On the TV this evening, an intelligence officer assessing the growing business of piracy off the coast of Somalia, suggested that the practice grew up partly because industrial fishing vessels depleted the stock with which fishermen once supported themselves. The lack of government control in Somalia made such industrial efforts possible. An average wage in Somalia is about $700 per year.
Over time, the pirates' ransom demands have grown and grown. From something under $100,000, it grew to $3,000,000 and up. The results ashore were good for those who ransomed passengers and ships, but it drove up prices for staple goods ... which put the non-pirates in even more impoverished and desperate straits.
The intelligence officer observed all of this with the reserved tone you might expect from any well-dressed analyst. But as a parting shot, he observed, approximately, "If you do not share your wealth with the poor, then the poor will share their poverty with you."
I wonder if Wall Street and Washington -- or perhaps any of us -- can take a hint from such apt words.