|As usual, Elroy, you don't know what you are talking about, you just shoot from the hip. Actually, Gates, Bezos and Buffet's families were all wealthy and educated (not Bezos' step father so much, but he became an engineer who worked for Exxon while his mother's family was very wealthy and among the largest land owners in Texas). Buffett's father was stock broker and a Congressman and not as wealthy of Bezos' grandparents, but nonetheless well off. Gates' parents were wealthy and socially connected. His father was a prominent attorney in a well heeled law firm and his mother was on the Board of Directors of several large companies. You could have picked any number of others, like Steve Jobs for instance, whose parents weren't well off at all, they had to scrimp and save to be able to send him to college and it was a real sacrifice for them.|
I don't doubt that the emergence of China and the "Third World" as it used to be called is a factor. But it is indisputable that policies under the Reagan admin contributed mightily to inequality. His attack on and weakening of unions; the Greenspan Commissions raising of the payroll tax and the indiscriminate use of the money that it raised without regard to the real purpose of it (which is why people now claim that we can't "afford" SS, there isn't enough money; actually there is plenty of money if the govt decides it has to honor the IOUs that the Treasury gave the SS Fund), which effectively became a highly regressive tax on wage earners; the dramatic lowering of the capital gains rate and lowering of the top marginal tax rate; the emergence of a "profit before everything else" attitude in business, which was epitomized in the "Greed is Good" motto of Gordon Gecko in the film Wall Street; the weakening of the social safety net. All of those things emerged during the Reagan era in addition to the competition from developing countries. Not all of those things were Reagan's doing, but he contributed to enough of them. It was the beginning of the emergence of another Gilded Age.
Some of the phenomenally wealthy families do as you say, they establish foundations that help society. Others don't. But the real point is, the society itself is set up to make inequities inevitable. This is a hangover from a period when scarcity was the rule. We are entering a period when it won't be. At least, it won't be the rule if CC doesn't overwhelm societies around the world. And if people figure out how to successfully deal with the historically massive productive capacity that technological advances will make possible over the coming decades.
You know, I didn't start this thread to have conversations. I started it to just put posts that I was interested in in one place for easy reference in the future. Obviously I can't keep you from reading the thread. But I just want to be asocial here, OK? You don't have to answer that. Silence is golden. Just think of me as an obstreperous, ornery guy.