Thursday, April 22, 2004

Joyti De-Laurey - the new martyr for the envy brigade 

Today's "Guardian" promotes Robin Hood ethics: "Stealing things is wrong, as a rule," unless you are stealing from the rich, in which case it's a "service to the community."

You think I'm kidding? Richard Adams is not.

He is commenting on the case of Joyti De-Laurey, personal assistant who stole £4 million from the bank accounts of three City of London bankers. De-Laurey will shortly be sentenced by the court, but according to Adams she deserves nothing more than a medal for demonstrating the need for higher taxes.

"The most mind-blowing aspect of the whole affair is that the personal assistant managed to remove £4m from the accounts of three City bankers - and they didn't even notice. Is that crazy? Yes, but it's a sign of the twisted world they live in."

It truly is a sick, sick world where people are allowed to have more money than Adams thinks they should have. Fortunately, he's got a solution to this horrid social problem:

"[I]f these people don't notice a few million quid leaving their current account, then they could live with a 50% top rate of income tax. If they don't need the money, then the government could also 'borrow' it to build a school or something."

But Dick (I can call you Dick, can't I?), the government's been doing that for a long time already. And in my experience, it is much more careless than any private individual in not noticing where the money's going. Maybe instead we should "borrow" some of our taxes back and, I don't know, build a business or something?

But never mind. The bankers of course deserve their fate because "De-Laurey was only doing to the bankers what they have been doing to investors and governments for years - fleecing them. Goldman Sachs once made more annual profit ($2.6bn) than the national income of Tanzania ($2.2bn)."

It never occurs to people like Adams that if Tanzania was run as well as Goldman Sachs, it might actually be doing a lot better than it is. (although I shouldn't pick on Tanzania, as it is with some success pursuing economic policies that would make Adams froth at the mouth and faint.)

As for all those governments that have been fleeced by the banks for years - poor things, I think we need some laws to protect them from rapacious predators, don't you think?


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