From George Monbiot
When inequality reaches extreme and destructive levels, most governments seek not to confront it but to accommodate it. Wherever wealth is absurdly concentrated, new laws arise to protect it.
In Britain, for example, successive governments have privatised any public asset which excites corporate greed. They have cut taxes on capital and high incomes. They have legalised new forms of tax avoidance(1). They have delivered exotic gifts like subsidised shotgun licences and the doubling of state support for grouse moors(2). And they have dug a legal moat around the charmed circle, criminalising, for example, the squatting of empty buildings(3) and most forms of peaceful protest(4). However grotesque inequality becomes, however closely the accumulation of inordinate wealth resembles legalised theft, political norms shift to defend it.
None of this should surprise you. The richer the elite becomes, and the more it has to lose, the greater the effort it makes to capture public discourse and the political system. It scarcely bothers to disguise its wholesale purchase of political parties, by means of an utterly corrupt and corrupting funding system(5,6). You can feel its grip not only on policy but also on the choice of parliamentary candidates and appointments to the cabinet. The very rich want people like themselves in power, which is why we have a government of millionaires(7).