Capitalism and Inequality

I was talking to a friend about AOC’s proposal to increase marginal federal rates to 70% to fund investments in fighting climate change. My friend said he was disappointed that she didn’t propose a top federal rate of 83.25% so that the marginal rate in NYC would be 100%. He was joking but his remark is important because it speaks to the nuance of the marginal rate, something AOC and her followers don’t really understand as much as they claim.

It reminds me of a heated conversation I had with my kids and their friends during our family ski trip over the year end break. Our kids, like most millennials I know, are struggling with the notion of capitalism at any cost and the massive income and wealth inequality that we are witnessing.

This headline I came across on Twitter today kind of sums it up well:

I am in the business of helping founders start companies which results in some of them becoming billionaires. Contrary to what some think, my wife and I aren’t in that club ourselves. But I know a fair number of billionaires and I have had a front row seat to the process of them going from not having a penny in their pockets to billions on their balance sheet.

And we are participants in the “economic system that creates billionaires.” I do not think it is immoral and I do not think billionaires are immoral. I do think the inequality that we allow in our country is immoral.

To me, these are two different things. And that is the gist of the discussion I was having with my kids and their friends over the year end holiday. They asked me why I don’t believe in massively raising taxes on the rich to pay for all of these new social programs that the candidates on the left are proposing.

I am a fan of many of these social programs, like medical care for all, like more affordable education for all, like new approaches to what we once called “welfare” and now is taking shape as Universal Basic Income. I have been called a communist, a socialist, a liberal, and more on this blog and all of those labels could be accurate in someone’s mind. I believe that society must find ways to support the basic needs of everyone, which include wellness, knowledge, and income. That we do not is immoral. That we allow billionaires is not.

I am a capitalist and a business person. I understand that increasing taxes on the wealthiest leads many of them to move their income and assets to lower tax jurisdictions and can be counter productive, particularly when you go beyond a certain threshold. I also understand that government is bloated and there are many places where we could cut spending to fund these new innovative programs that could help counter the immoral wealth imbalance we have in our country.

I believe that technological revolutions, like the industrial revolution and the information revolution, create opportunities for entrepreneurs to reimagine how the economy should operate. Those entrepreneurs, like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, Bezos, Page, Zuckerberg, build very powerful monopolies and amass billions.

As these revolutions reimagine how the economy should operate, many people lose jobs, can’t find jobs, find themselves in lower paying jobs, and there is real dislocation that results. And you get this “immoral wealth imbalance.”

The one part of the economy that seems immune to re-imagination is the government. If we were to force it to go through the same technological revolution that the private sector is going through, we would see massive efficiencies, and massive job losses, that would free up a huge amount of capital that could be used to pay for things like medical care for all, affordable education for all, and some amount of income for all.

That is what I am for. That is what I explained to my kids and their friends that I am for.

Times of change are times of change. And we can’t change some things but not everything.

I will end with a story from a book I read a few years ago. The book is called The Prize that was written by Dale Russakoff and is about the effort by Chris Christie, Cory Booker, and Mark Zuckerberg to fix the broken Newark NJ public school system.

The story takes place at an anti-charter school rally. Dale meets a woman who is protesting against the charter schools that are replacing the district schools. As she is talking to this woman, she explains that she is late to the rally because she had to spend all morning in line trying to get her child into the new charter school in her neighborhood. Dale is perplexed. Why would she be protesting charter schools if she is that committed to getting her child into one? The woman explains that most of her family works in the district schools and will lose their jobs if the city moves to charter schools.

And that’s where we are. We are not willing to move away from the things of the past to get the things of the future. So our elected officials decide to try to give us both and we struggle with how to pay for it all.

I am not for the emerging progressive Robin Hood narrative. I am certainly not for the entrenched conservative Let Them Eat Cake narrative. I am for a new narrative that understands that everything must change if we are to find ways to support everyone in our society.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Frank W. Miller

    Focusing on inequality is the right thing to do. However, the inequality is not just associated with what we have, its also associated with what we can achieve and this is the reality of the human species that liberals and socialists like AOC do not take into account. Capitalism works because it incentivizes those who aspire with the potential rewards that make their efforts worthwhile.History has shown time and time again that when an economic system is setup in a way that does not incentivize those that are smarter, faster, more wise, more ambitious, i.e. whatever human trait(s) cause some to excel over others, that the overall economy suffers because they do not reach and achieve as a result of the system they are in. Its these high performing individuals, as a subset of the population, in their aggregate that are responsible for the upward surge in the overall standard of living for everyone. They must be incentivized. If they are not, the overall pie does not increase and that leaves far more behind than it creates billionaires at the top.This is the element of the system that AOC et. Al. are unwilling to acknowlege because there are so few of them. Instead, like Toohey, they pander to the masses because there are more votes there. You are correct that the times are changing. Liberalism is on the march in this country and around the world. I worry about that because the end result will be social unrest and possibly wars. Let’s hope these people wake up to the obvious lessons of history.

    1. Frederic Mari

      Oh? Would you then care to explain why Bill Gates and Steve Jobs launched their companies when tax rates were going all the way to 70%? The incentives seem to have been enough back then?

      1. Frank W. Miller

        Because their will and ability to excel was great enough to soar above the structural obstacles in front of them. They were great enough to achieve despite this.

        1. LE

          Exactly. I launched what I did right out of college during the recession when borrowing was about 16% (leases and bank loans yes some of us actually went that route).Very scientific btw how someone can point to outliers like Gates and Jobs as examples of anything. I try to avoid that in any point that I make in comments specifically if I can.Gates and Jobs are outliers in any case. If they weren’t we wouldn’t be mentioning them.

        2. BlairMacGregor

          I think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs launched companies for the same reasons a lot of us start companies (regardless of their eventual size or scale): because they wanted a creative outlet to start something based on a product or mission they believed in, because they wanted to be their own boss/control their own destiny etc. Not because the tax laws would be more favorable.Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian had a great tweet on the subject:…I hear the “higher taxes discourage entrepreneurship” argument a lot from conservative outlets but I don’t see any data that’s even remotely conclusive on that point. Are folks who are more entrepreneurially-minded in places like Norway where there are higher tax rates (and a higher social safety net) really not starting companies because they might be taxed higher at a certain income rate?

          1. Steve Brant

            Ummm the one percenters in the British Colony called America at around 1776 are a pretty good data point. Their protest on high taxes lead to the greatest country on the planet. What conclusive data do you show that a larger government leads to a better society? I understand there is one outlier, but most of the data points the other way. Cuba, Venezuela. I get your point that fighters won’t stop fighting but they become exponentially more successful when obstacles are removed, not introduced.

          2. BlairMacGregor

            I guess I’m just questioning how big an obstacle a potentially higher tax rate (assuming your company reaches the kind of scale you’re looking for) really is for most entrepreneurs who are considering starting companies. Conversely, I think a realer obstacle in this day and age for a lot of would-be entrepreneurs who don’t come from wealthy backgrounds and don’t have the connections to venture money that some do is exactly how they’re going to start a venture and still put a roof over their heads. Or how they (or the family) can go without health care while in the process of getting a venture off the ground. Risk taking is part of the entrepreneurial experience, of course, and plenty will avoid entrepreneurship irrespective of what their financial position might be at the time they start. But this has certainly been an obstacle for me in the past, as it is for a lot of people.Also, I don’t think the goal is necessarily to have “larger government” (although I don’t think it would be as catastrophic as some think) but a more efficient government. Certainly, there are plenty of places government could cut and be smaller. (I think cutting military expenditures to the point where we only have enough nukes to blow up the world 15 times over as opposed to 50 times over might be a good place to start.)Moreover, I think most of us here are aware that a market system produces far better outcomes in just about every sector and that government SHOULD stay (mostly) out of the way. I think even most people who consider themselves more “socialist-leaning” would acknowledge that. We know 100% state-controlled economies don’t work.But a market system has to have rules. Pure unfettered capitalism without boundaries, without rules, especially in a world where winner-take-all systems are now global in scale, creates the kind of outcomes where those with access to capital have almost limitless power and those who rely on labor or typical W2 income in some way, have virtually none.And right now capitalism isn’t working for the majority of people in this country outside of the tech sector. Workers don’t feel invested in their companies and plenty of people have been unceremoniously thrown from the middle class as a result. And when the middle class shrinks, unrest follows. Which is why you have the “S” word floating around so often, particularly among millennials and their younger counterparts who know of nothing but this kind of economy.

          3. Frederic Mari

            Exactly. No one starts a company (or doesn’t start one) because of tax rates. I think paperwork/admin difficulties are far more likely to be barriers to starting a company…

          4. Rick Mason

            Actually there have been two academic studies on this very subject and they both reached the same conclusion: if you want the maximum amount of new companies started then the highest income tax rate should be 29%. Is it any wonder that new company creations are at an all time low? If Miss AOC has her way they are about to go lower.

          5. PhilipSugar

            Here is the real killer, the world is getting very flat. If one say wanted to start a company in the Dominican because of tax rates and sell in the U.S. it would not be hard.

          6. JLM

            .International tax is not quite that slipshod or easy.If you generate revenue in the US and are domiciled offshore, you are subject to foreign corp withholding on gross revenue and you may have to have a domestic entity to qualify to do business in certain states.The domestic entity anchors the income in a specific state within the US.It gets worse because now your revenue is US based and your COGS expenses are foreign based. Now, you really have a problem.Now you are wandering into maquiladora type considerations.You can have a foreign corporation that does business in the USA and sell the company offshore and avoid capital gains tax under certain circumstances, but ordinary income is infinitely harder to hide.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. PhilipSugar

            Jeff you are missing the tax rate I am talking about…….personal tax rate. I am talking about not being a U.S. citizen.The U.S. has tremendously benefited from the best and brightest coming here. That has slowed tremendously.Why? I’m not even going to go into politics. The bottom line is that in my business career, I have seen places go from places where I was essentially incommunicado trying to find something to eat to places where the internet, food and shelter rival ours.

      2. JLM

        .Fight fair, please. Ordinary income rates and long term capital gains rates are not the same thing.Let’s sweat the details, shall we?If one creates paper wealth — stock, real estate equity — and borrows against it, the effective short term tax rate on that cash is ZERO.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Andrew Cashion

          I made more money than 99.99999% of college graduates in the US because of free government money and leveraged it in equity from real estate.A quick short term gain.Currently waiting to re-finance and the discount will cover the $37,000 college loan.I was paid by the government to take their money multiple times and peeled some off into other “assets.”

    2. Richard

      AOC is not pandering – she is a toxic mixture of ignorance / arrogance and Manipulnance. Her statements include “the reason why the unemployment rate is so low is the that everyone one has two jobs” – “ capitalism is immoral”. And what about bill gates ! “Bill gates is not an immoral person”. When she does this with a look in your eyes of a child who has no clue that she is over your head, and this is the person who consumes our time and effects our future we – not she – are the problem.But Fred is avoiding the issue, It’s not the tax rate that is a problem, socialism is the problem. We live in a world of self interest, the former effects him, the latter does not.

    3. LE

      She knows only a very small part of the world as a result of her experience in it so far and what she has (and importantly) has not done.That said (and as I predicted) as a result of her looks, her media saavy, as well as being located and from the news capital of the world we are going to be hearing a great deal of what she thinks. She can say the most outrageous things and the more extreme the better in terms of getting ‘ink’. [1] This is so obvious. She is good to sell papers and advertising. For gods sake she was on 60 Minutes.[1] I loved her whining about how she couldn’t afford a DC apartment prior to getting her $170k salary. That is what we need. More people who don’t plan ahead and live hand to mouth. Like all those (wait for it it’s coming) loser government workers who can’t get by without 2 paychecks and have to go to food banks. Seriously secure government job and no savings? ATC who are going to quit because they don’t have savings (they will be paid duh nobody is working for free it’s cash flow).

      1. awaldstein

        i agree with you on this wholeheartedly.The new crop of elected officials, especially the women are so unafraid, so talented, so at peace with what they don’t know as yet.They are a huge change agent bubbling up.Gives me hope.

    4. Girish Mehta

      Your lessons of history are correct, but you left something out at the end. History also tells us that there is an almost inevitable concentration of wealth over time, which is then addressed by a redistribution.What is happening now has happened before. The concentration, and the call for redistribution. You can go back to the 6th Century BC Athens and a gentleman named Solon.Quoting the Durants from “The Lessons of History”….”the concentration of wealth is natural and inevitable and is periodically alleviated by violent or peaceable partial distribution. In this view all economic history is the slow heartbeat of the social organism, a vast systole and diastole of concentrating wealth and compulsive recirculation”.I know the “equality of opportunity” vs “equality of outcomes” distinction.I am saying if we are looking at the lessons of history, let’s look at the lessons in total and this is part of a cycle that has played out before.

      1. JLM

        .I agree with your story, but the lesson of history is to DEVIATE from the courses of action that gave us the bad results.We made a bad peace with the Germans at the end of WWII at Versailles.The bad peace brought us Hitler and WWII.We occupied Germany after WWII (radically different approach, harder approach, insisted on unconditional surrender) — Germans haven’t started a war since then. The Germans could be counted on to start a war about every quarter century.We changed the glide path of history by learning from what we did wrong the last time.The study of history is intended to inform us as much NOT what to do as what to do.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Girish Mehta

          Sure, I would even say it may be more about what NOT to do than what to do. Hence, the “lessons”.The Santayana line – those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. Note the use of “condemned”.p.s. BTW, I don’t believe the Solon example was a course of action that gave a bad is believed to have saved Athens from a class war. I will read further on this.

    5. Rob Larson

      The problem is not inequality. The problem is poverty. For virtually all of humankind’s existence, we lived in abject poverty. During the past 100 years this has improved, fairly dramatically – and capitalism seems to have played a role in this change, built on the foundation of the industrial revolution.For capitalism to keep working this magic, there must be incentives for the entrepreneurs to do what they do. This inevitably leads to inequality. Unfortunate, perhaps, but that’s the price we pay for this system to keep working its magic. You can’t completely eradicate inequality without killing the goose that’s laying the golden eggs (eliminating poverty).You can eliminate inequality by making everyone poor. Or you can let everyone’s income rise, at the cost of some people’s income rising a LOT. I prefer the second option.But we can take the hard edge off of inequality by supporting people who are incapable of participating in the system. Welfare for those who need it most, who can’t just pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and don’t have the same opportunity to participate in the system. Frankly that’s the only way to completely eradicate poverty – to help those incapable of helping themselves. The question is where to draw the line. Welfare for only the least fortunate and least capable, those without a straightforward path to participating in the economy? Or welfare for everyone? (UBI). I lean towards the former. I don’t think we have the resources to implement UBI, and I’m skeptical of it even being a desirable outcome. But we could probably do a little more (and do it a little more wisely) than we are now.

      1. Rob Larson

        See image of declining poverty, attached. This is for “extreme poverty”. You could also draw the line in other places, for “less extreme” poverty reduction. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

          1. Lawrence Brass

            “The absolute poverty is defined as living with less than $1.25 a day…”Modest goal indeed. Very.I know this is a reality. I would tag any government or social organization who allows this as mediocre. Even mediocre is an overstatement.

          2. Rob Larson

            And yet, look how much of the world was below that line 100 years ago. And how much of the USA was below that line 150-200 years ago.That level of income was once the norm for much of humanity. The fact that you are not impressed by it shows just how far we’ve come!You could draw similar lines for higher income levels ($10 / day, etc.) – I’d wager those curves follow a similar shape, though we’d still have much progress to make there.

          3. Lawrence Brass

            I am impressed by human development, what I say is that part of it has been achieved exploiting inequality.Drawing the line of extreme poverty at $1.25 / day is a wrong KPI, in my opinion. Wrong KPIs lead to wrong conclusions and bad decisions.

      2. JLM

        .”let everyone’s income rise” — passive approach”create economic opportunity” — active approachWe are at a time of all time low minority unemployment in the US. Family incomes are rising.This is a time of economic opportunity, but you still have to get off the couch, suit up, get into the fight, and get a job.Then, you have to do a job.This is a great system. This is a great time to be alive. Still, you have to answer the bell.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Rob Larson

          I completely agree.”let everyone’s income rise” — what the economic system (government) can do (largely by staying out of the way).”create economic opportunity” — what the individual can do.

        2. JamesHRH

          Trump needs to get the Mueller report out and start talking his economic and foreign policy book.Needs to get a wall deal done and move forward.

          1. JLM

            .Agreed.We are getting ready to see a hot war between Iran and Israel in the next 90 days.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. JamesHRH

            Holy Crap.

  2. BillMcNeely

    The question as a American society is do we want to pay the taxes or have a goverment take over of an industry and put those profits to use for the group? Or do we want to keep focusing on the potential success of the individual? If the latter, we have to be be cool with zero safety net, bad infrastructure, huge individual debt due to health care, lumpy education quality due to varying funding levels and poor quality of life during the golden years among other things. The answer seems to be the latter at this moment.

  3. Damian Thompson

    Definitely NOT an economist, but wouldn’t a national sales tax solve many of these issues? It seems to be the most democratic tax.

    1. Gifford Hesketh

      Sales taxes are actually regressive, meaning that they disproportionally affect those with lower incomes more, so you could actually claim sales tax to be the *least* “democratic” tax, rather than the most.

      1. Damian Thompson

        ALL taxes are regressive in real life with all of the deductions, loopholes, capgains, etc. But the more money you spend the more money you pay in taxes seems to be a reasonable idea. Many of the countries that have healthcare for all, free/cheap education have instituted a VAT or GST to pay for the programs.

        1. Gifford Hesketh

          I would be interested to know the source of your statement about VAT/GST as the basis of funding healthcare. My understanding (including from having lived outside the US with it) is echoed in this quote:Most universal health care is funded by general income taxes or payroll taxes.

          1. Damian Thompson

            My only personal experience is Australia where I lived when the GST was passed. It was proposed as a way to limit territory/state taxes but was viewed after enactment as simply another revenue source for the Fed Gov. Again not an economist, but a dollar raised in tax is a dollar raised in tax when it comes to distribution, no?

      2. Rob Larson

        You can fix that regressive aspect by exempting the staples – groceries and clothing – from the tax, so it’s only really taxing consumption. Call it a consumption tax. We would be much better off with that system, I believe. As a bonus it incentivizes savings and investing, which will make everyone better off in their retirement.

    2. Lawrence Brass

      It only works if it is not deductible. But as it is implemented as VAT it usually is deductible and what ends happening is that the affluent will deduct it through “tax optimization”, turning it into a very unfair tax.

  4. kidmercury

    the good news is the current system is well on its way to collapsing via its own trajectory and momentum. the technologically inclined may enjoy re-imagining the future through the creation of governments by blockchain. those who control monetary policy effectively control the social contract and thus control government.the real challenge will be in earning the moral authority to dictate monetary policy. truth is always the source of moral authority (followed by momentum once a critical mass is obtained).

    1. Richard

      Sounds like the final scene to the 2nd planet of the apes. Pray to the “blockchain”.

      1. kidmercury

        if you are under the age of 60, i view it as highly probable you will face a time when the dollar is not the de factor reserve currency of the international monetary system, and thus, by extension, is likely to be substantially devalued from its current status. how you would like to prepare for this reality, if it all, is up to you, of course. once it is accepted, though, a universe of exciting possibilities become within reach.

        1. Richard

          Being under 60, between you and me, if your accuracy on technology forecasting is similar to your ability to spot conspiracies, we are just as likely to have a planet of the apes and a nuclear winter.

          1. kidmercury

            i don’t mind your personal attack as it naturally reveals more about yourself than it does about me. i would simply encourage you to ask yourself how long you think the dollar will remain the reserve currency (within your lifetime?), what will happen to its value if it is not, and what, if anything, you think is the appropriate way to respond financially in light of your worldview. alternatively, if these questions are too much, you are welcome to continue ridiculing me. 🙂

          2. Richard

            I’m not attacking you. I’m attacking your utter nonsensical theories. tell me what great economists do you follow ? I’ve likely read of him of her. I’ll entertain almost any foolish theory. Which bad news bear conspiracy ridden gold /bitcoin book hustler guides you? Why is everything a conspiracy? Listen and follow the work of Ed Hyman of ISI. He is one of the best and has been for 31 years.

          3. kidmercury

            now we’re getting somewhere! 🙂 you answer my questions first, though, since i asked them first. specifically, my question was regarding whether how long you think the US dollar will remain the de factor reserve currency of the international monetary system (forever? within your lifetime?), what you expect will happen to its value if it is not, and how, if at all, you choose to prepare. “i don’t know” is certainly an acceptable answer, and in fact likely to be more beneficial to you than getting angry and hurling insults. 🙂

  5. awaldstein

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot and thank you for your thoughts.I am very optimistic watching the changes in the new class in Congress. Do I agree with them all–no! Do I think that only by having diversity and new energy and a rebirth of middle class values can change happen–yes! And as long as there is a moral and ethical center to the diversity we will find a new way.If the face of so much shit and bad behavior I am very optimistic .

  6. Jeffrey Warshauer

    I appreciate and applaud her idealism but hope she is a little more pragmatic when it comes to policy. I wish our elected officials were as good policy-makers as they are politicians.

  7. Gifford Hesketh

    Thank you for publishing such rational thoughts, clearly explaining a consistent view that comprehends support for both capitalism and social justice. Your “modest proposal” for applying innovation to resolve government’s competitive demands would be an excellent use of our country’s entrepreneurial talent!

  8. PhilipSugar

    I could not agree more. Can you imagine if government was under the same constraints a big company like GM or GE is/was.The only thing I’d add and this will get howls from people that generally have the same thoughts as me.I’d have a very serious “death tax” above some very high rate. If you want to talk about “equality” it is having your kids, kids, kids, having so much wealth that they start off life with the ability to control so many things, and never having to work. None of this Trust bullshit.I give credit to many billionaires spending their money on things they want to when they are alive.I also think you should get rid of the tax exempt status period. Yup my catholic church should pay the same taxes as everybody else.

    1. Gifford Hesketh

      I think churches should be able to fall under the rules for non-profit organizations — as long as they qualify. This seems like it would be a logical application of the “separation of church and state” doctrine.

      1. PhilipSugar

        Nope separation of church and state means that you do not favor one over the other. If you think (I’m catholic) the catholic church doesn’t benefit TREMENDOUSLY more than lets same an AME church because of tax exempt status, you need seriously change your mind. Tax everybody the same. Same for charities. Your fringe charity it pays tax but so does the might United Way. The only argument you have is the money was already taxed……except there are charitable deductions.

    2. LE

      Agree on houses of worship. I’d take it one step further. I’d say there needs to be some kind of tax even on non profits. Non profits pay salaries and do all sorts of things that are similar to for profit corporations. Luxury for those who work and operate them. I am not talking about those BS family foundations or that type of charitable non profit (or whatever they are). I am talking about for example an organization like AARP. I remember how regal the headquarters was when I visited in the 1990’s and they were considering buying some expensive product I was selling at the time. I remember the marble walls the headquarters was as nice as any Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton out there.From what I am reading AARP had revenue of 1.6b and expenses of 1.56b in 2016. That means they are pissing away a great deal of money trying to spend as much as they take in if they can.

      1. PhilipSugar

        Sorry left that out. Totally agree.

  9. Aaron Berlin

    We need “coalition for the future” that’s actually interested in solving (or at least addressing) these generational, systemic issues of sustainability. But our system isn’t set up to reward any of that.

  10. bpjauburn

    Excellent BALANCED piece. Agree completely. The fact that government has been excluded from the rightsizing and innovation/automation that almost all private industries have gone through is wrong.

  11. Chris

    How can you not be gravely concerned about the attack on capitalism? Certainly things need to be modified and adapted to the modern world we are in. That said, reality is that capitalism has been and continues to be the most effective means to spread prosperity to the masses. There is a massive amount of propaganda out there against capitalism and we should be on alert as the younger generations have been turned off to it…. (Many of whom live better than most of the rest of the world)…. Not only are they turned off, but often push and cite socialism as the way forward. This is alarming!!

  12. Tom Labus

    We have billion dollar campaigns that go on forever discussing nothing. Once elected, very little that’s productive gets done. We have major fiscal, financial and social issues to deal with, right now.California is the world’s 5th largest economy. They have a surplus and are doing positive and productive initiatives. Maybe we talk to Jerry Brown now that he’s got some extra time.

    1. Richard

      California is a mess, worst school system in the country, unstoppable homeless, afforbdable housing problems.

  13. DanielOlson

    I don’t think that having billionaires is immoral per se, but would it be terrible if they were “only” hundred-millionaires instead (due to paying higher taxes)?Thomas Piketty makes an interesting argument that some CEOs might be paid more than their marginal product due to their bargaining power. If so, this represents wasteful economic activity, which increased taxation might reduce. More details here

  14. iggyfanlo

    I like Albert’s UBI. I think it addresses many of the concerns of both sides; and it cleverly “uses” derivative theories to accomplish social policy.Communism was a failed experiment because it “capped” outcomes and took away incentives. Raising federal marginal rates to 70%+ would get us asymptotically to the same result. So I believe it doomed to fail.However, UBI is a “floor”; and a much needed one. Fred, you mention going from “penniless to billions”; to me that’s the best of America… freedom of opportunity; social and economic mobility and accomplishment/progress. I believe “UBI” if implemented properly and fairly could give that “floor” (or safety net) for all Americans to challenge themselves and strive for more.

    1. Richard

      How is this even a discussion? We can’t even take care of our obligations to the elderly. Make young people comfortable in misery. That will end well.

      1. iggyfanlo

        You do realize that your reply is completely ironic right?1. The elderly in the US has the lowest poverty rate and is in the best shape of all demographics.…2. Elderly are in the best shape “perhaps” because they already receive UBI (basic income) otherwise known as social security??

        1. Pointsandfigures

          UBI is a terrible idea. Earned Income tax credit is better and aligned with human incentives that are deeply ingrained in our DNA.

          1. Pointsandfigures

            They aren’t one is given you have to work for the other. There is dignity in work. UBI becomes a warehouse program and destroys hope and self worth

          2. iggyfanlo

            The paradigm you’re describing seems to make an equivalence between “traditional wage earning work” and purpose and I would challenge that assumption

        2. Richard

          You need a bit of schooling my friend. In other words, you are ignorant. Social secuity was and is a forced investment. It is not a UBI. 25-35 million elderly are poor. The elderly live much poorer quality of lives than the poor millenials. In any just society the elderly should be respected and treated well because they are in many many ways truly dependent on society. If you are 20-35 – get a fucking job. And as AOC says get two jobs as it will increase the unemployment rate.

        3. JLM

          .Fact checking your comment — those receiving Social Security are receiving back their OWN money.The government used it interest free for many years. They were lousy stewards of it.When they finally return it, they tax it.Social Security is not an entitlement program, it is an investment program. It is our money.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. iggyfanlo

            If you believe that then you must believe in fairy talesThe original receives of social security got 15 times or more their money and that return has gone down with successive generationsYes they collect SS but it’s a pay as you go system and a social program; NOT a retirement plan like in Australia.Isn’t it interesting that they call it social security and not elderly or retirement security?It’s a social program that progressive thinking will eventually extend too all ages

          2. JLM

            .Oh, come on. Nobody is that stupid. Do some research.SS was enacted on 14 August 1935 for workers of age 65 or more.Of course the first recipients received more money than they paid in — the program was too new.If you were 65 in 1936 and lived to be 86, you received 21 years of payments (86-65=21) and only paid in for ONE year.If however, you are like me — have paid in for 55 years — I will never receive back even the principal I paid in over that period of time.If I had received a 4% return I would receive millions, but alas I shall not. I do intend to live to be 112, so there is that.Every penny they send me is mine and they have stripped it bare, used it, and earned nothing on it.As to the enabling legislation, you are, again, wrong. SS is a “trust” fund and the general fund of the US uses it and, in effect, sticks an IOU into the SS trust fund for its use.This was enacted under the Johnson admin in 1968. The legend that LBJ “raided” the SS Trust Fund to pay for Vietnam is not true, but he did in fact commingle the SS TF and the General Fund.“A Presidential commission composed of distinguished congressional fiscal leaders and other prominent Americans recommended this year that we adopt a new budget approach. I am carrying out their recommendations in this year’s budget. This budget, therefore, for the first time accurately covers all Federal expenditures and all Federal receipts, including for the first time in one budget $47 billion from the social security, Medicare, highway, and other trust funds.”~ State Of The Union 1968After LBJ did that, the net effect was to simply ride the same pony. The funds were commingled and never really segregated.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. JLM

            .The payment one receives from SS is determined by the amount paid in. It is not a “pay as you go system.”You can obtain a printout of your payments into the system and an estimate of the monthly payment you will receive.If you wait until age 70 to begin payments you get an additional sum per year beyond 65.It is our money. The government is a poor steward of our money.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. iggyfanlo

            Pay as you go system means at the government level NOT the individual levelTherefore it IS a social programYou keep disagreeing with my points and then make more points that validate my argument

          5. JLM

            .You have a void of knowledge and a reading comp problem. Said in the nicest possible way.Social Security has a rich history. You should study it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  15. Stephen Mangano

    Great commentary and agree with much of it. Though the refrain that government is bloated sounds too catch-all. Do you mean we overspend on the military that makes up the vast amount of the discretionary budget? What areas in particular are you talking about? if you are saying the government needs to invest in technology then, yes I agree. But like any capital investment will cost more in the short run before efficiency is gained in the long run. We have seen several of these projects already come about. Much of these improved services are at the state and local level. Having been a former NYer I see the disfunction there but living in a state like NC I see a lot of improvement in lower corruption and more efficiency. Also, government change has to inheritently cost more and you need a slower process due to high possibility of corruption or misappropriation. You need people watching people watching people. To me, that is a fact.At issue I would say is the combined need to raise taxes and invest in social programs while implementing solutions that will improve government efficiency and reduce costs. These are best done at the local level as our fractured national politics are just not there.In terms of taxes, capitalism and the like. As an entrepreneur I agree, but I also know that the system in place in the US will enable my continued success and there is a cost of those.Lastly, I would put to you that most of the people you mentioned benefited greatly from the government, especially in their company’s early days. Even a company like Facebook would not have been around had the government not supported and built the infrastructure it relied on.

  16. _

    Fred- you nailed it -from my perspective. A healthy economy depends on creating true (not paper) economic value through building new companies which use best available technology and talent. Govt is broken and maybe we seeing V1, post disruption, with Trump. We all know that is very messy so perhaps V2 will be better

  17. Mark Gavagan

    Hmm. Are these statements* from the 5th paragraph above contradictory?* “I do not think billionaires are immoral. I do think the inequality that we allow in our country is immoral.”

    1. Tom Hughes

      Putting Fred’s thought another way: there should be no limit on the economic upside of success, but there should be a downside limit; we should help people stay above a threshold level of deprivation. Can a society call itself “moral” if it allows so many people to live below subsistence level, unable to house themselves, feed themselves, access medical care or education?

      1. Mark Gavagan

        Thank you @tmcmh:disqus. I didn’t interpret Fred’s blog post quite the way you did, but really like the way your comment is worded.

    2. Pete Griffiths


  18. William Mougayar

    “The one part of the economy that seems immune to re-imagination is the government.”It puzzles me that so many governments are not only slow to change, but have incompetent people in charge. The quality of people can make such a big difference- applies in business and in government.

    1. Kent Karlsen

      Incompetent politicians increase GNP, it’s horrible but true. Disadvantage over time is that it kickstart massive migration of skilled people moving to other countries.

    2. Richard

      Fred gets this part wrong too. Their are brilliant people working in goverment. It’s the political class that has always been the problem.

    3. Matt Zagaja

      It’s very hard as a government entity to compete for talent, especially tech talent, in such a hot economy. I’m leaving tens of thousands of dollars if not more in salary on the table by working in the public sector. Taxpayers would revolt if we offered the perks Google and Facebook offer to lure employees.

    4. awaldstein

      In the states, by the very pedigree of who has just been elected, it is starting to change in front of your eyes.Gonna take a while, gonna get ugly but it is happening.Without youth, middle class value systems and unabashed optimism stemming from the local on up, it won’t occur.Spend the time to listen to this new crop and you will see what I mean.

      1. JLM

        .Show me the legislation before we start to count scalps.Robert Francis O’Rourke — Beto — six years in the US Congress from El Paso — one bill authored.Authored bill?Renaming a Federal building in El Paso.A fresh face, an unaccomplished poseur, a guy who live streams a dental cleaning.Don’t get me wrong. I am in favor of dental hygiene. When I saw Beto’s lovely teeth, I made an appointment to get mine cleaned.A fakir, a naif, a poseur. Probably the Dem candidate 2020?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Salt Shaker

          Speaking of teeth, did you happen to catch the Covington Catholic kid’s sit down interview? The only red hat he should be wearing should say “Make My Teeth Straight Again,” along w/ a Go Fund Me page.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Aw ,damn dude that is a low blow. He is a kid. Going to bust him for acne too?Reporting here from the country. MSM you just got Trump another million votes.When in the F are these stupid F’s going to get it?So he is: I’m not even going to repeat those words because of the hat.Then a 58 year old man walks 50 yards gets two inches from his face with a stick and a drum. No they didn’t surround that guy. Let them come up to him like that and see what happens. If you look at the range of emotions on his face during the real video you see that is a very awkward smile.Then it gets reported and acted on like that. People feel like Trump is the only one that gives them a fair shake instead of saying you are some racist hick.Free speech for me not for thee.

          2. Salt Shaker

            Yeah, a bit of a low blow (though the Kentucky/hick thing honestly never crossed my mind.) I was startled by his appearance, which wasn’t evident in the orig DC clip. Wrt the whole incident, much ado about nothing imo. Kids being kids, acting goofy and borderline inappropriate. Not sure any party is truly innocent there. If there’s no hat, then obv there’s no story, which once again illustrates where we are in this country. Every little thing seems to get magnified and politicized ad nausea.

          3. PhilipSugar

            They are really the only one’s innocent. Every adult including their chaperones are guilty

  19. Grace Schroeder

    We sell tax code to corporations and high net worth individuals in exchange for campaign contributions and favors. Corporations calculate the ROI of campaign donations and lobbying expenses, and fund based on the math. This is the current function of our government.This systemic practice has, in part, gradually driven a concentration of wealth to the top — so much so that the $$ lacks healthy circulation in the broader economy.

  20. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Progressive Tax is synonymous with Success Tax. Less successful people want to blame successful people for their shortcomings. Schadenfreude, misery loves company, all that stuff.In 50 years we will be France. We are the same people as the French and the Brits, just years behind. We will get to that same place where the successful people are severely punished financially, and eventually flee to new lands of opportunity. What is the incentive to work hard and be successful, when government takes it out of your pocket and puts into others’ pocket. Why work at all. Just sit home, complain a lot, and get handouts.

    1. Jordan Thaeler

      50 years seems optimistic; we’re probably 2 election cycles away. That such a large percentage of our population think statism is a great idea shows you what a failure our public education system is

      1. David Gobel

        The education system is only a failure if it is not doing what the controllers of the system wish it to actually accomplish. To find out why the system continues to exist as it is, requires that we know the goals of the owners and defacto controllers of the system.The primary “stated” goal is to educate children. Since in many places it objectively does not do that, it is perhaps not even one of the primary goals of the controllers (anymore).Ref: Dissipative Structures, Ilya Prigogine

      2. TeddyBeingTeddy


    2. whatis

      Success is relative to a system. People that succeed today could have fail yesterday. In our current societies success is not a synonymous of working. It is more a synonymous of financial, cultural, and social inheritances. Statistics prove it. People that succeed according to the system are not financially punished, they paid because the current environment is favorable to them.Succeeding guys often claims that they build their success. this is a common belief in US. It is just another symptom of the Survivorship Bias. Where is the incentive to work in such conditions?In our current societies once you exceed an amount of financial resources, it is near to impossible to fail. Statistically, you can only improve your wealth.What is the incentive to work hard and be successful, when few and few people own near to everything? when it is more and more complex to leave poverty? when it i more and more difficult to get a descent job with social purposes?By the way, I refuse to succeed in the way that the current system define it. I expect the self-destruction of the liberalism system before it is too late for us (climate change, …). In 25 years, France is more likely to be like US liberal system : more poor people, bad public health, decreasing life expectancy.To finish, we may wonder if we really need to work so much. What the current purpose of working? Make rich a few guys? destroy the planet and by extension humans? Participate in the world-wide economic war? More and more jobs are socially purpose-less; more and more workers realize this and suffer about this. It is ideological to be obsessed by work.

      1. TeddyBeingTeddy

        In the jungle, only the strong survive…for good reason. Too many freeloaders in a hunting pack is not sustainable. Too many weaklings in the pack is dangerous.To survive, sustainably, we as people and we as a nation must be efficient and get better and stronger. Because others are; if we don’t, we will “die” off sooner or later. Harsh reality. Rewarding the weak is not sustainable.

        1. Disqus user 90210

          That’s not reality, that’s your opinion. What next, reintroducing killing of the elderly and other strong measures in the society to keep it lean and the costs down?Do note that we do not live in the jungle, nor do most of us hunt out of the direct need for food. If anything, the current and near future advances in technology will leave the old organic evolution ways in the dust. You must also think about what you mean by rewarding the weak, is helping the same as rewarding? Would you ever consider helping your children with *anything* if you had children?

          1. TeddyBeingTeddy

            Let’s talk about repulsive. You know what’s repulsive? human beings. we are absolutely a cancer killing the entire planet and all the beautiful things within it. We are apex predators, top of the food chain. And I hate it. Hate that we hunt animals, hate that we kills nature for our benefit. it’s awful. But we’re either on that train or we get hit by it. We are genetically programmed to survive. I would not be impacted by the Success Tax…because I am not successful. But that’s my fault and I deserve the consequences of my inactions. I don’t blame others, certainly not the successful folks that survived the gauntlet where I failed.It is romantic to think that everyone can have equal claim in a world where they contribute unequally. Earn it. Don’t expect others to give it to you. Don’t complain about it. Get up, make things happen, and earn it.

          2. Disqus user 90210

            You talk about “earning it” (undefined) as if you were a sole agent, in a vacuum, which is never the case. Everything depends on the environment around you, where you are born, when, to whom etc. On top of that comes an enormous amount of randomness, I imagine that almost all of the features in our lifes are due to randomness and the initial constrains, physical and environmental. Your belief that it is “your fault” has no basis in facts, except for that fact that it is a beaten to death American lie / fairytale.And what do you mean by “earning it”? Earning what? Recent news story said that 42 people hold now same wealth as 3.7 billion of the world’s poorest, did the 3.7 billion do something wrong and they deserve the consequences of their actions?

          3. TeddyBeingTeddy

            You ever watch the History channel? Check out “The Men Who Built America”. They earned it.I take accountability for my position in life. I don’t blame anyone else. I could’ve been born a fly that got killed in 3 seconds. Instead I was born to be a human being alive today, the single luckiest species the planet has ever seen, in the single best time to be a human being. Even if I lived in poverty today, I would be better off than Cornelius Vanderbilt when he was alive…at least I have grocery stores, modern medicine, air conditioning, and life expectancy over 37 years.quit complaining, get up an earn what whatever you want in this world…never been a better time to be alive.

    3. Salt Shaker

      One can look at this as “punishment for success” or find it morally rewarding in helping those who are considerably less fortunate. I can see a “punishment for success” argument (not necessarily my POV, btw) when one has to forego desired lifestyle choices or standards of living to fund the basic needs of others. Why should they have to make that sacrifice? That said, there are far, far too many who can easily contribute to societies greater good w/ out sacrificing their own individual needs or desires. The 1% (or 1/2 of 1%) in this country has amassed an unconscionable level of wealth. An easy money inheritance, for example, is too often hardly a lesson in values, ethics and hard work. How often do we read about trust fund kid screw ups?

      1. TeddyBeingTeddy

        You’re creatively justifying a Success Tax. If [Fred] earns $1B he should be able to spend it, donate it, or set it on fire.But for the govt to levy a Success Tax on him and (let’s face it) set that money on fire…is just wrong. How much more opiates would be consumed with success tax proceeds. How many more guns. It’s absurd.Reward success. Create incentives for it. Do not punish it. Certainly should not reward failure.

        1. JLM

          .There is nothing that prevents Freddie from sending to the IRS a tip or other emolument of his choosing.Want to pay more? Pay more.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. TeddyBeingTeddy


          2. LE

            You know the ‘russian shirt off the back’ tale? Goes like this:Russian one: “If I had a million dollars I’d give you half!”Russian two: “Wow thanks. Can I have your shirt?”.Russian one: No …(or something like that).

    4. agarcian

      Success can be measured also as less poverty, more education, healthier people, better mental health in a society, less disparity, more rewards to those who work harder (without taking away from others), more freedom to pursue your goals and dreams, less violence, more civility… and also, … more wealth.

      1. TeddyBeingTeddy

        I think that was actually the basis for communism, not success. You can’t slip in “without taking away from others” in there because it would be impossible to do what you’re saying without obscene tax rates. Be realistic, not romantic.

  21. Nancy Bush

    In lay terms, money drifts to the top and stubbornly stays there. Hence the 52 families in the world have as much wealth as half the world’s population. What is needed are mechanisms to get money/services into the bottom part of the population so they can live. When 70% of folks cannot afford a life in an economy, it’s not a working economy. Open to suggestions other than the marginal tax rate. But the economics of that mechanism worked in the past.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > Hence the 52 families in the world have as much wealth as half the world’s population.You have been fooled by propaganda: That statement, even if true, is essentially meaningless. The problem is the definition of wealth. But for the poor people, wealth, say, stocks and bonds, is not what they want or need. Instead they need food, clothing, shelter, transportation, medical care, etc. and get those from buying from cash from an income or from other means, e.g., the garden and cow on the family farm. I assure you your 52 families do NOT have more food calories, square feet of living space, clothing, or cash income than everyone else. Wealth? Maybe. Cash income or other sources of their needs, NO WAY.E.g., there are tribes in the Amazon that in many significant ways, e.g., family formation, are doing BETTER than much of the rest of the world, including the US, and have no cash income at all.A joke goes, when Columbus landed in America, there were millions of happy people here, with no money, no taxes, no lawyers, no laws, no regulations, no schools, no TV, no pollution, no advertising, no jobs, no time clocks, no unions, plenty of food from flora and fauna, lots of children, where the women did most of the work, and Columbus and his descendants thought that they could improve on that situation!

    2. Richard

      Where so you think wealth ends up? In a mattress?Why not tax Popularity? After all the tip 50 families probably have as much popularity as the bottlen 50%. Think popularity isn’t as asset??

  22. steve ganis

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, although on a realpolitik level, not sure exactly what you’re saying to yourself and your kids’ friends at the Deer Valley ski lodge, some of whom I assume live in or near AOC district….perhaps you can discuss the realpolitik angle in future blogs. In the past, you have voiced similar thoughtful nuanced positions, including your reservations about keeping “carried interest” at the present low tax rate that helps all VCs, but note that you are not mentioning getting rid of the present carried interest tax rates. To generate the income needed to support the social programs you mention, has your blog ever supported ending step up basis law, as a means for Gov’t to generate funds?…..

    1. Richard

      Fred said it more than once, he simply is not interested in being consistent. He has a policy of what works best for Fred is best for all. What makes Fred feel best should make all feel best. But he doesn’t try to hide it. Fred’s empathy gene is inhibited.

  23. Jim Grey

    History generally bears out that moving from the ways of the past to the ways of the future is enormously disruptive, some people struggle to make the shift and end up experiencing real harm. Who wants the harm? “Can’t things just stay the way they are, until I die anyway? They can change for the next generation.”

  24. GG

    What’s wrong with trying the proposal? If we raise revenue, then it works. If revenue declines then it didn’t. Why do we have to rely on theories?

  25. Lawrence Brass

    There is good capitalism and bad capitalism. Bad capitalism is based on corrupted, non-fluid markets. Also there is good socialism and bad socialism.Plenty examples of the bad versions of both can be found here in South America, millions of people locked up in the middle income trap, elegantly corrupted governments and institutions. The art of tweaking the knob right to the point below reaction, for the benefit of a few.I think that good socialism thrives thanks to bad capitalism and eventually degrades. This last part is what I don’t understand, why socialists in the long run can’t keep the books in blue. Look the mess they made in Brazil in the last decade, for instance.Good capitalism with fluid markets where everybody is allowed to get a fair share is unbeatable in my opinion, but hard to implement. Focus should be in fixing bad capitalism, keeping the bad actors under control.Social capitalism, why not?

    1. Pointsandfigures

      No. Socialism has zero place in our society. We are in a cold Civil War in America now.

  26. Frederic Mari

    The government is bloated? Really? Which part? Please show us a department/function that you would slash. And please check whether a plurality of the polity would agree with your proposal. You will find that there isn’t a single function more than 50% of Americans are willing to cut. Not even funding for the Arts. Well, with one exception – foreign aid…

    1. Pointsandfigures


    2. JLM

      .A modest proposal — let’s just eliminate the duplication. Just start there.We regulate oil & gas at the state and Federal level. The second we allow oil & gas to cross state lines, we have interstate commerce which is regulated by the Feds per the Constitution.Let’s let the Dept of Energy (headed by a former Tx Gov, Rick Perry) and the Texas Railroad Commission (yes, it’s a weird name) get out of each other’s way.Let Texas regulate oil & gas within its borders, out to the middle of the Gulf, and work with boundary states on pipelines.Same logic on education — funded by counties, regulated by the state, and re-regulated by the Dept of Education.There are probably at least a hundred such overlapping jurisdictions in which much of the work is staffing to deal with the other department.Individual states — Texas v California — have dramatically different approaches to governance and the attendant size of government.Texas’ Legislature meets every other year for 90 days.California is, essentially, in continuous session.Texas certifies the available funds — including a Rainy Day Fund — BEFORE the Legislature arrives in town. Once they allocate all that money, they go home. Balanced budget.California, constant battle on taxes being raised to fund runaway spending.Texas has no personal income tax.California, not such much.These are different approaches that give rise to different sizes and levels of intrusiveness into the affairs of citizens.So, yes, I think we could start with eliminating duplication in the Cabinet level departments.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Matt Zagaja

        Would make more sense for federal government to regulate more things and free the states from the work and burden of doing it. Feds can leverage greater economies of scale.

        1. JLM

          .Hahaha — the Feds are not good at ………………………. anything.Can you imagine Texas putting its neck in the noose of Federal regulation voluntarily?Can you imagine the same approach working in the People’s Republic of Vermont and Texas?No. We are the UNITED STATES, not the Federal Republic of America. The States only cede certain powers to the Feds which they cannot do for themselves — borders, defense, interstate commerce.Go read the Constitution.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Richard

            Not exactly true – the government did a decent job with basic research – building a defense system – agencies like the NIH still do this today.

          2. JLM


      2. Frederic Mari

        I can believe that. The USA always looked like a particularly byzantine set-up. But that’s your constitution and, as you saw below, plenty of people are unwilling to let Feds run things.So – bloated? Maybe some stuff is. But even if you found genuine cases (I find what I know of the US healthcare system to be absolutely bonkers) you cannot find 50%+ people agreeing to cut.

        1. JLM

          .Actually, most of the bloat is not supported by enabling legislation, but is underpinned by “rules.”Rules are the implementing regulations that derive their power from the enabling legislation.The US Congress writes the laws — the enabling legislation.The Departments write the rules — the regulatory framework.As one would expect, through the years, the Departments engage in a bit of “regulatory creep” and add rules long after the fact.It would not take any action of the Congress to revise rules. There is a procedure for rulemaking which requires drafting, commentary, posting in the Federal Register, additional commentary and then adoption.Rulemaking is a Deep State art.It is far easier to remove a rule in its entirety than it is to modify it.The biggest example of this is the series of Presidential Executive Orders that are neither laws nor rules. They are XOs. They can be changed with each President. In fact, they are.The Trump admin has eliminated gobs and gobs of rules.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. sigmaalgebra

            I’ve hopped some people would document the rule and regulation changes.I relax because I have to believe that the NYC MSM so hates Trump that if any of his changes were bad then the Trump haters would be screaming about the changes. So, no big screaming, must be no bad changes.

      3. sigmaalgebra

        I’m strongly for getting the Department of Education OUT of K-12 education. If that’s all they do now, then just SHUT it down.

    3. Richard

      how many of these departments exhisted in their sizes and scopes before 1950 might be a good place to start?

  27. Pointsandfigures

    “Everywhere in the world there are gross inequities of income and wealth. They offend most of us. Few can fail to be moved by the contrast between the luxury enjoyed by some and the grinding poverty suffered by others.In the past century a myth has grown up that free market capitalism—equality of opportunity as we have interpreted that term—increases such inequalities, that it is a system under which the rich exploit the poor.Nothing could be further from the truth. . . . A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.”-Milton Friedman

  28. sigmaalgebra

    That’s a lot to respond to.First, there is no way to take AOC at all seriously: Her proposals are often grand celebrations of nothing other than suicidal irrationality, literally. E.g., recently she called for 100% renewable energy in 10 years. Of course that would take huge parts of the US economy and society suddenly back to about 1900 and kill millions of US people. Did I mention a celebration of suicidal irrationality? Before people absorbed the reports of her 10 year death march, she claimed that people like her, or some such, fear that without some massive effort, in 12 years global warming will kill everyone or some such. She says stuff, just stuff, only in an insane asylum, literally, could people entertain such delusions. No matter how many eyeballs the NYC MSM gets from AOC, a celebration of suicidal irrationality is, uh, suicidal. AOC is a passing fancy and soon will be forgotten.A really big problem with the US system of capitalism and the US is the fact that far too easily a LOT of people, even well qualified, eager, determined, etc. people, just canNOT find jobs. That is, the jobs are to come from the free, capitalist economy, and no way does it follow from that economy that all well qualified people will have jobs. Instead, as in the Great Depression, the Crash of 2008, and more, millions of people suddenly just could NOT find JOBS in the capitalist economy. Families, parents, children had their lives put on hold, time wasted, massive productivity lost, etc.There is this and that for considerations, various guesses as solutions, etc, but the blunt fact remains: US capitalism results in MASSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT and very seriously wasted lives.It appears that US capitalism has a fundamental problem — full employment results in inflation.The idea of redistribution of wealth, i.e., more than now, strikes me as just manipulations of people who have trouble with basic arithmetic. Or, for an extreme case for an upper bound, for the billionaires, consider just confiscating all their wealth and distributing it uniformly. Ballpark arithmetic says that a person won’t get a house for free but might get a new car or a year in college, but that just ONCE as all the billionaires are suddenly broke. Might have to wait 50 years for another crop of billionaires to harvest.Net, on the scale of the whole US economy, the billionaires just are not as rich as many imagine.Next, for the big bucks of wealth in the US, that’s in the pension funds of the middle class workers.For free health care in the US, we have a lot of that now, in the Community Health Centers, the Hill-Burton hospitals, Medicare, and Medicaid. And even just that free medical care is MUCH better than what J. P. Morgan had, e.g., for his nose problem, often better than anyone had at any price, say, before 1950. For much better medical care, we are getting that paid for essentially 100% by the public now, via the NIH. Much of what is good about our health care is also from public funds — CDC, FDA, USDA, etc. One of the most important parts of health and wellness in, e.g., NYC is the public funded water and sewer systems. The Clean Air Act, mostly absurd, wasteful nonsense for 99+% of US land area, did a lot of good for our largest, say, 2 dozen central cities.One of the most important ways to help the wealth, standard of living, and financial security of the US lower and middle classes is just, simply, to follow what Trump wants to do with his MAGA. So, get our foreign trade in balance and, thus, get US businesses going again. Stop the slave labor from the southern border and implement eVerify — have to be here legally to get a job. Stop the HxB nonsense, based on a LOT of dirty lies. The slave labor from south of the border has big advantages over US citizens: The slaves can take the money they earn, often in green cash with no deductions, save it up, take it back home, and, due to the currency exchange rates, suddenly live comparatively well. A US citizen can’t do that.Also to help the US citizens, we can stop some of the worst of the outrageous government waste: The worst has been the absurd foreign adventures, especially Viet Nam, Gulf War II, and Akrapistan. My ballpark arithmetic shows that without that waste we could have built nice houses for all the US families. We know the waste is really bad, that US citizens are being bled white. Proof: The lower and middle classes are so poor they are having so few babies they are rapidly going extinct. But LBJ, Nixon, Ford, and W didn’t see any of that and just sent a lot of US blood and massive US treasure on totally brain dead foreign adventures.The US voters can turn this all around right away: Tell Congress to get the hell OUT of Akrapistan. Throttle a LOT of foreign aid. Close down a LOT of foreign military bases. Do what Trump wants on the southern border, immigration, foreign trade, and infrastructure.US high end research university education may be okay but maybe could use somewhat more funding, Otherwise US education is a massive train wreck, wildly too expensive, on the strings of hysterical neurotics pursuing wack-o social theory objectives and pushing political correctness, a bureaucratic and formalistic nightmare.I would suggest for K through whatever, for all important parts and cases of education — basic, vocational, art, preparation for research, etc. — do MUCH better teaching, especially with MUCH better learning materials, mostly available over the Internet. DO have good testing for respected certification. In particular, have some really good how-to materials for some really good home schooling leading to certification via the testing. So, totally cut out the influence of the bureaucrats and people pushing political correctness. Heck, now the history books and biology books have to be sanitized. The dumb de dumb dumb K-12 math subject matter experts ruin math. The many thousands of dollars people pay in school taxes for the absurd, bureaucratic, politically correct, low quality, brain deadening education, a LOT of families could do well.

    1. Richard

      In other words, she is a kid – a barista. In the future she will be a hammer – and everything will look like a nail.

  29. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Welp, you decided to boil the ocean today, huh? ;-)Regarding, “…something AOC and her followers don’t really understand as much as they claim.” You’re right. It’s nuanced. And AOC knows that she can’t, in this day and age, communicate the idea with nuance. I’d wager she *does* understand, and so do a heckuva lot of her “followers”(I think supporters might be a better word here).

    1. Richard

      We come to the point that there should be the equivalent of a LSAT/MCAT for politicians. In 2019, if you are only 1 year out from being off your parents health insurance plan and your only work experience is that of a barista, and you now have a vote in how we spend a $ 4 trillion budget? What’s could possibly go wrong ?

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        You’re telling on yourself.In high school, she won second prize in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and as a result, the International Astronomical Union named a small asteroid after her. She took part in the National Hispanic Institute’s Lorenzo de Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session. She later became the LDZ Secretary of State while she attended Boston University. During college, she was an intern in the immigration office of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy.She launched Brook Avenue Press, a publishing firm for books that portray the Bronx in a positive light. She worked as lead educational strategist at GAGEis, Inc. Ocasio-Cortez also worked for the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute (NHI), and served as NHI’s Educational Director of the 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series.Compared to my white male rep:Worked in his family’s sporting goods business and earned the Eagle Scout award. After graduating with a B.A. from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) in 1975, he became executive director of the New Jersey Right to Life Committee in 1976.Those were his only bonafides when he ran for congress at the age of 26. He’s been this district’s congress person for 20 terms (and going).

        1. Richard

          Sounds like the making of a career politician. High school science fair? What a joke? Do they teach science in high school? Intern for a politicin in DC for a summer ? Do you have any idea what an intern does in DC in the summer ? Sounds like a little white male rich kid providegle. Here you listened to this dimwit? If you can’t see the difference between AOC and Bill Clinton – – you should have your biases checked. She would have been better served spending more time in the library.

        2. Twain Twain

          I can’t comment on her politics or her economics theories. I will say I think she’s FIERCE and I like that she’s speaking up about AI biases.*

          1. PhilipSugar

            You know I was talking to some people that were doing AI work to determine your propensity to purchase when/what?Do you know Occam’s Razor?Occam’s razor is a logical principle attributed to the mediaeval philosopher William of Occam (or Ockham). The principle states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed. This principle is often called the principle of parsimony. It underlies all scientific modelling and theory building.Many people quote it as don’t describe to malice which can be explained by stupidity.I have come to this conclusion:They just don’t give a shit.They are both people like Facebook and the Marketers that they sell to.Neither gives one shit about whether it is right or wrong, fair, or just.They just want to make money (greed)Have you ever heard that lying is a complicit act? You have to be willing to be lied to in order to be lied to.Well I can tell you from my conversations where I say it is not that easy Marketers just say I want to justify my spend of money, don’t confuse me with all of these details or explanations just give me the answer.I think you and I get penalized for bucking against just give me the stupid quick and dirty example.

          2. Twain Twain

            Smart people may get penalized temporarily but always WIN BIGGER than the people after stupid, quick, dirty solutions.It’s not that different from school. You can get the SQD by copying someone else’s homework but you’ll end up with an F once the exams happen.Meanwhile, the person who didn’t go for instant gratification but played the long game wins.

          3. PhilipSugar

            You misunderstand.Understand this: I in NO way am telling you not to do what you do, to not play the long game.I am giving you a pep talk!!!!I have done it all of my life:Have a database of all of the medical equipment instead of letting the home medical person rely solely on giant McKesson or Cardinal? On CD-ROM no less (we had to send a CD player along with the disc that was bleeding edge, don’t laugh) That will never work.Have a software program that lets Chemical Companies self report and break the noose of the consulting companies? Madness.Have a self serve loyalty system for big retailers so they don’t have a digital agency rube goldberg some system? Are you stupid? They want somebody to just come in and give them nice story boards.All I am saying is don’t get bitter. When you see the “bro’s” with their algorithms that you hate Play that long game.When I say Occam’s razor I am saying don’t attribute it to malice. Attribute it to greed, and stupidity.Of course long run that doesn’t work, I’ll help you in anyway I can. I love the crazy ones. I’m right out front! Give me a shout if you need anything, you know where I am.

          4. Twain Twain

            Thanks, Phil. I’m one of those perpetually cheerful people who doesn’t have time to be bitter. I’m simply a pragmatist about it.The systems’ odds have been stacked against women in STEM for a long time (male engineers discounting our work, VCs being risk-averse at less than 1.5% of VC $$$ to women, lots of men being scared of sponsoring/coaching us, etc).Recently, a Professor of Physics made ad hominem attacks about an article I wrote:*…I provided contextual articles to back up my article. He refused to read those articles and kept ad hominem-ing for two days. Then it became clear he didn’t know the difference between Aristotle’s binary classifications and Leibniz’s binary arithmetic.In the end, he conceded defeat because he was obviously in the wrong.https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Then a day later, a Professor of CS at Illinois decided to mansplain binary to me and how it isn’t biased.So then I had to school him in the difference between binary and quantum systems and how it applies to the field of computational linguistics and natural language understanding.https://uploads.disquscdn.c…I have a cheerful soul, brilliant mind, execution focus, thick skin, war scars and will have the last LOL.

          5. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I hadn’t seen your QZ article! I’d love it if you @’d me on Twitter when you publish 🙂 I’ll signal boost. (@mspseudolus)

          6. Twain Twain

            Throughout my adventures, a bunch of people told me to do the me-too, low-hanging, Occam’s razor thing (including build a copy of Disqus and ChubbyBrain, by the way).I stayed true to MY vision+execution.Now I have the only system in the world that can get the entire field of AI out of its icebergs.

          7. PhilipSugar

            I stand corrected it is Hanlon’s razor but I have a guy at work that attributes it to Occam.

          8. Vasudev Ram

            Interesting way of looking at it – applying Occam’s Razor to the behavior. Come across such behavior but didn’t think of it in terms of Occam. I think you’re right, though.

          9. PhilipSugar

            Actually, I thoughI stand corrected it is Hanlon’s razor but I have a guy at work that attributes it to Occam. But it is based on Occam’s

          10. Vasudev Ram

            Okay. BTW, you might know this, but there was a programming language called occam, named after him. I had read a bit about it as a kid. It was from a British company Inmos. and developed to run on their transputer microprocessors. There was something like concurrency or parallelism involved.There was a fair amount of buzz about the three (2 products, 1 company) at the time, IIRC, even though I was a kid. Didn’t keep track of it later, though. occam built on Communicating Sequential Processes, which is also sort of the basis for the modern Go language’s goroutines and channels, which are pretty useful. and cool, too.…Edit: Also googled a bit more and saw this:…” The transputer still lives in on Xmos (started by David May),… “via:Transputer (

          11. JamesHRH

            You just learned everything she knows about the topic though.She’s a button pusher extraordinaire.

          12. PhilipSugar

            No, I don’t think so.I will never scratch her knowledge even though I did a bachelors thesis on it years ago.Here is the thing, you can get really bitter at idiots. You can ascribe to them motives that they don’t actually have and it can tear you up. Take it from me. It is much easier to think of them for what they are as idiots, because when you start flailing you just lose people (like you)

          13. JamesHRH

            Not bitter, her gift is in attracting attention to herself.By definition, she is a mile wide and an inch thick.

          14. Twain Twain

            Button pushing extraordinaire: Facebook like button and President Trump.So that makes both sides about equal. And maybe it says something about how the US’s problems are self-inflicted which is sad.

          15. JamesHRH

            Yes & yes.

          16. Mark Essel

            People get worked up about algorithms which are over hyped since machine learning has become a huge efficiency booster + personalization tool.As an engineer & backend dev it’s easy to see all the ugly parts of algorithms. They can be incredible tools, equal parts math, recipe, and art but they are only tools. They don’t have morality. Many function by exploiting statistical biases in the data they are trained on or process.But that doesn’t ever imply that algorithms aren’t a useful tool. Because of them we’ve flown to the moon and hopefully someday to Mars, engineered techniques to create massive surpluses of food, create wealth like humanity has never experienced. Algorithms are freaking awesome, but they sure aren’t perfect.

          17. Twain Twain

            Thanks, Mark. Yeah, algos are awesome and the ones of us who code know that a lot of it involves “sticky-taping” and work-arounds.Where I focus is on data classifications for, eventually, Natural Language Understanding.At the moment, there’s a problem SDK (word embeddings):*…Engineers are importing it as a lib and using it without necessarily being aware it has problem biases.The “fathers of AI” don’t get the bias thing. Yann le Cun tweeted: ” “Explain to us how common-sense statements like “unsupported objects fall due to gravity” are biased?”So then I had to enlighten him with this: https://uploads.disquscdn.c…On whether or not the code has a morality, I’d say that in the foundations of the models of intelligence the moral values of the logic giants such as Aristotle’s sexism, racism, classism got baked into the mathematical methods :*…*…Most of the time I think it would have been better to go into the “Let’s code space rockets for Mars” strand because that would be easier.

          18. Mark Essel

            Thanks, slow to check disqus notifications, reading up!

          19. JamesHRH

            You just laid out 100% of her knowledge of the topic.She is a Trump like hot button savant.

        3. JLM

          .Term limits.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        4. JamesHRH

          How many people who viewed this primary campaign video knew about her CV? 0:35, she flat out lied to her fellow constituents.Don’t nominate her for sainthood. You are going to find out she’s just a run of the mill narcissist pol.

          1. Vasudev Ram

            What was the lie about?

          2. JamesHRH

            The statement that ‘a future in politics seemed impossible…’ (paraphrasing here). She has a degree in PolSci from Boston U and interned on Capitol Hill. Politicians hate to say ‘ I have been planning this for a long time….’ so they lie instead.I have $500 that says Barry Obama decided to run for President when he was a ‘monk like’ (his term) undergrad @ Columbia.

          3. Vasudev Ram

            Wow, interesting.

          4. JamesHRH

            Yup. Completely without an ethical compass.Narcissism and cynicism are destroying democracy far faster than liberalism or conservatism.

          5. Vasudev Ram

            After thinking about it a while … lot of insight in your comment there.

          6. JamesHRH

            You will likely see it again here in the salon.I wish I was off base, but…….

      2. Salt Shaker

        The flip side to this is if one has held office for decades, has not brought forth any meaningful legislation and has become a servant to a broken system who relies on institutional knowledge, name recognition and party loyalty as seemingly h/her’s sole attributes. I’m all in favor of fresh, new thinking—even extremist views—that has some fundamental merit/benefit that can be tempered and/or scaled back to reasonable, nuanced solutions. Stated another way, I’m awfully tired of looking at a bunch of old, blabbering, ineffective old (white) guys who seemingly do nothing for months and years, w/ out any semblance of thinking beyond their own partisan (aka lemmings) interests.

        1. Richard

          I don’t disagree on that point. But let’s stop with the ageism comments. It’s is simply rediculous. You can be old and ineffective and inefffective. You can be old but you young and young but old. The odds of being young, dumb and broke have never been higher than they are today. The disrespects shown toward the elderly is a terrible trend. I’ll take an afternoon with Ted Turner , a Clarance Thomas over any 20 year old 7 days a week.

          1. Salt Shaker

            My comments on age (as in the context of an “aged politician”) has as much to do w/ tenure than years on the planet, though they aren’t mutually exclusive. Over time any semblance of objectivity, innovative thinking, etc., has been worn down by institutional pressures and the need to conform. The longer you’re there, the more likely you become neutralized (and morally corrupted) and part of the problem. I think this phenomenon is gen far more exacerbated in politics than in biz. And this is coming from a (relatively speaking) old guy.

          2. Richard

            Got it. But in the end, we are individuals – some age wiser and stronger, some age weaker and dumber.

      3. David Gardner

        Perhaps, if we ended the practice of career politicians, replacing our elected representatives with randomly selected citizens (paid 2-3x the avg wage). Ensure the representation matched the make up of society by gender, age, wealth and race. They would have to learn how to be informed and make evidence-based decisions. Interesting idea:

    2. JamesHRH

      I’d wager she doesn’t.She is an extremely gifted, Trumpian agenda setter.I am not sure there is anything else there though.

      1. Rob Larson

        Her interview with Tapper didn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

    3. Prashant Gandhi

      I agree. I think she understands there is a nuance. She is also being deliberately provocative to draw a response and bring this into mainstream conversation. The opposite of her suggestion has already been tried and failed – I refer to the trickle down economics and its disastrous results in Kansas. Some European nations have found a balance between high taxes with good social benefits such as excellent schooling and free healthcare. Would that ever work in the US though ?

    4. sigmaalgebra

      Okay, AOC avoids “nuance”…but as in…withOcasio-Cortez Demands 100% Renewable Energy in 10 Years she DOES include an ocean of dangerous nonsense.There’s no future for her: Due to the several totally wack-o statements she has made already, easy to find on the Internet, soon she will be passed off as a joke that for a few weeks got some scam media some eyeballs, and her 15 minutes of fame will be over.

    5. Jonathan Peterson

      Not only does sheunderstand – her full quote is literally IDENTICAL to Fred’s stated belief.“I do think that a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong,”

  30. LE

    It reminds me of a heated conversation I had with my kids and their friends during our family ski trip over the year end break. Our kids, like most millennials I know, are struggling with the notion of capitalism at any cost and the massive income and wealth inequality that we are witnessing. I am not sure you know a representative amount of millenials. I think you know the millenials that you are exposed to in NYC very well. The ones that attended good private schools (or the best public schools) and perhaps private colleges that their parents paid for. Kids who perhaps don’t have to worry about ever earning a living because they have a safety net of a ‘rich’ parent.Your kids should not feel guilty for what they have that others don’t have. Why? Well do you think I feel guilty for what I have that others don’t have? No of course not. Do I feel guilty because my parents could afford (back in the day) to pay for private school and private college? (Note it was much cheaper back then and my dad had a small business). I could have easily felt guilty because of what I had that people beneath me didn’t have. Meaning different parents with different values. I won’t even bring into this that my Dad came here with no money when he arrived.I can look at someone like a scion of NYC family and I can get jealous and think ‘wow they have it easy’. But will I think the same way for all the advantages that I have over others who are living paycheck to paycheck? No I will think ‘no that’s different’. But it’s not different. It’s the same thing.They can ‘struggle’ with this because they will always lived a comfortable life. That’s the beginning and end of the story. They don’t even have to feel ‘lucky’ for what they have (that never works). They can just enjoy it for what it is. Stop feeling guilty. You should not feel guilty.One last thing. Should Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez feel ‘guilty’ because she is so beautiful and as a result gets way more attention than if they same words came out of someone else’s mouth?Do you feel guilty because you were raised in a way that got you into MIT and then as a result you became more attractive to Joanne? Does Joanne feel guilty because she was attractive enough to have you marry her? Of course not. People will just think ‘oh that’s ok that was earned’. But it’s really a version of the same ‘luck’.Your kids should not feel guilty period. They have what they have. They should just enjoy it.I am reminded of my sister in law who was ‘disgusted’ when I told another relative that he would never earn a living as a musician. She said to me ‘wow to you it’s always about money well you have to understand it’s not about money!’. But funny thing. She comes from a rich family (her father a PI attorney) and her and my BIL often vacation at her father’s million dollar condo down in Miami. So sure it’s not about money because Daddy helped you buy a house and pays for your plane tickets and vacations etc. And you can focus on being a low paid opera singer because the bills are getting paid for you and you have a safety net. So that makes me a bad person I guess.Why don’t you remove all financial support and/or vacations from your kids and see what happens?

  31. CB

    ” I do not think it is immoral and I do not think billionaires are immoral. I do think the inequality that we allow in our country is immoral.”Agree.However, as a “senior” millennial what really bothers me is that the American dream only exists for a select few who end up multi-millionaires or billionaires. This dream no longer exists for the majority, who in the past had the opportunity to rise to wealthy middle class.I may be wrong but I attribute this to the current system, which protects the rich allowing them to get richer whilst leaving the others behind. We don’t need more taxes. We need give people the opportunity to benefit from economic growth. For example, the high return investments & financial services are now only reserved to accredited investors. The stock market offers no more upside. True opportunities lie in parts of the financial system closed off to retail investors. If it had not been for crypto I wouldn’t be in that “select” group today despite being highly educated having attended some of the best schools in the world. That doesn’t seem very “fair” to me.

    1. Richard

      I do not think being lazy is immoral, I think a government that allows laziness to be concentrated in the hands of a few is immoral.We are a country rooted in Freedom.The government stuck their hands into medicine , housing (loans and tax policy) and education(loans) . All three are now beyond the reach of too many.

      1. JLM

        .A government which confiscates the work of the industrious and freely gives it to the lazy is immoral.We are a country rooted in free will.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Richard

          It was intended to be a joke.

  32. Twain Twain

    I’m for-profit and capitalism. Where I think capitalism has let down people is in the mechanisms we have to measure and allocate the market.Modern economics from Adam Smith was augured in mostly because Bayesian probability was invented which allowed business owners to calculate their risks and production possibility curves as well as project various demand curves.Then in the 1940s and 1950s, there were game theory matrixes from Von Neumann and Nash and these got adopted by business as strategy frameworks and in machine intelligence.These tools have worked ok but it’s becoming clear they’re also deficient. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…So some smart people would need to be the new Bayes, Von Neumann, Nash etc.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      Smart and ethical capitalism!

      1. Twain Twain

        A CS Professor of Penn is releasing a book in Q4 2019 titled: ‘The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design’.The field of AI becomes more aware about the ethics issues:1.) Algorithmic biases, gender equality and civil rights:*…*…Stephen A. Schwarzman Chairman of Blackstone:* https://www.washingtonpost….

    2. JLM

      .”allocate the market” — stopped reading right there. That is not capitalism.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Twain Twain

        In that case, you can object to @myscrawl:disqus “The system whereby we create and ALLOCATE wealth has huge strengths.”Whether you like it or not, the bell curve and game theory matrix methods are what capitalist businesses and governments use to model and control the market.Anyone who wants to invent a better form of capitalism will need to think up better maths than Bayes, Von Neumann, Nash and a bunch of other mathematicians.The fact of the matter is that we have Industrial Age tools to deal with Internet Age issues — whether it’s Russians being able to load-weight some nodes in the social graph to maximise the spread of fake news/propaganda to affect US elections or climate change or the 1-99% argument that recycles.Right after 2008, the 1-99% anger was also voiced except that was directed at bankers.In 2018, it’s directed at Silicon Valley engineers.What people don’t notice is that it’s the same technology causing problems. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…It is what it is. I’d predict the 2028 headlines on the 1-99% problem will be about the $ billionaire blockchainers because the foundational maths is the same.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          > Anyone who wants to invent a better form of capitalism will need to think up better maths than Bayes, Von Neumann, Nash and a bunch of other mathematicians.Von Neumann did a lot of good math; Nash has a famous result; Bayes just gave an obvious definition, and there are lots more mathematicians and for some years a large fraction of the Nobel prizes in economics went to the mathematics of linear programming and the Kuhn-Tucker conditions, but, still, such math has next to nothing to do with designing a capitalistic economy, and better math is not much of a step in that direction, either.When I read the famous paper by Arrow, Hurwicz, and Uzawa on applications of the Kuhn-Tucker conditions to economics, I could only upchuck. Soon it became clear that I knew the KTC better than they did.Such research can be done and maybe puts a stake in the ground somewhere as possibly some guidance for some progress in the future … and eventually something real, but that can be a long time.If want to tweak the design of capitalism, then look in part at some relatively simple math and f’get about any of the good work from von Neumann and certainly about anything farther on. For Bayes, just read the Radon-Nikodym theorem, e.g., with von Neumann’s proof (in Rudin, Real and Complex Analysis) and otherwise just f’get about Bayes. To me Bayesian statistics is just an upchuck — I had some of the best courses and materials in probability, and I never saw anything Bayesian.

          1. Twain Twain

            Bayesian is everywhere in AI courtesy of Judea Pearl.In fact it’s core to social graphs.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  33. Joe Marchese

    Wrote a blog on this very topic few years back… we’re still stuck in the same place.http://www.mckeeverandsulli

  34. Rich

    How can time and effort rather be used to help more people fulfil their potential? Imagine if everyone on earth would fulfil his potential. How much faster would we innovate, progress and solve the big challenges of human kind? How much more could we contribute to the one in real need? How do we help people if we take away from one and give it to another? Why can not all create more of what they want?Education is one big topic that was mentioned in the article. I experienced myself and still think those who go to school learn not enough about the basic but important things needed to build a life. Personal finance, self development, goal setting, emotional mastery, positive thinking and other mental techniques essential to succeed in life (financially or otherwise) are not part of any regular school curriculum. I’m keen to see more of a push in this direction instead of taking money from people who create value on large scale and pass it onto someone watching netflix 6hrs a day and complaining about how unfair life is. It’s not more money such people need. It’s more of the former skills they need in order to build the best lives they can have.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      Our educational system in the U.S. needs to be destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up. The current educational system was put into place by the emerging industrial age which required people to have a base level of learning, but more importantly, to be compliant so as to fit like a cog into the assembly line. Public schools, in general, do not support innovative thinking. It supports normative thinking (that’s why schools that taught teachers used to be called “normal schools”) and students who deviate from the norm are shunned by the educational system.Fred’s charter school analogy is priceless here. It illuminates the hold the past has on the future and how hard it is to create the change that will benefit us in the long term.The way I see it — for the system to be “moral” in Fred’s eye — the change has to cultivate and promote the innovators while also having a bridge to help those who are enmeshed in the system as it exists now to get over to the other side.And that’s where the weeds are.(1) Some people want to just destroy the existing systems, create new systems, and leave the laggards* behind. (2) Some people want to have a blended system that enables and promotes the innovators while also finding a way to carry the laggards over the bridge to the other side. (3) And some people want to have a system in which the laggards are catered to primarily while innovators are not rewarded in any way.*side note: how do we define laggards? Some people want to create broad categories such as “lazy people” but what about the elderly or disabled people who have really done their best and did for most of their lifetime work hard and make what was considered good decisions in the system as it existed then? I am thinking this whole fight about the wall, immigrants and the dreamers is analogous to a much larger undercurrent in the U.S. right now which harks back to what a persons belief system is regarding the three options I cited in the last paragraph.

  35. LE

    so that the marginal rate in NYC would be 100%One thing with regards to high taxes in NYC in particular. Where I am the taxes are almost as high. But the opportunity business wise completely pales in comparison to NYC. And you know this is the case. Plus all other benefits of being in NYC vs. low tax places.So sure NYC is expensive. But if you are in business (or some other things NYC is good for) it is the land of opportunity. The high taxes are like high rent where you have good foot traffic. It’s not ‘rent’. It’s instead of marketing.You know all of those NYC real estate people that do very well? Ask your self if they are smarter than the guys doing real estate in other places (selling. owning, renting, leasing) or just in a great market. You know it’s the market right? They are not smarter than same people elsewhere.People do get credit who recognize this and travel to NYC to take advantage of it. Local guy who sells commercial real estate here for example. Smart guy (father a Physician) good education good values drive ambition etc. When he was single I said to him ‘why are you here? You should be in NYC or at least in a more active market where the rents and sales are so much higher’. Was deer in headlights. He just simply didn’t get it. Makes no sense to me.NYC is great. The taxes are high but you get something for the money. And I don’t meaning the dining, museums or arts by the way.You are so lucky that Joanne schlepped you to NYC or if not that however you ended up there after college (when it was a shithole no less)

  36. Pete Griffiths

    “I do not think it is immoral and I do not think billionaires are immoral. I do think the inequality that we allow in our country is immoral.I do not think it is immoral and I do not think billionaires are immoral. I do think the inequality that we allow in our country is immoral.”Word

    1. Richard

      The billionaire spending his or her money promoting socialism is immoral. The billionaire who builds libraries – museums is a saint.

  37. Joshua Greenough

    You got got Gates & Vanderbilt in your list.

  38. iggyfanlo

    I think people’s perspectives on UBI and its “fairness” and value are driven by the perception of whether existing infrastructure, protocols, etc. are a free public good or a social public good. If it’s free, then exploit. If it’s social good, then it needs to be shared, rationed or value added to it needs to compensate society (taxes).Personally, I feel those building blocks (after rewarding the initial inventors and innovators) are social goods, like air or environment, not free for exploitation

  39. Robert Bushnell

    You are a social market democrat or a market social democrat European style…to do a clumsy translation from German…the system that is in place in most of Europe most typically Germany, Netherlands and the Nordics

  40. Pete Griffiths

    I haven’t read all the comments but from the many I have read I can’t help noticing that there is an extremely important piece of the puzzle that isn’t being addressed.Capitalism isn’t just an economic system. Bringing liberal democracies with property rights and the commodification of labor and land was a painful process that took centuries (see Karl Polanyi ‘The Great Transformation). Aspects of our society that many people talk about as if they are aspects of nature, as fundamental as sticks and stones, took huge struggles to put in place. They are not ‘natural’ and they are far from ‘inevitable.’ This being the case it is worth noting for example that our economic system and the way wealth is distributed in our country isn’t ‘natural.’ It is the outcome of political decision making and legislation. E.g. tax law. And this legislation isn’t ‘natural’ either. In fact it is far from natural. Example – extremely wealthy individuals spend hundreds of millions lobbying to ensure that they continue to benefit or that their benefits increase. For some of these people, they talk as if their wealth is solely a function of their talents and god’s grace and the poverty of others is a function of their lack of talents and lack of faith. But these things are only true at the margins. The system whereby we create and allocate wealth has huge strengths. But it also has huge weaknesses. We have staggering inequality right now. And that inequality is massively UNDER estimated by the vast majority of people. Do you really think that the success of our system depends on 1% of the population having nearly 40% of all wealth? Is our system so fragile?PS Whatever views she may have, please note she was talking about taxing INCOME not WEALTH.

  41. Rob Koyfman

    Well said

  42. Angelo Santinelli

    I suggest reading a commentary from yesterday’s WSJ, “The Ravages of Capitalism.” Creative destruction is what lifts people out of poverty, improves lifespans, and makes the world a better place. Without it you have the dark ages, or Venezuela, North Korea, or Cuba. Yes, there are winners and there are losers, but overall life improves for the masses. Perhaps the real issue is giving everyone a trophy and indoctrinating young minds in a culture of illiberal thinking that pervades educational institutions today. If you disagree then why do we need groups like, Heterodox Society to be watchdogs.I believe it was Winston Churchill who said, “The government gives you nothing that it hasn’t already taken.” Whatever the tax rate, you can rest assured that the money will be squandered by the government. Venture Capital is about funding creative destruction. I’d rather see the money go to smart people who are trying to improve the world, rather than a government that protects the status quo. This is as much a proven recipe for success as socialism is a proven recipe of poverty for all.

    1. JLM

      .Agreeing more with you than your own Momma. Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  43. LE

    One thing to be clear about is the problem isn’t even that there is inequality but rather there is inequality that is in everyone’s face all the time. Because of all the ways to get the message out there (blogs, social media, 24×7 news cycle, twiiter) which makes people jealous to no end. That is what is going on.Look at even how you started off talking about this:It reminds me of a heated conversation I had with my kids and their friends during our family ski trip over the year end break.Family ski trip? This doesn’t sound like ‘we went to colonial williamsburg over the holiday with the family’. It sounds very elite. You know that of course.Look in the past (pre internet and perhaps pre cable tv) you’d have three networks, the daily paper in your city the paper of record (gags) and what not. So that was the era of ‘Howard Hughes’ is the billionaire. Maybe the factory owner in your small town was ‘rich’. Maybe some local people were rich. There was a ‘society’ column in the local paper and so on. So it was manageable. Even when “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ came out things were still cool.Plus importantly anyone that was ‘rich’ either inherited it or ‘earned it’. You didn’t have goofy young people playing ping pong that all the sudden showed up in hoodies to pitch Wall Street. You didn’t have everyone and their nephew trying to do a startup. For god’s sake even JLM’s daughter is doing a startup. That is how thick the atmosphere is with the path to riches. Inherited rich was acceptable because it was, well, old money primarily and you didn’t see how they enjoyed it other than some big old house.

  44. Jim Peterson

    Loved this part:“It reminds me of a heated conversation I had with my kids and their friends during our family ski trip over the year end break.”I have the same conversation with our kids as we are enjoying our beach house. There are limits to their protest!

    1. JLM

      .Point of order — both ski houses and beach houses are dividends of capitalism. As are lake houses, airplanes, boats, and ranches.Needs to be said.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  45. agarcian

    Citing the headline from The Hill which decided to chop the context of the message seems either self-serving or a bit lazy.It is very different to say “Economic system that allows billionaires is ‘immoral'” vs saying “I do think that a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong.”

    1. Richard

      What you haven’t thought about is that without Ford, Carnegie , Ray Croc and may of Americans billionaires more people not less would have ringworm.

    2. rfreeborn

      I just did a search of all 130+ comments in this thread…you and I were the only two that included this quote. #shrug

      1. agarcian

        Even though Fred speaks about the underlying problem which is inequality, the fact that he cited the out of context headline was disappointing. We need to be very subtle to have mature conversations to get to real solutions. Citing what seems a bad-intentioned quote was an important oversight on his part to an otherwise good piece.

    3. Richard

      And as jerry sinfeld would say “who are these people”?

  46. Rob Larson

    Here’s one approach to dealing with billionaires and inequality:”In 2011 there were 115 billionaires in China. Since then, 72 have died, with 15 murders, 17 suicides, 7 accidental deaths, and 19 from illness. Another 14 were executed.”… … (via @EddyElfenbein via @bespokeinvest)I prefer our approach.

    1. JLM

      .”…14 were executed.”I want to know more. Nice narrative hook.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  47. rfreeborn

    It’s funny how most people talking about her comments leave off the second half of the thought “when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong,” – I wonder how much of the conversation would change with that in mind (useless question, the debate proves that context doesn’t matter)

    1. JLM

      .Haha, you fell for the RINGWORM baloney?Ringworm is not created by a worm. It is a fungal infection which is better known as tinea.If you ever had jock itch — tinea cruris. Plenty of jock itch in sports and the military. I gave up wearing underwear for a year when in the Army.If you have had athlete’s foot — tinea pedis. Plenty of athlete’s foot in college locker rooms — why you wear slides.If you have had a red dot on your body — tinea corporis. [Often misdiagnosed as Lyme’s Disease.]Scaly scalp — tinea capitis.Beard irritation — tinea barbae, similar to barbae folicolitis (beard burn endured by black men).Nail fungus — tinea unguium.You can catch ringworm from pets, livestock, cows, goats, pigs, horses and humans. You can also catch it from a wet saddle.How is this dreaded disease treated?Basic antifungal cream like Cruex, Desenex, Monistat-Derm, Lamisil. All over the counter medicines.Alabama doesn’t have any more God damn ringworm than River Oaks, Houston. Take a shower, dry your crotch and your feet. If you see a rash, treat it with Desenex and shut the fuck up.Stop picking on Alabama for ringworm. They’re racists down there. JKRingworm, coming to a political debate near you. And, now you know.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Richard

        I hope AOC never grows wiser or grows up! It’s some of the best humor since old episodes of SNL

        1. JLM

          .She is the urban equivalent of Nascar — waiting with baited breath for the car wrecks.I love watching her.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. sigmaalgebra

          She stands to be one of the best players on, at least for, Trump’s team!She may have a lot of accomplishments in her future:(1) Finally show the total absurdity of Saint Laureate Al Guru and his screaming about human caused global warming!(2) Similarly for the total nonsense of powering all of our electric grid with wind and solar energy.(3) Create a winning consensus for more economic growth, more billionaires, and lower taxes.(4) Drive a stake through the heart of single-payer medical care.(5) Create a big consensus that a woman’s place is in the home, barefoot, pregnant, and dependent.(6) And for her main lifetime accomplishment, be successful in causing 2/3rds of the House, 2/3rds of the Senate, and 3/4 of the states to repeal the 19th Amendment!!We can hope for at least some of that!!Alas, my guess is that soon the NYC MSM will drop her as old news and she will be forgotten except as a hopeless socialist wack-o.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Your medical advice is pretty good:For me the miracle cure was just the Wal-Mart house brand of two tubes, one some cortisone anti-inflammatory and the other some anti-fungal. Then sometimes I used a third tube with some triple ant-biotic. Did WONDERS. Solved athlete’s foot, jock itch, and nail fungus.Now, for athlete’s foot, after a shower I thoroughly dry between toes by stuffing them with Kleenex sheets. With the toes dry, I mix some anti-inflammatory cream and anti-fungus cream and liberally slather it between all my toes and over most of my foot up to my ankles and then put on clean socks. As long as the skin between my toes says dry, I don’t have to do any of that.As the nail fungus, on a big toe, was cured by the anti-fungus cream and the nail grew out, the sharp corner of the nail dug into the flesh and caused an “ingrown” toenail, a potentially serious infection. So, the anti-biotic cream solved that.As a dermatologist once explained to me, the role of the anti-inflammatory cream is curious: Mostly the inflammation, itching, etc, of athlete’s foot is not actually the fungus. Instead the fungus is just on the surface and only in dead skin. The inflammation is from some of the foreign proteins from the fungus getting into the live skin where the body’s inflammation reaction is to blister and attempt to sluff off the offending skin. Actually the foreign proteins are no big threat. So, part of the cure is just to use the anti-inflammatory cream to suppress the immune reaction and its blistering. Then when anti-fungus cream kills the fungus all will be okay.As a teenager, I suffered from all those ailments, and treatments were not nearly as simple or cheap as just three tubes from Wal-Mart. Instead, for the anti-fungus and anti-inflammatory cream, I got expensive prescriptions from an expensive dermatologist. I had ingrown toenail on three of the total of four edges of my big toes and had surgery on each of three. The last ingrown toenail was on the fourth edge — with my home cure, no surgery, just some months of anti-biotic cream daily until finally the sharp nail corner grew out from the flesh and into the air.The nail fungus was originally caused by some carpentry — I dropped the end of a 2 x 4 and it hit the big toe. The nail was cracked a little, and the fungus got in.Back then was bad for teenage boys: For an ingrown toenail on a big toe, my brother had surgery with general anesthetic and was on crutches for weeks. A friend with such a big toe kept waiting for weeks for the nail to grow out, at work had a wheel roll over the infected toe, and was rushed to the hospital with a risk of blood poisoning.For me, those three tubes from Wal-Mart are a nice step up in health care.

  48. JLM

    .I dig Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is very healthy for our democracy and the debate that should underpin political life in America. She is pretty and energetic.I did not say I support her or any of her espoused policies.District #14 is one of the most Dem districts in the country. It has a 6:1 (Cook D+29 for those keeping score at home) ratio amongst Dems v Reps. There are 712K citizens in a Congressional District.Whoever wins the Dem primary wins the election.The incumbent was a traditional, but fast moving, traditional, traditional Dem pol — Joseph Crowley. He was on the fast track to become Speaker of the House in a non-Nancy world.He had been in the Congress since 1998 (20 years) and had been a NY Assemblyman before that. He was the Chairman of the US House Dem Caucus and the Queens Dem Party. He was an establishment kind of guy.Alexandria — Ted Kennedy intern and Bernie organizer — was a fresh face running not against a Republican, but the Dem Establishment.Alexandria was anointed a GENIUS by a total of 4,018 votes.2018 Dem Primary Dist #14 results:AOC – 16,898 votesJoe D – 12,880Again, there are 712,000 citizens in a Congressional District and NY #14 is 6:1 Dem v Rep.Alexandria is not a tidal wave, y’all. She is a 4,018 vote ripple in a Dem pond. One more time, she is a thing caused by 4,018 votes.She won because Joe Crowley went to sleep and lost. They had a single debate at which they both appeared and another one to which Joe C sent a surrogate.Crowley had the support of the traditional labor unions and elected officials. He took the election for granted.Alexandria had the Brand New Congress, the Justice Democrats, the People for Bernie Sanders,, and Cynthia Nixon.Alexandria out hustled lazy ass Joe Crowley and she deserved to win. She deserved it. She earned it. But, let’s be real — 4,018 voters created this phenomenon.Alexandria is a thinker — she of the Medicare for All, Housing as a Constitutional right, the abolition of ICE, a Federal Jobs Guaranty, the abolition of private prisons, the abolition of non-violent drug crimes, the reversal of Citizens United, no money in politics, women’s rights, the restoration of Glass-Steagall, the sanctity of Social Security, unlimited immigration and amnesty, and solidarity with Puerto Rico (she is Puerto Rican).Oh, yes, she is a huge proponent of Climate Change, carbon-free living, 100% renewable energy system, and the abolition of fossil fuels.I belabor the point that she supports such positions only to make the argument that she was not an ideological winner — she out hustled a lazy ass, entitled member of the Dem establishment. Her ideas didn’t win. Her hustle won.It was a 4,018 vote victory, y’all.Alexandria is going to be a lot of fun. She and her ideas are going nowhere because, of course, the Dem House is run by the ultimate Dem Establishment insider, Nancy Pelosi.Still, I am looking forward to seeing the Dems fight amongst themselves over Alexandria’s many issues.The next time around I am betting her opponent will not be so lazy and uninvolved. Then, again, I will probably send her a check. In a Netflix frame of mind.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  49. Don Holness

    Wished we focused less on Income tax and more on capital gains tax/corporate tax. Moving away on taxes on the rich and more to the super rich that already leverage government subsidies, infrastructure and educated workforce available in American cities. Amazon’s NYC deal is the most recent example.

  50. aminTorres

    holy sh**!

  51. John Herron

    I’m distressed by the complete lack of empathy within these comments for those in need. Fred opened an important conversation and was surprisingly empathetic. Instead of acknowledging or disputing Fred’s thesis, most commenters chose to attack progressive values. I wish we had more tolerance to sit with differing opinions than our own and seek commonality rather than the sordid comforts of silo’d division.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      If you want to help “those in need”, then you will have a lot of listeners and support.If you want to do that as an application of, or particular case of, “progressive values”, then you will be much less successful at helping “those in need” and likely not successful at all.The Right has a similar problem: What Trump is trying to do is terrific and can be embraced by essentially everyone, including Bernie and to his left. But far too many people who support Trump — e.g., Hannity and Limbaugh — want to get support for Trump as an application of, or particular case of, “conservative values”.In both cases the situation would be like the Wright Brothers explaining the importance of airplanes by saying that they were a first step on sending people to Mars. Instead, airplanes are terrific on their own, and to heck with Mars.In both cases, progressive, conservative, the situation is trying to sell something relatively easy to sell by selling it as a special case of something next to impossible to sell. BS.Take both “progressive values” and “conservative values” and flush them as toxic sewage.Another mistake Hannity makes is praising Reagan: To HECK with Reagan. I didn’t like him before, while, and after he was POTUS. And my guess is that in fact he had next to nothing to do with the fall of the USSR. My view is that the USSR fell because finally it gave up on trying to occupy Poland, the Baltic states, East Germany, Romania, …, Albania, etc.Like Hannity, I REALLY like Trump, but NO WAY do like Trump because I want a return to Reagan, Goldwater, Romney, Ryan, Flake, Nixon, W, McCain, etc.Without Trump the Republicans would have nominated some darling of the Right, and we’d now have President Hill. Right, with a REAL impeachment battle!IMHO Trump is MUCH better than any of Reagan, etc., and that as just a small special case of his being much better than any POTUS back to Washington — Lincoln was too eager to send the military to respond to a few cannon shots on Fort Sumter, that the South regarded as part of their land with no rights of soldiers of the North being there, and far too eager for a war, one that killed ~600,000 US citizens. There were plenty of ways to solve the problems of succession and slavery, essentially as well as we have so far, without a war. E.g., MLK did better than General Grant. In reality, what finally got the Blacks nearly entirely off the southern plantations was automation of agriculture in the South and manufacturing in Detroit, etc.Or, the problem of slavery in the south is still with us, and all over the US and not just in the south, and not just since US slavery but back through thousands of years of slavery. A LOT of people REALLY like slavery, e.g., Nancy/Chucky, the Democrats, and the NYC MSM and, in effect, the progressives. And one of the keys to slavery is just the same as in the 1800s — immigration of relatively helpless people for cheap unskilled labor. And one of the main solutions is just the same — stop such immigration.Trump’s proposals are terrific on their own and do not need any support from conservative, progressive values.From all I can see, the push for those values is a push for power of some tribe and then much more of political engineering in a hidden agenda that couldn’t get support on its own, like giving away the razors to sell the blades.So, in particular, progressive values are not to help people in need (and the fear, and, thus, the desire for a case of insurance, from “There but for the grace of God go I.”) but to get power for a hidden agenda, and helping people is mostly a fake issue to help the progressive values and hidden agenda.To me, Trump is trying to make much needed progress on national security, immigration, balance of trade, international squabbles (North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Syria, ISIS, etc.), economic growth, jobs, standard of living, infrastructure, new businesses and closely associated vocational training in blighted areas, crime, illegal drugs, plus some. To me all these are just totally common sense, obviously much needed, good directions totally without any conservative or progressive agenda.Just why Nancy/Chucky, the Democrats, and their NYC MSM propaganda arms are so opposed to just the totally obvious results of just simple common sense is strange: E.g., now on immigration and The Wall, Nancy/Chucky, etc. look like totally devoted BFF of El Chapo and his buddies, and that just CANNOT sell. Nancy/Chucky are on a march of political suicide and stand to be CRUSHED by the voters. Nancy is acting like some spoiled child of a wealthy family, middle school mean girl and pretty little liar, but she is within less than a year of wrecking the Democrat party and making the NYC MSM look less welcome than open sewers in the streets.In particular Trump is not trying to dismantle the welfare state, e.g., he’s not for the totally wack-o far Right idea of “privatizing” Social Security, and, instead, is trying to get people JOBS and to grow the economy to be better able to help people who really need it — and there are a LOT of such people.Bluntly, and in particular, the progressives CANNOT do nearly as much as Trump to help the people in need if only from the old “The problem with socialism is that too soon it runs out of other people’s money.”.We have quite a lot of compassion, but we have a lot of waste from various wack-o and/or special interests, e.g., the LBJ and W absurd foreign adventures. And we have badly neglected our own economy, e.g., from importing cheap goods and cheap labor, letting the Chinese borrow our old playbook, implement predatory marketing and mercantilism, and steal our intellectual property. If we stop most of the absurd waste and fix our immigration and foreign trade problems, then we will have so much money no one will begrudge helping people who need help. E.g., if we can get Nancy/Chucky to quit acting like BFF of El Chapo, etc., then we can save the enormous costs of cash and much more of the 72,000 US deaths in 2017 from overdoses of drugs nearly all from Mexico, as in the well done CDC report…and apparently up to 78,000 in 2018 and stop the massive, current maybe $250 billion a year of other costs, education, health care, other welfare, crime, from the open southern border.The values would make things worse, throw out the baby with the bathwater. We can get rid of the bathwater easily enough: Just get rid of Nancy/Chucky and buddies.From some of the latest news, it appears that Nancy is about to see her 100% Democrat consensus broken and maybe be voted down as Speaker. Net in no more than a few more weeks, Congress will vote the funding Trump has requested for The Wall; there will be no amnesty or path to citizenship for the illegal immigrants; the open borders people will have lost; the shutdown will be over; Trump will have made good progress on his campaign promise of The Wall; and the Democrats will be on the way to losing the House in 2020 as Trump coasts to reelection against who? Kamala Harris? Fauxcahontas? Joe Biden? Kirsten Gillibrand? Hildebeest? Nasty Nancy? Mike Bloomberg?Nasty Nancy and the outrageous, highly erroneous NYC MSM aside, the classic two biggies for re-election of a POTUS are peace and prosperity, and Trump looks good on both.

  52. Paul Brown

    Just dwelling a bit on a ironic scene where young people at a swanky ski resort, which they’re likely not paying for themselves, are lecturing their parents, who’ve worked extremely hard and assumed considerable risks, on the evils of capitalism’s inequality. Hmm.

    1. PhilipSugar

      See my comment on inheritance. I’d love to hear the reaction if they are told, look we raised you we put you through college we set you up with your first place. But that is it, when we die everything is liquidated and given to this income equality cause we setup. You know what they say: “when you are young if you are not a liberal you have no heart, if you are old and not a conservative you have no brain”

  53. Guy Lepage

    I feel you fall into the same camp as many Canadian Millennials, the “Social Capitalist” camp.I saying capitalism is immoral is an ignorant statement spoken to capture headlines imo. Bono just spoke on this topic yesterday in Davis and I really liked his take on Capitalism. I tend to agree with him.. He stated that Capitalism is probably the best of the “ism’s.” But it should not go unchecked. As I Social Capitalist myself, I agree with him wholeheartedly. Society should try to find, good and moral people to make the best judgement calls to keep Capitalism in check. Sweden and Canada do an alright job of this. It all starts with elevating the k-12 education system so that everyone can make educated judgement calls on whom to place in power of their governments.

  54. Mike

    I had too many thoughts for a quick comment. Put them in a medium post below.TLDR; Billionaires aren’t immoral, but unequal opportunity that white men get to become so is. As is a comp model that has millions working below market for a low chance to become rich.

  55. Mark Essel

    I dig it. I don’t see how we can explore efficiencies in our current gov. We could use experimental jurisdictions where different techniques and taxes are applied, but again that won’t work within our current federal/big gov.

  56. Tom Hart is the only glimmer of hope I see

  57. woke

    > I understand that increasing taxes on the wealthiest leads many of them to move their income and assets to lower tax jurisdictions and can be counter productive, particularly when you go beyond a certain threshold.To that point, US marginal rates have varied significantly but collections as a percentage of GDP has never exceeded 22%.Absent some good reason to believe that “this time will be different” (which it almost never is), that means that the only way to increase govt revenues is to grow the economy.

  58. Nadeem Memon

    One man’s “entrepreneur” is another’s “robber baron”.

  59. jason wright

    “Capitalism and Inequality” – synonyms.

  60. Lyel Resner

    Hi Fred:How many of the Founders that you’ve backed do you think would have chosen to not start their companies if you told them they could never personally amass $1B by doing so?Of the folks who would choose to not start their company in that case, how many would you still have backed knowing that would change their motivation?

  61. Robin

    wow. what a wonderfully nuanced post in such a short form. I really like it.

  62. Aaron Hurst

    I’m not an economist but it seems to me the biggest challenge with capitalism in its current western / American form is externalities. These unintended outputs of production cause most if not all of the social strife we wrestle with today. Externalities by definition are not priced into the good or service and the public, or in many cases social safety systems like governments, are left to solve for them. Examples include tech that creates massive job dislocation (e.g., automation) or factories that emit pollutants that impact surrounding communities / the world’s environment.Perhaps this is just framing the inequality conversation differently, but I’d be in favor of focusing our energy on discussing how to price externalities into the current version of capitalism, which seems more proactive at its core, vs. reactive tax policies that assume the current social safety nets are the optimal mechanism to solve for these unpriced unintended consequences.

  63. static

    There will always be, and should always be, inequality. Equality of income would be a disaster. What you are arguing for is a stronger set of services, where those that have or are making larger sums of money pay to provide those services to others who make or have less money than they do. Maybe people would feel better about this if the people you were paying for with your tax dollars were loosely identified, like telling people they paid for the healthcare of 100 other people. Of course, they might feel bad that 7.4% of their tax dollars were going to US Treasury holders as interest on the debt.Efficiency of providing these things does seem key. If we could get the cost of healthcare down, we could afford to buy more of it, and more than 50% of the spending is already by the government. Single payer advocates claim that Medicare is more efficient because it pays less due to its pricing power. It seems like we could take advantage of that to tell healthcare providers they can’t charge anyone more than they charge Medicare. Just that would eliminate a huge amount of waste and work in the system, without introducing any additional bureaucracy.

  64. Richard

    Amazing insight!! Give AOC a call. Imagine if your parents had given you a copy of Peter Lynch’s , one up on wall st and purchased $100 of Disney for your 5th grade graduation. Reach out to me anytime, it’s still early your daughter.

  65. sigmaalgebra

    You and your daughter, family, relatives, friends, and neighbors can get all the education they want and all there is to get.You don’t need big buildings, teachers, professors, tuition, courses, credits, and grades to get a good education. In fact they are not sufficient for a really good education for all of life. It is in the interests of some people to have others believe that big buildings, …, are crucial for education. That’s a dirty scam.And I know just what the heck I’m talking about: Dad had a Master’s in education and a teaching certificate and long was Educational Consultant to the Director of Training at the US Naval Air Technical Training Center 20 miles north of Memphis. He was essentially the Dean and educational theorist of a trade school with 40,000 students at a time.I hold a Ph.D. in pure/applied math from one of the world’s best research universities. So did my late wife, Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude. Phi Beta Kappa, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, NSF Fellow, and Ph.D., in mathematical sociology from the university I went to. My brother’s Ph.D. was in political science. I’ve taught at Indiana University, Georgetown University, and Ohio State University. I’ve published peer-reviewed original research in applied math, mathematical statistics, and artificial intelligence (AI) from an AI project at IBM’s Watson lab in Yorktown Heights.You can get something of a view of education and in part like Dad had from the classic John Dewey, Democracy and Education. There the view was that education is defined as the passing down, both good and bad, from the older generation to the younger one. Most of that passing down is from within the family. Lesson: Likely your daughter has a lot of such education from you now.But, I’ll set aside Dewey and return to more practical education and how the big big buildings, etc. are not crucial: For a house location, Dad wanted my brother and I to go to a good school. He found one in Memphis, flatly intended to be the best high school in Memphis, by a wide margin, and for college preparation. Since there wasn’t much in the way of private schools in Memphis, my high school had nearly all the students from families that put a lot of value on education. E.g., the guy who started Holiday Inns of America sent his kids there. Essentially all the students graduated, and 97% went on to college. MIT came recruiting. The year before me, three guys went to Princeton and ran against each other and someone else for President of the Freshman Class.So, I went there. My brother went there three years ahead of me and was regarded as a good student. So, I gave up trying to compete with that. Dad did emphasize that I learn, especially from my own interests, and paid no attention to my grades.The things about ambition, making big bucks, entrepreneurship, pleasing customers, motivating employees, financing growth, owning and running a business, thinking of good business ideas, exploiting new technology, finding good business directions, JLM’s “going to the pay window”, etc. I had to learn on my own, in business, over time, heavily from the Internet, JLM, AVC, and more. Or, as technology and an economy moves to new things as fast as the US economy does, no way can parents, or anyone else, provide, say, vocational education that will give a child financial security for life. Instead, in brief, the education has to be in some fundamentals that might help for life and attitudes, ambition, and practice in making sense out of the unknown, anticipating the future, handling uncertainty, and hopefully MAKING the future. No doubt you can pass these lessons to your daughter.Well, then, in school, I learned enough, e.g., to please Dad, and then concentrated on what I was interested in. Well, I was interested in cars so did a lot on that, e.g., on maintenance of an old car my brother and I shared. For school, I was interested in math and physics.Now, a lesson: For math and physics, I mostly just ignored the teachers. For plane geometry, the teacher was obnoxious, and mostly I slept in class. I refused to say that I did any homework. In fact likely I did the most homework of anyone in the class: There were some more difficult exercises in the back of the book, and I made sure I solved ALL of them, 100%, never missed one. To me those exercises were great fun. I SHOULD have been given a calculus book and told to dig in. Net I was at least the second best student in the class.So, net, I learned to teach myself, learn from the book, etc. That was likely the best lesson I got in all of K-12 and one of the best lessons K-12 could give. That lesson was the key to all the successes in my career, my ability to do research, and my startup.Lesson: You can do that. Your daughter can do that. For just the learning, no big buildings needed. You do need some good books and maybe a little guidance or feedback occasionally, but at least in K-college there is no shortage of quite good books. For nearly all the subjects, used books are fine. There are more details that are important, but bluntly at the high end of US academics, the good, advanced students and the profs are all expected to be able to learn on their own and where the real challenge is not the learning, taken for granted as easy enough, but the original RESEARCH.For college, to save money since my brother was still in college, I went to one that was cheap I could walk to, Memphis State. It was a poor grade 13. I took the most advanced math course they permitted, and it was nearly less than what I’d done in high school. So, a girl told me when the tests were; I showed up for those; and the prof said I was the best math student he ever saw. But they wouldn’t let me start on calculus — I should have been learning calculus when I was 12. So I got a good calculus book and dug in, just taught myself, no big buildings, teachers, courses, credits, grades.But for the last three years I went to Rhodes College with, at the time, a surprisingly good math department. I started on their second year of calculus and made As easily. So, net, I never took freshman calculus. Taught it, applied it, published in it, etc., but never took it. If you or your daughter want to learn calculus, then go for it.For computing, I taught it to undergraduates at Georgetown and to graduate students at Ohio State but never really took a course in it. I’ve done a LOT of computing, but the learning has been from independent study — this situation is common, even standard in nearly all the US computer industry. If you or your daughter want to learn computing, like many others, you can — go for it, and that includes skills with operating systems and programming languages, the main algorithms and data structures, database and SQL, Web site design and development, and with some math, artificial intelligence and machine learning.During my career, I needed to learn a lot of linear algebra. So, I studied carefully from some of the best books and more, a stack of books but never really had a course. Then I went for my Ph.D. They had an advanced course in linear algebra from a world class expert. I suggested that I didn’t need the course, and the faculty smiled. Well, I was correct. I was effortlessly by far the best student in the class, ruined the grading curve for all the other students, and was correct. On an early graded homework paper, the grader made a mistake, and I corrected him and he made no more mistakes. Actually some of my own notes on the subject, well before the class, are something of a book. The night before the first class I wrote out from memory 80 pages of notes that covered about 3/4ths of the class. A lot of what I knew was beyond the course. At one point a result was something I’d discovered on my own well before the course.So, I was self-taught in advanced linear algebra, and my knowledge was just fine in a severe course from a (severe) world expert. Lesson: You can learn math, somewhat advanced math, and learn it on your own to quite high standards.In the summer after my first year, I took a problem I’d seen in business and got a nice mathematical solution. That took me 6 weeks in the summer, and I wrote a 50 page manuscript. That was the research for my Ph.D. Lesson: Can do high quality research, enough for a Ph.D. at a world class research university, on your own, no direction — just do it.Big Lesson: For a lot of academic stuff, especially math, also all or nearly all of computer science, can learn that and do original research in it on your own. Once you do learn and have the research, getting a Ph.D. can be fast, fun, easy, paying $0.00 for tuition, and maybe getting a stipend, teaching associateship, etc. I have some bookshelves, in walnut, 1′ x 3′ x 6′, 9 of them, and they are about half filled with my books and papers on pure/applied math, physics, and computing. Lesson: May end up working with a lot of materials.Bigger Lesson; For the lessons important in life, and less explicit than math, physics, and computing, really can learn those also. For this learning, use the Internet, be VERY selective in the materials, and meet some people and learn from them, directly or just by observation. Think about what you see. Have a good quality filter — “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see and still will believe twice too much.” “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you do know for sure that just isn’t so.”At Ohio State, I taught in the MBA program. Okay, they could teach accounting. Otherwise for business what you can, likely only can, learn on your own is likely more important. Lesson: If you and your daughter want to learn about business, then you can.If you want degrees from famous universities, then can’t do all that on your own. But even in the best universities, for graduate school and especially for research, the students are heavily on their own. E.g., at least at one time, the Web site of the math department at Princeton explained that no courses were offered for preparation for the qualifying exams, that students were expected to prepare for those exams on their own, and that courses were introductions to research by experts in their fields. Students should have some research underway, likely independently, in their first year. So, really, a student would take a graduate course only if they wanted to have the course help them in doing research in the subject of the course.Not mentioned is the importance of research seminars: Typically there is at least one a week. Traditionally some tea and cookies are served just before — that’s really to meet people. Following the research presented is likely not possible, but, still, even if only catch a few key words or references, learn some names, meet some people, the seminars can be a good view of what is coming. Lesson: Even in a high end Ph.D. program, the student does a lot to do well for themselves largely on their own.So, that’s a fast overview of education from K-12, college, vocational education, high end research university education, high end academic research, what is in an MBA program, computing, math, etc.The main lesson is that you can, should, and must take control of your own education and career directions. Schools can help, but independent study is from helpful, at times necessary, nearly sufficient, and more generally you can and must work to gather more, out of school.A lot of people have a lot of misunderstandings about formal education and what an individual must do in thinking and working for their own futures not available in formal education.There are some career directions that maybe are more predictable and stable — K-12 teaching with a teaching certificate, nursing with an RN, medicine with an MD, maybe accounting with a CPA, etc.

  66. JamesHRH

    I pay huge $, top level in Houston, to send my kids to a school where the motto starts with ‘Be Ambitious.’ Most of the kids are international students, their parents are energy ex-pats.Maybe a third of the kids are honestly ambitious.I married my wife b/c I was ambitious and I knew she had the raw materials of greatness. She says that one of the things – I like to think there are very few things – I have done to help her is to merely have the mindset that we could do great things.That word – mindset – is everything.Building it, that’s a whole other trick.That you are here @ AVC is the most promising thing that has ever happened to your daughter. Whatever I can do to help inspire her or you, let me know.

  67. Bruce Warila

    I read a fair amount of your high-speed posts here. Some are super interesting. This one, I printed for my twin high school seniors. Thanks!

  68. JamesHRH

    Did you go to Memphis St b/c your HS in Memphis would not provide a transcript showing you were a top student?

  69. sigmaalgebra

    No, I went to Memphis State because it was cheap and we needed to save money because my brother, three years ahead of me, was a senior at much more expensive Rhodes College. So, when my brother graduated and went to grad school, that freed up money for me to go to Rhodes for my last three years.Also it helped that I could walk to/from the university! If look at a Google map, then from the university, to get home I just walked north, across Poplar Avenue (main E-W street in Memphis), close to the big house of the guy who started Holiday Inns, across Galloway golf course, and a few hundred yards to home!I was a “good student” in math and science with okay Verbal SAT scores and really good Math SAT scores. Since after the 9th grade I got sent to a math tournament and after the 11th grade got sent to an NSF summer program in math and physics, some of my high school teachers regarded me as a good math/science student.I could have done MUCH better in math and science; I just needed better guidance on what to study and occasionally some overviews with some insight: E.g., in math analysis, what the heck is going on with the definition of compact? Well, it’s heavily about uniform continuity, and we want that as a nice way to show that for continuous functions the sums in the Riemann integral converge so that the integral exists. That is, briefly and for the core of the point, every continuous function on a compact set is uniformly continuous, and, then with an easy proof, its Riemann integral exists. In particular, for real numbers a and b with a <= b, the closed interval [ a,b ] on the line is compact. So, if we have a continuous function f on [ a,b ], then the Riemann integral of f on [ a,b ] exists. Uh, the Riemann integral is what Newton cooked up except has the important properties very carefully proved as theorems and with a lot more generality than Newton likely knew or knew how to describe. After I studied that material carefully and looked back at what got used where and how, I was able to see how it worked, but it would have helped for someone to have just told me this up front or just more generally, when studying the material, flip forward and backward and begin to see where each definition or theorem early in the material gets used later in the material and, thus, see the reasons for the early material and how the subject works. And if writing, describe those connections explicitly. For some math student, if no one told them this, then now they know.I had two attitudes that rubbed the teachers the wrong way: (1) I thought that math and science could be useful for me in a career, and (2) I was interested just in learning the material for a career and was not paying attention to grades.Generally I am not now nor have i ever been interested in an academic career. Instead, from the beginning my interests were in a GOOD career, i.e., making green money for financial security, i.e., to support my family. For a career, I wanted the work to be not too dangerous and at least mostly legal — otherwise, the goal was to make the green stuff. I wasn’t looking for academic prestige, honors, prizes, etc.Eventually I learned about research, and there my attitude was and remains, I’ll do research as needed for an application, and I want to make the application and get paid for the application and don’t want to publish my research and, instead, want to keep it as my intellectual property, trade secret, etc. For making the application, as I’ve learned, mostly that takes me into business, when it is successful, the money making kind.I’ve learned: (A) It’s possible, mostly only in academics, to get paid for research. There, mostly the only criterion for the research is that it be published; typically nearly no one reads the research or tries to apply it. At its best, research is by far the most valuable contribution to civilization, but, still, it’s tough, even with good research, to get paid well enough to get financial security for a family. A person can be better off working as a unionized employee for an electric utility, literally. (B) While working for a salary, it’s nearly impossible to get paid enough for financial security for a family from either research or its applications. A big reason is, the people writing the checks don’t understand the research and, personally in their careers, are afraid of a subordinate that might make a valuable application.So, due to (A)-(B), doing research, making the applications, and getting paid, even just enough for financial security for a family, it is essentially necessary to be an entrepreneur and there to get paid mostly not from just retained earnings from revenue but from growth in the market capitalization of the company.I got interested in a Ph.D. in applied math heavily because of Mom’s deep insecurity about money and her belief, based on next to no real understanding, on a lot of misunderstanding, that a Ph.D. would be a good, long term source of financial security.I got more interest in a math Ph.D. because happenstance got me a good career going in applied math and computing for problems in US national security within 100 miles of the Washington Monument.Discovering some of the dynamics of how the money worked, at one point I was in a software house working for a Navy lab, the JHU/APL. They were highly interested in the fast Fourier transform and more generally in digital filtering and power spectra of second order stationary stochastic processes. By then, from some earlier work, I was good with the fast Fourier transform and okay with some of the associated topics. I was okay with much of that math approached as physics or engineering, but the solid math was in some important ways beyond what I’d studied carefully as math.At one point, we were bidding on a software development contract where in part the software would process ocean wave data, report a power spectrum, and, then, as input to some simulations of some systems they were trying to design, right, SSBN submarine control systems, generate sample paths with that power spectrum. So, I got a copy of Blackman and Tukey, The Measurement of Power Spectra from the Point of View of Communications Engineering, each night went for dinner, broiled flounder, at a seafood bar in Silver Spring, and during dinner dug into the book. Blackman was from Bell Labs, and Tukey, a main guy in statistics, was at both Princeton and Bell Labs.At the seafood bar, once an older guy sat next to me, saw the book, and said “Do you work for the Navy”? Gee, what the heck? It was too easy for me to notice that a large fraction of the best books on stochastic processes, deterministic and stochastic optimal control, etc. were from names such as Federov, Ibragimov, Kolmogorov, Panov, Rozanov (just from a fast search of my book collection!)! So, I said nothing, returned to my book and dinner, and then used my Camaro hot rod to race back to work.Race is the right word: On one uphill stretch of road, it was fun to run the engine at full throttle up the hill. My Camaro hot rod had a 396 cubic inch engine and a 2.56:1 rear axle ratio. So, at 5000 RPM the car was going 100 MPH and there doing the shift into third gear! Great fun to get the shift at 5000 RPM at 100 MPH into third!!!Reading the book, I saw that what the lab was asking for was not possible, violated, if you will, a version of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. So, on a Friday I called a customer engineer, and we chatted a little. Then for the next week, I neglected what I was supposed to be doing, which was next to impossible anyway, didn’t tell anyone what I was doing, and rushed some math and software to start with any guesstimate power spectrum, generate sample paths with that power spectrum, analyze the sample paths, from the sample paths estimate the input power spectrum, and see how much sample path data was needed to make a good estimate. The actual statistics are clear enough — chi squared — but seeing all this plotted out was compelling.Right, I’ve still never had a course in statistics, but I’ve published in mathematical statistics and there was doing applied statistics for the US SSBN program better than some of the engineers at the JHU.APL!Uh, eventually are just supposed to be able to do stuff, and if first need to get some background, then do that and then do the stuff.On the next Friday I called the engineer, and we met after dinner and went over my math, software, and output. I gave him the work, math, software, and output. Presto, bingo, he understood. Also, in effect, in a week, for free, I’d given him a good chunk of the deliverable of the whole software contract!He really liked the work: E.g., the input power spectrum was some smooth thing, from just a freehand drawing, but the early estimates had lots of peaks and valleys that were just sampling error and didn’t mean anything. So, sure, he felt that my work had him just dodge a bullet of seeing peaks and valleys and concluding that they meant something when they were just random sampling error. It turned out, for the accuracy he wanted, he would have needed some weeks of data; Heisenberg again.Soon our software house had a dog and pony show before the customer, and it turned out my work had become known, and I was the star of the show. I gave a short version of my work, without the graphs. Our bid on the software was competitive, but with my work the customer gave us “sole source” — “Look, Ma, no competition!”.So, the software house was in line to make some money. But for me, nope: All I got was a somewhat strained “You’re becoming an important person around here.”. “Important”? Maybe. Richer? Nope, not yet. The owners of the software house richer? Likely!But I was on my way to more money at Georgetown University, being a consultant in applied math, statistics, and computing, and teaching computer science.At Georgetown, a prof had written some software to help teaching introductory statistics. In testing, he found his polynomial curve fitting routine at times had poor accuracy and his rank statistics routine was really slow. I fixed the first [his technique, via the usual normal equations, was encountering the notoriously bad, numerically unstable, Hilbert matrix] with an orthogonal polynomial approach and the second, using no more storage, with some O( n ln(n)) code instead of his O(n^2) code. I helped a physics prof with the fast Fourier transform.A woman, professor of sociology, thin, not very pretty, came to my consulting desk saying that she had some survey data and, over and over, saying that she “was looking for sex”. Gee, just from some applied math! WOW! Rock star stuff?My manager, a prof not doing very well, felt threatened and got angry at me. Then a guy at FedEx called, and I resigned at Georgetown.As I resigned to go to Georgetown, late at night I got a call from the software house manager, at risk of losing the sole source software contract, very upset. and quite drunk. Still I left.After I’d saved FedEx twice and still didn’t get the long promised stock but did get a lot of jealousy around the C-suite, I went for my Ph.D.There my practical values rubbed some academic fur the wrong way. Then I discovered the secret of high end academics: Concentrate on just three things, research, research, and research. Do that successfully and get a golden halo and a suit of Kryptonite body armor! E.g., I saw a tricky problem in an advanced course in optimization, not solved in the course or the more promising papers in the library, so got a “reading course” to address the problem, not necessarily solve but just address, write about, it. Before asking for the course, I thought I saw a rough path to a solution. I got the course, saw a much better solution, and wrote it up. I did most of the work sitting on our bed next to my wife while she watched TV — total time, two weeks for what was supposed to be a one semester course. Word spread in the department. My favorite prof walked up to me in the hall and said “I heard about your theorem.”. Another prof said, “Send it to Math Programming”, the most respected, relevant journal. Later I did publish. I got the golden halo and suit of armor, and the rest of my path to my Ph.D. was fast, fun, easy, and smooth. Since I’d done some okay original research, I was beyond criticism. Since the work was publishable, literally from the standards of the university, it was sufficient for a Ph.D. dissertation, but I had some other research I’d done for that.Then I took care of my wife in her long, finally fatal, illness.Then I became an entrepreneur, picked a problem, derived some new applied math, wrote some software, and am rushing to go live. The software is to solve a problem, so far solved at best poorly, important for 90+% of the people in the world with a standard Web browser, smartphone or workstation. I’m a sole, solo founder and 100% owner of the business. From my software timings and some Mary Meeker data at KPCB, if I keep my server, 8 cores at 4.0 GHz half busy, I’ll get revenue, essentially all pre-tax earnings, of ~$250,000 a month. If I do get that revenue, there should be nothing but a moon shot rocket path to several $billion a year in pre-tax earnings, and finally I’ll have some financial security. That’s what I started out to do!

  70. JamesHRH

    Comments not going away, Fred just jet lagged from flying LA to NYC. One day though.Lots of great people in this ‘bar’ with all the experience – success & failure, good & bad – you could ever need. Tap it.