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The super-rich

The Other Eden


“The historic mansion known as York House, Twickenham, is being offered for sale by private treaty. . . .     Lady Ratan Tata now finds it larger than her requirements, and hence it is in the market. The estate contains eight acres of grounds, surrounded by a high brick wall, with rose garden, Japanese garden, and lawns and terraces by the river. The grounds boast a cascade lit by electric light and ornamented by groups of marble statuary. Opposite to the terrace and boathouse is the east end of Eel Pie Island, which is part of the Property. "—Star.

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Newport, Monmouth, Trades Council has conducted an enquiry into local housing conditions.
“One case of which it has cognisance is that of a widow whose husband was killed in the war. The only sleeping accommodation she can find is in the same room with two youths, aged 17 and 16 respectively, who are not related to her."—Daily Herald.

The Gospel According to St. Andrew

 Andrew Carnegie, library purveyor and morality expert (what a tribe of experts there seems to be in the world) has been at it again, He thinks “wealth is so obviously unequally distributed that the attention of civilised man must he attracted to it from time to time.” He adds "no amount of charity in spending fortunes in any way compensates for misconduct in making them.” He quotes with approval President Roosevelt's statement that he “would discriminate in the sharpest way between fortunes well won and fortunes ill won, between those gained well as a whole and those gained in evil fashion by keeping just within the bounds of mere law honesty.” and concludes, “There are fortunes swollen beyond all healthy limits; but I say my partners are the people ” !

Book Review: 'The Rich Get Richer'

'The Rich Get Richer', John Rentoul (Unwin £4.95).

Who got the highest income from dividends in 1985/6? The answer is David Sainsbury, with over £13 million. And the table of the top ten dividend "earners" contains three other Sainsburys. That same year the highest so-called salary was paid to one William Brown of Walsham Brothers: £1,268,583. Lonrho boss Tiny Rowland had to get by on a salary of £392,285, though that was merely pocket money alongside his £8 million from dividends. The richest family in Britain is not, as you might think, Queen and Company, but probably one of the Grosvenors, Vesteys and (of course) Sainsburys, each of them worth over a billion pounds.

Book Reviews: 'Wealth Secrets of the 1%', & 'Nation-States - Consciousness and Competition'

Open Secret

'Wealth Secrets of the 1%', by Sam Wilkin. Sceptre £9.99

There’s no secret, really, is there? The one percent get their wealth by exploiting the rest of us, by paying us less in wages than the value of what we produce. This is not, however, the kind of thing that Sam Wilkin deals with here, since he is really concerned, not with how the capitalist class in general become rich, but with how and why some capitalists, in contrast to others, become very rich indeed. His answer is by ‘gaming the system’: by having the government introduce regulations that make competition difficult, and by making it more or less impossible for companies, especially banks, to lose money.

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