Bashing the rich

Capitalism is dead. Long live philanthrocapitalism! That was the message of an article by Matthew in the Saturday issue of Britain’s Daily Telegraph.

The Telegraph is known as a right-wing newspaper, and its readers the bastions of the Conservative heartland. Perhaps its online readers are cut from a different cloth, given the hostility of the comments after the article towards the idea that the rich can play a useful role in solving society’s problems. But maybe not.

Certainly, if the wealthy in Britain are in any doubt about how poorly they are regarded by the rest of society, and thus why they need to demonstrate their commitment to those less fortunate by giving back and doing so in ways that are effective, they should read these comments.

There is a danger of a powerful bash the rich mood taking hold in politics – and not just in Britain. Whilst this sentiment is quite understandable, given the bailout by taxpayers of all those wealthy bankers, it could result in policies of high taxation and regulation that will make the current mess in capitalism even worse by shutting down the wealth creation process.

The rich should consider what is in their long-term self interest, and open their wallets now. Or they may reap the whirlwind.