching a revolution to occur in my lifetime. No, the key takeaway is what any true investor in society should realize: a market is built on supply and demand. By accumulating wealth, you are slowly diminishing demand…for everything. No matter how ludicrous and irresponsible the spending is, one person with ten million dollars will not have anywhere near the impact on the economy as one thousand people with ten thousand dollars.

What Hanauer realizes is, no matter how much effort he put into his fortune later, his entire station in life was based on pure, dumb luck. That’s true with roughly all wealthy people. Even a Bill Gates or a Mark Zuckerberg first had the good fortune to be born into a wealthy enough family and country to have time to develop their passion, and then enough of a safety net to drop out of school to pursue it. Nothing, literally nothing they did could not have been emulated by someone different who was in the right place at the right time. So why do we further reward dumb luck if it is detrimental to society?

There are economic reasons to encourage people to accumulate money. But ultimately, it all falls apart if not enough people have money to spend. An economic engine does not run on 5-10% of its participants.


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