A new Gilded Age? Wealth is more concentrated than ever before
The world may soon witness a new Gilded Age.
The combined global wealth amongst billionaires increased by nearly a fifth last year alone, bringing the total to a combined worth of $6 trillion, The Guardian reported, citing a new study by UBS, a Swiss financial services company. Wealth around the globe is now as concentrated as it was during the turn of the 20th century.
“We’re at an inflection point,” the study’s lead author, Josef Stadler, said. “Wealth concentration is as high as in 1905, this is something billionaires are concerned about. The problem is the power of interest on interest – that makes big money bigger and, the question is to what extent is that sustainable and at what point will society intervene and strike back?”
Stadler said billionaires are concerned there could be a “strike back” as a result of such concentrated wealth.
He added, “We are now two years into the peak of the second Gilded Age.”
During America’s Gilded Age, President Theodore Roosevelt made efforts to bust up massive monopolies and increasing taxes on the wealthy.
“Will there be similarities in the way society reacts to this gilded age?,” Stadler asked. “Will the second age end or will it proceed?”
Well, under President Donald Trump, no one should expect the power dynamics to budge in the slightest. In fact, it’s pretty much inevitable wealth becomes even more concentrated under the Trump administration.
Trump’s tax cuts are a gift to many of the same billionaires who have already increased their wealth over the years.