Monday, 23 March 2009

Private Lives and the Predatory State

A modest state income is regarded as a right by millions in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately it is paid for out of the modest private incomes of most of the rest of the working population. Large corporations and the very rich do not suffer the severe effects of the forcible transfer of wealth (all of it earned but some of it classified as unearned because it comes from invested savings and inheritance) suffered by families on modest private incomes. Remove more than 40% from a modest private income and the family supported by it will stagger under the burden as their standard of living is degraded.

None would refuse to assist those in temporary need. For many of all our cultures it is a moral or religious obligation. But enshrining a right to access the wealth of others regardless of effort, and regardless of effect on the donors, is not a logical extension of that concession at all. Our society is now polarized between those who are being forced to pay and those who assert a right to support. The lines are clearly drawn.

The protection of the modest private incomes of most of us against this assault upon our standards of living, our families and our choices of life style (in, at the least, education, health, housing, and provision against misfortune) must be the priority. This means ending inheritance tax for ordinary families; reducing income tax for ordinary wage-earners; cutting back national insurance payments; cutting duties on fuel and house transactions; removing VAT from building and repair works...

Certainly this will mean the lowering of levels of social provision: a greater emphasis on public health and on the basic health services most widely required; a schools system that is just that, not a costly provision of care that is within the remit of the family; a concentration of local authority provision on services required by the whole community, not services concentrated on client groups... The lists can be extended, the roll-back of state intrusion a longterm, complex task.

And paying down the terrifying levels of public debt New Labour has created in its dozen years of looting will have to be undertaken by everyone, not just those of modest private means, working in the private sector.

9 comments:

Sackerson said...

Latest Mises article says the State should be cut back to 15% of GDP. How? Whenever you plan to get from here to there, there's going to be a huge disruption in between, full of the unpleasant unexpected.

it's either banned or compulsory said...

Abandon the mad scam that is Working Tax Credits. This massivly expensive scheme steals money from the poor that they apply to get back as a refund which is frequently wrong. Its' secondary purpose is to create employment for not very talented people, just like residents parking permits and the enforcement thereof.

Sack the lot.

Cancel all state funding to charities, fake or otherwise. The public can decide who is worth supporting and who is not.

Anonymous said...

None of this will happen.

Mrs. Thatcher tried valiantly, for a number of years, to roll back Leviathan.

It defeated her, and God knows, there's nobody around now with even a tithe of her determination and will-power.

The Boy Dave will be carried away in the stream like all the rest of them.

Nothing less than an apocalyptic failure will push back the boundaries. And I am not seeking such; the results would be too unpredictable, and might include a Caliphate.

Elby the Beserk said...

Kill the Quangos. Has to be cheaper to put them all on the dole than to keep paying for them, even with some severance payments. Does anyone know what they do? Does anyone accept that they should continue, unelected and unnaccountable, they are an affront.

Start with the RDAs, and work downwards. £125 billion per annum saved.


My ex worked in the DWP for years. Brown ran the DWP from the Treasury. When he came up with Tax Credits (a benefit in all but name, but the word "benefit" makes Brown come out in a rash, good Presbyterian that he is), the main DWP offices in the big cities were given a presentation on it, for feedback and to let them know how they would impact their work.

Consensus view all round. This will be a disaster. Mostly for the simple reason the HMRC are genetically engineered to take money off you.

So, for the same reasons that Brown gets ill when he hears the word "benefits" (despite happily running a country in which about 1/3rd of the population receive them, HMRC lose it when they have to hand out money to people.

No, the folk at the DWP said - this wil be a disaster.

And lo, it was, and still is, and evermore will be so whilst they exist.

Complication. That's the name of Brown's game. See where it has got us.

hatfield girl said...

Well, I have read that now S, and that is a pretty stripped-down state. I wouldn't be very comfy in a country where there was nothing but external defence, internal order and the rule of law. Mind you we are in a state where none of those are on offer so perhaps I shouldn't be picky.

Still, in an advanced capitalist country I would hope for basic health care, education for all, etc., etc.

It's a political question really. Is there a state that redistributes, adjudges the allocation of resources, interferes in everyday life? Or is there a state where certain values, historically determined and honed-up by constant reconsideration, are givens and the state provides a benign environment for reinforcing those values? And otherwise empties the bins, cleans the streets, arrests the criminals, keeps out the baddies and gives a social hand through hard times. I'm happy to accept we've all come over touchy-feely if that is the consensus. But I am not happy that we have come over all what's yours is mine and what's mine in mine to determine.

hatfield girl said...

I've said my part and turned round on the Third Sector, Banned. It was called Third Sector is a Labour front organisaton. (or something like that; if I find it I'll point to it )but as I once said this blog is a box of chocs with the centres description missing).

I can't cope with the iniquities of Working Tax Credits, I rely on Frank Field for condemning the Brown-constructed inefficiencies and moral hazards of the welfare state. And he has a voice big enough to be heard.

hatfield girl said...

Quangos are like some disgusting mould that grows along in the dark and damp of New Labour's vile shadow aren't they? With that perfect 25% evilmoisture. They have got everywhere and smell of poisonous mushrooms.

Killing them is very difficult and expensive Elby. You have to rip out all wood work including structural beams, hammer off plaster for metres around the last identified infestation, drill and spray the masonry with chemicals that require absenting the site for goodness knows how long, and ensure that all gutters, downpipes, ventilation grilles, and subfloors are clear and free to circulate air and carry water securely. It's even more expensive if you would like the reinstatement of the structure to conform to the quality of the rest of the building.

It can take ages and you need good, skilled workpeople as well. One of the most expensive things is the safe and proper disposal of a quango and its detritus. They have spores, as you know, that drift and settle on sound parts of the structure and adjacent buildings so you can't just toss them onto a giant bonfire in the garden.

Gordon said...

Ditch PAYE - too many people who aren't interested in politics don't worry that much about tax because it's money they never see anyway, something which astounds me. If they made everyone write a cheque every month or so, or log onto a government website and pay on a debit card then we'd soon see taxes plummetting.

hatfield girl said...

Gordon, I was concerned by your name; I know Angels has one reader in Kirkcaldy.

But ditching Paye reassures. When I first went to work I couldn't believe how much of the tiny wage I earned was removed before I even got the money. It's got to stop. There has to be a higher level of consent and a wider consensus on what the state is supposed to do.