Thursday, January 30, 2014

"The tree of life is dying"

"The tree of life is dying, prune the top 1% and feed the roots"

This is what we're up against, a protest poster representing the massed minds of Occupy, UK Uncut, the Greens, the liberal left, and basically every sod who either hasn't got and believes taking it from others is the way to get it, or the others, arguably worse, who are part of the 1% and still campaign to remove it from their positions high up in the Labour party and similar.

The third world, where this current idiocy appears to originate, is one situation, one not really our business beyond the weak attempts we could make to patronisingly civilise them and then get called imperialist invaders for doing so, or do nothing and be called uncaring fascists who are only interested in themselves and profit. Basically you can't win in relation to third world issues as whatever you do or don't do outside haemorrhaging money to be squandered on riches and arms in unlimited quantities, any genuine attempts to physically help and sort out their problems are seen as an invasion unless sponsored by pressure groups, I mean charities, like WWF and Greenpeace who go there and clear land for climate projects and burn their food. Nothing like invaders would do.

But back at home where I far better understand the economy, this is the politics of the playground. Ten year old style 'I want' mentality, from those unable to succeed in a relatively free society by their own efforts, so do the sums, realise the successful people are only limited in their wealth by the top tax rates, and assume as they have so bloody much it must mean everyone else doesn't. I've dealt with this false equation before, but as they insist on raising it constantly (someone mentioned it last night on the radio in typical fashion), I will take what it represents about the collective immaturity of society, as unfortunately it appears such views do make up the majority view, considering most European election results with either far or centre left governments bleeding each dry and ending up with no one getting anything more, rich or poor. That is the alternative, they take even more (they're taking a fucking huge amount already, if you want to experience someone taking 45% of your bank account see how you feel afterwards), which translates into a society void of incentives and encouragement to either do as little as possible to survive as once you do more than average you won't get much more anyhow, or learn to cheat and break the law. Both are negative enforcers, and discourage all forms of creativity and motivation as physical success no longer leads to financial rewards of any significance. These themselves are ancient propositions made by free marketeers from day one, and thoroughly rejected by all who genuinely appear to assume if the rich are made less rich, to a degree only depending on the whims of the leaders, everyone else will get it and be better off.

How much more would we all get if the richest were to be stripped of their wealth and kept at say 25% above average? This could and would not only skim a large percent of their income, which is bad enough, but now they want their savings as well, backdating wealth taxes on their existing capital, first based on property values and then who knows what else? I can't answer that directly as I don't have the staff to do the research, but remember there isn't a direct intravenous drip from the rich to the poor, the government collect the money, give some back in benefits and welfare, such as tax credits and housing benefits to the lowest earners, welfare could be increased for those not able to work, and the rest are pretty much still left to their own devices as nearly all the positive tax breaks go to the poorest, while everyone else earns all by themselves and then pays some back in taxes. The rest is spent on wars, lunatic building projects like shaky footbridges, cable cars and buses which cost ten times more than the ones they replaced. Governments prefer the power to enjoy spending your money than actually giving it back to those who have less, and looking back to the good old days when education was both free and selective, anyone academic could get the best state education followed by a free degree and grant on top of it, available to every single person. Now we pay for selective education as grammar schools are banned (except a few old remnants) and to reduce unemployment long term students are farmed at £27,000 a degree despite the value now being a tenth of what it was as ten times more people (50% over the original 5%) take them as the exams are made so easy that many more people get the qualifying marks to get in and assume they must be the ones who would have passed before anyway. No, they're not.

Encouraging this mentality grows divide and rule, as once you demonise the 1% then as there are so few it creeps to eventually demonise around the top 50%, anyone above average income. As a result our own government dropped the threshold for the 40% rate by about £4000 in the last budget, meaning people only slightly above average now pay nearly half the added amount above it, making far fewer able to have a reasonable standard of living as many more people earn just above average than the top 1% and they have (by a centre right coalition) been made to suffer, admittedly as the debt was so high they were desperate to collect it in every possible way regardless. Suspicion is cast over anyone with a nice car and house, as the implication is if they can get it either they simply inherited it and didn't work at all, or cheated. Of course virtually every doctor, dentist, accountant and lawyer does not cheat and studied for 4-7 years with gruelling exams (I know, I did them) and nowadays an absolute duel for further training and apprenticeship as the competition is huge (ie many more degrees being handed out) and the funding is vastly reduced, with tens of thousands needed for professional courses on top of graduate fees. So now these top few percent start with about a five year defecit, needing to work at least that long just to break even. Of course these a-holes whose parents probably earn that much to allow them out on the streets day after day urinating on public memorials and swearing at the police haven't thought of that, and the bottom line is the vast majority of successful people either studied or practised their art for years and lived on very little, and then worked very hard for many more years before they even caught up those who had worked after leaving school.

Reality has no bearing on imagination. If people imagine the rich cheated and don't deserve what they have, and furthermore by removing most of it you can have some instead without having done a small fraction of what they did you should simply have your right to vote removed. We don't need people with double digit IQs or pre-teen maturity being allowed to dictate government policy, that is not elitism but like employing a doctor or lawyer only allowing people capable of doing a job safely the privilege of doing so. If someone genuinely believes taking other people's money outside direct theft will give it back to them then they don't deserve anything.

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