Sci-Fi Song #3: Vilfredo Pareto

Because the world has been clamoring for more songs about turn of the century European economists, I submit to you this week's song based on the life and work of one Vilfredo Pareto.

The last few non-fiction books that I've read(The Long Tail, Wikinomics, Here Comes Everybody, Citizen Marketers) all elaborate on the significance of The Pareto Index. In a nutshell, The Pareto Index states that 20% of the population has 80% of the income.

Because of his relative ubiquity in recent economic texts, I was motivated to do some more research on Pareto. He was quite a compelling figure and his story inspired this song.

Here are some of the tools that I used to record this track:

  1. Martin Acoustic Guitar in Standard Tuning with a capo placed at the third fret
  2. Rode NT-3 microphone (to record the guitar and my vocals)
  3. Apple Logic Pro 7 recording software
    • Logic's compressor and reverb plug-ins
    • The EXS24 Sampler for the drum sound
    • The Apple Garage Band Symphony Orchestra Jam Pack for the violin, cello, piano, and clarinet sounds.

  • Have you ever been inspired to create a song, poem, novel, short story or piece of visual art based on the life of a historical figure?
  • Do you have a favorite piece of work that uses a real person as a character? (I'm partial to Neal Stephenson's use of Isaac Newton and other scientists in Quicksilver )


Here are the lyrics:

Vilfredo Pareto

Vilfredo Pareto was an economist
He was the son of an Italian nationalist
He earned his degree at the Institute of Turin
Where he worked on mechanical equilibrium

He became a civil engineer for the Italian Railway
Then he lectured in Florence and had plenty to say
He wrote critical essays against the government
for that he faced persecution and fled to Switzerland

He stated 80% of the wealth in the land
was owned by just 20% of the men
The concept of wealth distribution survived
and still to this day its widely publicized

Pareto had a theory of society
there had to be balance amongst the ruling elite
but then Mussolini overtook Italy
when Vilredo Pareto died in '23

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