In a long essay, I write

The reduced significance of capital means that the cost of entry is lowered in many industries. Today, we see this in the shops that people have set up on eBay or in the blogs that compete with traditional pundits.

…When a new project can be hatched in a basement on a small budget, fast failure is more efficient than organized planning.

…My belief is that this is the wrong time in history to adopt European-style democratic socialism. Under capitalism without capital, we should encourage people to be self-educating and self-starting, not state-parented. Our government should be compassionate and generous to those with mental illness and physical disabilities, but otherwise it should have a smaller footprint, not a larger one.

UPDATE: for more, see Jim DeLong.

For Discussion. What are the implications of rising absolute standards of living, particularly among the poor, with greater inequality as measured top-to-middle or top-to-bottom?