General Systems Theory: Whether you are a person, a corporation, or a bacteria, what matters most is not how efficient you are every day but whether you can survive a crisis.
We all make mistakes, and likely most of us make an equivalent number of mistakes. That doesn’t matter. What matters is whether we have enough of a cushion to survive the mistakes we are certain to make. Why are so many humans today so fat? Because for most of human history the inconveniences and long-term health issue of overweight were less important than the ability to withstand a prolonged famine.
Wealth is a cushion that allows us to withstand any number of bad mistakes, which is why rich people never feel they have enough, and always want more, even if it means taking it from those with little.
A thought experiment, a game… Two people ante up a penny and flip a coin. The winner of the toss gets both pennies. When one person runs out of pennies, they die and the winner lives.
Now a slight variation…one person starts with ten pennies and the other starts with ten thousand. What happens? Right. The person with much more wealth lives while the person with little dies, no matter if the poor person makes better decisions or makes fewer mistakes or is “more responsible”. Wealth can overcome enormous differences in skill or talent.
That same difference in wealth that can mean life or death, can more easily lead to the rich getting richer by using their wealth advantage to make the poor poorer. If a poor person misses a mortage or car payment because they have no cushion to protect them against adversity caused by their own mistakes or just random events, a rich person can use their cushion of wealth to get the assets of the poor for ten cents on the dollar. Over and over. Consistently. Being poor means being unable to protect yourself from those who want to take even what little you have.
Them what has, gets.