The advantages of being a middleman
But before I manage to go off-topic so much that I end up forgetting the topic totally. What are the advantages of being a middleman. I know this is not a very nice example, and this ends up being a lot more complicated than just assuming everything else is a middleman's cut, but do think a pint of beer in a bar is a very nice example. For example, take a beer that costs you 3 euros in a bar. The cost to produce it for the brewery is a lot smaller, obviously. But how small? Based on some information, if there wouldn't be any taxes added, the brewery could probably make profit by selling the beer for 20 cents a bottle.
Now, where does the rest of the 3 euros go? Obviously, don't take my calculations number by number as 100% truth, but on average, it could be something like that. Out of the 2.80 that's left, 30 cents go for paying alcohol tax, 50 cents got to pay VAT. Now so far 20 cents has gone to the brewery for producing the beer, marketing it and making profit and 80 cents has gone to the middleman already, middleman being the government in this case. What about the rest of the 2 euros? Imagining the bar wants to make a profit, let's give 1 euro to the bar owner of which he will pay minimum of 30% to the government again. And the rest of the 1 euro could be the wages of the employees. And from the wages of the employees, government again takes minimum of 50 cents.
You see how profitable it can be for a middleman? He took 1.60 of the 3 euros. And in reality the government actually can get over 2 euros. Of course, government is not the best example here. As they keep the money to keep the country running. But, it should still give you a good enough impression of how good a middleman's life could be.