The Wealthy Are Poised For the End of the World. What Does That Tell Us About Their Interest in the Present?

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand envisioned a world where the wealthy and talented depart America one by one, absconding to a hidden Utopia, leaving the mediocre behind to perish in our mediocre world. I read it in high school and haven’t given it much thought in the intervening years, but Rand’s book keeps popping into my mind lately as I browse, of all things, real estate listings in the town where I live. That’s because I live in Greenwich, Connecticut. Located just north of the New York State border, home to a population of about 61,000 people, Greenwich is a haven for hedge funders like Ray Dalio, Paul Tudor Jones, Clifford Asness, and Steve Cohen, along with an assortment of well-compensated CEOs, celebrities, tech investors, and assorted other varietals of one-percenter. It’s also a town where a fair number of middle-income people live, and that’s where I come in.

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