April 02, 2009

Evenly Distributed Wealth

So, is there a pragmatic reason for distributing wealth more fairly? I think so. When a large percentage of the nation's wealth is concentrated in just a few hands, that wealth becomes decreasingly precious to those who hold it. They are more likely to waste it as capital on risky investments because (1) there are only so many actual commodities that you can spend a million dollars on and (2) when you have so much money you don't know what to do with it, risking some of it on investments is really no different than risking it at the craps table in Vegas. So, that's how we got into this situation -- a small number of people had enormous amounts of money to burn and that's exactly what they did. If wealth were more evenly distributed, that wealth would be treated more as a precious commodity because each person would have less of it and would not, consequently, be invested in vaporous financial instruments.