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Thomas Piketty gets the Theodore Dalrymple treatment

In Britain, as in other countries, more than a quarter of the income tax is paid by 1 per cent of the population. But this is not enough for the Professor, irrespective of whether increasing the rate would increase the take (the purpose of tax being primarily symbolic). He would like capital to be taxed too, from above the not very high limit of $900,000. This would increase both equality and efficiency, according to the Professor, in so far as the money raised would then be redistributed and invested productively by the philosopher-kings of whom the professor is so notable an example.

All this is to be done in the name of what Piketty calls solidarity. ‘If Europe wants to restore solidarity with its citizens it must show concrete evidence that it is capable of establishing cooperation’: that is, it must raise taxes on the prosperous. Overlooking the question of what Europe actually is, or how it is to be defined (I suspect that the Professor thinks it is not continent or a civilisation, but a bureaucracy), this seems to me the kind of solidarity that only someone suffering from autism could dream up, solidarity equalling taxation administered by politicians, bureaucrats and intellectual advisers.

Theodore Dalrymple.

7 comments to Thomas Piketty gets the Theodore Dalrymple treatment

  • Rob

    That $900,000 figure would soon come a’ tumblin down, as wealth taxes destroy the value of the wealth they are taxing. I suspect a lot of people who casually thought “Oh well, doesn’t affect me, sounds like a good idea” might have a different view when the threshold drops to below the value of their house.

    Ah, but surely stout English home-owners wouldn’t be targeted? Why on earth should someone owning a 3-bed semi worth £1m be wealth taxed when there are people out there with £100,000 in savings accounts? The world has gone mad!

  • George Atkisson

    Just tell Piketty and his ilk that this will require ending ALL government funding to universities AND their students in order to give it to the more deserving poor and immigrants. Because fairness. Then check for his response.

  • John B

    ‘… it is capable of establishing cooperation…’

    As the history of wealth redistribution has shown on every occasion, cooperation is ‘established’ by force.

  • Sam

    A tax on $900K worth of wealth, huh? That’s a little more than Pikkety and his friends have. Funny, that.

  • I actually agree that the powerful need to do more to realize what they have, and to demonstrate solidarity with their citizens, and whatnot.

    How will “Increasing the amount of the economy controlled by the same organization that controls the police and army” going to help that?

  • george weinberg

    There’s no property tax in the UK?

  • Paul Marks

    Once France produced the Say family and Bastiat

    Now it is the land of the Collectivist charlatans such as Thomas Piketty.

    This is the age we live in – not just in France, in the Western world in general.

    Once an “intellectual” was mentally superior to the average person – wiser, someone one should listen to.

    Now an “intellectual” is someone who used a mist of high sounding words to cover demented absurdity.

    Such as see crushing tax rates – and demanding that they be INCREASED. The “intellectual” is now INFERIOR to the average person – the “intellectual elite” are both insane and malevolent. And yet the control the education system, the media (including the entertainment media) and so much more.

    But there is one more horrible twist….

    Rather than resist ever higher taxes (both on individuals and business enterprises – many rich individuals and many large corporations BACK this movement.

    Look at the United States – especially such places as New York City and the State of California – Big Business and rich individuals are the heart of the ever-higher-taxes movement, ever higher taxes on rich individuals and large business enterprises – i.e. ever higher taxes on THEMSELVES.

    An insane ideology – that is so engrained in the education system (and the mainstream media) that its own targets SUPPORT it, finance it (bankroll it), and scream “racist” “white supremacist” and other utterly irrelevant things at anyone who questions the wisdom of ever higher taxes and ever more government spending and regulations.

    Perhaps government spending is too high?


    Perhaps tax rates should be lower?


    And the person screaming “racist” or “white supremacist” will be a millionaire (or a billionaire) or will be a senior manager in a major Corporation. And will have had a very expensive education.

    It is all rather odd.