[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae...

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 9 04:24:25 UTC 2008

--- Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > That's a good point, but still, just how long can a continuously
> > > decreasing fraction of the population continue to hold on to a
> > > continuously increasing fraction of the wealth?  Something breaks
> > > sooner or later.
> >
> > Well, there's capitalism in a nutshell. I wonder what will happen?
> But
> > on topic, there's no reason to think that the fraction of people
> > holding these wealth-attracting ideas would decrease over time.
> ### As I discussed above, it all depends.
> And, BTW, capitalism actually leads under most human conditions to a
> continuously increasing fraction of workers controlling continuously
> increasing wealth.... but this is a whole different story.

I would prefer that this important discussion to not devolve along
party lines. Therefore I will not forward any argument. I simply invite
Rafal and anyone else who is interested examine some data and attempt
to assess it as objectively as possible.

First a quick introduction to economic indicators of wealth

In a nutshell: A Gini coeficient of 0 is indicative of a completely
equal distribution of wealth (or anything really) i.e. everybody has
the exact same amount. A Gini coefficient of 1 indicates complete
inequality of wealth i.e. one person has it all.

Now the data:

In a nutshell:
In 1967, when the U.S. Government first started keeping track, the Gini
coeeficient for nationwide household incomes was .399 and in 2001 it
was .466 for an approximate average growth rate of +.002 per year. If
this trend continues then, in approximately 264 years, one person will
own everything or sometime along the way, as Emlyn pointed out,
"something will give".


Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Life is the sum of all your choices."  
Albert Camus

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