You need to watch this – it will be the most worthwhile five minutes of your day:
Walter Williams is one of my favorite people of all time.
I’m his brother from another mother as I have argued 1) that the welfare state is immoral and 2) the free enterprise system is inherently fair and therefore, moral:
So, once again, the people who have money are being attacked simply because they have money. Clegg’s assertion that it needs to be “done as fairly and as progressively as possible” is a contradiction – there is no possible way that assessing extra tax on “the rich” can be both progressive and fair at the same time.
The idea that it can harkens back to Marx’s idea that capital is a vampire, sucking the lifeblood of the labourer and that income should be distributed from those who have the ability to those who have the need. Understood in the context of these two statements, the definition of “fairness” is that the output of every citizen should be valued exactly the same and the purpose of a “progressive” tax system is to “correct” the inequality of value of those outputs via the redistribution of income from top value creators to those who create lesser or no value.
That’s not a value judgement of people, it is a simple fact. It is an immutable fact of life that people are born with different skills and abilities, different intellectual capacities and develop different motivations as they mature and as a result, each person is able to generate a different outcome. Some turn out to be lawyers, business people, vessel captains, skilled craftsmen, engineers, care workers, medical professionals, builders or actors – many of which are careers exhibited by the co-bloggers on this site. The point being that I do not have the skills required to be a vessel captain and I’m sure that there are skills I have that others lack. We all offer a different value to society and to the economy and as a result, we all draw from the economy a different amount of compensation.
That’s the free enterprise system. The “fairness” is determined by an impartial arbiter, an independent market that sets a price on what we have to offer. Price is reset and adjusted with every individual transaction. What could be more moral than having a totally independent methodology to set that price where we are judged not on who we are but by what we produce?
The struggle with “progressive” taxation and its basis in Marxism is exactly this – no two people are the same. If you don’t have the skills, the ability or the same desire that I do, you cannot achieve what I have achieved (nor can I what you have). If you can’t achieve the same level as me, I simply do not have enough money or assets to give to you to sustain you. At that point, what you “earn” is more dependent on my ability to generate income than your ability.
Where is the fairness in that? Where is the morality in having my income confiscated to be given to another, not because they create value, but to satisfy some false sense of “equality”? By doing this we subsidise non-production and guarantee a continuance of it. We equalise nothing but the outcome – and that is simply not sustainable because as we have demonstrated, to discourage the consumption of something, you make it more expensive to acquire – and taxes raise the cost of achievement.
In my mind this is why every socialist/Marxist/communist policy, program or state will ultimately fail. The human spirit values achievement and achievement should not be punished with “special” taxes unless we want less of it.