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The Source of Wealth

 Capital is wealth used in a way that profit results from such use. Strictly speaking, capital is money invested. Unless money be invested in factories, machinery, raw material and labour-power no profit will come to capital. The origin of profit has to be sought in the nature of labour-power. The labourer is paid less than the value he adds to the article he produces—here is the whole secret of capital and the source from which flows the mighty revenues of the multi-millionaires.

Action Replay

Nice Little Earners
Being a successful athlete can make you rich, very rich. Footballers, for instance, may get contracts involving staggering sums of money, often with bonuses for winning trophies. In many cases the actual sporting income is only a small part: tennis-player Maria Sharapova ‘earns’ around £15m a year, but well under a million of this is from prize money. The rest comes from advertising and endorsements, everything from rackets to handbags and cars. She is supposedly the third-richest athlete in the world. 
Lewis Hamilton’s racing driver outfit is covered with the names of companies he endorses: banks, mobile phones, whisky. Of course the sports stars need to have positive associations such as success, glamour and honesty.

Voice from the Back

Knowledge is power
"Evolution," says the message from the Alabama State board of education, "is a controversial theory some scientists present as scientific explanation for the origin of living things such as plants, animals and humans . . ." New York Times, 24 November.

The promise—
Mr Raynsford, MP for Greenwich, said that begging was the most disgraceful indictment of the present [Conservative] government's policies. "Our task has got to be to eliminate begging in London and create a memory of how bad life was in the late 80s and early 90s." Camden New Journal, 7 July 1994.

Cooking the Books 2: What Classless Society?

At one time, a long time ago now, when the Labour Party still retained some sort of vague commitment to being opposed to the workings of capitalism it used to say that it favoured the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. They were going (they said) to establish a more equal society by taxing the rich and using the money to provide better public services for the rest of us.

Actually, in the last century there was a long-term trend towards a less uneven distribution  of wealth ownership. But this did not result from any deliberate policy on the part of governments (the wealthy soon found ways of minimising or avoiding taxes on their existing wealth and on their accumulation of more wealth), but rather from a majority of people coming to own more consumer goods, etc. resulting in the total amount of wealth owned by the non-rich sections of society rising faster than the total amount owned by the wealthy.

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