Nothing makes me want to start building guillotines quite like cutesy news stories about $1000 plates of chicken wings coated in literal gold dust.

Someday, the 21st century will be a cautionary tale to all of humanity about the absurdity and futility of mindless wealth acquisition. A time when billions were struggling with poverty and food insecurity, while an obnoxiously privileged few had so much wealth they were literally eating it to show off.

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To the people essentially saying that “wealth inequality has existed before” it has never been to this extent before. There have never been this many living in poverty. The rich have never been this absurdly rich before. Billionaires have only existed since last century. And there’s an entire genre of really shitty food which exists purely for the sake of being expensive.

Rich American douchebags and 21st century wealth inequality are putting people like Amenhotep III and Louis XIV to shame.

@InvaderXan
Mansa Musa was pretty rich. He donated a lot during his Hadj, but he might still have been richer than Louis or any pharaoh.

@InvaderXan i like the idea that we do not have a poverty problem. we have a wealth problem.

@olivia This is exactly it IMO. There’s more than enough of everything for everyone. It’s just that a greedy few are hoarding everything they can.

@InvaderXan Conspicuous consumption is disgusting. That being said, increasing wealth for the top is not the only story in modern economies: "This trend of decreasing poverty—both in absolute numbers and as a share of the world population—has been a constant during the last three decades."

However: "But as we highlight in the first section of this entry it is unfortunately not what we can expect for the coming decade." Written before the pandemic too...

ourworldindata.org/extreme-pov

@InvaderXan I might be misunderstanding you; in what sense do you mean rich american douchebags are putting these historical figures to shame? Absolute wealth, relative wealth etc? In what units?

It's just that the claim that wealth inequality is worse now than it was in certain historic societies (e.g. ancient Egypt, Rome, etc) sounds quite dubious; would be nice if it was somehow more elaborated.

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