From an Ezra Klein interview with Chrystia Freeland, editor of Thomson Reuters Digital and author of “The Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.” The Q&A was packed with interesting insights. Take a moment to read the full piece at the link above.
“Yes, the people with merit and inventiveness should be at the top, but we want the natural outcome to be harmonious. And the scary thing is, what if that’s just not how the economy will work for the next 20 or 30 years? What if even if we get education and economic policy and all the rest of it right, that we’re not there? Do you say, okay, the way it’s working now is not consistent with how we imagine this democracy should work and therefore we believe the rich should be taxed more aggressively to support the middle class? That’s a very different way of thinking about the economy and the social contract. And after Romney’s loss, the scary thing for the super-rich becomes actually maybe they’re not going to be the ones to decide.”
“If you’ve developed an ideology that what’s good for you personally also happens to be good for everyone else, that’s quite wonderful because there’s no moral tension.”
“I’ve heard from people who worked in the White House that (Obama) doesn’t like rich people. I don’t actually think it’s true. I think he has a kind of Harvard Law School sense of kinship with these guys. He’s a member of the same technocratic elite. He could have taken that path. He has an admiration for those skills. But what he doesn’t have at all is a belief that the pure fact of having made a lot of money makes your views more valuable, or makes you more interesting or smarter than anyone else.”