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Thursday, December 27, 2012

We need a megachange

In "Megachange: The World in 2050" from The Economist, the authors interestingly (to me) say that they think that the gap between rich and poor will actually shrink. They cite two reasons for this: first of all, the reduction and means-testing of welfare benefits (which tend to subsidise the middle class anyway) will reduce state spending and therefore taxes and secondly those taxes will be spread more fairly because governments will target tax evasion. To my mind, there are two rather obvious ways to do this: start taxing wealth rather than income (which means non-evadable land-value taxes rather than direct taxes that the rich can evade with ease) and start replacing cash transactions with electronic ones so that people pay their fair share. One of the reasons why my tax is so high is that heading towards a third of economic activity is "black" and none of the participants are paying their share. So it falls to PAYE slaves like me to cough up for everything.
So will there be a megachange in the way taxes work? No. The people "in charge" of the economy haven't a clue what to do, and I'm certain that one of the reasons for this is their lack of real-world experience. Take a look at the example of our Chancellor, Baronet Osborne.
Osborne's first job was entering the names of people who had died in London into a National Health Service computer. He also briefly worked for Selfridges, re-folding towels. He originally intended to pursue a career in journalism, but instead got a job at Conservative Central Office.
[From George Osborne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
So, astonishing as it might seem, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has never had a real job. If we were to ever have a constitution, this should be against it. It should be a rule that to assume any ministerial office with any power over taxation or regulation of business, a candidate should not only be more than 40 years old but should have had a real job in the private sector (not some make-work with Central Office or a Trade Union) and, preferably, been responsible for paying someone else wages for some time. You shouldn't be allowed to make decisions about spending public money until you've made some of it.
In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.

[posted with ecto]

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