Letters to the Editor

Business: Big fish are eating it all

Recently the editor wrote that “Big Fish Will Eat Little Fish,” (News-Times, Jan. 30) which is needed for an efficient economy. Let’s examine that efficiency.

A year ago, Scientific American published a graph of U.S. family net worth, compiled from 10-20 years of Federal Reserve and Forbes magazine data.

Contrary to popular notions, most of the wealthiest Americans made no major gains. During the ‘90s boom, our richest 1 percent — including top managers, professionals, business owners and investors — averaged only 2.75 percent annual growth. They would have done better for their children if they’d stayed home and invested in ordinary CD’s. The rest of the top 10 percent, like the 90 percent of us below them, have collectively been at dead stop.

But those figures don’t quite include everybody. The Forbes wealthiest 400 families multiplied their average net worth 7-fold over 20 years to an average of over $3 billion per family.

This economy is so efficient that it avoids leaking any meaningful gain into the “bottom 100 percent” of families. A generation of growth of the world’s mightiest economy went to a group so small they would barely fill Oak Harbor High School.

Our grandparents and parents made us the strongest, safest, healthiest, most rich and free people and alliance in all of history, and they converted humanity’s most evil empire into one of its major defenders.

They did it by building crucial IN-efficiencies into governments and economies, replacing dictatorship and monopoly with participation and gains shared among all classes of people. It was an accomplishment of biblical magnitude.

Today we warn their grandchildren to expect less, to work more and to stand watch against most of the human race. While our elders are still with us, we should all sit down for a sober comparison of our different approaches to efficiency.

David Daye

Oak Harbor

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