High life

The poor are too busy trying to make a living to be angry about the global rich-poor divide

23 October 2021

9:00 AM

23 October 2021

9:00 AM

New York


‘The City of London is hiding the world’s stolen money’, screams a Bagel Times headline, as bogus a message as that caricature of a newspaper’s other examples of anti-white, anti-cop, anti-male and anti-Conservative platforms. (‘Bid the binary goodbye’ is another pearl.) Not that anyone any longer takes the Bagel Timesseriously since it decided that whites are very bad people. Still, I found it amusing that London is responsible for the shame of the Pandora Papers, when most of the miscreants involved are Third World dictators and eastern oligarchs.

Never mind. A newspaper that consistently shades the facts to suit its agenda — even book reviews are assigned to well known haters of the subject reviewed — is not to be taken seriously, and it’s not, but as I’m travelling and feeling good, I will for the second week running defend the very rich. For starters, it’s only the very rich who are clobbered when investing in Silicon Valley start-ups that go belly-up. Those below a certain net worth are not allowed by law to invest. Mark one for the common man and woman. When a start-up implodes, as most of them do, the very rich take it with their chins up, while the media laugh like hyenas. But the working stiffs are safe by having been excluded from the start.

I am too bored to read the Pandora or Panama disclosures; suffice it to say that when a Central African nation’s leader and his sons such as the notorious Teodoro Obiang clan lord it over one of the world’s poorest nations but own yachts, private jets and mansions in Paris and Beverly Hills, something’s very wrong. The same applies to President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose name appears on many a list but is seen as a good guy by the West. Whereas I find nothing wrong with those who worked and took chances to make their money to legally minimise their taxes and obscure their assets. Let the hacks make up stories about ‘global anger’ over the rich-poor divide. Globally, the poor are too busy trying to make a living to be angry at the divide.

If the envious ones really wished to stop the rich hiding their money, they should go after the source. Places like Dubai, Monaco, the Cayman Islands and good old Panama, among other playgrounds less known to the poor little Greek boy. What I would like to know, however, is what is wrong with trying to shield one’s children and grandchildren from unscrupulous extortionist politicians who live off the taxes paid by the rich. I understand emotional resentment by those with less towards those with much, but it’s the latter who keep things really going, and that’s the awful truth, like it or not. Here in the Bagel, the New York Post revealed how 61 per cent of Americans will pay no taxes at all this year, the billions dished out by the government to the less fortunate coming largely from the less than 1 per cent of the very rich. No one seems to be complaining about this the last time I read about Pandora and Panama.

So, is there a global anger over the rich-poor divide, and are the very rich the bane or the salvation of humanity? I’d say neither, except in the minds of envious busybodies who remain fixated on equality as the highest ideal. Mind you, offshore trusts, tax loopholes and shell companies rig the system for the bad rich guys, but what about the good rich guys: why should they be lumped together with the crooks? Why can’t they legally shield their wealth from illegal seizure by politicians and public officials?

Over here in the Bagel most of the blame for Panama and Pandora is aimed at the Brits. ‘The global game of deceit played for decades by the wealthy and their functionaries in the City has eroded the rule of law and stripped away citizens’ trust in the system,’ said Nicholas Shaxson in the Bagel Times. Bad Brits. You should copy your American cousins who steal openly, then settle out of court. Stupid Brits! Again, never mind. There is a visceral hatred of the wealthy here in America led by the media and the Twitter mob, but I remember once upon a time when people actually looked upon those who were richer as a target to reach, not to disparage.

Hollywood has taken care of that: when was the last time you saw a film that showed a rich person as a good one? Most people today believe that the rich have an unfair advantage over the rest, and yes they do, they have more money, but that’s like saying that someone with more brains should be punished for it.

In order to lighten up a bit, here’s a female reviewer in the Bagel Times and her reaction to a book about Peter Thiel, a German–born entrepreneur who is a self-made billionaire but a Trump fan and a so-called political kingmaker: ‘As I read it, I grew colder and colder, until I found myself curled up under a blanket on a sunny day, icy and anxious. I tried to tell myself Thiel is just another rapacious solipsist, in it for the money.’ Are we being serious? Is this a book review or a revenge opus written by someone wearing resentment-coloured glasses? Someone better send her a fur coat, and soon.

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