April 01, 2016

What if all redistribution is paid by a special tax and shared out equally keeping redistribution profiteers away?

Sir, Marin Wolf discusses the utterly important issue of redistribution of income (and wealth) “The welfare state is a piggy bank for life” April 1.

Citing the Institute for Fiscal Studies Wolf writes: “in the course of adult life, only 7 per cent of individuals receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes”. That sounds as the society is very equal or that the redistribution is very inefficient/costly.

In Finland they are currently analyzing the possibility of a Universal Basic Income. That might not redistribute efficiently over lifetime needs but, by keeping redistribution profiteers away, it might still be a much better alternative than current procedures.

Wolf writes: “benefits paid to individuals, such as housing benefits, tax credits paid to those in work and pensions. In the UK, such benefits amount to a huge sum: 33 per cent of current spending (and 12.5 per cent of gross domestic product) in 2014-15.”

How much money does that represent per citizen? What if it was just paid out directly to all from a specific pro-equality income and wealth tax? If done so that would make it easier to separate re-distribution from the general government functions, and that added transparency could at least help keep some political demagogues at bay.

What causes more inequality, market or government imperfections? In Venezuela, that is a question easy to answer. The poorest Venezuelans have not received even 15 percent of what should be their per capita share of the net oil revenues

@PerKurowski ©