Friday, June 18, 2010

Could budget cuts bring happiness to all?

Cuts. Yes, it is necessary to bring the budget deficit under control, but it must be done without inducing a second phase recession, and it must be done in such a way that Britain becomes a more equal economy. This the Cleggeron is failing to do.

Conservatives resist taxes on the rich because - well, they do not want to be taxed. Understandable.
The reason they give is that taxing the rich will stifle self-reliance, reduce incentive, and cause a wave of emigration of the bonussed to countries with more liberal tax regimes (as yet unspecified).

The Conservative/neoliberal leitmotif is the freedom of the individual to become filthy rich through hard work, but in practice, the freedom applies only to the rich. The poor (in their view) are poor through their own indigence and fecklessness, deserve their misery, and must be punished mercilessly when their condition pushes them to crime.  In essence, there are two species of human - the successful and the unsuccessful.

Conservatism is an ideology, a world-view. The philosophical argument between world views can be endless, but the key is in how the views match up to reality. We Greens have two lines of support for our view, both science based. First is the science of global ecology, which demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that there are constraints on free human economic reality. The second is in the data of the  Equality Trust, who show that all people, including the rich, would live happier lives if wealth were distributed more equitably.

So for the rich it is in their own interests to accept that they must accept tax rises as part of their contribution to digging us out of penury.

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