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Very weak tea indeed

So, that letter in The Guardian about the global 1%. We have a reply:

Re the claim by Tim Worstall of the Adam Smith Institute (Letters, 31 January) that 25% of Guardian readers may be among the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population (and the implication that therefore their response to articles like Nesrine Malik’s is mere attitudinising), the model of human nature favoured by the Adam Smith Institute has no room for a sense of fairness or a wish for a more equitable distribution of resources. However, that is not to say that these tendencies are nowhere to be found, or that all people are incapable of acting against their own (narrowly defined) interests. After all, even Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have suggested that the present distribution of wealth is unjust.
Douglas Graham
Hamilton, South Lanarkshire

That is very weak tea, isn’t it? Tim Worstall may be right but he’s a poopyhead all the same?

14 thoughts on “Very weak tea indeed”

  1. I doubt William Gates Jr is including himself when saying that the present distribution of wealth is unjust: he’s more concerned about the number of uppity millionaires that need taking down a peg or two before they present a threat to the Masters Of The Universe.

  2. Michael van der Riet

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffett being the epitomes of the moral billionaire of course. If they say that their wealth is just about right but every other billionaire has too much, how can we argue?

  3. Must admit I haven’t heard of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Douglas Graham doling out all their dosh to the poor. Or even to me.

  4. It would be fine if Douglas and his ilk gave their excess capital and income to the global poor but instead they want us to give our excess capital and income to the same sort of people by inviting them to live with us all in the UK.

    As I understand it Tim isn’t saying ‘keep Africa poor’ he’s saying ‘let Africa get as rich as we are’.

  5. “the model of human nature favoured by the Adam Smith Institute has no room for a sense of fairness or a wish for a more equitable distribution of resources”

    Well, that’s just a damned lie. I could simply say, “Right back atcha, sunshine,” but the real truth is that we disagree about what “fairness” and “more equitable distribution of resources” mean.

    Boganboy: I think he’s talking about Gates and Buffet bunging over £2bn to the United Nations over the last decade, and that kind of thing. Because you know how hard-up it is. “More equitable,” see: take the billionaire’s stuff and give it to bureaucrats and failed politicians.

  6. That is possibly the shittest riposte I’ve ever seen published.

    Douglas Graham of Hamilton, South Lanarkshire do better you mental midget.

  7. ‘… equitable distribution of resources.‘

    How can redistribution of resources be equitable if imposed?

    Distribution of resources that is achieved by natural process where those who use their labour most to create wealth, accumulate most.

    And people on the left conflate equal with equitable, which is not the same.

  8. Is he Douglas Graham of Hamilton, South Lanarkshire or Douglas C. Graham of Hamilton, South Lanarkshire?

    I think we should be told. Especially what the “C” stands for.

    Then again, could we be dealing with a nom de plume inspired by the 5th Duke of Montrose?

    Or could this be he?

    There you are: a bit more “investigative journalism” that the Guardian produces in a week.

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    Someone should ask Graham Thomas Sowell’s question for these occasions:

    How much of my head earned money do you consider is your fair share?

  10. Once again, actions speak louder than words. I said it before but look at what Buffett and Gates do, not what they say. Buffett’s company doesn’t pay a dividend and he keeps his salary a low 1-comma amount while his subordinates have 2 commas in their salaries. All resulting in minimizing his taxes. At the same time Buffett was saying the wealthy should pay their fair share, his company was being sued by the IRS for underpaying taxes. Several years ago, Gates and his ex wrote that they weren’t giving their wealth to their foundation because, paying taxes, redistribution, etc. yet of the course the foundation is tax exempt, and it’s a charitable gift which reduces their taxes.

    I guess one could argue that they’re saying they do believe wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes but the fair share isn’t that high.

  11. Frankly Sam, I’d argue that if Gates and Buffett bunged that 2 billion quid in MY hot little hand, it’d be doing more for humanity than giving it to the UN.

    So Danno, they’d argue that it’s only fair that I pay more taxes than they do?

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