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I take it that your list is supposed to be problematic. I mean, there must be some causes for such wealth. I take it that it is not analytically true that a cause of great wealth is a worry. Licensing (Gates)? Copyright (Rowling)? Not sure where Bezos or Zuckerberg fall here - as most of their wealth is simply transferred from other wealthy people (who bought the stock, and would have, regardless of Fed policy).

By "rent-seeking" do you mean that these folks wouldn't have become so rich, had they not sought to manipulate the political system for their benefit? Or, do you mean that "rent-seeking" entails that the wealth is a consequence of a system that uses the power of state to enforce things like copyrights, etc.? If it's the latter, I'm not sure who would disagree. Yes, the state protects some view of property. The former just looks false.

One might reject that concept of property (and the state's defense of it). But that's the normative issue. On that, AOC's blurb is not correct in the concrete or the abstract. It's some rhetorical flourish that amounts to a false dichotomy. Many countries with great state healthcare have billionaires.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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