The Washington deal that restarts American governance for three months is one small episode in the history of a crazed system of High Finance that is steadily destroying the economies of the trans-Atlantic nations. At the heart of the crisis is taxation based on a brew of philosophical schizophrenia,social divisiveness and political deception. Is it time to terminate the delusions in favour of sanity, or should we allow the toxic cocktail to continue bubbling away?
To describe the public’s finances as a routinized form of torture sounds like hyperbole, doesn’t it? It isn’t! We really are subjected to techniques beloved by those who water-board their victims into compliance. I refer to governments that are torn between two irreconcilable tendencies.
On the one hand, the agents of power now have an overriding obligation to preserve the privileges of rent-seekers. While publicly asserting their wish to create jobs, expand investment and nurture the public’s welfare, politicians skew their policies to drive up the value of land-based assets – which undermines their declared objectives. At the same time, they try to ameliorate the consequences by inventing yet more taxes that drive the social divisions ever deeper. Current actions in the UK display the incoherence of taxes that are throttling economic activity throughout the world.
Britain’s Coalition government is channelling a huge amount of taxpayers’ money in trying to boost the construction of houses. Declared aim: help first-time buyers. Reality-check: tax-funded subsidies,reinforced by government guarantees to protect banks against falling prices, are driving up house prices. Far from ironing out crinckles in the property market, the government is jump-starting the next boom/bust cycle. This deepens the social divisions, locks people deeper into mortgaged lives,while enriching the property owners who can capture this round of income redistribution.
Then, to try and compensate for the government-sponsored discrimination, politicians invent on-the-hoof taxes like the one proposed by Alan Milburn, the Coalition’s adviser on social mobility. He suggests that asset-rich pensioners – the baby boomers who bought homes back in the 1960s – should pay higher taxes to help the new generation. This spat inside the British government stems from the realisation that middle-class children are not likely to enjoy the same living standards as their parents.
Dividing Parents from Children
The inter-generational crisis originates in the maniacal policies of government. And yet, politicians studiously ignore causes and agonise over ways to temper the consequences. So now the Labour opposition is proposing to deal with the “personal debt crisis” by taxing the pay-day loan financiers who are making fortunes out of cash-strapped families. Firms like Wonga are threatened with a levy applied to profits to raise extra funds to put back into the pockets of struggling low-income workers.
And so the narcotic of debt-driven finance continues to drive economies into ever-decreasing circles, garrotting the value-adders in favour of the rent-seekers. Politicians studiously ignore ways to wean people off the toxic brew of taxes that destroy lives for the sake of preserving a culture of greed that inflicts torment on everyone.
In Washington, the federal government’s debt ceiling has now been raised yet again, while deferring the crisis over budget policies until the New Year. No cold turkey for the patrician politicians who stalk the corridors of power. They remain high on the power to delude…to delude themselves and the rest of us. When will We, The People take control?