A rich opportunity
To The Daily Telegraph
Should the rich set an example when the nation’s debts soar? Stanley Baldwin, the first Tory leader to use the phrase “one nation”, thought so.
In a famous anonymous letter of June 1919, signed FST – he was financial secretary to the Treasury at the time – he announced that he was giving a fifth of his wealth, £120,000 (some £6.5m today) to help his debt-ridden country after the First World War. He added that “the wealthy classes have today an opportunity of service which is so vital at the present time”. He anticipated at least £1,000 million; no more than £500,000 was received.
Are the rich doing better today? It would be interesting to find out. Our wealthy PM and his well-heeled adviser could show the way, with the support of those who find they can spare millions for the Tories at election time.
Lord Lexden (Con), London. ( published in The Week, 6 June 2020)
My comment: Bezos, the richest man in the world, owns Amazon. He deserves his wealth and success, but one might think it appropriate for him to give generously to charity in the present circumstances. The people who helped him to success are hurting at present. Could he be giving anonymously or on the quiet? I think we would know if he is.
If such people if cannot give from the heart, especially in a crisis, then they should be taxed at the same percentage as their secretaries. Bezos could get so much goodwill and even encourage sales by being seen to give back to the society that made him. (Some hope!)