Thoughts on a Monday
Why make love not war could lower our taxes.
For most of us, April comes with mixed blessings and almost all of that has to do with taxes. In the UK, it is the end of one season and onto the next, which entails a lot of planning and time with the accountants, but luckily the bill does not come until January. For those earning more than the average, the total tax bill has been more than half of what we earn for quite a while. It can vary from country to country, in things like city or council tax, national insurance “contributions”, VAT, Mehrwertsteuer and all kinds of other direct and indirect taxes. Fact is, it all adds up.
In theory, we could move to an island, a desert or some rock where a club sandwich costs thirty five Euros, but ultimately it boils down to the individual. If someone has enough money, then they don’t have to pay taxes. Clearly, there is something wrong there, but it is what it is, and why would someone not take the free lunch? If given a choice, I think most of us would prefer to keep more of the money we earn than not, so there is no judgement.
However, is there a moral hazard here? Clearly, we have to pay taxes for a reason. We need hospitals, we need the police, firemen and other serving members of the public to keep things running or turning over. There are also the roads to maintain, bridges to build, and we need someone to collect our trash. For some reason though, you also need these things in tax havens and the roads and hospitals in Monaco seem to be working just fine. So, if all of our services and needs can be privatised, why exactly are we paying such a premium for everything else?
Now before we get into politics, and in retort to John F Kennedy, we should ask not what we can do for our country, but what the country can do for us. There are of course the support systems and for those of us not fortunate enough to escape poverty, having nothing with no one to turn to is a most awful thing. The government may be a lot of things, but for the most part it does take care of its people, which is a great thing and prevents all sorts of other problems. Then there is the vital defence of our freedoms and liberties. That’s a tough one and far exceeds the content of this post. Though it seems clear that if there was peace on earth, our taxes would be a lot lower.