On the Origins of Great Wealth

The Most Revolutionary Act

Virtually everything was created at public expense and then gobbled up by enterprising opportunists like Gates.

By Gary Olson

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in one of his short stories, “The very rich are very different than you and me”. Ernest Hemingway has a character in one his reply by saying “Yes, they have more money.” A more concise retort might be that the secret behind every great fortune is a great theft, to paraphrase Honore de Balzac.

There are 657 billionaires in the United States, whose combined wealth grew by more than $1.7 trillion in the year of the pandemic. Further, we know that the one-tenth of the 1% own more than than the bottom 90%. Where does this wealth originate?

Bill Gates and computers are instructive examples. First, from birth, Gates benefited from numerous external advantages that played a critical role in his later success. They ranged from wealthy…

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