Currently, Silicon Valley is looking more and more like the Third World: some extremely rich and showy people, and a lot of poverty, with no middle class.
One extremely rich chappy likened the rebellion of the poor against the rich to “a nazi rampage.”
In the comments section on Slashdot, one simple statement illustrated the balance perfectly:
I have lived in Brazil for quite some years now. Here the gap between rich and everyone else (there is no middle class here so to speak) is to such an extent that if you have money you are a target. This means that you must live in a gated community in constant fear that you or your kids might be kidnapped. You need to own a cheapo car so you won’t stand out too much when driving around. Of course you will have a nice car too, but this is only for weekends or maybe travel to places where other rich people go. In the end it is easy to become a prisoner of that wealth that is supposed to make you more free. I would prefer to live middle class in a 1st world country than rich in Brazil. The sad thing is that the erosion of the middle class in the 1st world countries means that they soon might resemble Brazil, and this is not good, even if you are rich.
Another commentator puts it quite bluntly.
When the poor start to starve, they will not die quietly, they will get violent. Keeping the masses reasonably well off is a good investment, even for the most psychopathic rich.
Remember what happened to the likes of Marie-Antoinette and Tsar Alexander.
History doomed to repeat and all that.