The Unites States is a “plutocracy” (a society governed by the wealthy). The vast, growing power and influence of the elite wealthy are simply undeniable. And there’s nothing you or anyone else can do about it. Here’s a funny 3 minute rant about it from George Carlin:
Perhaps because of increasing attention to the issue (and outrage for some), economics is becoming normative. Instead of asking how much money do those rich guys have, economists are now asking how much money should those rich guys have? Some very influential thinkers are screaming ‘TOO MUCH!’ Those rich guys have obscenely way too much money! Government must take some of it away from them and redistribute it to the poor and middle class. Political views notwithstanding, the thesis of these next few blog posts is that it is NOT in your best interests for Government to attack the elite wealthy.
Economists Thomas Pikety, Paul Krugman and Jospeh Stiglitz, among others, believe that wealth inequality is a major global problem. They feel strongly that Government is the solution. The problem for us in the Mass Affluent is that those economists radically underestimate the magnitude of resources and complexity in how Oligarchs will respond to defend their wealth and power. If attacked by Government, those powerful owners will push as much of the economic burden down on to you as possible – because they can and will. You can resent the elite wealthy all you want, but don’t mess with them – in war it’s foolish to attack an enemy head on with vastly superior resources.
I’ve been following the wealth wars very closely for my clients since the legislative battle that resulted in the one year estate tax repeal of 2010 and then higher exemptions. Government policy makers and academic economists are no match for the Oligarchs and their legions of well-paid, extremely clever advisors and political lobbyists. Protect your family by maintaining an Estate Planning War Chest that contains moderate wealth, insurance, proper legal documents and awareness of the economic reality of our times. Next week, we’ll look at the ideological weaponry deployed in these thought wars.