I have no doubt that we\’ll see Polly insisting that this latest report shows that we must redistribute incomes even more:
Middle-class professionals such as doctors and accountants are outliving builders and cleaners by as much as eight years, according to official figures.
People from all social classes are living longer, data from the Office for National Statistics showed yesterday, but variations in the age at which people are dying indicate Government measures to reduce the gap between rich and poor have failed.
See! See! The rich live longer!
The thing is, the researchers don\’t seem all that sure that it is income. Rather,. social status and the freedoms that provides:
But the nature of people\’s jobs also has an effect. If you have autonomy and control over what you do, you tend to be in better health.
Now if greater equalisation of incomes were to lead to greater autonomy, then perhaps (perhaps!) greater redistributive taxation would in fact help. But we can also make the opposite argument: more things provided by the State, more capturing of income, more one size fits all services, would reduce autonomy…thus, reducing life spans. OK, that argument is a bit of a stretch but at the extreme it\’s valid.
But if it is, as is said, autonomy and control which leads to the longer life spans, then redistributive taxation isn\’t going to change that and thus the justification disappears.