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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Inequality revisited

"...both the income share earned by the top 1 percent of tax returns and the tax share paid by that top 1 percent have once again reached all-time highs," says Russell Roberts at Cafe Hayek, quoting the Tax Foundation.

As we've seen recently, there's more than one way to interpret the facts. At what point do the rich cease to inspire those beneath them, and begin to squeeze them? Doesn't it take money to make money? If so, shouldn't the lower orders be left with some after paying their bills? Is there an optimum level for the Gini Index?


Trevor Phillips on inequality on Britain: "People can see the economic slowdown coming. Everyone is happy to take some of the pain as long as that pain is shared fairly and what we want to do is to make sure that the burden doesn't fall unfairly on some groups rather than others."


James Higham said...

The lower orders are left squeezed like orange pips in the sun.

Anonymous said...

I heard Trevor Phillips on Radio 4 news at 1pm yesterday while driving my tractor. I was so cross I nearly crashed. (Fortunately I was in the middle of a field so no harm done).

This is the first stage of a socialist/communist takeover of the economy, using the coming recession as an excuse for "equality". Make no bones about it, we will hear much more about this in the months and years to come. As the pips begin to squeak on those who have over borrowed and can't pay their mortgage, the cries will rise up to tax those who are seen not to be suffering. Of course one of the main reasons they are not suffering is because they have been prudent (really prudent, not GB prudent) over the last 10-15 years.

Anyone who has not read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand should do so. Apart from the main themes of individuality vs collectivism, the descriptions of how a failing society reacts to that failure is very instructive for us now. Too many descriptions in the book could be written about society and its attitudes today.

RobW said...

Agree with sobers. If anything it's socialist thinking that has got us into this mess. Anymore of it and we'll be well and truly buggered.

The idea of equality in a financial/wealth sense is a nonsense.

Sackerson said...

Setting aside equal outcomes (which today's socialists don't even pretend, let alone intend, I suppose), looks like equal opps in wealth acquisition is going to be a contentious subject for the UK in the years to come.