Fair weather citizens

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I am no fan of Gordon Brown and the Labour Party or their response to the current financial crisis. In response to his 50% tax rate on earnings over £150K has produced the usual whining from the City of London, Dragons in their Dens etc. They won’t be motivated to start businesses or do the deals that make them the money. They’ll go to someplace overseas (although they never specify where they will go). They insist that they deserve to keep their money.

The current financial crisis has been brought about in no small part by these very people having free range to run riot with the financial laws. They have already made millions for themselves feeding at the trough provided for them by a government too timid to regulate them. Now that things are not so good, is it really too much to ask these super rich egos to contribute a little more to rebuild the future? Surely accepting a higher tax rate once they have earned more than enough for anyone to live comfortably in this country should be seen as an act of patriotism? As they gained more than most in the good times, they should be prepared to shoulder more of the pain in the downtimes. They demand honours such as knighthoods and medals and to be lauded as great citizens who have done so much to bring prosperity; now in the downtime, what sort of citizen sulks and threatens to leave just because they have to pay a little bit more? Perhaps, to coin a phrase, they should ask not what their country can do for them but what they can do for their country.

Tip for the day: Progress at the BBC

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They do say that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Not everyone who will be hit by this new tax rate works in the city of London or is in banking! In fact a minority are. And not everyone who is to be hit by it is making millions. (I won't be hit by it so have no dog in this fight).

The Laffer Curve assures as that there certainly does exist a tax rate above which the revenues raised will begin to decrease. (No one will work if they are taxed at 100%!). Whether this rate is above or below 50% is another matter. However, that such a rate exists is not in doubt. If this rate is below 50% (quite likely given that Lawson took in more money when he dropped the top rate from 60% to 40%), then a 50% tax rate is actually counter productive and purely a spite measure.

Tax demands are not tax requests by the way. These people are not being asked to hand over half the fruits of their labours, they are being ordered to under threat of imprisonment.

Wealth is not some resource that bubbles up out the ground, ready to be distributed - either fairly or unfairly. Wealth is created, so any redistribution involves taking the fruit of a persons labours and giving it to another person.

You have to take into

You have to take into account human nature here.
We're hard-wired to 'want'. If we ever stopped wanting or striving for more, our evolution and progress would end tomorrow.
It's what got this species where it is.
I'm not an advocate of unregulated greed and I couldn't care less if Fred Goodwin starved to death over the next two weeks. But rich or poor, humans will always feel that they never have enough. That's just how we're designed. You have to put a more relativistic head on when looking at this stuff.