Pavlos (pavlos) wrote,

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Politics for the day

If it's OK for individuals to get their healthcare and pensions funded through the magic of the stock market, why doesn't the government abolish taxation, make a massive stock market investment, and pay for public services from the dividends?

This is obviously intended as reductio ad absurdum, but I don't know just how absurd it is. It seems at least conceivable from the point of view of making revenue for the government.

Of course, Capitalists everywhere abhor large government shareholding for some reason. But there seems to be no objection to gigantic investment funds from a market health point of view. You only hear the irrational opinion that they should benefit private shareholders.

If this "absurd" scheme were implemented, a large amount of subsidy that's currently taken from the population and given to industry (taxes paying for arms and research) would cease. Also, the government would extract revenue directly from business, whereas firms would find it hard to reduce salaries to compensate for the abolition of taxation. No wonder nobody ever suggests such things!

I feel more and more that in today's political and economic ethos the only concept that's adequately respected and protected is property. Environmental, labour, competitive, national, and scientific rights all give way not just to the preservation but to the creation of property. So, maybe it's necessary to use property as a vehicle to record and guarantee collective rights. Maybe the idea is not entirely absurd after all.



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