Jack the Ripper and moralising capitalism


The other day I took a tour of the area where Jack the Ripper killed five women. The tour guide began by saying, “The City of London was the seat of the largest empire the world had ever seen and the richest square mile in the world. The East End was the polar opposite, with those exploited by unchecked capitalism crammed into the worst conditions imaginable."

Say what? Unchecked capitalism to blame? There were plenty of problems with the government at that time, but why are so many quick to blame capitalism for poverty?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is driven to “moralise capitalism." Seems France has been at it for decades by instituting 35 hour work weeks, creating useless projects, high taxes, and building the Concorde. The result? Low GDP growth, a low GDP per capita, and unemployment at almost 8%.

In a new development, the French government is now threatening to pass legislation to curb the pay of company executives and use its EU presidency to clamp down across the EU. Business executives are paid well because of what is at stake. Companies have to compete and the companies that invest the most will get the best. Executives that fail will be fired or demoted.

If Sarkozy really wants to moralise capitalism, he should leave it be.