Je višanje davkov bogatim prava rešitev za neenakost?

Aleš Praprotnik

L. Randall Wray se v zanj značilnem cinično zabavnem slogu v zadnjem članku sprašuje, ali je progresivno višanje davkov (predvsem seveda premožnemu 1 %) pravo zdravilo za kronično povečevanje neenakosti, katere pojav je v javne debate spravila knjiga Thomasa Pikettyja. Wray misli, da ne. Po njegovem mnenju ima redistribucija slabe stranske učinke in ni učinkovita, je draga, poleg tega pa naj bi prav tako delila ljudi.

Premožnim je težko vzeti, ko je denar enkrat v njihovih žepih, poleg tega vseh ne gre metati v isti koš – nekateri trdo delajo za svoje bogastvo, medtem ko ga drugi prispletkarijo in prigoljufajo. Poleg tega si bogati v ZDA lahko prek kongresa kupujejo davčne odpustke. Boljšo rešitev zato vidi v predistribuciji – v večjem številu delovnih mest, večjih dohodkih in v boljših delovnih pogojih večine ljudi, prav tako pa seveda v krepkih kaznih za prevarantske finančnike. Wray seveda izhaja iz smeri sodobne monetarne teorije (modern monetary theory), ki ugotavlja, da ima monetarno suverena država na voljo dovolj sredstev, da neizrabljene vire (surovin, delovne sile …) usmeri v nekaj produktivnega in koristnega za vse.

»Virtually every liberal I know wants to raise taxes on the rich to pay for programs to benefit the poor. They see these taxes as necessary to reduce income inequality. …

I think that real punishment would do one heck of a lot more to reduce income inequality than taxes will ever do. Put a thousand of Wall Street’s “finest” behind bars.

Put such fear into our Bankster Class that before they try to push some new fancy derivative deal on a pension fund, they’ll imagine what it would be like waking up in a cell with a tattooed roomie named Bubba.

Trying to punish them with taxes is a fool’s errand. They’ll just raise their compensation package and buy tax exemptions from Congress.

And, as we know, Uncle Sam doesn’t need any stinking taxes to “pay for” jobs and income and healthcare and decent retirements for the poor. If you have unemployed resources, free lunches abound! Just put the resources to work, and you’ve got Bernstein’s wish list filled.

Forget taxes for redistribution. It will not work. It is a bad meme—especially in America. Once you let the greedy rich get their riches, trying to take them away is harder than prying guns out of the “cold dead hands” of NRA members.

Every time a progressive proposes a tax hike on the rich to pay for welfare, the Koch brothers giggle in gleeful delight. It is the surest way to prevent any policies that would help the poor. Tying tax hikes to sensible policy plays right into the greedy hands of the Conservatives and Regressives.

Did you ever hear a One-Percenter ask for a tax hike to bail out Wall Street? Come on, they are not that stupid.

What I’ve long argued is that we need “predistribution”, not “redistribution”.

Now, I know many will question my progressive credentials after that argument. But none other than Rick Wolff has just penned the same argument. Rick’s progressive credentials are beyond question. He’s been beating the inequality drum since long before Piketty brought it to the attention of our nation’s liberal thought leaders a few months ago.

Let me quote from his powerful piece, Better than Redistributing Income:

‘Discussions of Piketty’s work show considerable support for redistribution. Yet history has shown both its friends and foes that redistribution has at least three negative aspects. First, redistribution mechanisms rarely last. Once established, progressive tax rates, social securities, safety nets, minimum wages, welfare states, and all the other mechanisms of redistribution can be and usually are undermined. The last 40 years, and especially the aftermath of the global crisis in 2008, starkly illustrate the undoing of redistribution.

Second, redistribution is socially divisive, often extremely. When taxes not only pay (quid pro quo) for government services rendered, but also serve to redistribute income, opposition usually grows. Some taxpayers suspect they pay more and get less in public services than others. Deteriorating economic conditions that lessen capacities to pay taxes intensify resistance. That often turns into opposition to income redistribution in principle. Lower-income people get demonized as lazy welfare-dependents. Racist and anti-immigrant oppositions get drawn into the mix, and so on. Meanwhile, advocates of redistribution make ethical appeals and/or threaten that without income redistribution, deepening income inequalities endanger capitalism and the social status quo.  

Third, redistribution is costly.  Taxing, spending and regulating require large government bureaucracies funded by tax revenues. Opposition to taxes easily extends into opposition to bureaucracies like the IRS. Those bureaucracies usually intrude on privacy and quickly become objects of influence peddling, bribery, and abuse. Exposés of the latter provide further fuel to redistribution’s opponents.’

Yep, let’s see: Unsustainable, divisive, and inefficient. Rick’s “predistribution” is worker’s co-ops. I’d add jobs for all.

Of course, I do not agree with Rick on this “taxes pay for government services” notion—except for the case of state and local taxes.«

Verjetno bi se z mnogo zgornjimi argumenti strinjal tudi Ivo Boscarol, ki v intervjuju v zadnjem Nedelu pravi takole:

»… moji zaposleni vedo, da mora iti ob koncu meseca iz proizvodnje deset letal. Zaposlenih ne omejujem pri odmorih za kavo, z delovnim časom, z dopustom. Pravočasno dobijo regres, dodatek za malico in prevoz na delo, vedno tudi božičnico ali 14. plačo. Ampak delo moramo opraviti dobolj učinkovito, da lahko na koncu preživimo. Delavci si sami organizirajo delovno mesto, zanj skrbijo, da radi prihajajo na delo. Sindikatom zamerim, da se borijo za fiktivne pravice, ki jih delavci nimajo več. Morali bi se boriti za pogoje, s katerim bi dvignili gospodarstvo in bi delavcem omogočili, da si zagotovijo standard, kot si ga želijo. …

Razmerje med najnižjo in najvišjo plačo je 1:3,1 … Šestnajst zaposlenih ima višjo plačo kot jaz, ker imajo višjo izobrazbo ali drugačne delovne pogoje. … Dobiček delimo z zaposlenimi in vlagamo v razvoj … Če imate korekten odnos do zaposlenih, ne potrebujete sindikata. Vam povem, da ga ne potrebujete!« (Nedelo, 18. maj, str. 4, 5) 

One response

  1. Mogoče omemba davkov v ZDA res ni popularna, ampak inflacijsko se ne bodo mogli več dolgo financirati. Davke bodo morali pobrati tam kjer jih lahko ali pa bo prišlo do kolapsa države. In to mogoče prej, kot si predstavlja večina.

    Kar se pa nas tiče. Vse lepo okoli Pipistrela in z vsem spoštovanjem , ampak glede na velikost je to vseeno bližje večji obrtni delavnici kot resni industriji. Tudi se ne morem strinjati z demonizacijo sindikatov. Sam sem kot direktor imel opravka z več kot 2 tisoč delavci pa s sindikati ni bilo nobenih problemov. Je pa res, da mora biti dialog tesen, stalen, pošten in v ozračju zaupanja in dogovorjeno se mora spoštovati. Sindikat je ob nekem normalnem odnosu lahko zelo velik zaveznik managementa. Če se pa dogovorjenega ne spoštuje ali pa se rezerve vedno išče na račun delavcev, pa ni čudno, da se sindikati postavljajo na zadnje noge.

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