Monday, 21 September 2009

Taxing Our Psychic Income

Psychic income is the satisfaction that derives not from monetary income but from possession or ownership or the exercise of an activity that gives pleasure comparable, indeed equivalent, to a given amount of money. In deciding what work to undertake for what wage people will take into account that work's psychic income. The response to "What are you going to do when you leave school?" "I'm going to be famous, Miss" is neither irrational nor unresponsive to economic understanding.

The move by the regime to tax psychic income, beginning with housing, steps into unknown territory. It raises the questions of detecting and measuring the capacity to enjoy; the criteria for determing that which is enjoyable; the measurement of enjoyment. Should we all be socially engineered to enjoy things that are in large supply? What penlties should be applied to the contrary, the dissenters who persist in liking other, untaxed, stuff. Should they not be rewarded for stubbornly consuming that which nobody else enjoys?

Well, we are, of course. A tutored aesthetic (doubtless the product of a privileged education that should be taxed regardless of any income it yields) facilitates the consumption of positional goods undervalued by the hoi polloi, who have unfortunately actualy been taught to wish to consume that which is in ready supply.

Angels, by definition, inhabit beautiful mansions. But in truth we have beggared ourselves buying lovely houses no one wanted to levels far below official poverty lines that yield such large government subvention. We never took the state dole but we demand a higher tax threshold in consideration.

If we are to tax beauty then why not virtue? Faith, Hope, and Charity?

Self satisfaction and self righteousness levies on the Brown regime would repay the public debt.

Those who derive satisfaction from 'doing good' can pay for it, or leave the rest of us alone.