The Observer lies to us

The IMF’s analysis does something to redress the balance, making two important points. First, it says that tax systems should have become more progressive in recent years in order to help offset growing inequality, but have actually become less so.

Second, it finds no evidence for the argument that attempts to make the rich pay more tax would lead to lower growth. There is nothing especially surprising about either of the IMF’s conclusions: in fact, the real surprise is that it has taken so long for the penny to drop.

That isn’t what the IMF said at all. Rather, that those with less than averagely progressive tax systems could probably have more progressive tax systems without great damage. Also, that those with low end top tax rates could probably have higher.

The UK is currently neat exactly average on both counts. Thus it is not true that the IMF has said that Britain could or should have higher tax rates or more progressivity.

They’re lying.

This is also casuistry:

With a nod to the work of the French economist Thomas Piketty, the fiscal monitor also says that countries should consider wealth taxes for the rich, to be levied on land and property.

Land and property taxes are not the same thing as wealth taxes. Don’t, ever, pretend that they are.

17 thoughts on “The Observer lies to us”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    The Left has nothing left but lies and other fake news. The truth is that virtually everything half way decent has been funded by the rich. Not by the state. Certainly not the modern state.

    Giving the British government more tax has given us horrors like damp crime-ridden social housing. Which occasionally catches on fire. While rich people have given us Chatsworth. Not to mention Hayden, the works of Rembrandt and so on.

    There is no moral case for giving the modern state a penny more than will keep us out of prison.

    Meanwhile the eco-lunacy of the Guardian group continues:

    The solution to making energy affordable lies not in the draft legislation for the cap, which is a short-term stopgap that will do nothing to make prices fairer in the long term, but in a climate change masterplan launched by ministers at the Olympic Park in London. While the clean growth strategy is short on detail for a 164-page tome, it should be praised for putting energy efficiency front and centre.

    Improving efficiency will do nothing to make energy cheaper. The two have little to do with each other. In so far as they do, making energy use more efficient in likely to lead to more energy use. If houses are better insulated, people will use the cash saved to have another holiday in Ibiza.

    The only way to produce cheap energy is, and this is the clever part, to produce cheap energy. Which means the cap is insane. Green power is insane. The way we do nuclear energy is insane. We ought to hand out OBEs to everyone willing to get into fracking and make a dash for gas.

  2. A has £10, B has £10 = equality.

    B’s aunt dies and leaves him £50.

    A has £10, B now has £60 = inequality.

    How is A now worse off because of this new inequality?

    On the way to the pub to celebrate his good fortune B is mugged and has £40 stolen.

    A has £10, B now £20 = reduced inequality.

    How is A better off now the inequality is less?

    Lefties, over to you.

  3. John B,

    No, no, you don’t understand. First, it was B’s uncle who died, so the $50 (sorry, keyboard) is a sign of white male privilege (obviously, had the uncle been a person of colour, he’d have donated the money before passing on from this world to some appropriate women’s organisation)

    Secondly, because the money is white male privilege, it needs to be taxed at 100% and redistributed by the tax, thereby proving 0.00001 farthings to A. And B didn’t hand the money over, so continuing white male privilege AND evading tax.

    One could continue….

  4. The IMF’s ” Fiscal Monitor” does say that land and property taxes are efficient and are not used often enough.But what do they know?
    These experts! Always reading things and coming to conclusions. Look at all the prosperity in UK and its always getting better.

  5. @DBC Reed

    Yeah, shit the UK isn’t it.

    That’s why so few foreigners want to come here. Because there are state run leftie countries so much nicer to live in.

  6. ‘First, it says that tax systems should have become more progressive in recent years in order to help offset growing inequality’

    ‘Inequality’ is the new Lefty word used to justify anything. It is a reification fallacy. It is not concrete. It is just noise.

    It is totalist language.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    John B,

    The best analogy I’ve heard is that in the equal socity everyone gets exactly the same house and the State delivers everyone exactly the same rations every week, which includes some beer and wine. A doesn’t like beer and his neighbour, B, doesn’t like wine, so they swap.

    Everyone involved in the voluntary trade is happier, and richer, and nobody else is harmed. But the result is now an unequal society, so what should the State do about it?

  8. When Marxism finally arrives all your earning will be collected by the state.. You can then apply to the state for your needs.
    If appropriate these needs will be met.
    Can’t say fairer than that can you.

  9. Violet Elizabeth Reed, just because you have got nowt it does not follow that the rest of us should have nowt. I work for what I have and the bone idle, like you, who want to take away can just fuck off.

  10. Noticeably, no one shows any sign of having attempted to read the IMF Fiscal Monitor.Thats the way is it not? Everyone on here exalts the Internet and the immediate access to primary source information but nobody bothers to do so.I blame Stem subjects: too many “students” sat in front of whiteboards being explained everything; not enough of being given a book and required to interpret it, as happens to Humanities students. The most despised Humanities students of all, those doing Media Studies, are expected to deconstruct texts and visual images (!) taking into account the multiplicity of meanings.
    Easier to think what you’re told: money is created by the State and causes inflation (Keith Joseph 1974): we don’t need a Land Value Tax to stop the Housing market getting broken.

  11. @ DBC Reed
    That may be because none of the Grauniad’s links actually link to the IMF site but only to other Grauniad articles so I, for one, gave up and went off to do something else. Maybe you could talk nicely to your friends at the Grauniad and ask them to link to their so-called sources?
    When I searched using Google for the IMF report, I found that it said what Tim had claimed that it said. *Some* countries could reduce inequalities by raiding the top rate of tax without – *in their opinion* (“there is no evidence that …” rather than “there is evidence that it will not …”) reducing economic growth.
    There is one point that Hammond could utilise to reduce the deficit – that the UK tax system allows much labour income to be taxed at a lower rate if it pretends to be tax on income from capital. Scrap Brown’s NI surcharge and add the 2% to all rates of income tax.

  12. “Noticeably, no one shows any sign of having attempted to read the IMF Fiscal Monitor.”

    Tim reads that shit so we don’t have to.

    Have we thanked you lately, Tim?

  13. @J77
    It is hardly too much to expect someone such as yourself, who has shown great skill in unearthing facts about building sites being hoarded by the big developers, to Google IMF Fiscal Monitor October 2017 and scroll down to the Executive Summary where on Page x (Roman numeral) it says “Taxes on real estate or land are both equitable and efficient and remain underused, but may require a sizable investment in administrative infrastructure, particularly in low-income developing countries.”
    ( Of note, on the same page, is the serious consideration given to Universal Basic Income which in blowhard conservative circles gets less respect than LVT.)

  14. @ DBC Reed
    It isn’t too much to expect mee to Google the IMF Fiscal Monitor as you can see from my comment above mentioning the undesirability of a pretence that labour income is income from capital payiong lower rate of tax.
    I did *not* suggest that Hammond increase the tax on land and buildings since he has had to *reduce* the impact of the increases in business rates due their adverse impact on employment and general well-being. You may not have noticed that the UK is not yet classified as a low-income developing country.
    You see – the trouble with me is that I use my brain to think.

  15. Taxing land in the Henry George sense, as taxing the rise in value of “unimproved land”, akin to rises in “unearned income”, sounds like taxing wealth to me. It’s imposing a tax on the ongoing possession of land by reference to an assumption that land isn’t owned absolutely but on the difference of the state. As such it’s as vile as a wealth tax

  16. All rather ill-tempered on your part.And there was me paying you a compliment on your marshalling of facts about big developers’ land banks! All I can reliably gather from the rest of your further typo-strewn remarks is that you think I have not noticed that the UK is not a low-income developing country.
    I kept this warning in the quote as i) I didn’t want to fiddle with their original wording and ii) thought you might make the inference that the UK is very well suited to land taxes having a well-developed tax system as they specify.In vain apparently.

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