Without prejudice

I don’t have prejudice against people who are better off than me.

I envy them, but what really annoys me is grossly offensive levels of pay – particularly when the moneyed classes earn far more than they need, and look down on those who have never been in a position to (or don’t want to) earn that kind of money.

Like many, I consider the current demonisation of ordinary people because they don’t earn the amount of money Philip Milton and his class do, to be immoral (“Killing the goose, Opinion, May 8).

Like most people, I’ve never been in a job which paid the kind of money bankers and football and music stars earn.

That doesn’t make me a lazy scrounger, just as nurses and other low-paid workers are not lazy scroungers.

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Promotion was an aspect throughout my working life – I even had my own business for a couple of years, for which both I and my wife put in a huge numbers of hours seven days a week. Even that effort didn’t make us rich.

Mr Milton mentions that the service and finance sectors are of greater economic value than previously. But what is that “value”? It doesn’t exist other than as numbers in accounts. The banking sector is able to issue money it doesn’t have, in the hope that borrowers will repay the loan with interest.

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Unfortunately, it got out of hand – a fact acknowledged even by many in the industry. The industry, built on shaky or non-existent foundations, inevitably collapsed when investors realised there was no substance to back up the figures.

The plain fact is that increasing the wealth of the banks only increases the wealth of the bankers. Mr Milton knows that even though the Bank of England is throwing money at the banks, it is not being passed on to the businesses that would rebuild the manufacturing base that Thatcher and her kind destroyed.

Monetarists destroyed the working class because their economic theories said that workers were a drain on profits, whereas in reality it was the workers who created the goods that the owners of the factories and the mines sold.

All the money men (or “the markets” as they are now called) are interested in is hanging on to and increasing their pots of money, no matter what damage it causes to nations, industries and ordinary people.

Tony Olsson


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