If the rich bugger off we’ll be better off

Well, maybe:

The rich and wealthy are also not that valuable because their low overall rates of tax compared to both income and wealth suggests that our dependency upon them is tenuous, and that their replacement by lower paid, but likely to be as ambitious and in truth equally competent people of sound judgement, might in the event that there was an exodus from the country of the current incumbents of the highest paid posts actually be for the overall best of the country by creating a considerably improved income distribution.

Didn’t we try this? Didn’t we have a brain drain? And did it make us better off?

Well, umm, 1976 was when this country was most equal……

18 thoughts on “If the rich bugger off we’ll be better off”

  1. ‘overall best of the country by creating a considerably improved income distribution.’

    Cutting the size of the pie is good, as long as everyone gets a – somewhat smaller – piece.

  2. What happened in Cambodia when they tried the same?

    Though in fairness they didn’t let people leave they killed them so maybe it isn’t a direct parallel.

  3. Means people who have the ambition to make some money also move away as soon as they can.
    Which is still possible at the moment.

  4. I remember it well (1976). Everyone was ‘equally’ in the crapper, with inflation fluctuating between 13-24%. The Sex Pistols released their debut single ‘Anarchy in the UK’, and Brotherhood of Man won the European Song Contest with ‘Save your kissed for me’. It was the warmest summer on record, a drought – the government encouraged everyone to take a bath with a friend. The average house price was £12,704 (we purchased our first home, a newbuild semi for £11k – mortgage interest rate 12pct), the average wage was £72 a week and a pint of beer cost 32p. Ah, the good old days.

  5. @Bernie G – so…

    Average wage pre-tax 3744.
    Average house on an 80% mortgage = 2540 downpayment (68% of an annual year’s gross wage), interest of 1220, or 33% of average gross wage.
    30 year linear repayment* about 340 per year. Total mortgage cost in 1976 = 1560, or 42% of pre-tax earnings.

    2016, average wage 27,600 pre-tax.
    Average house in 2016 was 232,885.
    So 20% downpayment is 46577 (1.68 x average individual earnings)
    Interest rate for 2-year fixed about 1.5%, so interest of 2795, or 10% of earnings.
    30 year linear* repayment 6210, so total mortgage cost 33%.

    So you’ve got a higher barrier for entry, but it’s much cheaper as a proportion of income once you’re in.

    *yes, I know you’d probably do an annuity rather than a linear which would reduce it but it’s a sane basis for comparison without getting into mortgage calculators.

  6. If Ritchie fucked off, somebody who actually deserves to be a Professor could be a professor?

    Maybe he got this one right.

  7. The Meissen Bison

    abacab: 1976 Average house on an 80% mortgage

    Typically a 25% mortgage from a building society after saving with them first for 6 months.

  8. Given that last year (2017-18), 40% of income tax was paid by people earning over £100,000, I would question the sweaty idiot’s mind.

    If you drop down to a cut-off of £50,000, the % becomes 63%.

    But since tax merely exists to control inflation, then this is irrelevant isn’t it? It isn’t as if the tax might fund public services, is it?

  9. Abacab… barrier for entry is the current problem. Back then I was on £3k/year and hadn’t a penny to my name. Wimpey, the builders, arranged 95% mortgages for buyers in partnership with Abbey National. I borrowed the 5% deposit from my friendly bank manager who took a punt on me. The monthly repayments were eyewatering but it got us in the game.

  10. “Didn’t we try this?”

    Not really. We tried something else which was taxing till the pips squeak. Taxing non-doms on their worldwide income would make a lot of them bugger off, but would free up a lot of real estate in Central London. They contribute a lot to various service industries, but they are extremely unlikely to make substantial investments in the UK because that would entail bringing capital onshore.

  11. TMB… Our second home was a different proposition. Building Societies were rationing loans, our specific branch limited to a half-dozen per month. You were obliged to wait patiently until it was your turn, while saving assiduously to garner favoured customer status.

  12. @ Bernie G
    1976 I was just OK but tight – 1977-9 I had to take cash out of my very small investment portfolio to pay the service charge on my small two-bedroom flat which wasn’t constrained by incomes policy
    It was NOT equal – a union member in a council flat was OK or more than OK, someone like me was shafted

  13. Bloke in North Dorset


    In 1976 mortgages were 2.5x the man’s salary but by 2016 they were lending multiples of household income, which changes your barrier to entry calculions somewhat.

  14. Igomorimg the issue that what % of the overall tax take it is that they represent not what their individual rates are.

  15. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Of course according to The Egregious Tuber™, the sole determinant of someone’s value to the country is how much tax you can mulct out of them.

  16. be for the overall best of the country by creating a considerably improved income distribution.

    The country’s finest hour was when we were all hunter gatherers scratching a living. Everyone was equal and died somewhere around the age of 37.

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