A comment from one of those tax justice campaigners which provides an interesting insight into the mindset. A useful definition perhaps of their meaning of “justice“:
Richard Murphy says:
January 24 2020 at 5:36 pm
Stephanie Kelton agrees we need to tax the rich more
It’s not because we need their money
It’s because they don’t need it
Hmm, well. That rather ignores the fact that they went out – often enough, the majority of the Forbes 400 did make their fortunes, not inherit or steal them – and made that money. Meaning that for them at least they think they need it. Equally, that they’ve not given it away as yet means they think they need it. And as always with utility it’s what the person doing the utility maximisation thinks that matters, not an onlooker.
This being even more of a problem when we’re talking about entrepreneurs and the control of a company. The difference between owning a plurality of the stock and thus having control and not doing so is rather large.
Still, that’s not where the real criticism is. Rather, it’s on a moral basis.
Wealth is, on a practical basis, the ability to command resources. To be able to determine the labour of others that is. A pile of cash means just that. $7.25 buys an hour of labour. $7 million nearly a million hours of labour.
So, the statement here is really that other people should not have the ability to determine the labour of millions and tens of millions of others. Well, OK, don’t say I agree with that idea but still, where does that take us?
Because the argument is that it should be taxed. So that those doing the taxing then get to deploy those funds. So that those determining where the tax funds get spent get to determine the labour of millions and tens of millions of others.
Or, as we more properly should put it, Richard Murphy wants to tax Philip Green so that Richard Murphy gets to tell us all what to do instead of Philip Green doing so. Millions of lives should be directed by a bad tempered egotist or by a schmutter salesman made good?
Toughie there really. The one major difference being that we voluntarily associate with Mr. Green thereby voluntarily make him rich and the tax system means that’s not quite the case with Murphy. But being able to deploy the labour of millions of others is just as rich, either way around.