Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Left: an utter failure of personal responsibility

Over at Forbes, Timmy has written an article about the difficult decision facing Greek PM, Alex Tsipras.
The general view is that the Greek endgame is coming ever closer.
The troika is insisting that Greece must not lower the pension age and also must liberalise some more the labour market. Syriza, seeing itself as the sort of left wing party that just doesn’t do those sorts of things is refusing: thus that red line argument. And it is fair to point out that Syriza are the democratically elected government and they were elected on a platform of not doing those sorts of things (or, in fact, those two specific things). 
But as I’ve pointed out before what you do with the money of the citizens who voted you in is one thing. Demanding to be allowed to do the same thing with money you’re borrowing from others is rather different. And if Greece is going to make the payments it needs to in the coming months then it needs that last tranche of that loan. But the troika refuses to hand it over while Syriza is threatening to do what it was elected to do.
Certainly, it's going to be interesting to see what happens—especially as the consensus seems to be that:
  • the Greeks do not want to submit to the troika's demands;
  • the Greeks can't pay their creditors unless they do submit to the troika's demands;
  • the Greeks want to remain within the Eurozone.
Or, to put it another way:
  1. the Greeks want all of the trappings and benefits of a massive, Leftist state that will allow them to sit about doing nothing much all day;
  2. the Greeks don't want to pay for it through their taxes and, indeed, will avoid them where at all possible;
  3. the Greeks want to remain within the Eurozone.
At least one of these things will have to change. Unless, of course, some miracle comes along (very unlikely). We live, as they say, in interesting times.

Anyway, the point that I really want to make is related to #2, above, i.e. the Greeks don't want to pay taxes and, indeed, will avoid them where at all possible. Now, many people will be outraged that I might suggest such a thing—except, perhaps, when I point out that a great many Greeks simply stopped paying tax at the end of last year in anticipation of a Syriza win.

Faced, as he is, with this tension between keeping his promises or keeping the Greek state solvent (for a little while), it would not be entirely unreasonable for Alex Tsipras to say:
"Look, chaps: I did my best to stand up for the interests of the Greek people. But the trouble is that, at the first possible moment, the Greek people simply didn't bother paying tax. 
"Because of this, we have no other options: either we give in to the demands of the troika, or we exit the Euro (which won't solve much, but will get the Germans off our backs)."
He could then hold a referendum—but I doubt that the Greek state can afford it.

Anyway, the point is that the Greeks want lots of stuff, without actually reaching into their pockets to pay for any of it.

Which is, as we saw after the recent General Election, very similar to the Left in this country.

My various feeds were full of idiots wailing and gnashing their teeth, talking about how all the poor people were going to be put down and fed to the myriad urban foxes. Or something.

A great many of them were complaining about how the poor were to be denied their benefits.

So to help out these poor souls—riven by grief and guilt about the poor—I decided to point out that they could help simply by reaching into their ample pockets. I helpfully pointed out that not only can they donate their time and money to charities, but they can actually donate money to the Treasury—and specify what budget they want their monies to go to!

So, if you are a Lefty scared of what will happen to the poor, simply send your cheque to:
The Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road
Just convince all of your left-wing friends to do the same—this surely won't be difficult—and you can help out those causes that you care about. And, best of all, you won't be using the threat of imprisonment to force other people to pay towards these causes.

As an extra bonus, everyone can check online to see who has generously donated this cash to these good causes, so that we can praise you for your generosity and civic decency.

Or, of course, call you a bunch of fucking liars when you say that you'd "happily pay more tax".

This is the very definition, I think, of the phrase "put up or shut up."

Of course, many people will say that your humble Devil is being a little aggressive about this.

"Come on, DK," they might say. "You're a politics nerd—you cannot expect everybody to know about this voluntary tax thing."

To which I reply, "well, these people think that they are qualified to elect a government—shouldn't they know how that government works? They are prepared to use the law to force people to pay money to the Treasury on behalf of certain interest groups—shouldn't they show willing first?"

But, apparently, that's the thing with Lefties: they're very happy to reach into other people's pockets, and very reluctant to dig deep into their own.

Who knew, eh?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see you are still blogging. You tend to get to the heart of the matter! Great read. Keep it up!

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...