“The only time that I use the state,” one financier worth an estimated £500 million confided in me recently, “is when my driver drives on public roads from the City to my country estate. I don’t like it, but I can’t help it.”
(From an article on The rise of the overclass by Peter Oborne in the Telegraph this evening).
Yup, we're all sighing commiserations, it must be tough. But it may be worth pointing out that this financier is deluding himself or herself, quite why is not clear.
The country estate or the offices he or she uses for meetings, for instance, are likely to make use of electricity provided by companies that are regulated by the state. The financier possibly occasionally consumes food or drink that has been contaminated by publicly-regulated water. (Or uses a lavatory ditto).
The education of others who the financier has to deal with, will in many cases have been provided by the state, which is usually an advantage, I suggest. Also their health: the financier presumably benefits from dealing with and perhaps employing healthy, educated people. It probably also helps if they have decent housing, whether or not the financier cares about that.
Then there's the existence of a wider managed economy (ah, ok maybe not). Or the existence of a police force maintaining order, which might just have helped the financier indirectly to make his or her millions. Then there's the publicly funded research which invents, develops and refines materials, technologies, substances, goods and services. And a legal system to ensure that he or she can seek justice if wronged (no further questions, your honour). And so on.
This person thinks the state is an irrelevance to them whereas of course they simply can’t move, or make a profit, without it.
The more I see of it, the harder I find it to overlook the persistent connection between wealth, arrogance and rank stupidity.