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Wealth Ownership

Material World: I Wannabe a Plutocrat!

Material World

Dear Material World,

My life’s dream is to become a fully paid-up member of the capitalist class. Do you have any advice? How much money do I need to join? I am willing to work hard, but I need some guidance.

Greed is good!

Wannabe Plutocrat


Dear Wannabee Plutocrat,

Your greed and ambition are commendable, but your ‘willingness to work hard’ suggests a certain naivety. What sort of attitude is that for a would-be capitalist? The so-called ‘work ethic’ is strictly for the proles. The key to becoming a capitalist – seeing that you lacked the good sense to be born to rich parents – is to get other people working hard for you!

Voice From the Back

The Regal Con Game

Times are hard in British capitalism today so our rulers have had to cut costs. Slash welfare benefits, cap government workers’ wages and introduce a bedroom tax. There are some things of course that are sacrosanct. 'The Queen has received a £5m boost in the funds she receives from the taxpayer to carry out her official duties. The sovereign grant, which covers the running costs of the Queen's household, has been set at £36.1m for the 2013-14 financial year’ (Guardian, 2 April). Keep the workers thinking they are one nation and give them spectacular royal events. Essential to disguise their exploitation. Money well spent.

We're All In This Together

Voice From the Back

Owners And Non-Owners

Material World: Hurricanes and Inequality

Material World

A week after Hurricane Sandy hit large coastal areas of the northeastern United States at least a million homes were still without heat and power when a snowstorm followed a few days later. Relief had yet to reach some of the areas affected, such as the Far Rockaways, where survivors were fending for themselves as best they could.

Workers held captive

True, some manage to fend for themselves much better than others. Holed up for the duration in a first-class hotel on the island of Manhattan, the business and cultural centre of New York City, David Rohde in The Atlantic (October 2012) dramatically contrasts the position of wealthy guests staying at the hotel with the plight of the hotel workers.

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