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A letter The Guardian didn’t publish


Phil White asks to be able to pay more tax because he’s rich ( Cheques can be sent to “The Accountant, HM Treasury”, at 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ. Each year some handful do so and, so I’m told, they receive a polite thank you note in exchange.

Economists are very keen on the difference between revealed and expressed preferences – what people do being a better guide to their true thoughts than what they say. More colloquially this is simply “actions speak louder than words”. No doubt you would be willing to provide space for Mr. White to show off his thank you note so that it would be possible to assess his commitment to pay more.


Tim Worstall
Senior Fellow
Adam Smith Institute
23 Great Smith St
London SW1

10 thoughts on “A letter The Guardian didn’t publish”

  1. Tim

    I think your letter failed at the first hurdle. I mean – addressing a letter to the Guardian as “Sirs”?

    A good proportion of the letter-reading department are probably already off on long term sick leave due to the mental anguish caused by the insensitivity of your salutation.

    If you’d got past the gatekeepers by calling them by their correct pronouns, your letter would have failed sundry other barriers of course.

  2. Yes but as many argued on Twitter, it’s not enough for one millionaire to pay more tax voluntarily. They need to tax ALL the millionaires, and then everyone who earns a good wage in order for the state to have enough. One individual went as far as to tell me if they paid alone the state would waste it whereas if everyone was taxed the state might be leftwing at that point and not waste it.

  3. “One individual went as far as to tell me if they paid alone the state would waste it”

    Jeremy Hunt would buy sweeties and comics for the Treasury ( cake is forbidden ).

  4. Does this troll rate 10/10?

    Why doesn’t the rich guy who wants to pay more tax persuade all his peers to pay more too, voluntarily?

    Why do we need taxes when we can just print money and index away inflation?

    Are taxes all about control, not funding government?

  5. ?: To disprove your point, yet again, I have a one billion Zimbabwe dollar bill for which I paid the princely sum of £1 several years ago. And that was far more than it was worth even when it was legal tender there. Any scheme like you suggest is going to start exponentially reducing the value of the variable tokens you laughably expect to be the medium of exchange in transactions. Look at the history of previous inflationary periods in, say, Brazil. The bloody inconvenience to everyone of the value of the Cruzeiro/Real changing on a daily basis is plain to see.

    This stuff is obviously a hobby horse of yours, along with being free to live on other people’s property, so go do some research to discover the generally malign effects of that kind of approach. Are there any positives that outweigh the negatives?
    I’m sure we would all like to see a well-argued case rather than this series of fatuous questions.

  6. What if inflation is really a shortage of dollars?

    If you had a dollar-denominated income in Zimbabwe, is there any inflation?

    If you have an inflation-indexed dollar income in the US, does nominal dollar inflation matter?

    《I’m sure we would all like to see a well-argued case rather than this series of fatuous questions.》

    Did I just blow your mind?

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