a) he affords to live in London because in private equity success = huge financial reward
b) he believes that private capital can sort out everything (why not pay for the war in Afghanistan then?)
A successful teacher cannot afford to live in London, so the attraction to the city is something like the candle for a butterfly. Luke, it is a bit risky to affirm everybody's driven by what you are, and money is the only stimulus to innovation.
Cities need to be modern and affordable precisely because they are crucial for any modern economy, therefore they need to sustain an increasingly high standard of living for the vast majority of their inhabitants, instead of primarily being cemeteries of dreams for them.
99% of British youth come to London after uni, share a horrible place for £600pw and eat pizzas or M&S frozen meals, commute for hours every day to their £29-grand-a-year jobs. A few days a week they support their local pub, amazed that a pint costs as much as they make in 1h at work. 5 years down the line they want to buy a house "in the countryside" not because they had enough of the crowded tube, but they realize it is not possible to raise kids in London. Private equity partners can, along with the (constantly minuscule number of) successful entrepreneurs and increasing scores of foreign barons.
London is not a "concentration of upward mobility, communal improvement in motion". London is the effigy of capital and class, where nothing else matters. No successful city has shown such a disgust for "ordinary" people as London. It is a refugee of the super-rich, in which the middle and lower classes get a lousy deal. It is a creaking, choking, tired colossus that is driven forward only by its mass (and inertia) rather than by renewed energy.
You're seriously suggesting private money could give London a fresh lease of life? The private business should contribute more to social development, but trying to sell the vision that the best hope to regenerate London is the arrival of hordes of philanthropists holding hands with Boris Johnson and opening their purses for the indulgence of the vulgar masses is nothing short of insulting.
High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email email@example.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8ffcb0be-7ccc-11e1-9d8f-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1r4iF2NHG