Ali’s blog

Mostly quant stuff with occasional digressions

How the rich work for their wealth

Posted by alifinmath on January 28, 2008

As we all know, the rich sweat blood for their wealth — that’s what CNN and Fox tell us (or suggest), so by golly it must be true. But perhaps sometimes they get a helping hand. Bill Moyers is one of my favorite investigative journalists and here he interviews the author of Free Lunch — David Cay Johnston — who indicates that this is indeed the case.

That the American rich have achieved their status through government largesse and/or through corrupt American politicians and officials is nothing new. Most of the large US fortunes from the 19th century onwards have probably been on this basis. Forget all that nonsense about making a better widget in a competitive marketplace: that’s not the way to riches. The way to real wealth is through government contracts, government protection of one’s markets, and government grants and subsidies. Ask General Dynamics or Bechtel. Government, monoply power, and vast wealth are inextricably tied together.

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One Response to “How the rich work for their wealth”

  1. Chris Prouty said

    Great article with great examples. I would like to point out, however, that Warren Buffet routinely makes public speeches trashing our tax system and essentially saying that it is ridiculous that he pays as little tax as he does.

    Also, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the media doesn’t report this – rich people own the media.

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