10.3.11

Letter to the deserving rich - from the Greek

This is not your island.

 The 'Duke' of Westminster


It's very simple really.

Some people pay more tax than others. They think that the additional tax burden they pay comes out of their salaries and dividends. It is true that the people who pay more tax do contribute more to the provision of public services and it is also true that they do not benefit from public education and public health in the way that we do. They use private education and they use private health and they have private pensions and they do not need unemployment benefit now do they?

So, for the relatively well off, it feels unfair that:

a) they pay most of the tax.
b) they use public services less than we do.

When it comes down to it they believe they are the deserving rich.
The well off deserve the money they are paid because because they think they are damned good at what they do. And each and every one of them, no matter how much they are paid for their work: bonuses and salaries and perks, they come to believe that they deserve what they earn.

And if they deserve what they earn then the question remains. If they deserve their success then do the ordinary people deserve to have their public services and salaries paid for by the taxed rich? The suspicion of the rich, of the well off and successful, is that people are freeloading off the successful.

The parents who send their children to join the establishment clubs; sending them to private schools and through their networks, think that their actions are justified because their taxes pay for the government schools.

I would point a moral to these fellow humans. So sure that they are worthy of the money they are paid and pay themselves; so confident that the pensions of public sector workers are 'unsustainable', and that the haute  bourgeoisie should not be sustaining public sector pensions.
Let's use a model from the Greeks. The establishment likes analogies with the Greeks. They get them. Here's the analogy.

Once upon a time...

Nope. Wrong genre.

Try again.

When rosy fingered dawn appeared over the island it revealed the new territory of the first colonists. They shared the land out among themselves equally.

Still, the soil on some people's plots was thinner and rain fell more on one side of the island than the other. Colonists fell ill and couldn't work. Others stayed healthy. And some, perhaps it's true, were lazy.

When crops failed, farms failed and gradually the an oligopoly formed. When crops failed the farmers borrowed and some of them became indentured labour. Some of them became slaves and on the island a few families came to control wealth creation.

The olygopolists collected wealth, put the majority of the people to work building temples, building palaces, making weapons - they trained soldiery to reinforce their control.

And then...often, when conditions got intolerable, the ordinary people were left with two choices.

Kill the oligarchs and take back the land and redistribute it again or leave to find another island.

It was the dictators like Solon and Pisistratus and Polycrates who held the ring to stop the cycles of oppression  which were followed by revolts and killings.

The point is this. You may think Britain is your island, but it isn't. You may think that you are a creator of value, but you, like the profit making companies are only permitted to do so under sufferance.

This is not your farm. This is not your island. Though the ordinary people are mainly confined to the ugly cities and you own the country side, the beauty of Britain.

This is not your island.
You live on it and make your 'well deserved salaries and profits under sufferance. This island is our island and (from the Greek) take it too far and you will leave us two choices.

Pay for public pensions, pay your taxes.

And be grateful that we allow you to do so, for the moment.

On sufferance.


1 comment: