It is in the private sector that we need cuts – or more tax if they refuse to do it. The reason is straightforward: much (and I know, not all) of what the the private sector does is froth on the top of the cappuccino, nice but wholly unnecessary. It’s the state sector that provides what we need most: health, education, housing (oh yes – all of it is regulated), safe food (oh yes – again, we only have that because it is regulated), transport infrastructure, safety, protection and so much more. They are, if you like the coffee in life. The froth is the extra. And we can do without some froth – we can’t do without the coffee.
Where to start, eh?
Okay, in a recession, the private sector will, inevitably, cut its cloth. This has nothing to do with the state and nor should it. If my business is not making enough profit, I will cut back on my costs – the alternative being diversifying into other markets should the opportunity be available. To use tax in this situation is, frankly, absurd beyond belief. It is nothing whatsoever to do with the state. This man wants to use taxes as some sort of punishment.
As for froth – well, the arse dribble in the quoted comment does indeed qualify for the epithet. But, let’s look at some of this rampant nonsense in a little more detail, shall we?
The state does, indeed, provide a health service. However, the private sector does as well. There is nothing inherent in the need for the state to be a provider of such a service, although I tend to diverge from some of my libertarian fellow travellers in having no beef with the principle of the state being involved in the funding. The French model works rather well as I can attest from personal experience. Given the option of a French hospital or a UK one, I think I’ll go for the French. However, it is not entirely state funded. The same applies to education, of course – state funding may be appropriate, but there is no reason why the state should be the provider.
Housing? The state does not supply my housing. Sure, local authorities provide some housing, but many, like me, provide for ourselves, thankyou very much and want the state to play no part in it whatsoever. Regulation is not the same thing as provision. So, bollocks to that one.
Safe food. The state provides a legislative framework. That is not the same thing as provision. Food is provided by the private sector, so some froth, eh?
Transport infrastructure. Sure it’s provided by the state and arguably that is okay. However, it could be provided equally well by the private sector. Again, they do so in France with their excellent motorway system. I’m not sure that using the railway as an example of state provision is such a good idea, though…
Safety – again, a legislative framework is not the same thing as provision. Indeed, it is arguable that this one has been over egged with unnecessary secondary legislation causing confusion when the original primary legislation pretty much covers it, but that’s just an opinion.
So, by and large, Murphy is confusing legislation with provision. A stupid argument to start with. However, there are things that the state needs to provide and therefore taxes need to be raised to fund them; defence, policing and justice, for example – and as I mentioned, I can live with education and health. But, to suggest that these things are the coffee and the private sector that funds them is merely froth is risible. The state sector with its quangos has burgeoned out of control. No longer are the private and public sectors symbiotic, the latter has become a malignant tumour feeding voraciously off the former. Radical surgery is needed. It is the public sector that needs trimming, not the private one. Without the private sector paying taxes, there would be no public sector. If anything, given the economic situation, the private sector needs to grow and suffer less punative taxation.
Richard Murphy likes to present himself as the reasonable voice of the middle ground. Reading this post, it is obvious that he is nothing of the sort – he is an extremist, peddling a brand of communism (the state is mother, the state is father – with apologies to Babylon 5), a deeply nasty, destructive and rightly failed ideology.
Thank fuck he is not my accountant.
Update: Oh, and we Libertarians are like the BNP.
Further libertarian comments on this and other economic issues will be blocked for good reason – I do not think the discourse you offer any more acceptable to society than that of the BNP
Your concept of liberty, as is theirs, is one that is deliberately designed to harm – and would
I will not give it space