The Austrian Way: Unequal taxation caused Toynbee and Monbiot

Last week my good friend and fellow Bogpaper writer, Russell Taylor, wrote about the tyranny of the liberal, mainstream media. We heard about how conservative voices can never get a fair hearing and are all too often the subject of ridicule.

I’d go further and suggest that it’s not just conservative voices vetoed from this media imposed liberal imperialism, but any dissenting, even slightly radical voice that threatens the gravy train of growing statism, the ohh so clever metropolitan elite and those far-seeing preachers at the Guardian, BBC and other centre-left journalistic havens.

Apart from the odd ray of light from the Telegraph, Spectator and a few other choice blogs and publications, the leftist, centrist and statist media monopoly is trying to force-feed, inject and rape you with their propaganda at every turn.

The offerings and choice within the UK’s 21st century media landscape are crap for any alternative thinkers. Hence why you’re reading Bogpaper!

But how did we get here?

I would say it all started in the 1870 – 1913 period, when a large lever was pulled in almost all Western economies allowing the future growth and flourishing of rent seekers.

This lever went by the name of ‘progressive’, unequal taxation.

In 1870 between 8 and 13% of our money went on paying for government in the UK, USA, France and Germany. Public spending had been steady at these levels for hundreds of years.

In the post-Credit Crunch West government expenditures as a percentage of GDP now range between a heady 42 and 58% – France being the worst, most statist offender.

That is a quite stunning growth in the state.

Ironically the capitalist, market economies of the West now have on average twice the public involvement in their economies as those nations that followed Marxist doctrines during the 20th Century.

Why government grows with unequal taxation

What essentially occurred here is that the costs of government have grown because most voters do not have to pay for it.

Think of the restaurant analogy cited by economists where a group of people go out for dinner. It has been found that if they all split the bill according to their consumption, the average cost per head, and also the total bill, is lower than if someone offers to pay, or at least pay more than their proportional share.

Unequal taxation allows this dynamic to play out on a much larger scale within the economy.

The small minority of the most productive members of society pay a larger and larger share of the bill. No wonder some of them get fed up with and decide to start eating in a different restaurant in the British Virgin Islands, Dutch Antilles or Seychelles.

In the UK and USA today 10 per cent of the population pay 60 and 55 per cent of their respective country’s income tax contributions.

As fellow Bogpaper hero, Douglas Carswell, writes, government and the state are able to grow by ‘passing the bill to your neighbour’.

The rent seekers are unleashed by unequal taxation.

But, how does this pollute our media?

Well, as larger numbers of people become rent seekers, they naturally look for ways to consolidate their power and influence. ‘Troughing’ is an easy and attractive option, just ask Tim Yeo MP.

One of the best ways of perpetuating your power and influence is obviously through the media, through education and through other such means of controlling our hearts and minds.

Having a numerical majority, lefty, BBC lovers and proponents of big government start to dominate in the editing suites, in the production rooms, in the journalist colleges and on the news desks of the nation.

This army of justificatory, rent-seeker ants finds their perfect home in the mother-ship media colony called the BBC.

The BBC is like nirvana for the journalistically minded rent-seeker class. Surprisingly limited public scrutiny, little market discipline, good job security, great pensions and often privileged access to people, data and sources. God bless Auntie!

The rent seeking majority part of the economy, whilst slowly sucking the productive classes dry, now has its media monopoly to perpetuate its bogus ideas on economics, education, welfare, climate change or whatever.

So there you have it; Polly Toynbee, George Monbiot and the BBC have all been able to blossom so due to unequal tax policies.

Here’s hoping for the return of flat tax regimes and a healthier and fairer economy.

And, just as importantly, arise Bogpaper! (Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter).

17 comments on “The Austrian Way: Unequal taxation caused Toynbee and Monbiot

  1. Russell Taylor
    June 18, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    Terrific stuff. The state expands, taxes rise, the Left’s power grows, and dissenting arguments become marginalised; yet we’re still led to believe that our society is in the grip of a conservative tyranny. I wonder at what point the Left will declare victory, or at least concede that they have the upper hand.

    • JL
      June 18, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Well, even when the Soviets were firmly in control of Russia they still claimed their society was in the grip of conservative Kulaks, so my guess is never.

  2. Culica
    June 18, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    The Left have infiltrated the nations group-think through education (teachers and university unions), public sector unions and the BBC. No wonder the right are up against it.

  3. Nick Reid (@Shinsei1967)
    June 18, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    “In the UK and USA today 10 per cent of the population foot 60 and 55 per cent of their respective country’s tax bills.”

    Simply not true. The top 10% in the UK pay 55% of all income tax.

    There are plenty of other taxes. National Insurance, VAT and fuel duty being the next three big ones.

    Once you account for these then you find the overall tax burden is far less squewed towards the top 10%.

    • theaustrianway
      June 18, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      Thanks for reading and for your comment Nick!

      This quote is indeed referring to income tax. Wording updated accordingly.

      The unequal tax skew, across total taxation, stills manifests itself enough to fuel this dynamic though.

  4. silverminer
    June 18, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Taxes on income and profits are pure thievery made worse by the fact that you can be fined and imprisoned for failing to accurately incriminate yourself by filing an error free tax return on time. We must reject this immoral system! A levy on land values is the most economically efficient and fair way to raise public revenue as the benefit of public investment always finds it’s way into land prices. Anything beyond that should preferably be raised by user fees. I could perhaps stomach a sales tax as at least it’s anonymous and you don’t have to deal with the tax gestapo at HMRC.

  5. Apparent bigot
    June 18, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Please keep this stuff coming from Bogpaper! My favourite read these days, which I recommend to all.

    We cannot let the otherside win this war of ideas. We’re getting soundly trounced atm.

    Taxation is a big part of it and as much as I like a land tax, I think it’s too radical to get through atm. Let’s get a system of flat taxes first.

  6. theaustrianway
    June 18, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Thanks for stopping by Silverminer, and also for spreading the word, Apparent bigot!

    The land tax idea is an interesting one, but in the UK the largest land owners would represent some pretty powerful interests to rein in.

    Think of the Church of England, Royal Family, MoD, remnants of aristocracy, REITs, foreign money and of course the property owning working and middle classes.

    Is there any country in the world with an effective land tax system working at this time?

  7. Brett_McS
    June 18, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    John Lott has made a pretty solid case for the idea that the increase in government spending is a result of female suffrage.
    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~iversen/PDFfiles/LottKenny.pdf

  8. brettmcs
    June 18, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    John Lott makes a good case for the idea that women’s suffrage led to the steady increase in government.

    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~iversen/PDFfiles/LottKenny1999.pdf

  9. jdseanjd
    June 19, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Sharp analysis, thank you.

    Regarding land, John Ward has an interesting take on Ken Clarke, the Bilderberger liar, & the EU.
    http://www.hat4uk.wordpress.com
    & go to his Recent Posts column. Click on: CRASH 2: why the G8 are squabbling, & why Ken Clarke is pto-EU.

    John runs an excellent blog dispensing real news & sharp analysis, much akin to bogpaper.

  10. silverminer
    June 19, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Examples of attempts to bring in a levy on the economic rent of land here:-

    http://www.henrygeorge.org/rem4.htm

    Certainly plenty of powerful vested interests would be against, which is a fairly good indication of what a wise policy it would be for the rest of us. This is why the Lords shot down Lloyd George’s “People’s Budget” I believe.

    If fully implemented, unimproved land would change hands for virtually nothing. The new owner just assuming the liability for the “tax”. Put an end to all the land banking developers and work shy gentleman farmers. Also, a great regional redistribution of economic activity would occur out of London and the South East to lower taxed site’s in the North.

    A great boon for the average man. Imagine no income tax, getting paid “cash in hand” and it being legal, starting a business, employing people and yet not even having to file a tax return!

    I believe the Green Party are in favour which just goes to show that even the most deluded people can occasionally stumble across the remnants of their own common sense.

  11. theaustrianway
    June 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    I think I’ll have to do a piece dedicate to land tax sometime soon! Any other requests?

  12. Michael
    June 20, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Another great article Austrian Way – these pieces in Bogpaper deserve a wider audience.

    Whilst the rest of the house was watching the “news” last night, I stumbled across the below article on ZeroHedge. Similar in vein as it shows the idiocies of our debt=growth model and who benefits from it. The 3rd comment down from “TruthinSunshine” on the nature of our monetary system is simply outstanding in helping the scales fall from the eyes.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/money-debt#comment-2362949

    A good topic for a future Bogpaper essay?

  13. silverminer
    June 20, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Excellent comment post on ZH as Michael says. Can we have a look into this, please?:-

    http://www.ukcolumn.org/bring-back-the-bradbury

    Seems to me that we need a Greenback/Bradbury Pound backed by the full faith and credit of the nation so that the requirement for new money (to equal the rise in productivity of the economy) is spent into the economy on public infrastructure, i.e. it benefits the people, not private banks.

    Take all the taxes off gold and silver and let it trade freely as an alternative, legal tender currency to keep government honest…ish.

    Also, full Glass Steagall separation of retail (regulated and guaranteed) and investment banking (left to sink or swim) and an end to the fractional reserve system (banks can lend out existing money deposited in savings accounts only).

    Allowing a private banking system to create money out of thin air and lend it out at interest is the worst of all monetary systems. It’s basically nothing more than State sanctioned thievery by a privileged elite.

    If the people knew what was being done to them there would be bankers hanging from lamp posts all over the City of London.

  14. Michael
    June 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Yes SilverMiner – Henry Ford’s quote always comes to mind:

    “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”

  15. Jeremy
    June 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    What about a simple rule – You may not work longer than 5 years for the BBC? It doesn’t appear too hostile but has the requisite effect of removing group think.

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