Friday, August 07, 2015

Another stinging warning to business on wealth inequality


The New York Times Sunday Review will have an op-ed, “Capitalists, arise: We need to deal with income inequality”, link here by Peter Georgescu. 

The author seems more concerned with stagnant wages and incomes than with static rentier wealth.  He says the top 20% live well, but the bottom 40% can’t get off the floor and deal with debt.

He also notes that, unless you are born lucky, you need unusual brains and/or athletic ability to make it now.  That sounds like an obvious reference to Mark Zuckerberg and other social media entrepreneurs, or perhaps both Andraka brothers (for brains, in the sciences like medicine and environmental), or perhaps athletes like Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals’s baseball player and homerun slugger  who took a GED so he could start baseball early. 

  
The editorial suggests that some companies outside of tech (like Home Depot and Starbucks) are finding that they add value by developing their employees more. But too many companies are manipulating stock and not focusing on real wealth.

Failure of more major companies to develop employees properly could lead to much higher taxes or massive, uncontrollable social unrest, the writer warns.
  
On the other hand, Dylan Matthews has another piece in Vox about the virtue of just giving poor people money, citing Good Ventures, founded by Dustin Moskivitz and Cari Tuba, but overseas (in Kenya and Uganda).
  

Today, in other meetings, which I’ll get into again, another business person said he disagreed with the optimistic view of US energy (with domestic shale and sources and some movement on solar) and said that the US could face another oil shock, which still guides US MidEast policy and  (Muslim) hostility in the region. 

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