LETTERS: How the trickle-down ended Super rich, super useless

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The Independent Online
Your article on the 447 billionaires could have gone further to explain the acceleration in concentration of wealth ("Too much for them, not enough for us", 21 July).

In capitalism's "progressive" period, the only way to make your money work for you was to engage in production, or exploitation of natural resources. This inevitably involved employing workers and taking risks. But risk-taking is out of fashion. The modern billionaire's serious wealth has come from various forms of financial manipulation, producing negligible "trickle- down" in the form of wages. Because the new super- wealthy are not so immediately dependent on customers they may have lost sight of capitalism's dilemma. Unless you pay just wages, your employees cannot afford to buy what you produce.

Now that the World Bank is using revolutionary phrases like "relative equality in the ownership of capital assets" perhaps we can begin to ask what are the permissible functions of money.

John Bullman

Sudbury, Suffolk

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