I am currently reading Kevin Phillips' book "Wealth and Democracy". Phillips is a former Republican strategist that has become unenchanted with the recent Republican economic ideology and policy.

I am in the part of the book that is describing the wealth dynamics of the early 21st century, and some of the forces that have shaped the current wealth distrobution. Clearly, drawing on statistics from a variety of sources, Phillips shows how the disparity between rich and poor is now larger than it has ever been in our country. Wealth concentration has congealed at the upper echelons of our society, in contrast to the relative equality in the post WWII years.

I am trying to read the book closely. It is a difficult read, given all of the economic, financial and statistical terms. Reading the book has led me to the thought that a mastery of financial knowledge could lead to richness. I'm sure that this is not what Phillips intended, and it is not something that I am proud to have at the forefront of my mind as I read about the great disparaties. I am interested in reading some of Phillips' conclusions and recommendations, which I hope come later in the book.

Certain basic questions jump out at me as I read the book. Is such a large disparity between rich and poor fair? Are the policies that allow the disparity fair? What is the role of government in the relationship between rich and poor? What is the moral response to such large disparities? Is it fair to "take from the rich and give to the poor"? Does the current situation allow the opposite: "taking from the poor, to give to the rich"? How can we promote growth and economic well-being for all individuals equally? How does one "draw a line" between what is acceptable wealth distrobution, and what is not?

I hope to acquire a deeper understanding of these questions, and in particular my responses to them, as I continue to read this book.


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