Posts Tagged ‘fair share’

We all owe the state for the lives we lead and tax is how we pay our fair share

02/11/2012, 02:00:03 PM

by Dan McCurry

I’ve completely changed my mind, thanks to Peter Watt. I used to agree with Peter’s position, that taxation is a necessary evil, not a automatic right of the state. Then I read his piece, on tax, Labour must remember: “it’s not our money stupid, it’s theirs, and I’ve since reversed my position completely.

This is part of a wider debate about whether the state creates private business, that began with a gaffe from Obama. “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

It was a gaffe, but the rest of the quote made sense of what he meant. “There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that.”

The debate re-emerged in this country during the party conference season. Miliband had described a Tory tax-cut with the visual image of David Cameron writing out £40k cheques to his mates. At the Tory conference Cameron responded, “When people earn money, it’s their money.   Not the government’s money: their money.  Then, the government takes some of it away in tax”.

Previously I was very much in agreement with David Cameron on this one, but reading Peter’s article got me thinking. If it were the case that the state acts as a hindrance to wealth creation, then why do millions of enterprising and ambitious young people, from the developing world, risk their lives to enter the western world every year? Surely if our top heavy state was standing in the way of business, why don’t they stay in their own country and make their fortune there?

As Obama pointed out, we have an infrastructure allowing fast and smooth transportation, as well as an advanced rule of law. We have an educated and healthy population who are available both as workers and as consumers. The state provides conditions that allow enterprise to flourish.


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