You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Other Authors / The Benefits of the New Economy / Tycoons in the New Economy / From predators to prosocial—the positive role of tycoons in the new economy

From predators to prosocial—the positive role of tycoons in the new economy

Key Points

The world’s social unrest and the demand for social justice bring out prolonged frustration, particularly among the middle class and the less affluent portions of society. These classes bear most of the burden for the global rise in the cost of living and growing inequality.

The current economic crisis is aggravating this class distress and this is primarily seen in the PIIGS countries in Europe and also in the U.S., although protests have also erupted in economies whose growth seems currently solid, such as Israel and even Germany.

In a globalized and interconnected world, even countries that enjoy a robust economy are affected by the crisis, and there is tangible dependence and mutual influence among markets. Another issue is that the fruits of economic growth have not been evenly distributed, so the economic and social gaps have grown significantly in recent years. Millions of people are being pushed below the poverty line [93] and even into hunger [94], with the middle class bearing the lion’s share of the tax burden, working harder than ever to make ends meet.

The erosion of wages in the middle classes is pressuring families in both middle and lower classes, creating widespread resentment by the majority of people, usually referred to as “the 99 percent.” That resentment is turned primarily against governments and policy-makers, who are perpetuating the current economic system that has brought them into this hardship. Primarily, criticism is aimed at the financial industry, which plays a leading role in the global crisis, and toward the centralization of the market in the hands of a few super-wealthy individuals, known as “tycoons.”

A “tycoon” is an informal name for a business magnate—one who has reached prominence and derived a notable amount of wealth from a particular industry, such as banking, oil, or high-tech. In some cases, tycoons are dominant in more than one industry. The word, “tycoon,” derives from the Japanese word taikun, which means “great lord,” and was used as a title for a shogun (a Japanese military ruler). The word was first used in English in 1857 [95].

Interestingly, according to Adam Goodheart, author of 1861: The Civil War Awakening, “Abraham Lincoln’s secretaries, John Hay and John Nicolay, used ... a nickname for their boss behind his back: ‘The Tycoon.’” [96] Since then, the term has spread to the business community, where it has been in use ever since.

[93] By: Associated Press, “Number of US "poor" reaches record high under new census formula,” The Guardian (November 7, 2011),

[94] “Hunger in America: 2012 United States Hunger and Poverty Facts,” Hunger Notes,


[96] Adam Goodheart, “Return of the Samurai,” The New York Times (November 10, 2010),

Back to top
Site location tree