Three further thoughts on the Barksy interview below:
1. When you have “the most profitable industry in the history of mankind” enjoying a “quirk” in regulation, you simply have to ask questions about influences on the political process.
2. Market wages do not necessarily reflect the true, long-term "usefulness" of work (except under very strong assumptions). Many professions pay more than others because they deviate from a perfect market, not the reverse: medicine is a good example. Taxes which are used to pay for workers (firemen, nurses, scientists) who are under-valued by the market can then be seen as rightly rewarding productive work by using the excess rewards which accrue to those in over-valued sectors. (The fact that estimates of the extent to which different kinds of work are over- and under-valued are both very rough and highly politicized does not invalidate this general defence of taxation.)
3. The labour market distortions induced by extremely high wages in the finance sector are worrying. Put simply: is it really efficient to have legions of bright young physicists and engineers (usually trained at great public expense) slugging it out in the City in the hope of a becoming lucky young millionaires instead of doing research on, say, sustainable energy, or designing genuinely innovative new products?