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  • bill - 2 weeks ago
    I agree.

    However, “the elite” are just stepping in to fill a vacuum of leadership left by government, so I could imagine a similar article where the ire focuses entirely on the public sector.

    One more thing: this article seems to assume that rising inequality is, by definition, a bad thing. I agree, but not everyone does. Some would say that overall net wealth/production is the more important way to measure how well a society is doing.

    • jeff - 1 week ago
      I absolutely detest the way this author demonizes philanthropy and glorifies the government. Some facts are thrown around about the stagnation of the middle class and the rise of the billionaire class but correlation of course does not equal causation and no effort is made to actually connect the two.

      Something else that has changed over the past 30 years? The national debt has increased roughly threefold as a percent of GDP. Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty in 1964 and 15 trillion dollars was spent with virtually no impact on the percent of Americans living in poverty. Maybe a war on the wealthy isn't the answer. Maybe we should get the government out of the business of declaring these wars in the first place.

      The whole article is lazy cherry picking, highlighting the Clinton Global Initiative as a hallmark of philanthropy while conveniently ignoring The Gates Foundation and other much larger organizations that really do make a difference. The author also ignores the fact that Americans give more than any other country on earth. A whole lot more. Giving by individuals in the US was recorded at 1.44% of GDP, that's almost double the second runner up and over two and a half times that of the UK (#4), a country with a GDP almost one tenth that of the US.

      Also to your last point, what is the formula for optimal wealth distribution? If overnight the wealth of the bottom 1% doubled but that of the top 1% tripled would it instead be preferable that the wealth of the bottom 1% stayed the same and that of the top 1% was halved?

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/america-new-zealand-and-canada-top-list-of-world-s-most-generous-nations-a6849221.html