The trickle-down economy is a lie – the rich just fill bigger glasses
IN the 1970s and 1980s, the famous radical 7:84 theater group was named after the inequality measure which showed that 7% of the population owned 84% of the wealth. In the intervening years, the 7% decreased while the 84% increased. According to the Equality Trust, the richest 100 of our population currently have as much money as the poorest 18 million.
As the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, Michael Fry makes no apologies for resisting the redistribution of wealth (Why Tax Havens Shouldn’t Necessarily Be Seen Bad, July 19). Does he really expect us to believe in the libertarian myth of the “capitalist system … completely independent of government … working for the good of all”?
READ MORE: Michael Fry: Why tax havens shouldn’t necessarily be seen as bad
The notion of the spillover economy that underlies Mr. Fry’s assertion is a lie. For the trickle to begin, the glass into which the wealth of the rich is poured must be full to the point of overflowing. However, before it reaches that point, the rich simply get a bigger drink. Mr. Fry’s promotion of tax evasion to “safeguard success” (I would use the word surplus instead of success) demonstrates this point perfectly.
The Protestant ethic that spawned the spirit of capitalism (for the good of all) is long gone, leaving capitalism bereft of ethics of any kind.
THANKS my old friend Michael Fry for his bubbly but a little kinky column on tax havens (although it’s not the 80s I’m approaching, as he suggests, but – in a year or so – 90). I agree with him on a huge issue: that Scotland must be independent. The relationship with the UK has now finally become unworkable and increasingly damaging.
I don’t agree with Michael’s optimism about the impact of runaway capitalism, especially on small countries. Only a fraction of the billions poured into tax havens represents – as he hopes – healthy money taking advantage of a break on the path to productive investment elsewhere.
Come on, Michel! You know that this is largely tax evasion by wealthy people who are unwilling to pay for what they owe in services they received in their home country. Services that helped them turn a profit in the first place. Yes, these tax haven dwellers are just highwaymen, diverting capital in their path to – perhaps – do something productive.
The interest of a tax haven is to allow those who can afford it to take advantage of a means of evading tax. This means that they do not contribute fully and equitably to the economy of the country where these revenues are generated.
While it is not in itself the problem with losing vast fortunes, it is the fact that it is done explicitly where tax regimes are most beneficial that is so reprehensible. Money kept abroad benefits only the rich, while money circulating in our economy benefits everyone, including the rich.
Tax havens are a symptom of the unease of greed and unconstrained capitalism. No one likes to pay more taxes than they need, but leveling means that everyone pays a fair contribution based on the excess of income over expenses. Michael Fry continues to look at capitalism through his rose-tinted, blinkered glasses while failing to look to the sides and see it for what it is. It is morally indefensible to structure tax systems in such a way that only a few can benefit from them.
I’m sure there are benefits for people who use tax havens, but society as a whole loses out. No problem if you are a greedy person or a sociopath, but a major problem for the vast majority.
I don’t normally comment on what your columnist Stephen Paton discusses, but I think today I must make an exception, as they touch on a topic that I think is relevant to all readers of National.
In the article on GB News, around three columns, they state: âNow the channel can either veer more to the right to keep its audience shrinking, thus contributing more to the already fractured realities of our country created by the flows of news organized by social media, or it can collapse into obscurity after finding its intellectual foundations built on sand â(This is why GB News has always been doomed, July 19).
READ MORE: Stephen Paton: That’s why GB News has always been doomed
The expression I challenge is âour countryâ. In the context of the article, this clearly refers to the UK (or possibly Great Britain), but neither of those countries is a country. The United Kingdom is a union (the index is in the title) of four nations which reside respectively in three countries (Wales was recognized as such by the International Organization for Standardization in 2011) and six counties of a province. It may sound pedantic, but language matters. When Boris Johnston refers to “this country” he is deliberately giving that label to the UK and denying it to member countries.