Stocking Up on Wealth … Concentration

Stocking Up on Wealth … Concentration
Fix, Blair. (2023). Economics from the Top Down. 23 November. pp. 1-21. (Article - Magazine; English).


There is a more recent version of this eprint available. Click here to view it.

Full Text Available As:
Cover Image

Download (490kB) | Preview
PDF (Full text)

Download (6MB) | Preview
[img] HTML (Full text)

Download (173kB)
[img] Other (Full text -- EPUB)

Download (7MB)

Alternative Locations,,

Abstract or Brief Description

There’s an old joke that economics is too important to be left to economists. In the same vein, I think rich people are too important to be left to the self-help industry.

Yes, the popular appeal of you-can-get-rich-too books is obvious. But what’s not obvious is why so few social scientists study wealth.1 Clearly, the public thirsts for serious inquiries about the rich. (Thomas Piketty’s opus on inequality was a bestseller.) But for the most part, social scientists are content to focus on ‘poverty’ and let the self-help gurus wax about ‘wealth’.

The irony, in my view, is that poverty and wealth are two sides of the same coin. Concentrated wealth begets concentrated poverty. Still, there is an asymmetry between the two extremes. As a rule, poor people have little power, which means they cannot be blamed for their own poverty. But almost by definition, the rich wield power to their own benefit, which means they create the conditions of their own opulence … and everyone else’s misery.

Given their power over society, I find myself on a research kick studying rich people. This post concludes the binge with a look at what drives wealth concentration among the richest Americans. I find that there’s a straight line between wealth concentration, corporate consolidation, and the strategy of ‘buying, not building’. In short, Peter Thiel is correct when he says that ‘competition is for losers’.



Publication Type

Article - Magazine


corporation distribution M&A ownership stock market United States


BN Money & Finance
BN Power
BN Region - North America
BN Value & Price
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Class
BN Distribution

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

23 Nov 2023 22:38

Last Modified

24 Nov 2023 20:50


Available Versions of this Item

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item