Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Reward success and punish failure!

Chris Dillow is unimpressed with the Tory plan to give tax breaks to married couples:
I've got an idea to solve the so-called obesity epidemic. It works like this. Professional footballers are mostly slim and healthy. So, let's give a tax break to footballers. This'll give people an incentive to get healthy.

Fair call. But the principle behind this policy can be extended to generate a Tory way of abolishing poverty:

Poverty is bad and prosperity is good. Furthermore, research proves that poor people are more likely to be in poverty and rich people are more likely to be prosperous. So we need to devise some ingenious incentive for people to be rich rather than poor, because giving people ‘social responsibility’ always work whereas top-down ‘clunking’ state intervention always fails. Can we think of a system that means people who earn more are better off?

Yes: let’s give a tax break to rich people. We can finance this by raising taxes on the poor – after all, we should tax social ills rather than social goods. This’ll deter people from being poor and give them an economic motive to be wealthy.

The only downside of this policy would be creating a ‘wealth trap’ in which rich people find themselves dependent on the state. If that happens, though, we can just move the ‘wealth line’ higher and higher up.

“For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” It’s in the Bible, people! You know it’ll work!