Sunday thoughts

Posted on

This morning's thoughts on Twitter, in a short thread:

Sundays are for ideas. So, here are a few to muse on when out in the sun (a short thread, I promise).

Tax belongs to governments. There is no such thing as taxpayer’s money. You pay tax because you owe it. Once you’ve paid it the money is no longer yours. It’s the government's. Just like when you’ve paid a shop the money is theirs. Don’t believe politicians who claim anything else.

Money is just a record of debts owed to and from other people, most often banks. The only real proof of its existence is the number printed on your bank statement that records that debt. There is no ‘money in the bank’. There’s just a number on a bank statement.

Since ancient times people have known that what economists call rent is all about exploitation. Whether it’s what we pay to use land or the interest we pay to use money, rent is about rewarding the already wealthy for their owning things we haven’t got, however they obtained them.

Wealthy people are terrified of losing what they have. Because of that they’re paranoid that everyone else is out to get them, and what’s theirs. The consequence is their belief in the politics of envy, which only exists in their imaginations.

When it comes down to it most people want to live in peace and security, knowing they and those they love can meet their needs and have some fun. Almost all big political divides are based on whether that right should be available to everyone or just a select few in any society.

The idea that governments tax and then spend is wrong. All money is created by a government or the banks it regulates. And all money is spent into existence: no government or bank gives it away. So spend has to come before tax otherwise there’d be no money to pay tax with.

A government trying to balance its books in a time of inflation shows it just doesn’t understand its economy. That economy needs more money to keep functioning because prices are going up. Balancing the books tries to reduce the money available. That can only end badly.

We don’t need a politics that’s based on privilege, meaning Eton and Oxford provide most of our prime ministers. We just have to stop believing rich people are especially clever, not least because the evidence proves they aren’t.