One of the things I wonder about is the way that a certain section of the lefty intellectual set seem so angry about top people’s incomes.
And I think I’m beginning to understand where some of it comes from.
Take for example the Neil Lawson’s of this world: La Toynbee herself perhaps. The latter’s household income is well past £300 k (two £100k salaries, books and freelance income on top) and, adjusting for inflation how you will that’s a solid upper middle class income in any era.
The rewards of being a well regarded intellectual “thinker” haven’t fallen any. Will Hutton’s on a good screw at the Work Foundation, I’ve no idea what the Indy pay Young Johann but I doubt that, with the freelance stuff, he’s on less than £100k.
These people aren’t, in any real nor even historical sense, being underpaid for what they do.
Yet, in the past few decades, whose who would have been on comparable numbers historically, the bankers, stockbrokers, corporate mavens, have soared past them to five to ten times that very decent upper middle class income.
That is what grates I think: that those who did sums not arts, lordy forbid, those who actually went into trade, have pulled away from those who do all the hard stuff like thinking about what oppressions the government should impose upon us.
And given that at those sorts of incomes purchases are very much positional goods (there are only so many Georgian mansions in Clapham, 5 bedder Victorians in Hampstead, The Ivy only has so many tables) this really does hurt.
I’m sure this is unkind of me but I really do think there would be less whining from such quarters about “top peoples’ pay” if it had actually been all top peoples’ pay which had inflated.
Rather than just that of the spotty geeks with the slide rules and pocket protectors that the incrowd laughed at on the way back from that Young Fabian’s lecture on the importance of having right thinking people doing all the thinking.