Billionaires shouldn't exist, senator Bernie Sanders said last month. During this week's democratic presidential debate, he called the gap between rich and poor in the United States "a moral and economic outrage."
Senator sanders is right, said Tom Steyer, a California businessman. He happened to be the only billionaire on stage that night.
Nobody on this stage wants to protect billionaires -- not even billionaires, said senator Amy Klobuchar.
The idea is everywhere. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is worth nearly $70bn, clearly agrees. "I don't know if I have a certain threshold for how much money someone should have," he said in a question-and-answer session with employees that aired live in early October. "But at some point, no one should have that kind of money."
And yet we've created the biggest gap between rich and poor since the jazz age, into our 10th year of extraordinary prosperity, and according to all the statistics, 1% won. In both length and growth, this era dwarfs the 'greed is good' 1980s, when yellow ties, sushi grips and designer espresso machines became symbols of the popular imagination.
Yet the only thing we know about this casino-style economy - and the fact that it may be about to close - is that there is never enough for those at the top.
Many ordinary non-billionaires wonder: why?
Years of research have shown that the rich work longer hours and socialize less than the laid-back old gentleman. Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, says he wakes up at 3:45 a.m. every day to launch a daily attack on his company's competitors. Elon Musk, the head of Tesla and SpaceX, who is worth an estimated $23bn, has shifted his 120 hours of "crazy" working week to a more "manageable" 80 or 90 hours and considers it a triumph.
多年来的研究表明，富人与那些悠闲的老绅士不同，他们的工作时间更长，社交时间更少。苹果公司(Apple)首席执行官蒂姆·库克(Tim Cook)的身家估计在数亿美元，他说自己每天凌晨3点45分起床，向公司的竞争对手发起每日攻击。特斯拉(Tesla)和SpaceX的掌门人埃隆·马斯克(Elon Musk)身家约230亿美元，他把自己每周120小时的“疯狂”工作时间调至更“好对付”的80或90小时，还觉得这是一种胜利。
They are diversifying. Lady Gaga reportedly earned $1 million per show at a on site concert at MGM park in Las Vegas and has moved from the popular music to movies, but she recently teamed up with amazon on a cosmetics project.
The rich can make money on almost everything they touch, but the current financial inferno means little to the bottom 50 percent of American earners, who are 32 percent poorer than they were in 2003.
Over the past decade, 85 percent of the net worth of the top 1 percent has been invested in stocks, bonds and private-equity investments that have seen their value soar. According to Redfin, the average selling price of the top 5 per cent of homes in the us has risen 43 per cent over the past decade, with Los Angeles and San Francisco seeing even bigger increases.
High-end vintage watches have become a must-have for young, affluent men and their value is exploding, with some Rolex five-figure models doubling in price in just a few years.
Gold, once derided as an outmoded commodity, has risen by 40% in the past few years.
No one has the ideal retirement amount these days
What is your ideal amount of retirement? Everyone asked during the Internet boom of the 1990s.
Can you retire to napa with $5 million? $20 million?
Some have achieved their goals, some have gone bust, but silicon valley in 2019 is more visible than ever before in unfettered capitalism.
However, Antonio Garcia Martinez says no one seems to be talking about their ideal retirement amount any more. He sold his startup to Twitter and worked as a product manager at Facebook before publishing a 2016 memoir, "Chaos Monkeys: Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley."
然而，安东尼奥·加西亚·马丁内斯(Antonio García Martínez)说，似乎没有人再谈论他们的理想退休金额了。他把自己的初创公司卖给了Twitter，并在Facebook担任产品经理，之后于2016年出版回忆录《混乱的猴子——硅谷的肮脏财富和随机失败》(Chaos Monkeys: Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley)。
Yesterday's big Numbers are just seed capital for tomorrow's bigger Numbers.
There was never an omega point, said Garcia martinez, 43. "People don't stop at that point."
People would say, 'why don't you take up a hobby or do something charitable? ' Garcia martinez said. "But for a lot of people, they just can't stop. They derive a preeminent meaning from capitalism. What can they have without money?"
This is an era of low taxes, interest-rate friendliness, and a steady flow of venture capital for future tycoons. This is a historic moment for the entrepreneurial class to seek more opportunities.
Tim Ferriss, an author and podcast star in the field of life cracking who spent nearly a decade as an angel investor in silicon valley, wrote in an email that many of these people "have been driving their lives and work at sixth-speed for decades."
Without the never-ending work, we must face the essence of existence
Once they don't have the economic need to work -- a 'post-economic era,' as some in San Francisco put it -- it's hard to move into the lower gear, Mr. Ferris wrote. "They are like straight line speed racers who now have to learn to drive at 30mph on residential corners and intersections."
Without ambitious projects to fill the space, he added, "there are often gaps, leaving bigger problems to be solved. The things you ignore are no longer drowned out by noise; They become signals. It's like facing the ghost of old Christmas."
In a sense, this has been going on in this country for two and a half centuries. "Our nation was founded on the overthrow of Kings and idle rich people, so this busyness is deeply embedded in the mainstream idea of American identity," said Margaret O 'mara, a history professor at the University of Washington and an opinion writer for the New York times.
在某种意义上，这种情况已经在这个国家持续了两个半世纪。“我们的国家建国的基础就是推翻国王和无所事事的富人，所以这种忙碌感深深融入了美国人身份认同的主流观念，”华盛顿大学(University of Washington)历史学教授、《纽约时报》观点撰稿人玛格丽特·奥马拉(Margaret O’Mara)说。
Rich people know too many rich people
With the number of americans making more than $1 million a year surging 40 percent between 2010 and 2016, according to Internal Revenue Service data, you might think the rich are finally feeling flush enough to rest, relax and feel comfortable.
国税局(Internal Revenue Service)的数据显示，2010年至2016年，美国年收入在100万美元以上的人的数量激增了40%，你可能会认为，富人们终于感到手头宽裕，可以休息、放松、舒服一下了。
A recent Harvard survey of 4,000 millionaires found that people with $8 million or more in wealth are no happier than those with $1 million or more.
In a widely cited 2006 study, the wealthy said they spent more time doing what they were asked to do.
Why do they treat themselves like this?
The fact that there are more rich people than ever before may be part of the reason.
Sociologists have been discussing the "relative income hypothesis". In other words, we tend to measure our material satisfaction by the people around us -- not by absolute standards.
Enough is enough for most people, said Robert Frank, CNBC's wealth editor. "But there's another group of people who, whatever they have, have to move on. I call them 'scorekeepers'. Their real driving force is a passion for competition."
“对大多数人来说，足够了就是足够了，” CNBC台的财富编辑罗伯特·弗兰克(Robert Frank)说。“但还有另一群人，不管他们拥有什么，他们必须继续前进。我管他们叫‘记分员’。他们真正的驱动力是对竞争的狂热。”
Money is like alcohol, but the pursuit is money
Steven Berglas, a psychologist, executive coach and author, says the rich who live in a bubble of isolation need more indulgence to feel the same pleasure.
If you're an alcoholic, he said, "you have one drink and then you have to have two, five, six more to feel the alcohol. When you have a million dollars, you need 10 million dollars to feel like a king. Money is addictive."
In a top-heavy economy, zero is constantly added to the price tag of status symbols, making it harder to satisfy the addiction.
For the super-rich who want to cash their way into professional sports, courtside seats or luxury boxes are no longer enough. You have to have a team. It's very expensive.
In 2010, for example, the Golden State Warriors were sold for a record $450 million to an ownership group led by the silicon valley venture capitalist Joe Lacob. The team is currently worth $3.5 billion.
例如，2010年，金州勇士队(Golden State Warriors)以创纪录的4.5亿美元卖给了一个由硅谷风险投资家乔·莱科布(Joe Lacob)领导的所有权集团。该队目前价值35亿美元。
But that's not enough. Now you have to build the biggest, fanciest course. The warriors' owners recently opened a gleaming new waterfront stadium in San Francisco called the Chase Center. Its $1.4 billion cost is largely on their own account.
Not to be outdone, Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft chief executive and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is seeking to build a $1bn stadium in inglewood, California.
微软前首席执行官、洛杉矶快船队(Los Angeles Clippers)老板史蒂夫·鲍尔默(Steve Ballmer)也不甘落后，他正寻求在加州英格尔伍德建造一座价值10亿美元的球场。
In these sports palaces, celebrities gathered on the sidelines naturally began to envy the wealth of the tycoons around them.
The rich suspect that the roller coaster of riches is about to collapse
A hedge fund veteran, precious metals adviser and financial writer, James Rickards is a rich man who talks to many other rich people. They don't like to hear his opinion sometimes.
He believes the current debt-fuelled recovery could be the prelude to an economic collapse that dwarfs the Great Depression. Not long ago, he says, this view was politely dismissed by many wealthy people. But recently, things have changed.
In fact, over the course of weeks, certainly months, the tone changed, Mr. Riccarz said. "What I hear now is, 'I have money. How can I keep '? 'can gold futures hold up or should gold bars be held? 'if I have gold bars, should I put them in a bag in a private vault? '"
I've never heard that level of concern from the super-rich. He said. "It was, 'I need answers now! '"
It's not just stock market turmoil. The rich seem to have a fear of survival.
It's as if the people who have benefited the most from these good times just can't believe that these are good times -- or that, say, Bernie sanders will continue to be good times when he's President.
Paul Singer, who runs the huge Elliot Management fund, is believed to be raising billions of dollars from investors in response to a possible market collapse.
管理着庞大的埃利奥特管理基金(Elliot Management fund)的保罗·辛格(Paul Singer)据信正在向投资者募集数十亿美元资金，以应对可能出现的市场崩盘。
Among the tech billionaire class, a place to escape becomes a must-have in the event of economic collapse, environmental disaster or violent unrest.
After leaving Facebook, Garcia martinez himself bought five acres of woodland, complete with generators and solar panels, on an island in The Pacific northwest, The New Yorker reported in 2017.
据《纽约客》(The New Yorker)2017年报道，离开Facebook后，加西亚·马丁内斯自己在太平洋西北部的一个小岛上买了5英亩林地，配备了发电机和太阳能电池板。
Jennifer Streaks, a personal finance commentator and CNBC contributor, says that of all people, upstarts from humble origins are the most anxious.
Imagine growing up in the middle class or even the poor and amassing millions of dollars, Mr. Strickes said. "It sounds like the American dream, but suddenly you have a $5 million home, a $200,000 car and a family that meets those expectations."
Panic ensues when these people assume that "one bad investment and you're out of business."
The rich become anxious and isolated
Jeff Bezos, the $110bn billionaire who made a bad bet on an amazon delivery drone (or survived a $36bn divorce), will not be forced to auction off his $65m Gulfstream aircraft.
Even so, often associated with isolation can be rich in material comforts are met for a long time, to provide a kind of emotional impulses continue to make money, Albert Einstein school of Medicine in the Bronx, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, psychiatry professor t. worship rahm Karasu (t. Byram Karasu) said, he said that in private practice during the contact with a large number of high earners.
即便如此，时常伴随巨富的孤立感可以在物质享受得到满足很久之后，提供一种继续赚钱的情感冲动，布朗克斯区的阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦医学院(Albert Einstein College of Medicine)精神病学荣休教授T·拜拉姆·卡拉苏(T. Byram Karasu)说，他说在私营执业期间接触过大量高收入者。
After all, top entrepreneurs and financiers are often "high-adrenaline, rule-breaking people," Mr. Karasu said. "They tend to have highly focused digital brains, are always in trading mode, and the bigger they get, the more lonely they become because they don't belong.
If you can't connect with people, you assume that unsuccessful relationships are due to jealousy -- you live in a house three times the size of your neighbors', and they drool at the sight of your brand new Corvette, says berglas, a former psychology professor at harvard medical school. It's a compensation mechanism -- 'I may not have many friends, but I can do whatever I want, I'm the biggest jerk in the world. '"
Unlimited opportunities, extreme isolation. They already have it. What can be bought but tomorrow, and tomorrow's tomorrow? Suddenly, the super-rich's obsession with space tourism is starting to make sense.