Fifth Column – Issue 14

SHAMOCRACY

As Jean Jacques Rousseau said back in 1762:
“The further public taxes are removed from the source, the more burdensome they are. The extent of this burden is not to be reckoned in terms of the amount of the tax, but with reference to the distance which they have to travel before they return to the hands from which they have come. Where the circuit is rapid and well organised, it matters little whether the amount to be paid be large or small: the people are always rich and the public finances healthy. Contrariwise, no matter how small an amount the people be called on to provide, if it does not return to them, and if they are called upon to be for ever giving, the exhaustion point is soon reached, in which case the state is never rich and the people are always out at elbows.”
Yes, indeed the present self-appointed for a full-term coalition’s rhetoric is of stabilising the public purse: headlines of trillions of pounds of public debt, although mild references to more modest public overspending whilst in opposition, and this after many years of savings and cuts. The answer being more severe cuts and more rhetoric about savings.
It merely begs at least this question: where did the money go from the years of savings in the nineties and noughties? Not on strengthening the public infrastructure, no, merely to further the process of privatisation which the powerbrokers know will make a populace more and more vulnerable to the whims and fancies, and avarice of the corporate giants and dubious power groups with personal wealth through which their singular voices have greater import in the democracy than the voters, thereby severely undermining the very tenets of democracy.
The political elites have consistently used public monies to facilitate a growth in the gap between rich and poor within so-called advanced societies, and maintain conditions of abject poverty for those unfortunate enough to have nothing the capitalists, oligarchs and entrepreneurs need to enhance their already obscene personal wealth and power.
The taxation system is one of the means by which the trick has been perpetrated. Reducing the taxation that would support a hard-working populace by growing the public purse, and any accountability in any dynamic democratic system that seeks to facilitate services and identify real public need in order to serve the public, has been used to destabilise the connectedness between the public and its societal purse. At the same time increases in indirect taxation on such things as goods and services and monies promised through social contracts with government, pensions for instance, means that whilst the tax burden for the proles but not corporations has increased, less of the money is in the public purse, due mainly to the political agents, regardless of what colour underpants they wear, actively, ideologically facilitating widescale privatisation of public needs, in order to exploit them for personal gain, with no expectation of the monies being returned to the public as a society when needed .
The use of public monies to support projects that have seen in the main, public debt and private profit increase are testimony to this ideology. (to be continued)

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