Letter: Online scams and rent extraction go hand in hand

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I could not help seeing John Gapper’s comment (“We will all get fooled by online scams one day”, Opinion, October 23) as a microcosm of a more general economic phenomenon.

As over time opportunities for productive wealth creation have diminished, economies the world over have been transitioning to a model of rent extraction, in which the poor, weak and credulous transfer wealth to the more endowed, savvy and opportunistic. It would take too long in a brief letter, but the consequences — namely, an increasingly grotesque degree of inequality — are by now familiar.

The growing divergence between finance and economics fuels the schemes described by Gapper and bodes ill, especially for the younger among us.

Mariano Torras
Professor of Economics, Adelphi University, New York, NY, US

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