Robin-Hood-Style Politics -Tax the Rich to feed the Poor

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28 Dec 2012 11:26 by eos_ian Star rating in Valencia. 498 posts Send private message

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Leaders of Spain's major unions have written to the country's president with 'Robin Hood-style' ideas as to how to end the recession. Cándido Méndez and Ignacio Fernández Toxo, heads of the UGT and CCOO respectively, have told head of State Mariano Rajoy that extra taxes should be placed on ultra-high net-worth residents and that multi-billion-euro businesses should not be entitled to a deduction on company tax, or Impuesto sobre Sociedades.

Any views on this one?.....Maybe that would encourage even more money to leave Spain instead of keeing it within the economy.

 

Go to article on EOS NEWS BLOG


This message was last edited by eos_ian on 28/12/2012.

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28 Dec 2012 14:48 by tamaraessex Star rating in Colmenar, Malaga. 508 posts Send private message

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 I'm not sure it's fair to describe this as "Robin Hood politics".  Robin Hood STOLE from the rich.  Fair taxation is not theft!  It is perfectly reasonable, in my opinion, to have a graduated taxation system whereby the excceptionally rich pay a slightly higher percetage rate of tax.  It is still only a percentage of their wealth.  And for the biggest (richest) businesses to pay a lower rate of corporation tax is patently ridiculous.  This is a country that needs all the tax it can get to help its population.  The rich should, of course, be paying their fair share instead of paying it to rich accountants in order to avoid (and indeed evade) taxes.



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28 Dec 2012 18:06 by eos_ian Star rating in Valencia. 498 posts Send private message

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He stole for a good reason, so I wouldn't look at it from a negative position or a criticism of the inciative. Personally I feel taxes should be fair and % guided but Spain must also be careful that large companies don't start to shift funds elsewhere and individuals don't start to take there fortunes to tax havens defeating the enitire object of the iniciative as has happended in many countries in the past including the UK. These large multi-billion-euros companies with tax benefits also play a strong political role in terms of employment within the country so it isn't as simple as it looks. But agreed the tax sytem should be fair and is clearly not theft. But the issue here is not about restructuring the current tax system but about creating an "extra tax" just for those who are wealthy, over and above the standard wealth tax or company tax they are already paying. It seems an obvious iniciative at this moment in time but I don't think it will necessarily be a long term solution. Spain needs to stimulate employment and these inciatives have proven in the past to drive business elsewhere and slow down employment opportunities.

 




This message was last edited by eos_ian on 28/12/2012.

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29 Dec 2012 09:00 by Finisterre Star rating. 26 posts Send private message

Well said Tamara.

It seems like a contradiction to say that taxes should be fair but that we can't tax rich individuals more (to make society fairer, not as a punitive measure) because they might just withdraw. Why should large companies be able to dictate the terms on which they pay tax when individuals cannot? Part of the reason there was a worldwide crisis is precisely because large corporations were allowed to basically escape all regulation (and most taxes) and, since they're run by greedy humans rather than omniscient supermen, utterly screwed the West's economies. Our pathetic politicians were, sadly, blinded by money and failed to rein in their excesses, and are now blaming the ordinary people for 'living beyond their means', as if most of us ever had a say!

In any case, apart from the obvious injustice of allowing the rich to threaten to ruin livelihoods and thus set themselves above the rule of law and democracy, I'm not sure the withdrawal of high net-worth individuals would actually damage the country so much. One of the worst things to befall a country, worse than relative if not absolute poverty, is extreme inequality, as has happened in Russia and increasingly in Britain, certainly in London. Inequality tears apart the fabric of society. Have Londoners really benefited from the influx of super-wealthy people buying up property at obscene prices and making everything more expensive? I think we're better off without that kind of nonsense.

 





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29 Dec 2012 09:14 by tamaraessex Star rating in Colmenar, Malaga. 508 posts Send private message

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Exactly right Finisterre. Though I'm never wholly convinced that these rich people or rich companies actually WOULD desert the country. I think it's one of those myths they put about to frighten the politicians. Yes of course a few might go but the majority will stay put. Look at Branson, Sugar, other business tycoons ..... They aren't going anywhere. And in the UK the people have even shamed Starbucks into paying some corporation twx.

I want to get properly settled here in 2013 and start paying my taxes. This country needs every penny they can get. My latest blogpost shows I've been getting far more from the Spanish government than I deserve - I need to start paying them back!

http://tamaraessexspanishblog.wordpress.com/. "Thank You, Spanish Government"

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29 Dec 2012 10:55 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

 
Robin Hood was a myth, just like any concept of 'fair' in relation to paying taxes. 
 
What is fair to one is not to another..
 
(If it's fair for a person to pay more in taxes because they earn or possess more wealth, then why not apply that to the whole of life,  air tickets, the price they pay for a house,  a pint in their local, how much they can be paid for the same job,   etc)
Happy New Year.

 





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29 Dec 2012 11:03 by smugfk Star rating. 16 posts Send private message

OMG WTF, let the proles rise up, chop the heads off anyone who has more than them and put them on pikes for all to see the error of their ways. Then let the masses fend for themselves and see where that gets them. In my vast experience, it is usually the ones who are extolling their own virtues who have the most to hide.





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29 Dec 2012 13:12 by Rossetti Star rating in Oxford and Zurich. 124 posts Send private message

Tamaraessex,

there are people being chased away by higher tax rates. Here in Valbonne many of my co-workers are leaving or planning to leave in 2013 if the higher rates of tax (75%) are passed by the CC. Much of our high pay comes from monies we receive from patents realised from our many years of R&D in science and engineering - skills that are easily transpoted across the world. I for one am leaving and relocating to Sotogrande for 12-months before going back home after 30-years working in France.

As for Sir Richard and Lord Sugar - how much tax did they pay last year? How much time did they spend in the UK in a 12-month period? Not very good examples of UK citizens that pay their full tax on WW earnings.

Rossetti





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29 Dec 2012 13:31 by marcbernard Star rating in Marina Alta; Alicant.... 253 posts Send private message

The basic problem seems to be that international conglomerates can (and do) transfer their profits into a low tax state in a way which whilst  unpalatable is not (currently) illegal. This leaves the economy of "manufacture" short of many a bob.

The solution seems to me to be taxing all internationals, and maybe other companies also, on the basis of their turnover in the country of source of that turnover. This would be different from (and additional to) VAT since no output tax would be involved. The rate of Turnover tax would of course be substantially lower than CT.

 





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29 Dec 2012 20:26 by Finisterre Star rating. 26 posts Send private message

People who are leaving countries because of high tax rates should have a financial penalty imposed on them, in my opinion, with the amount depending on how long they've lived there and how much they've benefited from infrastructure provided by government or from exploitative practices such as tax avoidance or union-busting.

They shouldn't be prevented from leaving, but they should have to make some contribution to the countries that have nurtured them and whose public services - transport, education, health, law enforcement, and on and on - have allowed them to make all this money.

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Hi johnzx

  • What is fair to one is not to another..
  • (If it's fair for a person to pay more in taxes because they earn or possess more wealth, then why not apply that to the whole of life,  air tickets, the price they pay for a house,  a pint in their local, how much they can be paid for the same job,   etc) 

With respect, that's not what I understand by the word 'fair'. If a given action is unfair to one person, it's not fair!

Regarding your suggestion that people who are taxed more might be charged more for other services, no-one is suggesting that, probably because it doesn't make much sense. Taxes go to the government; air fares, the cost of a pint etc go to private companies. The point is that it's objectively unfair for some people to receive millions while others are evicted from their houses along with their children. This isn't about punishing people for being rich, it's about creating a society where we look after each other and no-one is allowed to starve. Does that sound unfair to you?

Hi smugfk

  • OMG WTF, let the proles rise up, chop the heads off anyone who has more than them and put them on pikes for all to see the error of their ways.

That's not really what anyone's said though, is it. Is it possible that you're misrepresenting our arguments to the point of absurdity because you don't have a substantive response?

And incidentally, some food for thought. It's often said that the Right are all about prjection and your post is a fine example of this. You come up with violent fantasies, but who is ACTUALLY, in reality, suffering here? Are the rich being attacked? No, but the poor are going hungry and being evicted and suffering from higher crime rates and all the attendant misery. And those who protest about it are attacked even more directly, by police batons and tear gas and so on. So it doesn't really behove the rich to play the victims here. The suffering caused by inequality is real, unlike your exaggerrated fantasy.

 

 





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29 Dec 2012 20:45 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

In my light-hearted comment   “If it's fair for a person to pay more in taxes because they earn or possess more wealth, then why not apply that to the whole of life,  air tickets, the price they pay for a house,  a pint in their local, how much they can be paid for the same job,   etc” clearly any additional charge would go to the Government.
 
But the point I was making, light-heartedly, was that if it right to take money from a person who earns / has more, than another, then why not apply the same principle to everything that person does ?





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29 Dec 2012 21:18 by Finisterre Star rating. 26 posts Send private message

It might help to look at the point of the exercise. The point is not to take money from people, that's just the means to an end. The end is to make things more fair. That end is achieved by graduated taxation. So it doesn't follow that you would take money from people other than in taxes. That's kind of what I've meant when I've said that the point isn't to punish anyone. It's to make the country a better place to live.





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29 Dec 2012 21:46 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

So it doesn't follow that you would take money from people other than in taxes.

 

 

So why is it fair to take more money from some (probably those who take the least from the public pot) if you call it graduated taxation,  instead of everyone paying the same.   Like the cinema ticket !

 





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29 Dec 2012 21:54 by tamaraessex Star rating in Colmenar, Malaga. 508 posts Send private message

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There's always been separation between pricing goods, which is a market-driven exercise and which in almost all cultures is based on the value/price of the thing, not the level of assets of the purchaser, and on the other hand taxation, which is a contributory system organised to be the fairest possible way of funding necessary infrastructure and redistribution. Contributions are not in return for a fixed item and can therefore be levied at different rates according to ability to pay. It would, of course, be iniquitous for a newspaper or a pint to cost more for one person than another.

Where differential costings COULD work, bringing the two systems together, is in stepped taxation on (for example) plane fares. I speak as someone who would have to pay significantly more if this were introduced, but I do think it is a really sensible way of hitting frequent flyers. No government levy on any individual's first return flight in a tax-year, moderate tax on their second, higher on their third, and punitive on the fourth upwards. This would primarily hit business users (forming another type of corporation tax) and second home-owners, who as far as I can tell are not hit in any other way.

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29 Dec 2012 21:58 by Finisterre Star rating. 26 posts Send private message

For the reason I stated earlier: to make society a better place to live.

When you have people with three or four homes while others don't have a roof over their heads, you don't live in a happy place. When people know that they won't starve and they will be looked after when they get old or sick, society benefits.

And it's not true that those with the most money take the least from the public pot. Those who employ people on less than the living wage cost the government billions in top-up benefits. Those who evade tax cost the government money. Those who earn their money from government contracts often also get government subsidies. Etc.





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29 Dec 2012 22:14 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Ok let make it completely fair. All those who have well-paid jobs stop working, and all those with a load of money loose it.

OK now who pays the bills ?

Or would that mean the rich guys are now being unfair !





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29 Dec 2012 22:17 by Finisterre Star rating. 26 posts Send private message

As I said to whatshisname earlier: posting absurdities merely suggests that you have nothing substantive to counter my argument with.

 





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30 Dec 2012 08:48 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Fin,

                     hate it if I deflate yout ego,    but like probably many  others here I have no interest in countering your comment,   I was just making a comment of my own.





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30 Dec 2012 11:45 by smugfk Star rating. 16 posts Send private message

Hey Fin old chap, I like your style!

Do you model yourself on Nick Clegg by any chance?

Keep up the good work.

Tallyho





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