Oh, Roy, not another article about the 1%. Well, yes, this is just that. How can you not discuss this teeny group that owns 1/2 of the wealth that obtains in the world? Read that again. 1% of the population owns 50% of the wealth.
And, you know those same folks want you to buy into the American Dream. You know, if you work hard and play by the rules, you, too, can join their ranks. NOT.
First of all, most of these folks (the 1%) accumulated their wealth by changing the rules that exist. And, they did so in areas that were not regulated (or were regulated poorly)- or developed their businesses in countries that have no (or little) government oversight. Finally- they created monopolies- by destroying any competition that existed.
Wilkin shows us that folks often obtain their wealth by changing the rules that exist in a competitive market economy. (This is not a new concept; Wilkin brings historical data, demonstrating this to have occurred back during the Glory of Rome.)
He offers a few ‘secrets’, though. Ok. He is being a wise ass- but within that pith lies the basic truths.
- Don’t be the best. Be the only. (Getting one’s opponents killed off is a pretty convenient way to do that.)
- Bigger is still better. (Monopolies are crucial to accumulate wealth.)
- The best place to do business- it’s really the worst. (Think Russian oligarchies. Think 3rd world dictatorships. A large share of a tiny market is a good idea. To some degree, it’s how our dialysate business grew and thrived.)
- When lenders can’t lose, you win. (This is simply restating the “too big to fail” doctrine.)
- Own what you do. No, he’s not talking responsibility- but property ownership.
- Spin laws into gold. (Ah, the truism of US business- which is why we have so many lobbyists working to insure the laws are bent to benefit big business. Oh, and the more complex the laws, the better- because then your competitors can’t understand how to operate.)
- Network, network, network. No, don’t join that weekly meeting group- control the supply chain, the transportation modalities.
The problem? Those aren’t really secrets. Unless you’ve been buying into the myth that the American Dream is a level playing field.