By Bill Gross
The travails of the “rich” have always been something of a spectator sport. While some might accuse me of being part of that lofty club, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that admits me. I’m not sure they’d want me anyway after I once advocated for increased taxes on the wealthy, citing no less an authority than Warren Buffett.
On the topic of wealth, I mused in one of my monthly Investment Outlooks in 2007, when is enough, enough? My concern then was that when the fruits of society’s labor become maldistributed, when the rich get richer and the middle and lower classes struggle, then the system ultimately breaks down. Inequity has always been a part of human existence, but the gulf seems wider now between the haves and have-nots than it has ever been.
In anticipation of the righteous indignation of the 1%, I acknowledged their argument that many believe they can more efficiently redistribute wealth than the government via taxes. But, as I noted, the inefficiencies of wealth redistribution by the Forbes 400 mega-rich are perhaps as egregious and wasteful as the government, if not more.