Personal wealth above a certain level can only serve symbolic needs. A prince’s real personal needs are no greater than a pauper’s. Beyond the satisfaction of those needs, his or her wealth will either be tied up in possessions that cannot be enjoyed by society at large, until or unless they are bequeathed back to the community, or will circulate as capital only within a restricted investment environment, moving essentially between the pockets of the rich. The classical argument that this flow will eventually reach the masses in some significant way is at best a myth, contradicted by common sense and statistical fact: wealth trickles relentlessly up.
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