Monday, December 20, 2010

EconomicsUK: Unequal Taxation: London protests against Super-Rich who avoid taxes to the tune of billions

For the worldwide readership of The steve bishop Daily, Mr Bishop alerts us who use his blogs and archives as a professional resource, today, alerts us to the textbook case reported in the Mail Online [London UK; Dec19,2k10],  "Crisis?  What crisis?  Topshop boss enjoys Barbados holiday despite tax protests," an excellent detailed report by Abul Taher and Stephanie Darrall that rips the mask off Brit case of nasty capitalistico, Sir Philip Green,  who is at least the top interest in mass retailer Aracadia GroupThe protest was organised by UK Uncut, a group angry that major corporations such as Vodafone and Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group – which owns Topshop, BHS, Burtons and Dorothy Perkins – are avoiding £25 billion of tax payments each year, which, if collected, could ease public-spending cuts.

Sit down protest: Thousands of protesters from the UK Uncut group staged demonstrations at Topshop stores today over unpaid tax bills
Sit down protest: Thousands of protesters from the UK Uncut group staged demonstrations at Topshop stores today over unpaid tax bills

Comparatively speaking, in the  USA currently, we witness the spectacle of toplevel multi-billionaires tripping all over themselves in front of the media, the lot of them calling for hier govt taxation on the superwealthy [say, Warren Buffet begging to be taxed at a hier rate and all his wealthmates with him but most of them far less wealthy than he], while they all refuse to give outrite an equally-sizable chunk of billions each to the  government and the British people, with trumpets blaring.

It's not a case of a knighted Sir the Brit vs a mister Warren the Yankee in the Monkey God's  Court.

That is, capitalism in the alternatively normative sense regarding which Dr Bob Goudzwaard has tawt us a reformational economics critique, a reformational philosophical science of economics that sends us back, deeper rooted, to a compassion-rooted ethos based on the creational given and the array of normativities based on the appreciation of creation, including the creationally-given economic-optimatic8 experience of everyday economic life.   Capitalism, in the sense of a worldview that tries to crowd out an integral Christian worldview chiefly thru consumerist allurements, seizes opportunistically on the necessity, benefits, and opportunities for normative realization, by means of counter-opportunities for greed, which invents its own norms [see Ayn Rand on the 'virtue of selfishness'].

[* For the economic-optimatic modal concept, see Hendrik Hart,  Understanding our world ]1984]

In the Brits case, at the moment, the vacationer in the tax-sheltering Barbados island coud as easily be an American, a Canadian, even a Netherlander or Brazilian for all I know.   The Brits have figured out ruffly what Sir Phillip's tax avolidance happens to cost the govt and the people of Great Britain in a time of severe financial constraints, hi taxation for most, and cutbacks in assistance to the lower-income strata of society.  In the USA a gaggle of super-rich want hier taxes on all similarly wealthy, but they won't exercize the indivudual-giving option each on his / her own, rather than roving in packs -- in Britain too, each of them to give directly to the govt for distribution in goods and services to the British people, as well as paying down some of the kingdom's debt.

To set out the logical relations of the concepts involved -- both Brits and Americans have 'major players' in everyday economic life 'on the plastic horizon' of events and naive integral knowing, but also they are vocationed 'major players' in financial investment [a phenotype of the 'sovereign' societal sphere of business in its entrepreneurial role, together] with participation in corporate ownership [boards of directors elected by stockholders],  and acquiring media clout as a biz person ['colorful media attractiveness' functioning in the biz sphere of God's differentiated creational order for advanced/post industrial society].

Using another parameter, we coud say that both Brits and Anericans are of the two types -- a1 and a2 -- wealthy advocates of even hier taxes on the rich [these are not just hier taxers; they are also anti-givers] compared to the givers;

and in the second set of types -- b1 and b2 -- wealthy Brit and American advocates of greed ['the virtue of selfishness', Ayn Rand], among whom we seem to find an inordinate proportion of law-scholars of libertarian ideological stance [Volokh Conspiracy blog, especially the Ayn Rand stream of libertarianism -- for which the fundamentalist Christian response may be found in Gary North's exegesis of economics texts he's found in the Good Book, a work of several volumes].

I sometimes have the eerie feeling about the difference between givers and greeders in terms of old rich and new rich [les nouveaux riches], but that doesn't pass even my own ad hoc cursory reflection in regard to testing the notion as a hypothesis.  It's the anti-givers hier-taxers, among the American Super-Rich [ASRs], that intrigue me.   What's the motive?   Why! they're just investors and financiers, so of course their motive is more money, at least in significant part.  or perhaps they are driven by the vision of riotous anarchy in the streets that coud produce a degenerating societal condition as in Greece and France, a think-aheader's nitemare to which the super-rich are reacting these days, a vision perhaps loathesomely ugly to them.  A gross violation of their societal aesthetic.   "Tax us, Baby!" say these Spiritual Heroics in Biz chaps. 

The revolution.  It's more than a rhetorical inflationary term deployed mostly in advertizing and entertainment, and an occasional good novel or movie.

England needs reformational action by Christians together communally and astutely, first of all among students of university age --  where nearly everyone has a stake when study is a key to future earnings / financial income / supporting oneself and family.  A hi-level interest group of student-political research for  the explicit purpose of advancing an inter-university Christian student group in its campus political positioning and occasional action -- woud this be an all-party group?, ready for cohesion and communal self-protection of its membership in cases of campus takeovers by students of various stripes and proclivities.  But reformationals in England are getting older, not reproducing intellectually at the same rate as the last great wave of Dooyeweerd-interested students crested and, since, seems to have flattened out in Britain.

At the same time, England needs a ChristainFaith-motivated young-worker movement, perhaps the most appropriate seed-bed for the future rise of a Christian Labour Association of England (CLAE)  open to all, perhaps in the construction industry first.  But for me to say that is perhaps  just the o'erweening of a foreigner.  Or some such thing.  

Student politics in England needs to be opened to create a space from which some students may generate a different response to the tax-avoidance trend among the ASRs, a different response however minoritarian; a space in which also ostensible protest may be positioned against the protests opposed to the ASRs by UK Uncut as such, opposed that is to both  the phenom of greedmeisters-taxavoiders busy avoiding their taxes and the counter-phenom of cuts-opposers demonizing bad billionaires in tax avoidance.  And taking into account the important fact that some greedmeisters don't avoid paying the taxes stipulated as due by govt, taxes to be paid-out by the corporations controlled by each said greedmeister.  The reformationally-minded university students shoud be publically self-identifying together among purveyors of competing offers made in the marketplace of ideas in the university public square, not leave an empty space against the sky, not sink into avoidance of a deeper sort.

The Christian-inspired task of reformational thawt and action in labour relations in England and all Britain shoud be on the opening agenda of reformationals in this coming year of 2k11.

Students, young workers in the trades, consumers, discipline-specific professionals.  Steve probably asks himself everyday how better to reach these four fields, reach out media-appropriately in each of them, these fields of communication, better for the coming of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, all of life redeemed and signposted by our witness today, across the entire next decade.  In each of these communcations niches, how far developed will our reformational large-audience media be in 2k20? -- we shoud wonder about such questions and shoud strategize among the possible answers to achieve together the best we can in the decade ahead.

-- EconoMix

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