Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Why Stephen King Has it Right

I read a very inspiring article in The Guardian today. In it, Stephen King articulates why he thinks America's rich should pay more tax.

He hits the right note for me, and his argument holds here in the UK too.

What I got from it was this: not only is paying your fare share, and contributing to the society you have benefitted from, a social and moral duty--it's also a case of national pride.

If you love your country, why shouldn't you want to support that country? If you have benefitted at all from your society, shouldn't you give back?

This is why I find the argument against increased taxation for the top earners so abhorrent. The argument is: increase taxes for those at the top, and they'll leave the country and take their wealth with them. Firstly, this is a kind of ransom, and as many governments have famously stated: we don't respond to ransom demands.

Secondly, it considers inevitable (and perhaps acceptable) that rich people shouldn't care for the countries they live in, were born in or have built their wealth in. This I find attrocious. We should want people to stay through a sense of loyalty. They should care about and be invested in this country. If they don't and aren't, then are they really any benefit to us?

Wealthy people like to restyle themselves as wealth-creators. They create jobs, but of course they create jobs that further increase their own profits. In truth, most of the wealth these 'wealth-creators' create is for themselves.

If the current crop of wealth-creators, who've between them led us into two recent recessions, were to leave the country, no doubt there'd be hundreds and thousands ready to take their jobs. Perhaps this would usher in a new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs who might provide a very real alternative to the wonky, self-serving capitalism of today.

No comments:

Post a Comment