Joe Hockey lied again
I know you may find it surprising, but smokin’ Joe lied again, last night:
…the average working Australian, be they a cleaner, a plumber or a teacher, is working over one month full time each year just to pay for the welfare of another Australian.”
This is an outright lie.
Most Australians get more from the system than they put in!
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, unless you’re earning at least $1,174 per week, you’re taking more from the tax system than you’re contributing. Or, to use Joe’s terms, at least 60% of Australians are ‘leaners’!
So how can the average Australian be paying for the welfare of other people, when they’re actually taking out more than they put in?
And this is how the tax system SHOULD work
People in the top 40% may ask:
Why should I pay taxes to supplement the income of others?”
Well, other than the fact that it’s the law, there are 2 answers to this question:
- You can afford to
- If you don’t, the whole system will collapse
The top 40% can afford to subsidise the bottom 60%
Income distribution graphs like the above tell only part of the story. When you look at the distribution of wealth (not just income), it’s clear the top 40% can afford to subsidise the bottom 60%:
If they don’t subsidise the less fortunate, the whole system will collapse
It’s all well and good for high income earners to say “I earned it, why should I give it to someone else?” But what do you think will happen if 60% of the population doesn’t earn enough to cover basic needs? If they don’t earn enough to get an education or stay healthy?
Workers will be unhappy, unhealthy and unproductive, and corporate profits will suffer. National education levels will drop, innovation will decline, and, as a result, our gross national income will take a huge hit. Crime, domestic violence, alcoholism, substance abuse, depression, self-harm, suicide and homelessness will increase. These outcomes will impact everyone, not just the poor.
And obviously if things get bad enough, we’ll have a revolution on our hands…
The top 40% only earn a lot because society allows them to earn it. It’s not their God-given right to accumulate wealth; society allows them to accumulate it. Capitalism isn’t a natural state, it’s a social construct. A system of rules condoned by society. If this system stops working for society, society will simply install another system.
I think they also have a social obligation to support the less fortunate
I believe we have a social contract in Australia. An unwritten agreement that we allow some people to get rich, but we provide a safety net for those who struggle to make ends meet. I think if high-income earners and the wealthy don’t adequately support lower income earners, they’re breaking that social contract. And any government that encourages that to happen is breaking the social contract too.
In fact, I’d go a step further. I believe humans form societies purely for protection and community. That’s why we get together in the first place. So if we’re not supporting the less fortunate, and we’re undermining community, our society is failing.