January 12th, 2016
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About 80% of his essay about economic inequality is a thinly veiled condemnation of poors who Paul Graham thinks are too stupid to understand why the rich are wealthy. They are stupid, he says, because they demand wealth redistribution as a means of addressing poverty rather than attacking poverty itself. Sillies!
He offers these hopeless poors a corrective, modeling himself as a legitimate wealth producer different from those dirty Wall-Street rent-seekers.
Which is half true.
Wall Street is full of dirty rent-seekers whose recklessness has destroyed the American economy over and over again ever since Reagan deregulated Wall Street. The comic wealth that came as a result of that deregulation has allowed Wall Street to chokehold politicians in campaign finance and squeeze out from them financial policies that can only be fairly described as federal handjobs.
For all the money Gates, Thiel, Musk and Zuckerberg personally have to fuck around with, even collectively they could not come close to achieving the kind of economic and political havoc on par with the handjobs demanded by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America.
Not even close.
So I will throw Paul Graham a bone for recognizing that in terms of scale and impact on the American economy, Wall Street is definitely the bigger concern.