Troubling data on wealth distribution

There is an interesting story in the NY Times today about hedge funds and the substantial payouts for the leading managers of the big funds. Let’s just say they’re doing pretty well. What jumped out to me was the information about the previous years in which wealth distribution was so distorted. It should be at least a warning signs of an economy that has gone badly off course for decades.

In the south of France you have a number of beautiful mansions that were built just before the crash of 1929 and a fascinating book came out a few years ago detailing the history of those mansions. Quite a few were built by ultra-rich gamblers much like the hedge fund and Wall Street gamblers of today. One big difference is that back then when they went too far and failed, they really fell. Mansion after mansion was lost as the gamblers had nobody to bail them out as Paulson has done with Wall Street. Was it a good thing that the pre-Crash crowd fell so hard? Maybe not, but nobody forced them to roll the dice and those are the breaks of the game. That’s how old fashioned capitalism worked.

Where I have a bigger problem is that this is the crowd who today calls anyone who raises the issue of wealth distribution a communist. I haven’t heard the same smears of communism when Wall Street has been bailed out but rest assured, talk about creating an even playing field – which is different from everyone gets equal money – and you know where the GOP and wingnuts will go. Everyone in the US ought to have the same opportunity to be make money but what we have today is eerily similar to what we saw in 1928. The system has broken down and needs to change so we as a nation can move forward.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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