Re: A Challenge To All Extropians

Paul Hughes (
Fri, 01 May 1998 22:19:15 -0700

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin wrote:

> Based on operating expenses, federal, state, and local governments
> own approximately 40% of the wealth in the US. These governments,
> allegedly, represent ALL of us, rich and poor alike. This means
> that, in theory, the least wealthy 80% own 32% of the wealth in the

IMO the US represents people *very* poorly because of the huge discrepancy between the
number of people in congress versus the general population - what is it now 450,000 to 1?
Thus the 40% of wealth you talk about does not represent the individual very well at all,
and might as well be considered theft.

> And if reality does not mesh with this
> theory, the solution obviously is not in the hands of the government.

I couldn't agree more. That's why I'm eliciting responses from free-market guru's!

> Outside of that, the claim that 94% of *other* wealth is owned by the
> richest 20% even begins to be plausible only if one excludes pension
> funds and mutual funds from consideration. Since pension funds and
> mutual funds collectively own over half the stock and bond markets,
> this is obviously a major exclusion and needs to be justified.

As far as I know, the figure quoted by NPR last week does include those pension and mutual
funds. You are also neglecting the fact that any poor person statistically has a lot less
invested in any particular mutual fund than a rich person. So these types of percentages
and ratios can still remain.