How Rich is Too Rich?

Lezing / Debat

What if we could make the super-rich contribute their fair share? On Monday 24 June we welcome Ingrid Robeyns (Limitarianism: The Case Against Extreme Wealth) and Guido Alfani (As Gods Among Men: A History of the Rich in the West).

How much money is too much? Is it ethical, and democratic, for an individual to amass a limitless amount of wealth, and then spend it however they choose? Many of us feel that the answer to that is no—but what can we do about it? And why did we allow this to happen?

In As Gods Among Men: A History of the Rich in the West economic historian Guido Alfani powerfully identifies the current concentration of wealth as a historical anomaly. Over the course of centuries, he illustrates, the super-rich have always shown a sense of responsibility. They would contribute to central spending, for instance, in times of war and famine.

Philosopher Ingrid Robeyns in her book Limitariansm: The Case Against Extreme Wealth offers a thought-provoking perspective. She investigates the moral, ethical, political and economic arguments against the limitless accumulation of wealth and comes up with a solution that is as clear as it is radical.

“Guido Alfani has, more than anyone, expanded our knowledge of inequality trends to encompass preindustrial times. In this masterly book, he offers an insightful long-run perspective and fascinating lessons for the future. A must-read!”
– Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)

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