Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to have your say on this topicNew here? Join for free to post

Vat increase.. what do you think?

This thread is sponsored by:
Announcements Posted on
Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
    • 18 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Musty_Elbow)
    I'm assuming you believe in social freedom yes? Where the government doesn't force its morales on the people - what happens in the bedroom is of no business to the state et al. I also assume you believe that the majority should not be able to vote away the minorities rights?
    The government always forces its morales on the people. It's morally wrong to infringe somebody's right to self-ownership, therefore murder is wrong and the State can intervene, using the law, to forcibly detain somebody who murders. So yes, all these assumptions in the poster believing in social freedom can be vindicated without contradicting his stance. The question comes down to whether his argument is justified - not this nonsense about the government never being able to force its standards of morality upon people.

    You're writing as if political philosophy isn't merely a branch of ethical/moral/normative philosophy. Any entitlement theory of property already inherently involves normative judgements. How else ought it be right that people are entitled to property?

    Likewise, if you think people are deserving of help, why don't you give to them voluntarily? Do you think its really right that you can vote how someone else's hard earned money is spent, and in what way is this different from voting, say someone's freedom of speech away? Do you think 51% of the population should be able to vote for complete redistribution of the other 49% wealth to themselves?
    The user may already give money to charity. This doesn't affect his point though. Heck, I could argue in favour of vegetarianism (and often do) whilst remaining a gross meat-eating hypocrite (which I am).

    I doubt that people who have "hard-earned money" have, in reality, worked harder than many people on more modest incomes. And of course, this isn't a question of whether the majority should be able to trample over the rights of the majority - rather, it is a discussion on what people's rights are in the first place (for instance, whether people have an inherent right to their property).
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    The government always forces its morales on the people. It's morally wrong to infringe somebody's right to self-ownership, therefore murder is wrong and the State can intervene, using the law, to forcibly detain somebody who murders. So yes, all these assumptions in the poster believing in social freedom can be vindicated without contradicting his stance. The question comes down to whether his argument is justified - not this nonsense about the government never being able to force its standards of morality upon people.

    You're writing as if political philosophy isn't merely a branch of ethical/moral/normative philosophy. Any entitlement theory of property already inherently involves normative judgements. How else ought it be right that people are entitled to property?


    The user may already give money to charity. This doesn't affect his point though. Heck, I could argue in favour of vegetarianism (and often do) whilst remaining a gross meat-eating hypocrite (which I am).

    I doubt that people who have "hard-earned money" have, in reality, worked harder than many people on more modest incomes. And of course, this isn't a question of whether the majority should be able to trample over the rights of the majority - rather, it is a discussion on what people's rights are in the first place (for instance, whether people have an inherent right to their property).
    No, I was arguing that if you don't believe that the government (lets be clear, we are referring to the majority of the electorate) has no right to inflict a moral standard on people in terms of their behaviour in the bedroom, then why does it have the right to inflict a moral standard on how people must spend their money (forcing them to give it to the government).

    On your second paragraph I don't really understand what you are saying. But my answer is that I think we need a Constitution in our country like the USA, which gives the rights of each individual, which can not be changed by a simple majority referendum vote. For example Prop 8 in California, 52% of the electorate voted to ban gay marriage in the state, essentially 52% voted away the 10% of the populations rights. Should this be possible? Well, I'm not sure. I just think there are major inconsistencies in being economically authoritarian yet socially libertarian. Of course there are inconsistencies with my position, but I like to view my ideal situation being a government with as small a role as possible, with maximum liberty being the aim, with rights being protected by a Constitution. I'm sure you can pick holes in that.

    Whether or not the "hard earned money" people I referred to have worked any harder than those on modest incomes (who incidentally I also believe should have a MINIMUM of their income taken) is frankly irrelevant. They earn their higher salaries by providing a service for which there is a high demand and a low supply, effectively chosen by society based on their needs, and the person's ability to supply them.

    Yes, the user may already give to charity, and this does not effect his point. However, I think you have missed my point, that is, he can make a personal decision about how he wishes to spend his money, but what right does he have to inflict his views on how others should spend their money?
    • 18 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Musty_Elbow)
    No, I was arguing that if you don't believe that the government (lets be clear, we are referring to the majority of the electorate) has no right to inflict a moral standard on people in terms of their behaviour in the bedroom, then why does it have the right to inflict a moral standard on how people must spend their money (forcing them to give it to the government).
    The question might as well be: "If the government has no right to tell people what they can and can't do in the bedroom (insofar as consensual sex is concerned), then why does the government have the right to say what they can and can't do with their own body (e.g. they can't murder somebody)?" The obvious reply is that there must be a morally relevant difference. It comes down to ownership, in this case. People own their bodies and therefore it is immoral to kill somebody because that is taking control of their body - harming their property. When you're saying that people can and can't do what they want in the bedroom, I assume you mean that they can do anything providing that they don't hurt anybody without consent. In reality, the government does say what you can and can't do in your own bedroom, at home, or in public. Ownership of property seems to be a morally relevant factor here. As soon as you start questioning whether people ought to have full rights over their property (e.g. whether taxation is legitimate), then you can legitimately start accepting arguments that the government does have a right to tell others what they can and can't do with "their own" money (incidentally, calling it "their own money" is question-begging).

    But, LIKE I SAID, let's be frank here - saying that the government doesn't intervene to impose its morality upon others is simply a fantasy.

    Put briefly, I guess, an easy way of summing up would be to say that Mill's Harm Principle (woefully vague and inadequate though it is, it is nevertheless usually seen as an intuitively plausible principle) prevents government intervention in the bedroom when no harm occurs, but arguably does not prevent government intervention in property rights/money/ownership if they are seen as harming others.

    On your second paragraph I don't really understand what you are saying. But my answer is that I think we need a Constitution in our country like the USA, which gives the rights of each individual, which can not be changed by a simple majority referendum vote. For example Prop 8 in California, 52% of the electorate voted to ban gay marriage in the state, essentially 52% voted away the 10% of the populations rights. Should this be possible? Well, I'm not sure. I just think there are major inconsistencies in being economically authoritarian yet socially libertarian. Of course there are inconsistencies with my position, but I like to view my ideal situation being a government with as small a role as possible, with maximum liberty being the aim, with rights being protected by a Constitution. I'm sure you can pick holes in that.
    I don't see how you can submit an answer without understanding what I was saying. The second paragraph was simply saying that the government, political philosophy and so on and so forth all rely on people imposing morals onto other people. Saying that governments should not impose their moral standards onto others is a weak statement because, unless you want to live in a Hobbesian State of Nature (anarchy with no laws), then morality must triumph.

    For what it's worth, I don't mind constitutions so long as I don't disagree with them (which is trivially true). Your conception of a decent constitution may differ to mine - and that is where the subjective side of political philosophy becomes problematic. Democracies aren't perfect - I doubt many would argue that a 51% mandate is ever enough to waive intuitively obvious and important rights of minorities - but it's a fairly successful system if we're judging alternative systems on their outcomes.

    However, no argument so far has ever relied on the premiss that democracies are wholly justified as a fair system for deciding upon people's rights. So I fail to see how this is relevant. You introduced it out of nowhere.

    Whether or not the "hard earned money" people I referred to have worked any harder than those on modest incomes (who incidentally I also believe should have a MINIMUM of their income taken) is frankly irrelevant. They earn their higher salaries by providing a service for which there is a high demand and a low supply, effectively chosen by society based on their needs, and the person's ability to supply them.
    I don't think that this theory of entitlement is obviously correct. Empirically, it may make economic sense to adopt this system (and, incidentally, Rawls is not against market-driven systems precisely because of its ability to help humanity and, more importantly, the worst-off [I'm referring to the difference principle]). Morally, however, there's nothing obvious that states that those who fulfill a certain role in a market system ought to have more money. Libertarians base their defence of this entitlement theory upon "'liberty"; but there's nothing free and liberty-granting about a State that will positively use force against you when you step upon a piece of land. If negative liberty is meant to mean 'freedom from interference' or 'permissibility', then the deontic Libertarian needs to be careful about adopting property rights (and the rest of us need to be careful about adopting property rights without any appeal to a social contract). Property rights are important for decent economies and standards of living; but that doesn't mean they should be accepted without hearing ethical considerations.

    Yes, the user may already give to charity, and this does not effect his point. However, I think you have missed my point, that is, he can make a personal decision about how he wishes to spend his money, but what right does he have to inflict his views on how others should spend their money?
    Then you should have simply asked that question: what right do people have to other people's money? Well, that's question-begging (is it their money? you seem to have used knowledge of the libertarian conclusion for knowledge of the libertarian premiss, so it's not persuasive). "What right do people have to resources?" is a far more neutral question. I'd say that such rights must come about through a social contract in which the disadvantaged and property-lacking are taken care of by the advantaged and property-given who benefit the most from carving up the earth's resources and granting State-endorsed property rights. It comes down to what rational agents would agree in order to bring about property rights. The disadvantaged have a certain leverage here.

    So the answer to "what right do the poor have to some of the richest people's money?" would be "a right that is derived from a social contract" - and I point towards Rawls' Theory of Justice in order to provide a rationally-compelling method through which this process can come about.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    The question might as well be: "If the government has no right to tell people what they can and can't do in the bedroom, then why does the government have the right to say what they can and can't do with their own body (e.g. they can't murder somebody)?" The obvious reply is that there must be a morally relevant difference. It comes down to ownership, in this case. People own their bodies and therefore it is immoral to kill somebody because that is taking control of their body - harming their property. When you're saying that people can and can't do what they want in the bedroom, I assume you mean that they can do anything providing that they don't hurt anybody without consent. In reality, the government does say what you can and can't do in your own bedroom, at home, or in public. Ownership of property seems to be a morally relevant factor here. As soon as you start questioning whether people ought to have full rights over their property (e.g. whether taxation is legitimate), then you can legitimately start accepting arguments that the government does have a right to tell others what they can and can't do with "their own" money (incidentally, calling it "their own money" is question-begging).

    But, LIKE I SAID, let's be frank here - saying that the government doesn't intervene to impose its morality upon others is simply a fantasy.

    Put briefly, I guess, an easy way of summing up would be to say that Mill's Harm Principle (woefully vague and inadequate though it is, it is nevertheless usually seen as an intuitively plausible principle) prevents government intervention in the bedroom when no harm occurs, but arguably does not prevent government intervention in property rights/money/ownership if they are seen as harming others.


    I don't see how you can submit an answer without understanding what I was saying. For what it's worth, I don't mind constitutions so long as I don't disagree with them (which is trivially true). Your conception of a decent constitution may differ to mine - and that is where the subjective side of political philosophy becomes problematic. Democracies aren't perfect - I doubt many would argue that a 51% mandate is ever enough to waive intuitively obvious and important rights of minorities - but it's a fairly successful system if we're judging alternative systems on their outcomes.

    However, no argument so far has ever relied on the premiss that democracies are wholly justified as a fair system for deciding upon people's rights. So I fail to see how this is relevant. You introduced it out of nowhere.


    I don't think that this theory of entitlement is obviously correct. Empirically, it may make economic sense to adopt this system (and, incidentally, Rawls is not against market-driven systems precisely because of its ability to help humanity and, more importantly, the worst-off [I'm referring to the difference principle]). Morally, however, there's nothing obvious that states that those who fulfill a certain role in a market system ought to have more money. Libertarians base their defence of this entitlement theory upon "'liberty"; but there's nothing free and liberty-granting about a State that will positively use force against you when you step upon a piece of land. If negative liberty is meant to mean 'freedom from interference' or 'permissibility', then the deontic Libertarian needs to be careful about adopting property rights (and the rest of us need to be careful about adopting property rights without any appeal to a social contract). Property rights are important for decent economies and standards of living; but that doesn't mean they should be accepted without hearing ethical considerations.


    Then you should have simply asked that question: what right do people have to other people's money? Well, that's question-begging (is it their money? you seem to have used knowledge of the libertarian conclusion for knowledge of the libertarian premiss, so it's not persuasive). "What right do people have to resources?" is a far more neutral question. I'd say that such rights must come about through a social contract in which the disadvantaged and property-lacking are taken care of by the advantaged and property-given who benefit the most from carving up the earth's resources and granting State-endorsed property rights. It comes down to what rational agents would agree in order to bring about property rights. The disadvantaged have a certain leverage here.

    So the answer to "what right do the poor have to some of the richest people's money?" would be "a right that is derived from a social contract" - and I point towards Rawls' Theory of Justice in order to provide a rationally-compelling method through which this process can come about.
    I need to read up on what you have sourced, of course the link which you sourced to me the other day (I'm not finished it yet :o: ).

    However, to defend me bringing up the problem with democracy is relevant, in my opinion at least, because in our current system some people can vote the rights of others away. And I view the voting of other people's money to a cause you want it to be used on as a breach of rights which should be protected by a constitution.

    No your argument about a social contract, I'm not sure I agree with. Why should those who use the Earth's resources for profit, which is the only measure of the usefulness and want of a society for a product. If someone is willing to invest their money and risk losing it to get a product for the rest of the society are they then also obliged to protect those for whom the risk they have taken has helped. I personally don't think so.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    The question might as well be: "If the government has no right to tell people what they can and can't do in the bedroom (insofar as consensual sex is concerned), then why does the government have the right to say what they can and can't do with their own body (e.g. they can't murder somebody)?" The obvious reply is that there must be a morally relevant difference. It comes down to ownership, in this case. People own their bodies and therefore it is immoral to kill somebody because that is taking control of their body - harming their property. When you're saying that people can and can't do what they want in the bedroom, I assume you mean that they can do anything providing that they don't hurt anybody without consent. In reality, the government does say what you can and can't do in your own bedroom, at home, or in public. Ownership of property seems to be a morally relevant factor here. As soon as you start questioning whether people ought to have full rights over their property (e.g. whether taxation is legitimate), then you can legitimately start accepting arguments that the government does have a right to tell others what they can and can't do with "their own" money (incidentally, calling it "their own money" is question-begging).

    But, LIKE I SAID, let's be frank here - saying that the government doesn't intervene to impose its morality upon others is simply a fantasy.

    Put briefly, I guess, an easy way of summing up would be to say that Mill's Harm Principle (woefully vague and inadequate though it is, it is nevertheless usually seen as an intuitively plausible principle) prevents government intervention in the bedroom when no harm occurs, but arguably does not prevent government intervention in property rights/money/ownership if they are seen as harming others.


    I don't see how you can submit an answer without understanding what I was saying. The second paragraph was simply saying that the government, political philosophy and so on and so forth all rely on people imposing morals onto other people. Saying that governments should not impose their moral standards onto others is a weak statement because, unless you want to live in a Hobbesian State of Nature (anarchy with no laws), then morality must triumph.

    For what it's worth, I don't mind constitutions so long as I don't disagree with them (which is trivially true). Your conception of a decent constitution may differ to mine - and that is where the subjective side of political philosophy becomes problematic. Democracies aren't perfect - I doubt many would argue that a 51% mandate is ever enough to waive intuitively obvious and important rights of minorities - but it's a fairly successful system if we're judging alternative systems on their outcomes.

    However, no argument so far has ever relied on the premiss that democracies are wholly justified as a fair system for deciding upon people's rights. So I fail to see how this is relevant. You introduced it out of nowhere.


    I don't think that this theory of entitlement is obviously correct. Empirically, it may make economic sense to adopt this system (and, incidentally, Rawls is not against market-driven systems precisely because of its ability to help humanity and, more importantly, the worst-off [I'm referring to the difference principle]). Morally, however, there's nothing obvious that states that those who fulfill a certain role in a market system ought to have more money. Libertarians base their defence of this entitlement theory upon "'liberty"; but there's nothing free and liberty-granting about a State that will positively use force against you when you step upon a piece of land. If negative liberty is meant to mean 'freedom from interference' or 'permissibility', then the deontic Libertarian needs to be careful about adopting property rights (and the rest of us need to be careful about adopting property rights without any appeal to a social contract). Property rights are important for decent economies and standards of living; but that doesn't mean they should be accepted without hearing ethical considerations.


    Then you should have simply asked that question: what right do people have to other people's money? Well, that's question-begging (is it their money? you seem to have used knowledge of the libertarian conclusion for knowledge of the libertarian premiss, so it's not persuasive). "What right do people have to resources?" is a far more neutral question. I'd say that such rights must come about through a social contract in which the disadvantaged and property-lacking are taken care of by the advantaged and property-given who benefit the most from carving up the earth's resources and granting State-endorsed property rights. It comes down to what rational agents would agree in order to bring about property rights. The disadvantaged have a certain leverage here.

    So the answer to "what right do the poor have to some of the richest people's money?" would be "a right that is derived from a social contract" - and I point towards Rawls' Theory of Justice in order to provide a rationally-compelling method through which this process can come about.
    Oh I was also interested to know what rights you think people are born with? If there is no right to property without entering a social contract, are there other contracts you think we enter to gain our rights?

    For example, do you think that in order for a right to life we have to enter a social contract (I don't know if thats what you would call it) not to destroy someone else's right to life. Therefore the death penalty could be considered legitimate as you have broken the social contract (THIS IS NOT MY POSITION, I am just interested in your thoughts on it.)
    • 18 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Musty_Elbow)
    However, to defend me bringing up the problem with democracy is relevant, in my opinion at least, because in our current system some people can vote the rights of others away. And I view the voting of other people's money to a cause you want it to be used on as a breach of rights which should be protected by a constitution.
    Agreed. I don't think it's relevant because I don't see it as challenging any aspect of my argument or the other poster's argument. A social contract does not necessitate a democracy.

    No your argument about a social contract, I'm not sure I agree with. Why should those who use the Earth's resources for profit, which is the only measure of the usefulness and want of a society for a product. If someone is willing to invest their money and risk losing it to get a product for the rest of the society are they then also obliged to protect those for whom the risk they have taken has helped. I personally don't think so.
    I'm not sure I understand the question. But I have noticed that you're question-begging all the way through this. Every time you say "their money", you are assuming that it ought to be "their money". Sure, if many of the poorest families in the world had access to such an inheritance, do you really think that they wouldn't have invested it (and therefore equally be entitled to the rewards under your theory of entitlement)? The fact that people have an unequal access to property and money makes the whole economic system morally vulnerable to attacks from the Left. Resources are finite. Sure, market systems are usually the best tool for allocating resources efficiently and so they are generally permitted - but you can't then ignore moral questions that arise once you permit a system of property rights - the unequal distribution of wealth, a distribution that may prevent people from accessing key health services, a system in which the disabled may find it hard to compete without any State help... This is why the State has a moral entitlement to some money from the rich (through taxation) - it is, in my opinion, granted through a social contract - the conditions under which everyone would agree to property rights. That's merely one way of looking at it.
    • 18 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Musty_Elbow)
    Oh I was also interested to know what rights you think people are born with? If there is no right to property without entering a social contract, are there other contracts you think we enter to gain our rights?
    That's an essay topic. I don't think I could do it justice right now. Loosely, I accept Rawls' 'Liberty' and 'Difference' principles, from which certain rights can be derived. But discussing each every right that people have is a massive topic.

    For example, do you think that in order for a right to life we have to enter a social contract (I don't know if thats what you would call it) not to destroy someone else's right to life. Therefore the death penalty could be considered legitimate as you have broken the social contract (THIS IS NOT MY POSITION, I am just interested in your thoughts on it.)
    When you're talking about punishment, you're not really talking about rights, or, at least, it's a separate discussion. People break all sorts of laws and infringe people's rights (e.g. people murder each other). However, discussing how law-breakers ought to be punished is a separate issue (though, I accept, it does involve a discussion of universal rights).

    I'm not in favour of the death penalty, but I am in favour of retributive justice. But I don't want to broaden the discussion to that extent unless it's necessary.
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lotsofsnails)
    i just don't get the logic of it. it's like you're saying there's a finite amount of 'caringness' that has to be shared out. im saying if anyone's suffering, and if that suffering can be prevented (which in this case it can be), then it should matter.
    Well if you think the budget is indicative of caringness (because the budget is using our money to care for people, or not as the case may be) then you're goddamn ******* right I think it's finite. Everyone does except a particular group of people. I am aware of the fact that I will be like a broken record soon so I'll leave you to guess who those people are.

    But if you don't think that, then what is the complaint about? Georgie and Dave still care about the poor. In fact, they care infinitely. They just don't care enough to give them as much money as the last government did.

    Jolly good.
    • 30 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I largely support the VAT rise. It will provide much needed tax revenue for the Treasury. Some suggest that the rise is unfair, but ultimately we are all 'in it together' as we clear up Labour's mess. Some economists suggest that it will lead to an increase in consumer spending between now and January 2011, when VAT goes up. This hopefully will lead to economic growth as sales increase.

    The rise MUST remain temporary, and it should be reduced back to 17.5% as soon the extra 2.5% is not required.
    • 18 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Birchington)
    I largely support the VAT rise. It will provide much needed tax revenue for the Treasury. Some suggest that the rise is unfair, but ultimately we are all 'in it together' as we clear up Labour's mess. Some economists suggest that it will lead to an increase in consumer spending between now and January 2011, when VAT goes up. This hopefully will lead to economic growth as sales increase.

    The rise MUST remain temporary, and it should be reduced back to 17.5% as soon the extra 2.5% is not required.
    Did Labour cause Spain's or Greece's or the USA's budget deficit as well?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    Did Labour cause Spain's or Greece's or the USA's budget deficit as well?
    It can't all be blamed on the financial crisis.

    The structural deficit is huge.
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    Did Labour cause Spain's or Greece's or the USA's budget deficit as well?
    Spain's is smaller (their debt has a much shorter maturity length hence the threat of a sovereign debt crisis there), while Greece's was caused by profligacy of it's own government. The USA was caused by Bush's tax cuts without cuts in spending and Obama's spend spend spend without rises in tax policies, yet still their deficit is smaller.

    It is not to say Labour were the only ones that were overspending, merely to say that they were.

    Because I love graphs:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    • 18 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by simontinsley)
    Spain's is smaller (their debt has a much shorter maturity length hence the threat of a sovereign debt crisis there), while Greece's was caused by profligacy of it's own government. The USA was caused by Bush's tax cuts without cuts in spending and Obama's spend spend spend without rises in tax policies, yet still their deficit is smaller.

    It is not to say Labour were the only ones that were overspending, merely to say that they were.

    Because I love graphs:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    The reason I brought it up wasn't just to show that the global financial crisis contributed to the problem, but also highlight the unfair criticism that Labour gets from Tories and Lib Dems. The Tories advocated tax cuts all through Blair's premiership without proposing spending reductions, and agreed (i.e. they were complicit) in stating to match all Labour spending. The Tories would have been like the Bush administration in that regard (and republican administrations in general - deficit spending not due to Keynesian theory, but due to an ideological commitment to tax reductions without reducing spending). Potentially more debt would have been accrued. Hindsight is a wonderful tool for critics. So, too, is partial memory loss. Government debt in 1997 was around 42.5% of GDP. By 2001 this had been reduced to under 30% (and Brown faced accusations that he was building a war chest). In 2007 it was 37%. Continuously cutting the deficit in an economy that is used to government spending is a potentially dangerous thing - government spending (investment) can be a good thing if it yields rewards which are higher than the amount lost through servicing debt interest. The UK managed to avoid the mini-recession affecting the continent. During this major recession, I doubt even the Tories would now be against a stimulus package in hindsight. I just think that attacks on Labour, specifically, (when they're trying to make small politically partisan digs), are grossly unwarranted.

    And yes, this crisis was predictable, and yes, our economy's financial sector was vulnerable (regardless of whether you agree with the analysis offered by the Austrian school or more conventional schools), and yes, Labour, among others, could have acted in better ways.

    (Original post by Musty_Elbow)
    It can't all be blamed on the financial crisis.

    The structural deficit is huge.
    I don't dispute this. Ditto above paragraph.

    And just thank God we're not a country like Italy.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    The reason I brought it up wasn't just to show that the global financial crisis contributed to the problem, but also highlight the unfair criticism that Labour gets from Tories and Lib Dems. The Tories advocated tax cuts all through Blair's premiership without proposing spending reductions, and agreed (i.e. they were complicit) in stating to match all Labour spending. The Tories would have been like the Bush administration in that regard (and republican administrations in general - deficit spending not due to Keynesian theory, but due to an ideological commitment to tax reductions without reducing spending). Potentially more debt would have been accrued. Hindsight is a wonderful tool for critics. So, too, is partial memory loss. Government debt in 1997 was around 42.5% of GDP. By 2001 this had been reduced to under 30% (and Brown faced accusations that he was building a war chest). In 2007 it was 37%. Continuously cutting the deficit in an economy that is used to government spending is a potentially dangerous thing - government spending (investment) can be a good thing if it yields rewards which are higher than the amount lost through servicing debt interest. The UK managed to avoid the mini-recession affecting the continent. During this major recession, I doubt even the Tories would now be against a stimulus package in hindsight. I just think that attacks on Labour, specifically, (when they're trying to make small politically partisan digs), are grossly unwarranted.

    And yes, this crisis was predictable, and yes, our economy's financial sector was vulnerable (regardless of whether you agree with the analysis offered by the Austrian school or more conventional schools), and yes, Labour, among others, could have acted in better ways.
    The premise of your argument is not always correct. High marginal tax rates discourage work effort, saving, and investment, and promote tax avoidance and tax evasion. Revenue often increases following a tax cut and you can grow the economy through tax cuts. When Reagan cut taxes in the 1980, there was a sharp increase in tax revenue.
    • 18 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Let's be clear here: more accurately, when you say that the premise of my argument is not always correct, you really mean that the sentence implying that tax reductions would reap less revenue for the government is not necessarily always true - and I agree. That specific sentence isn't central to my argument - you still have to deal with Tory/Lib Dem complicity in spending and the other points raised. It's all speculative though, but I really doubt that cutting taxes would raise work ethic and would give us more of government revenue. In theory, tax reductions could have two competing outcomes (more incentive to work and, indeed, less incentive to work - like the theory that if companies pay their staff less, the staff work harder and longer to regain the money that they would otherwise have lost). However, anyway, economics isn't based on theory, it's based on empirical observations - and there's no way we can find out what would have happened. But yes, fair point, an appeal to the Laffer curve is in order before we discuss with such certainty a linear correlation between taxation and government revenue.

    (I think you raise a good point though, RE: Reaganomics).
    • 30 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Musty_Elbow)
    It can't all be blamed on the financial crisis.

    The structural deficit is huge.
    :ditto:, and Melancholy, Labour were in charge of OUR finances long before the global financial crisis. The cause of our fiscal black hole was not the global recession, it was the reckless spending and borrowing of Labour with money they didn't have.
    • 18 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I don't think you've read what I've said. If I'd said that Labour weren't in charge of our finances long before the global financial crisis, and if I'd said that the fiscal black hole was composed solely of money spent in response to the global financial crisis, then you might have made a decent response. As it stands, what I said didn't rely on those two premises holding true.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: July 2, 2010
New on TSR

Personal statement help

Use our clever tool to create a PS you're proud of.

Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.