Nick Shaxson ■ Quote of the day: tax and the rule of law


From Cassandra Does Tokyo, a blogger we’ve not come across, via FT Alphaville:

“Why is it so seemingly difficult for the uber-beneficiaries of the rule of law to reconcile their (mostly fiscal) responsibilities to the entente with The People which is the very fount that allows them, and increasingly one might argue, their less-deserving progeny, to maintain a position in the stratosphere of power and control, with a recognition that the very legitimacy of their reign is conferred by The People through the rule of law? Indeed, the more remote this concept becomes, the greater the probability that the entente and rule of law itself corrodes to the point where mob rule, or some equally nasty alternative somewhere along the continuum of possibilities, will emerge.”

That is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s well worth pondering. Some libertarians and very wealthy people argue that tax is theft – but in fact tax is a central pillar of the very system on which their wealth, power and prestige depend. Political philosopher Martin O’Neill wrote about this for Tax Justice Focus, a while ago.

The whole blog is interesting, in its rather academically-phrased way: a musing on the New Gilded Age (NGA), and the increasing alienation between the 1 percent (or, to be more focused, the 0.1 percent) and the rest of us. With an interesting excursion to sealion colonies on the beaches of the Galapagos, where the strongest rule – but each only for a short, exhausting period, before they are toppled by the next tyrant that comes along.

Oh, and we couldn’t resist another quote of the day, here.

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