The Queensland Greens posted a simple meme on Monday. It claims taxing billionaires and corporations will fill the cups of:
- lifelong free education and training
- affordable and sustainable housing
- mental and dental under Medicare
- climate action and clean energy exports, and
- income and job guarantee.
I commented on their Facebook post:
“Zero responsibility or care? Just self-rationalised theft?”
The Greens replied (around midnight):
“We might have different definitions of theft. Right now, 1 in 3 corporations – that make millions in profit – currently pay zero tax while workers on low incomes pay thousands. It’s time they pay their fair share and here’s how.”
They kindly included a link to their policy called “Tax the Billionaires“.
I thanked them for their reply, and agreed, yes, I prefer a more academic, less partisan definition of ‘theft’. Very few people hate the extremes of corporate exploitation, corruption & monopolisation.
But workers wages are unrelated to corporate profits. High profits, low wages are not automatically theft, not any more than if I drive a $3,000 car and my neighbour drives a $90,000 car – even if he’s my boss. Mandatory minimum wages in Australia are among the highest in the world, as is our average wealth – and it’s entirely coincidental the cost of living & houses is astronomical [sarcasm].
The word “fair” is a euphemism to make theft sound righteous, but which actually means nothing specific, allowing manipulation of the emotions & prejudices of innocent people.
I do my job for what I agreed to, and get it every week. Profits are only what’s left over after wages and other expenses, not what’s stolen from me or anyone else.
The false sense of entitlement to a neighbour’s property one hasn’t worked for after one has received everything one agreed to work for is called jealousy, envy, greed – and if you strategise how to take it by force, whether through gangs or government, that is objectively theft.
Freedom is the opportunity & invitation to improve one’s experience & expertise, & thereby, ability to increase one’s demands for pay. No one is immune to laws of supply & demand simply because they’re nice people, have a precious family & big mortgage, or equally bear the Image of God.
I completely agree the tax laws need to be nuked and started again from scratch. We’d debate on the policies best suited to promote human flourishing, but that doesn’t mean that isn’t my objective too. A falsely inflated sense of entitlement never helped anyone authentically flourish, let alone their neighbours & nation.
Flat tax rates make billionaires pay exponentially more in real terms, especially with a high tax free threshold — & without failing to compete with other nations to attract mass employers to our shores, which we currently complain about. They also reduce incentives to pursue tax minimising for billionaires.
Without getting further into the weeds on deductions, the Greens fail to demonstrate a cautious regard for the potential to vandalise the economy & cause suffering to the most economically vulnerable people by fiddling with tax incentives for businesses big & small.
Many mass employers have left Australia because we’re simply not a competitive economy, being dominated by voter greed. Politicians promise to rob the rich & give to the ‘poor voters’ in an immoral, cynical pursuit of political power, exploiting the biggest voter group.
Just because the majority in a democracy vote to take the rich people’s money off them and distribute it amongst themselves doesn’t make stealing moral, just legal.
Dave Pellowe is a Christian writer & commentator, founder of The Good Sauce, convener of the annual Australian Church And State Summit and host of Good Sauce's weekly The Church And State Show, also syndicated on ADH TV. Since 2016 Dave has undertaken the mission of arming Christians to influence culture through events from Perth to Auckland, videos, podcasts and articles published in multiple journals across Australia and New Zealand. [more]
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