Social Justice? Tax Exemptions Create Social Desequilibrium


Politicians speak of social justice but do they know the true meaning of the expression? The irresponsible ignorance (because it is based on ideology and expedience) is common both to the Left and Right Wings of the political spectrum. Consuetude has it that social justice is to be perverted through policies that mask social envy through and through; creating thus imbalances in society. Does the system need a reset?

When people speak of social justice, they mainly look at taxation as the main solution to all social ailments, however today's taxation has generated macroeconomic disequilibriums that ended up negatively affecting businesses and people (labour force and their respective families), thus, ironically bringing about social injustice.

Secular Taxation

The Left usually defends that the rich have to pay more taxes, because they earn more, and the poor should be exempt from paying income taxes (which is not just either since the opposite of "paying more" is "paying less" not not paying at all); whereas the Right can be divided into three camps:
  • Every single citizen, with no exception, should pay a flat income tax (NB: in America, you also have payroll tax at State level, therefore I haven't grasped yet how a flat tax would play out at state level vs federal level)
  • Progressive tax rates with no exemptions – every citizen contributes to the Government Pot
  • Progressive tax rates with exemptions (European style) – the rich pay their fair share (30% min-35% max) and the poorest families are exempt from paying income taxes
The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when they give the offering of the LORD, to make atonement for your souls. -- Exodus 30:15
With the establishment of monarchies and republican governments, that spent more than they raised in revenue, imbalances were created since either the poor or the rich were excessively taxed according to the political expediency at the time. Then, upon the creation of socialism/communism, jealousy and resentment of the wealthy was born and, from that period onwards, the custom has been to burden the wealthy with a spendthrift State that teaches the poor are second class citizens (i.e. not worthy of contributing to the State's coffers) whose function, in society, is to remain statistically poor by increasing their income through non-taxable single or compounded social benefits. This creates an imbalance and teaches moral corruption to societies.

Taxation that Fosters Social Responsibility

In the past, Censuses were done for Taxation purposes and, therefore the earlier quote refers to the census tax commanded by G-d to the Children of Israel. The Lord decreed a flat tax and commanded that the rich would not pay more and the poor would not pay less than that. Exodus 30:15 is the very embodiment of fiscal justice, and at the time there was no social imbalances in society (not only because there wasn't any jealousy among the tribes, but also because they were bound to the commandment regarding Gemilut Chadassim and Tzedakah, which stamped the sense of social responsibility upon the Jewish People from inception).

Society needs to reset. We need to go back to the basics. While we defend the right to the freedom of the individual (liberalism) we also recall that the individual has duties towards his/her community – i.e. social responsibility. Having said this, instead of transferring social duties to the State, businesses and people would do well to follow basic spiritual principles: to give assistance to the widow and the orphan; support the religious ministers/High Priests; respect and assist the foreigner (for you were a foreigner in Egypt), your workers for (remember that you were a bondman in Egypt) and even the disabled for they have place in society; so “that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” (Deut. 5: 25)

Conclusion

Justice implies equilibrium not fairness per se (since fairness is very much open to interpretation). If we want social justice then we need to restore balance. In order to restore it, States need to purge themselves of any bias against spiritual teachings, they need to set aside populism (i.e. social resentment) and they must reset their Tax Laws in order to achieve fiscal justice, so that we reach our goal (social rightness). As part of that reform, States also need to start 'teaching' social responsibility to all their citizens: every single one of them, with no exception, has to pay taxes – they must do their bit and contribute to their country's economic health. Giving assistance is not giving handouts nor breeding second class citizens.

There can be perhaps a compromise between temporal and spiritual tax systems? In any case, we need to agree upon the need for a  new tax system, one demanding that we all do our share, as the way towards Social Justice.

Another recipe to Social Justice: Clans & Tribes


[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]

Comments

  1. The more I read and hear about Piketty, the more I like him and his views on these very ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rummy :D!

      Piketty? Now that is a surprise given that his work has been refuted by Hernando de Soto (a renown economist), the Financial Times (and others) who proved that his calculations are wrong. So he's a very bad example. He's just another cheap populist-celebrity wannabe whose suggestions do not lead to social justice at all.

      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/e1f343ca-e281-11e3-89fd-00144feabdc0.html#axzz41fmnJAFg

      http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/issues-ideas/article29774506.html

      Rummy, thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. Religion makes no sense! Why should a poor person pay the same as a rich person? And are we sure the same formula can be applied to taxes today? If a poor person pays the same dollar as the rich the poor will be worse off than the rich guy and that's not fair!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hello Celia :D!

      Of course, religious doesn't make sense to people who don't have the understanding required to grasp religious matters. I get it.
      Why should the poor pay the same as the rich? Why, because that's justice; and like the truth: justice hurts. And that's the dirty little secret of values, darling. People can't just evoke "truth, justice, human rights etc" and then try to dodge their true meaning.

      Rich people are always better off than the poor even under the current system. Even under socialism, they are always better off; and that's another dirty little secret. As I wrote, justice is not about fairness, it's about equilibrium. The rich put a lot of money into the economy, they generate demand, more than the poor. If they generate demand, they create jobs. The more you cut their income, the less demand they will create, and thus the less jobs will be created (which is even worse for the economy and puts more pressure on Government expenditure). But I'm open to learning more, if I'm absolutely wrong about this.

      Celia, thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. The rich inject more capital in the economy than the poor so penalizing them for being rich is the dumbest idea ever. Piketty and other idiots are blind by ideology and so they don't think straight. Max is right when she say states create second class citizens, just think of this: the poor are "explicitly discouraged from saving more if you look at rules over federal food and income assistance programs that can make families with less than $1,000 in the bank ineligible to participate." They are equally discouraged from saving money that could be invested, but they are encouraged to get money for free to spend it, not save it. This means they don't create wealth at all. So yeah, second class citizens are being encouraged to remain poor to fit in the leftist agenda. Rummuser should take a look at the Piketty Problem: http://fortune.com/2014/05/09/the-piketty-problem-why-taxing-the-rich-wont-solve-inequality/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      Exactly. The question is: have they ever thought straight?
      Excellent example, thank you so much, Anon :D. And thanks for the link too.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Anonymous, Rummuser was throwing in some irony, ever heard of it? I second a progressive tax rate where everybody chips in. No exemptions. It's not fair that some ride on taxpayer's back. If you have 8 bucks to spend on a six pack everyday you can also afford to pay 5 bucks in tax every month. Just my two cents.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Carl :D!

      Well, it's a suggestion. Thank you, my friend :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. Max, we should all pay taxes with no exceptions cause we all use the roads, the infrastructures without exceptions. It's like when we share a house with others we do not exempt some of participating in the bills, do we? We may help from times to times but they know they have to contribute when they have a job or any other source of income, so the same should be applied to states.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leila :D!

      Indeed. No, we do not. I think you are correct.

      Darling thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete

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