In a world of ever-expanding wealth inequality, those who possess significant wealth today tend to become tomorrow’s hyperwealthy. The aristocracy of hyperwealth has always existed, but it was formerly limited to rare individuals whose family history or luck in the industrial world endowed them with prestige and supplied them with power. Most members of the class acted discreetly, preferring to avoid the public spotlight.
I hit 75 years old a little over two weeks ago. All in all, I have been lucky throughout my life to have found much to be thankful for as each birthday rolled around on the shortest day of the year. Early on, I couldn’t understand why my birthday was shorter than everyone else’s and was a little bitter about it until I figured out that it was a daylight issue and nothing more sinister than that.
Two decades into the 21st century, humanity is faced with a plethora of unprecedented global crises. After SARS-1, multiple novel avian influenza strains, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the current COVID-19 pandemic is by far the most severe and widespread public health crisis in at least a century.