(Transcript of speech from last year's Wealth Narrative Conference. Speaker: Dr. Willie Lehman)
You heard it a thousand times, right? Money doesn't grow on trees. Well I can tell you now, folks, it does. Because we're talking family trees and, as I'm about to demonstrate, if your name appears on one you've got a major head-start in life.
Now, have you ever suspected that meritocracy isn't all its cracked up to be? Have you asked yourself whether its really that revolutionary? Because, if you have, here might be why: Once the "meritocratic" pop star / entrepreneur / crime boss has made his fortune, what follows next is less about meritocracy, more about something we tend to dislike nowadays. Know what I'm talking about? Yep, it's aristocracy. Yuk, we thought that'd gone for ever.
But no, 'fraid not. You see, that meritocrat pop star, he went forth and multiplied. And what class of person did his kids become?
I'll tell you: Those witless, talentless boys and girls who are always appearing on TV and in popular magazines, well, they're essentially 'aristocrats'. And how do I know? Let's just say they didn't earn that money and the connections and those slots on TV. It was down to their rich and famous mothers and fathers. That's what some might call 'proto-aristocracy'.
Of this you can be sure: From the seeds and acorns, from the stumps we call "meritocracy", will grow trees that are, in effect, "aristocracy", that engender dynastic wealth - The lucky, loaded money-laden trees.
And remember: Family trees are the same as any other - hardy, solid, enduring. That's how they'll always be. No doubt about it. Unless maybe... I don't know, you take a chainsaw to them, wherever you find them and you saw and chop, and chop, chop, chop down every last one of them and replace them with some kind of modified, engineered foliage... Ha, just kidding, folks... We certainly don't want that, do we? That is what people used to call Bolshevism... Correct?
Anyway, boys and girls, I hope the thrust of my argument doesn't upset those among you who are still sold on meritocracy. But you couldn't really have thought it something new, a break from the past... something the benign political classes conjured up to help out the little guy, give him a chance in life? Or, could you? Well, I'm sorry. But, its just plain untrue. The family you are, or were, born into is as relevant to your life now as it ever was. Nothing's changed.
I'll say one thing though: some of these singers and celebs and entrepreneurs, they're not so bad.... It seems many worship really cool ideas like peace, and love, and the future of the planet - the kind of ideas that make everyone feel good about themselves... and feel good about the celebs of course! Although, I'll tell you one thing they really don't worship, these guys. And that's taxes. Oh, no! They don't like taxes. They make it clear that taxes are not cool. They tell everyone: Who'd wanna be seen paying taxes? Because that'd be like really uncool - not to mention it'd be like chopping away at your family tree. Okay, maybe not quite as bad as actually chopping it down with a chainsaw. But a bit like cutting off the branches and the pretty leaves and precious flowers and the, er money and... well, it would definitely, most definitely, be UNCOOL.