Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hollow wealth

Who's creating wealth in America? Bob Lewis writes:

The Anchor Steam brewery creates wealth. Chase does not.

Here’s what’s disturbing: The private sector, for quite a long time, has been a minor contributor to the underlying drivers of wealth. Our preference for free markets notwithstanding, over the past couple of decades the federal government has done more to create the foundations of wealth than private industry, and it’s hard to find any modern foundation of wealth that hasn’t depended heavily on government-funded innovation.

Yet the creative financiers are the people our economy - and our government bailouts - reward.

I do think that Lewis overstates his case a little, but his main point - that almost our entire wealth-creating economy is based on a foundation of public rather than private investments - is right on the mark.

(By the way, be sure to follow Lewis's link to "A Decade of Zeroes".)

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