The ultra wealthy don’t create wealth, they just own it

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I have a piece on Comment is Free this morning, asking whether the fourth richest man in the world is leaving France for tax reasons as some in the media seem to be suggesting.

My answer is almost certainly no: you can read why here.

My conclusion is what I want to share here. In it I say:

So do we really need to worry about a new tax exodus from France, or the UK come to that?

The answer is no. First, it's unlikely for the reasons noted.

Second, it's unlikely because candidly the wealth of the ultra wealthy has already gone to tax havens; there's little reason for the owner to follow.

And third, these people don't create wealth, they just own it. They're dependent upon real people doing real work in real places serving real people in real places like the UK to make the wealth for them. So they have to leave the jobs behind here in the UK if they flee for tax because without jobs on the ground the ultra wealthy people would rapidly become worthless. They, and the media, just don't want you to realise that.

It really is time we got our heads round that.