From Ms Victoria Wong.

Sir, William Pitt, writing from the wealthy New York City suburb of Westport, Connecticut, advises that we should not expect the rewards for growth based on superior “grit and ability”, as in the years before 2008, to be evenly distributed (Letters, August 12). I agree.

It took a great deal of grit and ability for America’s wealthy upper class to accept the benefits of massive tax cuts under President George W. Bush, to cause a housing bubble by making abusive loans to people who could not afford to pay and to create financial “innovations” that were a major cause of the 2008 crash. Those responsible should be rewarded.

It is a pity that William Pitt the Elder was unable to grasp the destructive implications of fairness as clearly as his 21st-century namesake. In a speech before the House of Commons on January 14 1766, the elder Mr Pitt said the following about the Stamp Act, which he described as taking money from the pockets of the American colonists without their consent: “[The Americans] have been wronged. They have been driven to madness by injustice.”

The Stamp Act was repealed shortly afterward, but other injustices led to the American Revolution 10 years later. If only the modern Mr Pitt had been around then to offer his wise counsel that the world is demonstrably unfair, America might still be part of Great Britain today.

Victoria Wong,

Philadelphia, PA, US

Get alerts on Letter when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Comments have not been enabled for this article.

Follow the topics in this article