Bozz and the Pranquean


Dutton Paperback edition first published in 1983 by E. P. Dutton, Inc.

Wealth Addiction for Kindle, iBook, Nook, and as an Audio Book expressively read by the author.

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Introduction by Philip Slater, June 2012

Many people have asked me to make Wealth Addiction available to the public, since the book has long been out of print. Though praised by critics its publication was ill-timed, coming as it did at the beginning of the Reagan era. Since then the incomes of a small minority have skyrocketed, while those of the vast majority have barely kept up with inflation—usually by a couple producing what once was earned by one. So the book seems even more relevant now than it was then.

Unfortunately, inflation has made the actual figures used in the book ridiculous. In the 70s you could rent a four-room apartment in Cambridge a block from Harvard, or a three bedroom house in Santa Cruz, CA—with deck and ocean view a half-block from the water—for under $400 a month. In those days the word 'millionaire' used to mean an extremely rich person. Today we have to use 'billionaire' to convey the same meaning. And while there are many billionaires today, when the book was written the eight cited were pretty much it in the United States.

To make the amounts meaningful in today's world, you should multiply every figure by ten. Thus, on page 25, for example, you would use the figures $10,000,000 in assets and $500,000 a year income.

When it comes to inequality, the change is even greater. On page 132, for example, I used italics to express what seemed, at that time, outrageous inequality—with the wealthiest 1% of the population owning eight times what the poorer 50% owned. But today we regard the 70s as a time of relative equality compared to the present, since almost all gains in wealth in the intervening years have gone to heavy addicts.

These are things to keep in mind when reading Wealth Addiction.

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