Old money tends to want to hang on to what they have, which does not produce the dynamic economies we once experienced.
This leads to a big philosophical question I've been struggling with, as someone who hasn't studied economics. When the incentives all point toward making as much as you can and hanging onto it forever, doesn't that eventually lead to hoarding and rent-seeking, rather than productive investment?

We know that a healthcare system that depends on employer-based coverage acts as an incentive against hiring full-time workers. The cost of my family's health insurance has doubled since I became self-employed in 2004, and almost all that increase has come since 2008. The fewer people who have insurance, the more expensive it is for everyone else, and the less incentive there is for employers to bring in new full-time workers -- especially if they can get more or less the same work from independent contractors.

If the economy were booming they'd have no choice but to hire new full-time employers, no matter the cost of benefits. But of course it isn't, and they don't. The biggest problem in the economy now is the same as it was last year, and the year before, and the year before that: too much leverage, which depresses consumer demand.

But people can't pay down their debt when they're unemployed, underemployed, or fully employed but falling behind because of rising health-insurance costs that their employers are passing on to them in the form of lower wages or higher copays.

The healthcare problem could be alleviated with a single-payer system of portable insurance that's available to everyone, no matter where or how they're employed. That frees up talent to take more risks without fear of losing insurance coverage.

It doesn't necessarily address the leverage problem, except in a circular way -- people who're free to change jobs, go freelance, and/or start up new companies would be more productive and innovative, which over time should help boost the economy.

Problem is, there's no political consensus to do anything at the federal level, and tremendous political and institutional forces pushing back against any tax increase that would make federal spending possible.

So we end up stuck in the mud and spinning our wheels: Businesses aren't investing because of low consumer demand. Consumer demand is low because people are overleveraged. People are overleveraged, in part, because of the rising cost of healthcare. It will take tremendous government intervention to control healthcare costs, but nobody wants to pay for it, even though over time it would benefit everyone.