Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wealthfare – a new definition

Many people object that welfare goes to too many people who do not ‘deserve’ it. The phrase quid pro quo illustrates the idea and is behind the move to force people into work by giving tax credits rather than handouts: ‘You do your bit of work and the state will help you out.’

The book The Free Lunch –Fairness with Freedom takes it as given, that the earth is here for the well-being of all and is to be fairly shared. However, selfishness and inadequate governance means that poverty abounds and the rich get proportionately richer. This tendency has been called wealthfare, meaning that powerful businesses and people (with access to clever advisers), whilst gaining more wealth often manage to pay declining tax contributions for the essential needs of society and the poor. Quid quo pro does not seem to apply to a fair share of tax on their increasing gains.

There are ways of paying for the needs of society and of providing for the needs of the poor in ways that would not engender the wasteful deviousness of tax avoidance followed by the rich, and would not burden the poor with bureaucratic form filling and the invasion of their privacy as to their means.

The Free Lunch is positive, practical and economically sound. For an exploration of the ideas of what might be called ‘New Wealthfare’, based on fairer shares for all from the plenty of the earth, read the book:

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