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Speaking with forked tongue

Today\’s Ritchie installment:

Alistair Darling is under pressure to slap a punitive new income tax rate of up to 70 per cent on top earners in a “tax-the-rich” mini-Budget next week, it emerged last night.

Gosh! But put your mind at rest:

This is nonsense: I am certain there is no such plan at all


But what\’s this?

Well, I rather hope that is what the Treasury is thinking in due course – because much of it comes from the Compass tax report

Ah, yes, that\’s right, the Compass report that insists that we should raise marginal tax rates on the top decile of households to 75%.

So, what we\’ve got is the man who wrote the report calling for 75% marginal tax rates insisting there are no plans or pressures to create marginal tax rates of as high as 70%.

Consistency is so undervalued in today\’s world, don\’t you think?

13 thoughts on “Speaking with forked tongue”

  1. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    I think what Ritchie means is that no-one is deranged enough to contemplate doing as he suggests. Unless a recommendation from Ritchie is ‘pressure’, one hopes he is correct.

  2. he is an arse isn’t he.

    Do you know what the top decile wages are BTW? Probably alot lower than he wants to flout around

  3. I left a comment on his blog suggesting that unmoderated replies could be posted here.

    I don’t suppose he’ll post it though. He probably thinks that Popper wrote Mein Kampf.

  4. Just found it 50,492 (971 per week) in April 2009. That isn’t exactly superstar wages is it?
    The top 10% makes people think of city types, bankers and other parasitic capitalists. 5o grand a year sucks in an awful lot of normal people with normal jobs.

  5. “About 10% of the work force.”

    Well duh! The point was about the normal people. Headteachers, tradesmen, middle management. They are not all th super rich bogeymen that Ritchie implies.

  6. has anyone thought that if global warming were happening, it might set in train another Cambrian explosion. Who knows what might result from the fusion of such folk as Ritchie, Polly Toynbee, Barack Obama and Richard Dawkins?

  7. Why doesn’t this arse simply argue that anyone earning more than say, 100 grand, should have all their money confiscated? It would at least be more honest.

  8. @Johnathan Pearce
    Of course you could try something more sophisticated than a pure wealth tax and only tax assets such as landed property which appreciate (inflate ) on an unearned basis,as the
    1906 Labour Party(working-men and savvy) suggested with Land Value Tax.With rents and house prices low Johnathan could perhaps afford some of the items of conspicuous consumption they drool over on his home blogsite(Samizdata-the one with a pistol on its masthead to show its commitment to free speech ) instead of being straitened by paying a private tax to the landowners so that the sports cars and motor boats (even enough housing) he yearns for are forever out of reach through one of those durned contradictions of capitalism .

  9. DBC, still making the error of thinking that it is evil to profit from the rise in the value of something Man has not directly created (a similar error to that of the labour theory of value as given by Marx, etc.) By your logic, it would be immoral for a 7-foot basketball player to earn a fortune from NBL games because a part of his physical attributes were inborn, and therefore not made by him, but by his parents.

    You can try as hard as you like to keep bringing up LVT as the answer to all such issues, but it will not work. If LVT were to be levied the rate needed to pay for the sort of Big Government we now have, it would crush property values, just as high progressive tax rates will crush wealth creati0n.

  10. Of course, I should add that LVT, levied at a relatively low rate – say 10 per cent – would be okay if it were exchanged for a flat-tax on incomes, abolition of income tax on the low paid, etc. But remember that property is indirectly taxed a lot already, via stamp duty, Council Taxes, etc.

  11. @Johnathan Pearce
    Modern land taxers generally see LVT as a replacement tax often as a minimal reform to Council Tax as Prof Irvin puts it.It is far from confiscatory (the mistake the overrated Murray Rothbard made ) and is revenue neutral.Alternatively there is the Sentinel Land Tax which kicks in when land values bottom out and taxes only increases over this line in the sand.Since people would try and avoid the tax take-up,land prices would remain low.
    The revenue from the Sentinel Land tax would also be low (by design).The upside would be that instead of paying ,as now 100k for a building plot and 7ok for bricks and mortar to be assembled on it,people could spend the 100k on motor boats and fast cars,everything the heart desires in libertarian heaven

  12. Things have gone a bit quiet over here have n’t they? Perhaps JP is contemplating a conversion to Sentinel LVT.
    To revive the debate, I would like to point out that the example of basketball is hardly apposite.
    The advantage given to tall players in basketball is excessive and kills the game as a spectacle with far too much slam dunking by beanpoles.They should raise the hoop a couple of feet.
    Most sports such as boxing carefully grade the participants to produce a sporting contest with weight divisions in this case.In car racing divisions are based on engine capacity.Only in the Game of Life,or competitive market economics, are the particpants pitted against each other with some capitalised to the hilt the rest with nothing.Then when the crunch comes those with capital wait it out with money on deposit or hedged into real estate while the poor wait and starve.

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