Monday, August 11, 2014

Rich people not at fault for wealth unequality

We have a two-tier economy. We have an economy of well-to-do people from which I have benefited because I'm in the financial sector. My asset value has gone up, I benefit from rising asset prices because I own shares and I'm on the board of companies that own shares, fund management companies and so forth, but I'm not happy about the fact that the typical household and the working class worldwide is not doing well. 

And what will eventually happen and has begun to happen – and I have written about this already five, six years ago – when you have rising wealth inequality, eventually you have politicians that will not assume personal responsibility for the rising wealth inequality that is largely fostered by monetary policies by central banks, notably the Federal Reserve. They will then go to the public, like Bill de Blasio, and say, "Look, if you are not doing well it's the fault of the rich people. The rich people are ripping you off."

The rich people aren't ripping off anyone. They just took advantage of a situation that was given to them by the Federal Reserve. 

And so these politicians will go to the people and say, "What we have to do is to punish the rich and let's introduce a massive wealth tax,".

[Thomas] Piketty, who has studied – and I do not disagree that he's done serious work; it's not exactly correct but he's done serious work about wealth inequality. When wealth inequality grows too much you have either significant social reforms, social strife or revolutions. And in Europe and everywhere I hear more and more talk about taxing the rich and that is going to happen. It's not going to help. 

Redistribution of wealth eventually ends up in redistributing poverty.