Poverty? Is that something you can eat?25 October, 2012 at 20:28 | Posted in Economics, Politics & Society | 3 Comments
PAUL SOLMAN: Aren’t many of the top 1 percent or 0.1 percent in this country rich because they’re in finance?
RICHARD EPSTEIN: Yes. Many of the very richest people in the United States are rich because they are in finance.
And one of the things you have to ask is, why is anyone prepared to pay them huge sums of money if in fact they perform nothing of social value? And the answer is that when you try to knock out the financiers, what you do is you destroy the liquidity of capital markets. And when you destroy the liquidity of those markets, you make it impossible for businesses to invest, you make it impossible for people to buy home mortgages and so forth, and all sorts of other breakdowns.
So they should be rich. It doesn’t bother me.
PAUL SOLMAN: Are you worried that a small number of people controlling a disproportionate share of the wealth can control a democratic system?
RICHARD EPSTEIN: Oh, my God no.
PBS-interview with libertarian professor of law Richard Epstein