Saturday, September 07, 2013
As mentioned a couple of days ago we are in New York for a short trip; family stuff over the weekend, a bunch of work stuff on Monday before we head back but we started in the Hamptons.
We found the area in East Hampton and Wainscott where the huge eight figure estates are, we saw more Mecedes G-Wagons, Ferraris, Maseratis in one area than we've ever seen but interesting only one Rolls Royce. I felt acutely aware of the wealth gap and the extent to which it has become much. much wider in the last ten or 20 years.
There is a quote that an acquaintance of mine pastes in his email auto-signature attributed to Abraham Lincoln that says the answer is not taking from the rich and while I do not believe taking from the rich is the answer I would note that the big reason I don't believe in it is that the economics of it should not work. I also think though that in the last few years we've seen a lot of things that economically should not work have not turn out to not be horrible (so far?). We have been printing money and buying our own debt for five years and the world has not stopped rotating on its axis.
Intuitively it makes more sense to me to create more opportunity for more people but as we have talked about before, the politics of that is far more difficult than saying "vote for me and I will tax the rich because they can afford it." The really rich can afford it--rich is not $300,000 in New York City--but it won't have the intended effect. At least I don't think it will.
Regardless of where you stand on taxing anyone, that the wealth gap is so wide is very bad news. It was relatively wide before the great depression, relatively wide before the great recession and is still wide. I don't have the answer but these are important questions.
On a lighter note we stopped by a Classic Car Show on our way to Manhattan. These pics were my favorites.
Posted by Roger Nusbaum at 2:49 PM