The obvious solution is a wealth tax on the richest 10%, which we first advocated a year ago. Now the head of the biggest bank in Italy, Corrado Passera, is also promoting the idea, saying that Italy\’s $2,750bn debt could be resolved by a tax on Italy\’s private wealth. This is five times the size of its debt. It also shows how misled we are by media and political commentary on \”countries going bankrupt\”, when what is actually being described is a cash flow problem.
\”Italy\” does not have any private wealth . By definition, wealth that belongs to \”Italy\” is public wealth.
That people who happen to be Italians have private wealth is a rather different thing.
Forgetting this difference between what belongs to the individual and what belongs to the State is the cause of much vileness. From conscription (\”your life is for the State to lay down for you\”) to this absurd idea that your granny\’s wedding ring is to be sold so that the politicians can carry on pissing the money away.
Greg Philo is a Professor of Sociology specialising in Media Studies.