'Ridiculous, Ostentatious Wealth' in America

Hosted by

A conservative columnist reports that we're in "the second great Gilded Age." A liberal author warns that "a bloated over-class can drag down society."  But a New York Times Magazine article is headlined "Don't Hate Them Because They're Rich: The Trickle-down Effect of Ridiculous, Ostentatious Wealth." America's median income is $48,000, but the starting salary for some butlers is $60,000. Those numbers can be used to show that the massive wealth of the Super Rich "trickles down" to the rest of Americans, but not everybody sees it that way. In 20 years, the number of billionaires has gone from 13 to several 1000.  Some see a permanent aristocracy in the making, while the middle class struggles to pay the bills. How did the super rich get that way?  Are they good or bad for the economy?

Credits

Guests:
Daniel Gross - Strategy + Business - @grossdm, Robert H. Frank - Cornell University - @econnaturalist, Carol Scudere - Owner of Professional Domestic Services & Institue, Ray Madoff - Professor of Law at Boston College Law School

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Frances Anderton, Christian Bordal, Vanessa Romo