The poor will always stay poor unless, of course, they decide to fight for a substantial wealth tax, the apparent solution of all evil. This is the message of Ricchi e Poveri (The rich and the poor), report of the TV show Presa Diretta aired on Monday 2 September 2013 on the Italian state-owned TV channel Rai Tre (starting from minute 36).
When they contacted me for the interview I was told that Presa Diretta was planning a TV show on young Italians, which study abroad and look for a better future. I was thus very happy to show my fellow Italians that it is possible to have quality education and a good job perspective even without rich parents or political connections. The journalists of Presa Diretta had the opportunity to convey a message of hope for all young Italians, which struggle to get quality education and a good job after graduating.
I am the student in the show, which has been interviewed in front of the London School of Economics and, thanks to the skillful video editors of Presa Diretta, appears as the descendant of super rich parents able to finance the most expensive studies and a luxurious life in London, for several thousand pounds per month. The reality is different. I am not the son of rich or super rich parents. As I told the journalist Elena Stramentinoli, English law firms pay the Legal Practice Course tuition fees to the students who will start working for them. The law firms pay them also additional money in order to finance living expenses (however, I am able to survive in London with approximately £800 per month, not the several thousand referred to in the TV show). Moreover, I had told the journalist that I am working during my studies and I have worked before graduating in law at the University of Munich at the age of twenty-four. That allowed me to get some work experience and put some money aside.
My experience did not interest the Presa Diretta journalists. It was actually not supporting the arguments in favor of the wealth tax the TV-Team intended to force on the Rai Tre audience.
The majority of young Italians, among them many friends of mine, go abroad in order to escape a country where economic liberty is very low (Italy ranks 83rd in the Index of Economic Freedom, just behind Saudi Arabia and light-years behind Germany and the United Kingdom). Without economic liberty there cannot be social mobility. Those who are already on the top or occupy guaranteed positions, like public servants with their guaranteed workplace, benefit from low social mobility. Hence, it does not surprise that public television conveys a message in favor of more taxes, so that the State has more resources to allocate among its employees and the myriad of bankers and businessmen who, instead of working in a free market, prefer shielding themselves from competition and living out of reciprocal favors exchanged with the political class.
I had the illusion being able to tell a different story, but the journalists of Presa Diretta used me for their purpose. To all my fellow Italians in search of a better future, in which only their merits count, I want to say that they should not be discouraged: catch the opportunities offered by the global world and work for a better future.