Monday, June 11, 2007

Taxes and the wealthy: why Toynbee is a fuckwit #94

You might remember that a little while ago your humble Devil commented on the fact that Sweden were scrapping their wealth tax.
Now the Swedes are planning to scrap their wealth tax, which levies a tax on people’s assets (this is in addition to an income tax).

Now, via Iain Dale (and Sarkis Zeronian), we get an interesting little illustration of why they may have done this.

Because it is tax season... Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay £1.
The sixth would pay £3.
The seventh would pay £7.
The eighth would pay £12.
The ninth would pay £18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Because you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20." Drinks for the ten now cost just £80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men—the paying customers? How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that £20 divided by six is £3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.
So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay £5 instead of £7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got one pound out of the £20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got £10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a pound, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get £10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

And this is, I believe, precisely what happened in Sweden; the very wealthy decided not to live there any more (the founder of IKEA, for instance, lives in Switzerland).

Compare this piece of admirable common sense, with Polly Toynbee's reaction, after i emailed her the article, to the news of the wealth tax cut.
How depressing. This is what conservatives do. It will make inequality soar, and it probably won't bring back those who want to avoid high income tax anyway.

So, high taxes lead to the wealthiest not paying them: so why introduce them in the first place, you stupid woman?


Roger Thornhill said...

Toynbein'erbonnet: It will make inequality soar

As Mrs T said in her rousing "vote of no confidence" session in the Commons just before losing the leadership:

Mrs T: "They'd rather the poor were poorer than the rich richer."

Toynbee's irrational position sums up the poison that is Socialism.

Dr Xavier Ray said...

I occasionally work with a Swedish doctor and can vouch that this is what happens. He works a short time in Sweden but most of his time in Norway and occasionally in the UK so that he pays no swedish tax. He also buys his booze from Germany so that he doesn't pay the higher Swedish tax.
It has taken the Swedes a while but they are beginning to realise that once over a certain level of taxation tax yield begins to fall. The UK tax authorities are trying to counteract this by using the Jackbooted special forces of the Customs & Excise SS to extract money at the threat of bankrupcy and imprisonment. It was in the Times today that they will be using the full weight of the Courts, no expense spared, to punish anyone trying to reduce their contribution to the State.

Anonymous said...

at the risk of repeating myself, what Roger says.

Dr Ray, two words, "Laffer Curve".

Anonymous said...

you have to remember toynbee is a financial creationist the world started 11 yrs ago when st toni of fukwit landed from planet all the evidence is planted like the fossil record just to fool you.The facts mean nothing to her world view(along gordos cock)doesnt include reality and rich people moving to pay less tax.

Fidothedog said...

Game set an match to you, Polly really is such a stupid and metally retarded socialist.

At times I even wonder which is the dimmer her of Terry Kelly.

Anonymous said...

Oh for fuck's sake. Of course it won't bring back those who have left because they have set up a nice life for themselves somewhere else. What it might do is stop those who are currently heading towards the highest tax bracket from leaving in the first place. Or is the idea of active rather than reactive thinking too much for poor Polly's tiny mind to handle? Someone gice the dozy tart a slap with a wet halibut and sebd her back under her socialist rock until she has something sensible to say.

Roger Thornhill said...

I have decided that Polly has just proven it for the 95th time.

O! The BABIES!!!!!

Anonymous said...

God that woman is so bloody awful, I nearly chucked my TV out of the window the other day, dateline London on News24 this Sunday;

She was stating that this sheik bin wotsit got 1/3 of the money from the al-ya-mamma arms deal, 1/3! of like 40 billion pounds! (when it was in fact more like 1 billion pounds, still a lot of money but a subtle difference that!)


Anonymous said...

We all know Polly is playing to her audience. Even she probably doesn't believe what she says - but it pays well, doesn't it?

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