If you want an interesting read this year, make it “Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust” by Darrell M. West. This scholar, from the Brookings Institution, explores extreme wealth and how it effects both the small percentage of very rich and the rest of society.
The growing gap between the very rich and everyone else is becoming a growing and increasingly heated discussion. West examines how influential the very rich really are. Identifying that it’s not as easy as it seems to use money to change the world.
The effects on the behavior of those who obtain wealth are interesting as well. With findings such as even the rich continue to believe that if they just had 2-3 times more, they would be even happier. And the finding that spending on others still increases happiness substantially more than spending on oneself.
This book was overviewed in the following article by Michael Lewis from the New Republic.