February 08, 2018

What does “stored wealth” mean? Is it really redistributable, just like that, without any consequences?

Sir, Edward Luce writes: “America’s elites have stored more wealth than they can consume. This creates three problems for everyone else” “The discreet terror of the American bourgeoisie”. February 8.

What does “stored wealth” really mean? You do not hide your main-street purchase capacity in cash under a mattress; you hand it over to someone else in exchange for an asset or a service.

When some very wealthy recently bought Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi”, he froze, with a sort of voluntary tax, US$450 million on a wall or in a storage room. Those US$450 millions were received and used by some other wealthy or not that wealthy. Should that not have happened? Should he have used his money better? What if those who now have his money know how to put it to much better use?

The war against wealth is raging. Whenever wealth has been obtain by criminal, or by unjustified means, like monopolies or excessive intellectual property rights exploitation, that war makes sense. But, those who preach that all will be well and dandy, if only wealth is redistributed, like from the 1% to the 99%, never explain how one now converts a Salvator Mundi, into fresh main-street purchase power, and the consequences of doing so.

We could assume that much of that lack of explanation is because many of the wealth redistribution fighters are in fact redistribution profiteers interested in increasing the value of their franchise.

PS. Not long ago, visiting the Museum of Louvre, it dawned on me that most of what was exhibited there would not have come into being, were it not for the existence of the filthy rich. Can we really afford, do we really want, to live without them?