Ray Dalio, income inequality critic, made $2 billion last year

Ray Dalio: Wealth gap a “national emergency”

Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio, who earlier this month sounded alarm bells on the widening wealth gap in the United States and the need to “reform” capitalism, surely knows a thing or two about income inequality: The Bridgewater Associates founder made $2 billion last year — more than any other hedge fund star, according to a ranking by Institutional Investor.

Dalio, positioned at the top of Institutional Investor’s annual “Rich List,” earned about $5.5 million per day off of Bridgewater’s investments, according to the news outlet’s calculations. Dalio was ranked No. 4 last year with a $1.3 billion payout, and probably saw his biggest bounty in 2011, when he earned $3.9 billion, according to Institutional Investor.

Dalio recently declared income inequality an “existential threat to the U.S.,” highlighting in a lengthy LinkedIn post earlier this month that the current wealth of the top 1 percent of the population is more than that of the bottom 90 percent of the population combined — akin to the wealth gap seen between 1935 and 1940.

“The previously described income/wealth/opportunity gap and its manifestations pose existential threats to the U.S, because these conditions weaken the U.S. economically, threaten to bring about painful and counterproductive domestic conflict, and undermine the United States’ strength relative to that of its global competitors,” he wrote in the April 4 post. 

Dalio, who was raised middle class and lived what many would call the American Dream, explained in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes that if he were president of the United States, he’d declare the wealth gap a national emergency. 

“I’m saying that right now — it’s a huge issue, it’s unfair and, at the same time, it’s unproductive, and at the same time it’s — threatens to split us,” he said. 

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