Avoiding the Issue. Sean Corrigan
An excerpt from a bigger Money Macro and Markets supplement written by Sean Corrigan.
In the wake of the so-called ‘Panama Papers’ furore, the push-button issue of the One Percent being found able – OH! THE HORROR! – to shield some of its wealth from the taxman, regardless of the jurisdiction in which its members have chosen to set up shop, has predictably called forth bad economics, dubious legal opinion, and strident political point-scoring in almost equal measure.
All of this has been carefully marshalled to serve the express purpose of exploiting our outrage and of suckering us into calling for the ever-eager Revenue Man to be given even more power over the livelihoods and liberties not just of the Music Hall villain ‘mega-rich’, but also of those of us hoi Polloi who have been inveigled into brandishing our torches and waving our pitchforks against the cast iron railings surrounding the mansions of the moustachiotwirling plutocrats whom we have been so readily prompted to revile.
So, in an attempt to redress the balance a little, let’s go right back to first principles and start with the shocking premise that what you earn honestly in free exchange is a sign that your efforts have added some quantum to the sum total of human happiness (or at least marginally reduced its burden of woe) – a contention which is proven simply by the transaction having taken place at all.
Let’s move to another radical concept: that what you so earn and what you have come to own is, in the first instance, yours and yours alone to dispose of as you see fit.
Next, let us imagine that We, the People, have agreed between ourselves that there are certain desirable activities which we (perhaps unimaginatively and usually at the cost of much efficiency) do not trust to the market mechanism – matters such as dispute resolution, the provision of security at home and at our borders, the coordination of large-scale projects, a smattering of welfare functions, etc. Accordingly, suppose we each undertake to surrender a part of those earnings to the care of the representatives whom we have chosen to do our will in the council chamber, solely in order to save ourselves the effort of attending each and every debate conducted therein.
It is vital to realise that this act of delegation in no way confers upon said representatives the right to act as if this progression were inverted; that they were the grantors and we the grantees. It is not theirs to insist that all our property is only held in fief from them, that our labour is indentured to them as narrowly as was that of any mediaeval serf, and that we should be pathetically grateful that they allow us to enjoy whatever remains of these only after they have disposed of the greater part of them in pursuit of THEIR chosen ends, in the satisfaction of THEIR particular prejudices, or in flattery of THEIR personal vanities.
Enticed or shocked by what you’ve read so far of Sean’s Money, Macro and Markets supplement? Download the rest of the document here for free. Just click here or on the image below.