Dalio, who grew up middle class, is alarmed about the growing divide between the haves and have-nots. He points out that over the span of a decade, America’s lowest paid workers had just a 14 percent chance of rising to the middle class.
Bill Whitaker: What has happened to the American dream?
Ray Dalio: I think the American dream is lost. I think– for the most part we don’t even talk about what is the American dream. And it’s very different from when I was growing up.
Bill Whitaker: But what’s not working?
Ray Dalio: it’s not redistributing opportunity. We can call it a wealth gap, you can call it an income gap And so I think that if I was the president of the United States, or it has to come from the top, what I would do is recognize that this is a national emergency.
“Capitalism needs to be reformed. It doesn’t need to be abandoned.”
Ray Dalio: So, what I mean is that I want a system in which the best ideas win out. And I would describe it as tough love, and I want to get there through radical truthfulness. In other words, people say what they honestly mean And radical transparency allows people to see things for themselves.
Ray Dalio: Capitalism needs to be reformed. It doesn’t need to be abandoned. So, like anything, like a car, like anything, a plane, a school system, anything, it needs to be reformed in order to work better.
Bill Whitaker: American capitalism is not sustainable. That’s what I hear you say–
Ray Dalio: Yes, I don’t think it’s sustainable. We’re at a juncture. we can do it together, Or we will do it in conflict, that there will be a conflict between the rich and the poor.