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DE: Cinco the Mayo Weekend - Pinwheel Empire
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DE: Cinco the Mayo Weekend

submitted 5 years ago by in Daily Empire

The last Daily Empire drawer was getting pretty full with over 1500 comments, so I'm making a new one that will surely generate less. Because I can. Taking up a comment I made in the last DE (and then deleted), the NYT had an interesting article this weekend.

In it a former Bain Capital partner (who apparently was friends with Mitt Romney) makes a case for why wealth inequality in a society is good, and why poor and middle-class people should thank the rich for becoming rich (and richer). The basic idea is that while some people get filthy rich, they only use a fraction of that wealth for their personal enjoyment and invest the huge majority of it again, with everyone profiting. One economist cited assumes that for every $1 a rich person owns, society benefits with $4. He even assumes it's rather $1 to $20. E.g. the founders of Google are loaded, but we are all far better off for having it. Read it for yourself.

The argument isn't completely watertight, with him taking an extreme position on banks and the causes of the last financial crisis. And economists quoted in the article argue that he trusts the power of markets too much, and e.g. fails to account for what is called "rent-seeking", which is the manipulation of the social or political environment by people or organizations who already are in power. Basically once you are rich, you can lobby for advantages that make it possible for you to stay rich even if you are no longer contributing positively to society. 

On top of arguing an extreme position, he also has a combative personality managing to both alienate the very rich (Warren Buffett) and what he calls "art history majors" :-)
So the book he is writing based on his arguments to be published this summer will probably get a lot of backlash. 

 

Also, while he certainly has a sharp mind the guy is a total numbers nerd:

"There’s also the fact that Conard applies a relentless, mathematical logic to nearly everything, even finding a good spouse. He advocates, in utter seriousness, using demographic data to calculate the number of potential mates in your geographic area. Then, he says, you should set aside a bit of time for “calibration” — dating as many people as you can so that you have a sense of what the marriage marketplace is like. Then you enter the selection phase, this time with the goal of picking a permanent mate. The first woman you date who is a better match than the best woman you met during the calibration phase is, therefore, the person you should marry. By statistical probability, she is as good a match as you’re going to get. (Conard used this system himself.)"

How romantic. Might this be how Mitt found Mrs. Mitt?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/magazine/romneys-former-bain-partner-makes-a-case-for-inequality.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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