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Rich Germans demand higher taxes

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, October 26th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: International, tax - Tags:

From the BBC:

A group of rich Germans has launched a petition calling for the government to make wealthy people pay higher taxes.

The group say they have more money than they need, and the extra revenue could fund economic and social programmes to aid

Sometimes the cultural dimensions of NZ’s rogernomic “greed is good” mentality are more easily identified when drawing direct comparisons with other countries. When did you last see the wealthiest men in this country putting considerations of fellow Kiwis above their own wealth. When was the last time you saw Fay and Richwhite, Graeme Hart, or the Fletchers, calling for more tax?

It doesn’t have to be like this New Zealand. We don’t owe these people a life beyond luxury at our own expense.

17 comments on “Rich Germans demand higher taxes ”

  1. Pat 1

    I’ve always thought Kiwi rich-listers were pretty philanthropic. Owen Glenn gave a fantastic donation to Auckland University. And to the Labour Party.

    • Zetetic 1.1

      There was a study out last year that shows poor kiwis give a higher portion of their income than the rich do.

      • George D 1.1.1

        This is pretty consistent, internationally. When you get rich you start to think that holding on to things is important, so you’re less likely to give. There are always some very rich people who give away most of their fortunes (Gates etc), but they’re always a minority.

    • I would love to know who the 10 Owen Glens the nats have are and what they demanded for their largesse. Our laws are still too loose. If that information was provided by the National Party then we could have a proper debate on the issue.

      What are the chances of this?

  2. Nick C 2

    “It doesn’t have to be like this New Zealand. We don’t owe these people a life beyond luxury at our own expense.”

    Ummm your right, no one ‘owes’ anyone anything, in the sense that your talking about. Equally the wealth dont ‘owe’ the government anything.

    If the rich feel like they are too wealthy they are more than welcome to give their money to charity, or even the IRD (im sure this could be aranged).

    • Zetetic 2.1

      all wealthy are beneficiaries of our capitalist system. It’s not fair that only the generous should pay for that.

    • roger nome 2.2

      Nick C:

      You’re right nick, the rich don’t owe the poor anything. That’s what we have democracy for. We vote to have a social contract where people recognise the asymmetries of power that are inherent in a capitalist economy, and seek to amend them to some degree.

      If the greedy rich don’t like it, they’re free to fuck off and join a country where tax is lower or non-existant (i.e. Dubai). Though in those countries the oil companies are often Nationalised, so that will be something else for you to flail about.

    • QoT 2.3

      Equally the wealth dont ‘owe’ the government anything.

      Except for all that education* and healthcare** and roads and a police force and the protection of a standing army and a social welfare safety net and regular democratic elections. Oh, and the aqueducts.

      *Even if they “did us a favour” by paying for private schooling, would you believe!
      **Even if they went private and complications arose and the private system dumped them back out onto the public!

    • Paul 2.4

      Don’t forget NZ already has top marginal rates that are lower than a lot of places – I’m on the top NZ marginal rate – 38% – in California I was paying 33% federal + 10% state = 40% (plus social security too) – in Australia I’d be paying 45% plus 6% state payroll tax in most states – 48% (and then 10% compulsory retirement) – the rich have it easy here compared to people in other western countries – anyone who’s claiming hard done by by the NZ tax system is being disingenuous (or ignorant).

      (yes I know the Aussie and US taxes don’t add up in the numbers above – that’s because one’s calculated after the other – in both cases the state tax is taken out before the federal tax is calculated which in the end makes the total tax rate lower)

      Even though I earn my money in the US I live in NZ and go out of my way to pay my taxes here – mostly because it’s just right to pay your taxes where you live – but I also win because they’re lower, and medical is included.

      That’s why the rich wont pack up and leave NZ.

  3. Michael Foxglove 3

    Nick C – The rich have accumulated their wealth by virtue of this country’s land and resources. That the ownership of these resources is concentrated within the hands of the few is a huge injustice.

  4. gitmo 4

    Interesting progressive tax system the Germans have.


  5. Galeandra 5

    Many cultures & cultures throughout recorded history have recognised that accumulation of wealth in private ownership is ultimately a mechanism for dispossessing the community itself of its resource base. The dynamics of compounding interest eventually cause huge distortion where not all members of the community begin with, or are able to, accumulate significant surpluses to build on.
    It seems to me that the problem we face today is the linking of assumptions about merit / virtue to wealth.This is, of course, an entirely new assumption and so has begun to appear increasingly in blog strings like this. No doubt the excess of virtue shared by readers & supporters of kiwi Blog and Nact will lead to a sharp increase in churchgoing.
    I recollect reading recently that the family which owns “Walmart” has been reported as owning more than the bottom 200 million Americans. That would, of course, indicate that things are exactly as they should be.

  6. Jcw 6

    “If the greedy rich don’t like it, they’re free to fuck off and join a country where tax is lower or non-existant (i.e. Dubai). Though in those countries the oil companies are often Nationalised, so that will be something else for you to flail about.”

    That is 100% the stupidest thing I have ever heard; if your goal is to maximise revenue from taxes on the wealthy then you have to balance it out between higher tax and lower tax. If its low obviously you wont be makign too much off it. It its too high you wont be making much money off it either, because as you mentioneed the wealthy can just leave if its too high.

    I’m not phillosophically opposed to high tax rates nearing 40%, I just don’t think they should kick in at 70k because at that level you are simply not rich, you are upper middle class. A good place for that level of taxation to start is about 150k-200k.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      You make the mistake of believing money is a resource and that a community needs money to do anything. In reality, if a community has the actual physical resources available then it is capable of doing anything it chooses to do – no rich people needed. Generally speaking, we have the resources available and the only reason we have a problem getting anything done is due to the misallocation of resources caused by capitalism and greed.

  7. Herodotus 7

    No comment on what our taxes are to cover under Govt spending. The appropiatness of this spending both in size and in the quality of this spending. We had up to $10b annual govt surpluses, and still the taxes (Predominantly indirect taxes) increased, making all poorly by stealth. With lets just increase taxes we end up with poor decisions on what this money will go towards, such concepts are nieve at best. Look at what outcomes are desirable, the strategies for progressing NZ, what NZ means and what is to be protected to keep this (e.g Nat parks,ACC,protection of infrastructure etc), what resouces are required to meet these. Can we afford these, if no then prioritise to get the best out of a suitable tax take.

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