Life is hard and then you die – at least for some. I’ve never begrudged my ‘tax dollar’ as I’m dumb enough not to want wealth in money. I rather like the idea of tax as a kind of insurance for those who can’t make a living, to prevent hard times and to invest to make capital we can all share and develop. I probably agree with redistributive taxation, though I hate free-riders. I’d probably go for a form of potlatch-jubilee.
But who do we pay tax to?
Currently, millionaire households control 40% of all wealth. This is on the up as everywhere faces ‘cuts’. As a millionaire you don’t have to work, though some do.
In the UK, my taxes have generally built hospitals, schools, paid cops and so on – no doubt some State-sponsored criminal poor too. I tend to regard this stuff as wealth. I use some of the services and benefit from the insurance factor they offer.
I wonder what structures and services the private sector has built and that I use or am insured by? I note they have never come free and are never there whether I am flush or short. Have I paid substantially more or less for these products, capacities and so on than I have for public sector stuff? I doubt I’ve paid less.
Is 40% of the world’s wealth properly in the hands of so few? Have I been paying ‘tax’ to create this situation in the sense of ‘no representation, no taxes’? I pay Microsoft for stuff I can teach my students to program.
I despise notions of State Capitalism, but wonder what real State I live in and who I’m paying taxes to. I’m familiar with rhetoric of ‘giant transnational capitalism’ – once thinking we gave up to that for a better life than central control, especially of the sort you can’t vote for or had to vote for. I’m no democrat either, as it’s obvious people are swayed well below any rational, even conscious level.
I deeply suspect now, that the rich are using means of control that are evil tax collectors. This is because we could be doing so much better in organisation to create lives we want with routinised control and decision-making that would not involve their hedonist and libidinal economics. Technology is key in this, not fool notions of human nature.