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Wealth Inequality Endgame

Joseph Stiglitz in Vanity Fair on inequality.

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

How can wealth be redistributed from the few to the many? Taxes, gifts, or unrest. Giving is a great strategy if the alternative is tax. Otherwise the wealth of the most selfish dynastic families will compound much more quickly than that of the generous ones. That would leave the most hardened dynasts facing a desparate people. Which is how we get to Pinochet's Chile as an image of what is meant in the Chicago School by Freedom. And you will find conservative think tanks defending Pinochet as such a model.

What says Bill Schambra at Hudson's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal? He is strangely silent on wealth inequality for a populist employed by such a wealthy board. In think tanks too the political is the personal. Wish I were as practical. I could be bought very cheaply, but have had so few offers at any price. The Morality of the Rich has now risen to a matter of national importance. Could I maybe head up a government agency devoted to Moral Renewal of Dynastic Wealth? We could tie it into campaign finance reform. And a military draft.