Friday 24 June 2011

The Games Afoot

In a sense this is a retrospective looking at old themes. I have posted before on the subject of Nassim Taleb and his “Black Swan” thesis. Briefly, this says there are unexpected happenings out there waiting to happen and will despite the fact that we cannot accept that they exist. My view has been that there are potentially many of them.

The Market Oracle has a long article by someone who shares that view. It is about the USA and says, as I have done, that there are a whole flock of them out there.

As for Europe we have governments and central bankers frantically telling is not to panic, not to panic and hoping to persuade the media to go along with them. If the same people had realized the potential problems much earlier on we might not be faced with bleak possibilities or probabilities.

As our tax revenues remain in serious shortfall and are likely to do despite all the attempts made to bridge the gap we are going to be faced with some ugly and unwelcome choices. As our wealth becomes concentrated into fewer hands and is exported to free it from taxation increasingly we can only tax what cannot be moved abroad.

As my preferences is for low taxes the loss of this potential means that I and all the others who are stuck with the UK system are paying heavier and heavier rates with a disproportionate burden falling on the poorer.

So around Whitehall there have been quite mutterings in some corners about taxing property in one form or another. The threat of a Mansion Tax is raised again. As our elite has gone a bundle on property and has imported all sorts of others to prop up the market on a basis of relatively low taxes and obligations the notion frightens them out of our wits.

But some sort of radical revision may become necessary. The trouble is that it will take another major crisis, as above, to make them face up to the inevitable. Also, it will be far from popular, rather like a Poll Tax with all the trimmings, even if the levels and take is geared to hurt the poorest least.

On Thursday 24 September 2009 I had a good deal to say about this:

This was a long post following a much briefer comment two days before on the 22nd about Vince Cable and his “Mansion Tax”.

The subject was revisited on Wednesday 31 March 2010 in “Death, Taxes and Deceits”, but this article was related to the sticky question of how to pay for all the services etc. needed for the aged. Essentially, the only way to pay was going to be taking the cost from the properties one way or another:

To put it into rugger terms, Cameron is the scrum half playing behind a badly beaten pack with a butter fingered fly half and a line of three’s that are too flat and persistently getting offside, too often right in front of their own posts. The full back does not know how to tackle and is averse to physical contact.

The referee, supplied by the EU, seems to working to another rule book and the opposition knows every trick in the book. Is Cameron up to the job? Can he save the team by his inspiration and dogged fighting spirit? Or will he feign injury, take an early bath and head for the bar?

There’s a breathless hush in the close tonight………..

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