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Cartomancer's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Cartomancer

Mark Ribbands, Comment #12

You are, of course, entitled to your opinions. But the evidence is very clear that this "the rich will leave if we tax them too much" canard is pure effrontery and nonsense. During the golden age of US industrialism in the 1950s the highest tax bands were close to 90%, but the Gettys and the Rockerfellers and Fords stuck around and did quite nicely out of it. Likewise in postwar Germany, with the Krupps and the Siemenses, and Japan has had high rates of tax on the wealthy for decades without noticeable loss of investment or prosperity. "They'll go if we tax them more" is a phantom conjured by the greedy to advocate for not doing their bit to support society.

Indeed, investment and entrepreneurship tends to come to countries which have highly educated workforces these days, and there is no better way to ensure that than free higher education and healthcare for all. This is one of the reasons the Scandinavian countries are doing significantly better than the rest of Europe in this time of economic crisis.

I find the accumulation of wealth by individuals beyond the necessities of life a deeply problematic thing. It magnifies the luck of birth rather than seeking to compensate for it, and causes deep societal instability if allowed to go too far. It is an almost universal law of social economics that countries with larger gaps between rich and poor have greater levels of unrest and violence.

Sat, 14 Jul 2012 00:31:04 UTC | #949148