The very rich versus the uber rich
We are in cash, real estate, venture capital, and private investments centered around our neighborhood and city (retail, restaurants, etc). Other than cash, we are invested in things we can touch and/or impact and understand.
As Ron talks about at the start of his piece, the never ending blowups on wall street are eroding confidence in that system. It certainly has eroded our confidence in that system. So we are staying out of it for the most part.
Fred Wilson has worked out that the system is rigged and has simply gotten out. If you have been reading his blog you know that that he was very anti-Bush and later pro-Obama. He also was curious about Occupy Wall Street in a friendly way. But he was worried that Occupy was pro-union, so I suppose he is anti-Union. The important thing is that he has worked out that something is seriously amiss.
Revolutions are made by elites. It is sort of like a crab shedding a shell that has gotten too small and growing a larger one. Popular uprisings play a critical role in revolutions, but what separates a revolution from a mere rebellion is the role of the emerging elite. The revolutionary moment comes when the near elite decides they no longer want to join the elite, but regard the very top elite of their society as a barrier to advancement rather than a goal to advancement. This happened when the merchant class of seventeenth century England decided that Charles I and his court were an impediment rather than their legitimate ruler. Similarly when the elite of colonial America decided that they would be better off without the British elite, and so on with every revolution.
I mean something more serious than merely being regarded as an economic impediment, but rather losing all moral authority. And however much the TARP babies can rig the political and legal systems there is no getting around the fact that they are regarded as the Vampire Squid on the Face of Humanity. They are hated.
Now I doubt very much that Fred Wilson is ready for a revolution. For him it is June 1775 not July 14, 1789. Moreover his views on unions shows that he is not ready for solidarity. He does not understand that a strong independent labor movement is a key guarantor of the rule of law. He does not understand that he needs unions, even less does he understand that he needs unions more than they need him.
My point is that America has somehow lost its capacity for self correction. Instead of electing an Abe Lincoln or FDR to deal with out crisis we have elected a shallow man who utterly fails to comprehend the seriousness of the situation and even less how to respond. So we are headed to a worse crisis than 1932. That Wilson pulling his money out of the stock market is just one tiny indication of the coming storm.