2 November 2019

When the Left argues that every billionaire is a policy failure, we generally mean that inequality is unjust, and hoarding should be prevented while poverty exists. Chris Dillow argues the Right should agree, for different reasons: “[I]t should be conservative supporters of a free market who don’t want there to be billionaires. I say so because in a healthy market economy there should be almost no extremely wealthy people simply because profits should be bid away by competition. In the textbook case of perfect competition there are no super-normal profits, and in the more realistic case of Schumpeterian creative destruction, high profits should be competed away quickly. From this perspective, every billionaire is a market failure — a sign that competition has failed. … Tories are wrong, therefore, to portray attacks on the mega-rich as the politics of envy. It’s not. The existence of billionaires is a sign and cause of a dysfunctional economy.”