Today is April the 23rd. St Georges Day. St George is the Patron Saint of England.
I think it is a real shame that St George’s Day is not celebrated as much in England as other National Days are around the world; it is simply acknowledged.
Much to my delight, in recent years the popularity of St George’s Day appears to be increasing gradually. For the past couple of years, a few members of parliament have been putting the argument forward in the House of Commons to make St George’s Day a public holiday… That’d be nice wouldn’t it?
I am looking at a stark contrast that I perceive in this country today, let me explain…
I have seen a couple of old-timers walking by today wearing a red rose in their lapels, I love it… Modern fashion trends do not seem to lend themselves well to this though… Another custom is to fly or adorn the St George’s Cross flag in some way: pubs in particular can be seen festooned with garlands of St George’s crosses… I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I see this because it reminds me of street parties when I was very young… Parties for the Queens Silver Jubilee and Charles and Diana’s wedding… The sort of street parties that are not really common place these days… I just loved the street hat competition, eating cake and sandwiches until they came out of my ears and playing games into the night…
I really rather like the idea of people singing the hymn “Jerusalem” en masse in cathedrals, churches and chapels on St George’s Day, or on the Sunday closest to it…
In recent years people have opposed the celebration of St George’s Day on the grounds that it attracts racist thugs and encourages nationalism. However, early this year the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, spearheaded a campaign to encourage the celebration of St George’s Day… I hope to see some of that…
You know what else? St George slayed dragons… And fills me with a sense of actually enjoying being English… I need that this morning… Want to know why?
When I think back to yesterday… The Government in England decided to host the biggest political budget I have ever witnessed… Those of us that earn over £150,000.00 a year, will now pay 50% of our earnings to the government in tax.
Basically, the people that are successful and fruitful get penalised. many believe this has always been the way of things… Yet the entreprenneurs needed to help develop the world in these seemingly difficult economic times get taxed more and more heavily.
I started my own business from nothing. I get paid purely from my own endeavours and initiative. I have been self-employed for most of my life now… Because of failings elsewhere, someone wants to take a huge bite out of my initiative and endeavour, a huge bite out of my entreprenneurealism, a huge bite out of my years of self-sufficiency…
No, I am not dampened by this. In true St George style, I have my lance in hand, and I am riding off to meet the dragon squarely… This is more opportunity for me to show that I can create, develop, succeed and excel against some adversity and as you read this, you know just as well as I that I’ll be one of those prevailing…
Ok, it is off my chest… I’ll be speaking to my accountant from Irenas Xero Services… I’ll be working harder, playing harder, loving life more, rising up… And who knows, I may even get to blog about hypnosis some time this week… 😉
I agree on nearly everything that I’ve ever read on your blogs but on this one I have to disagree.
I have to admit that if I earned more than 150,000 pounds I would not be best pleased about a tax hike. However, 150,000 pounds is a lot of money to earn in 1 year. You already have the flashy sports car, I’m guessing you have a pretty decent house, you have all the fancy TVs, computers and other gizmos and gadgets. How much money to you want? Would it be unfair to impose a 50% tax rate on people who earned more than 1 million? What about Kaka’s recent reported move to Man City that fell through? Would it be unreasonable to impose 50% a tax rate on his reported offered salary of 250,000 pounds a week? There is no limit to the amount of money that any 1 individual can have, but at some point it becomes pointless having more. I think you earn an extremely healthy wage, and lead a very comfortable life, and I don’t think a 50% tax rate on what you earn above 150,000 pounds will greatly affect your way of living. Compare this to the man who earns 15,000 pounds a year and has to pay (now I’m just hazarding a rough guess) 2000 pounds tax. Even though he pays less tax, I’m sure his standard of living would be much more affected by the fact he has to pay this tax than the rich man’s standard of living would be affected by having a 50% tax rate on earnings above 150,000.
This article reminded me of one of your other blogs which I never replied to but which put a thought in my mind. In it, you were talking about charity and you said something like : if a child was drowning would you jump into the water to save him. Everyone answers yes. Then you ask : if a child was drowning and you had on an expensive pair of shoes which you would definitely ruin if you jumped in to save him, would you still save him. Everyone answers of course. So, people should donate to charity. Forgive the crudeness of the summary but I think it was along those lines. Anyway it then occured to my cynical self, why bother buying the shoes in the first place. Don’t bother buying the shoes. Just donate to charity.
Matt, you are a dream come true for the government… This thought process is exactly why this was such a political budget. because so many people simply think the same…
Whether I need more or not is not the issue… I choose to have a prosperity mindset… I create my own wealth 100% … It is not my fault that the other individual earns £15,000.00. Yet if I create more of it, somehow, other people are entitled to half of it?
Let me share a story by Randy Gage:
Several recent threads have made me think about this again…. I want to share with you all a story told by someone I hugely admire and respect who has mentored me in many, many ways…
You are with me on a flight to Bali for a Mastermind Retreat when we pass through a severe thunderstorm, and the plane goes down into the sea. Because we got off course and the instruments stopped working, the rescuers have no idea where we are and presume we all perished.
Fortunately, everyone survives. All of us, which includes about 20 other families, get in the life rafts and paddle our way to a deserted island. Being so isolated and completely exposed to the elements, we all quickly go about the construction of shelters and huts from the abundance of bamboo and palm fronds around the island. We search out a freshwater source, which we find located halfway up a mountain, a 30-minute hike from our settlement.
Crab, fish, clams, and mussels live in the surrounding sea, and the is¬land has countless palm and fruit trees, so with a little ingenuity and skill, food abounds. All in all, between hunting and gathering, reinforcing our huts, building fires and cooking food—after looking after the survival needs of our families every day—we all fall exhausted into our makeshift beds at night.
Being a small group, we soon find that by working with others, we can get the work done a bit more efficiently. So we all start making deals. I’ll go get the water and firewood for my family and yours today, if you will spend the day fixing up the roof of my hut. And, tomorrow, while I spend the day digging clams and collecting coconuts for our two families, you spend the day getting the firewood and the water.
This improves life, but still most of us spend most of our waking hours on daily survival needs. So, one day, while lying on your hack feeling com¬pletely exhausted after once again sliding back down the 100-foot incline leading to the water source, you come up with a brilliant idea. What if you rig up a pipe system with bamboo shafts thereby bringing the water to the camp and saving yourself the agony of hauling water?
It’s a great idea, just the kind of innovation that can improve life. But how on earth are you going to have the time for such a huge project while you have to worry about the daily grind of feeding and sheltering your family? You decide to work more. While everyone else is resting at night, you labor an extra two hours, building your pipeline. After weeks of stren¬uous effort, you’re finally done.
That evening around the campfire, you call together all the members of the village and make the following proposal:
“Every day you spend your morning trudging up the mountain to_ bring back water. I have designed and built a pipeline that brings the water directly to the village. I am willing to trade it for fish, coconuts, clothing, and other products of your labor. In a fair exchange of values, we can trade. You win, because you don’t have to spend an hour each day going for water and back. I win, because I don’t have to spend so much time fishing, hunting, and farming. All you have to do is walk from your hut to my little water station here and pour yourself some refreshing mountain bubbly!”
In exchange for the use of your pipeline, each family agrees to trade you just 30 minutes of labor (collecting berries, fishing, giving you a mas¬sage, etc.), and they get unlimited water, which saves them an hour a day. Yet you receive plenty of everything you need. Everybody wins, because this innovation allowed you to improve the standard of living for the whole village.
Your motivation was selfish, yet you benefited everyone in the commu¬nity. You were creative and put out the extra effort. It wasn’t easy for you to haul bamboo all over the mountain, to fit it and bind it, but you had the idea, and you made the sacrifice to do the work.
Your idea turns out to be so successful, you find yourself with a sur¬plus of many things you receive in trade. So you decide to open up a “7-Eight” store, which is open each evening from seven to eight. You barter the excess goods you have for other things. You continue to trade and collect inure things. Pretty soon, you’re putting on a new addition to your hut. You add a billiard room and build a deck out hack. Next thing you know, you’ve added a three-hike garage and built a pool in the back¬yard. You are reaping the reward of your labor and innovation.
Notice that no one was forced into this agreement. If they don’t want to trade a half hour of labor with you, they can continue to climb the mountain and fetch their own water each day. Of course no one does, be¬cause that would be foolish, costing them extra time and effort.
Inspired by your invention and initiative, your neighbor Fred decides to use the time he’s saved by not having to collect water each day to build a boat from a hollowed-out tree. He can now sail out to the deeper water where the big fish swim. He fashions a net by weaving palm fronds and snares many fish at a time, instead of waiting for the few to come in around the rocks and trying to spear them one at a time. He has so much extra fish to trade he opens Fred’s Fish House, with an all-you-can-eat fish fry every Friday night.
The fish is delicious, and the fish fry turns into “the place to be” every week. It gets so busy that Fred hires the lady from hut six to help him serve everybody. He hires the guy from hut 11 to mix pineapple and mango coolers. Pretty soon he has 10 people from the village working for him. This part-time work earns them some extra coconuts, which they can trade with others to get the goods and services they need.
Meanwhile, Fred’s restaurant does so well, he opens a new one at a second location on the other side of the village. As the founder of the is¬land’s first successful restaurant chain, he becomes a motivational speaker. His inspirational, you-can-do-this-too “rags to rattan” story in¬spires millions (okay, dozens) of people all over the world (okay, all over the island).
Fred is so successful now, he can lounge around eating grapes all day. You and Fred design a golf course to occupy your afternoons. He takes up playing conga drums made of coconuts, and you squeeze out some different colored berries and start to paint landscapes. It is the be¬ginning of the arts on your little island.
Possibilities in paradise surround you. Of course, the other families, who have yet to make time-saving innovations of their own, see things a little differently .. .
In fact, they seem to have forgotten that the two of you have saved them hours of time and work with your inventions. They see you lounging in your hammock, while they’re out grubbing for berries. They become jealous and resentful, because “it’s not fair.”
They call a town meeting and decide to elect a government. One of the discontented, Bud, runs on a “populist for the people” platform, and he’s elected in a landslide, 98 to 2. Bud immediately introduces a socialist system “for the good of the many.” Naturally, he needs to pay himself, as well as hire inspectors for the water pipeline, bureaucrats to license the fishing boat, laborers to sweep the dirt floor at the new city hall, and so on, so they start an income tax system.
Village members start to grumble. This doesn’t look so good. They don’t like the idea of paying taxes.
Then the new mayor announces that everyone has a right to water and big fish, so he’s going to nationalize the pipeline and fishing indus¬try. The government seizes your pipeline; Fred’s boat is confiscated as well. Now the villagers are nodding along in agreement. They realize that they no longer have to trade away their labor to you and Fred. The gov¬ernment is going to provide for them. They don’t mind paying their taxes, because they realize that this allows them to tax their way into the wallets of the rich people.
This is the beginning of the end . .
In this scenario, the uninspired islanders would, out of resentment, “seize the means of production” in the name of the public. If you resisted, you would be imprisoned or executed as an “enemy of the state.” The herd would be happy, because now they have free access to the water and fish¬ing boat. (Of course, it’s not free, but they get more back for their taxes than they pay in, so they couldn’t care less.)
But what would happen next?
Kathy, who had an idea how to harness wind and solar power for electricity would figure, “Why bother?” Fernando, who had an idea for a coconut husker, would think the same thing. They would rightly con¬clude that the extra labor and resources they devote to innovation would never be rewarded, because the government would steal the excess they created and distribute it to the moochers. Progress and innovation would stop.
Cures for diseases would never be found, inventions would never be created, and life would continue to be a primitive struggle for survival. In fact, because there is no reward for free thinking, innovation, or initiative, eventually the little collective would shrivel up and die or be torn asunder with internal strife.
There ends the story that I really rather like…. it sums up my thoughts on wealth distribution… I believe it to be a moral obligation to be selfish, especially when it comes to financial wealth… it is a far more spiritual notion than you may first think.
And by the way Matt, it would be very boring indeed if you agreed with me all the time 🙂
Generally speaking I agree with Adam. I am not nearly in the 50 per cent tax bracket at the moment though I intend to be. Money is just something you exchange for something else, a form of energy if you like.
What is important for me is that you earn your money honestly doing something you love, or at least enjoy, and that you consider benefits society as a whole, and then give some back into society through charity.
What surprises me is that Adam seems surprised that the Labour Party has decided to tax the middle classes.
I worked for 17 years in the City years ago, saw a lot I didn’t like, left burnt out and have moved onto other things. Since I left it has got a lot worse. That is, more corrupt and greedier than ever.
I have also studied the money system and the history of it and who is behind it. What is happening is not an accident. It has long been planned. The bankers have privatised their profits and are now socialising their debts. In other words they have run away with the money, bankrupted their companies, bullied their puppets in government to bail them out and that means the tax payers must pay, until they finally wake up and revolt against this corrupt system as they appear to be finally doing in the USA.
One site with a lot of good info on what is really going on is http://www.goldmansachs666.com. Goldman is trying to close it down so it must be good right? Money is circulated by bankers for their benefit not for ours and until this changes we will continue to have these booms and busts and never ending debt.
Meanwhile the really rich people have their money hidden away in trusts and foundations and behind front companies in various tax havens and are not affected. Nelson Rockefeller used to boast that he never paid income tax. He is not the only one. The middle classes are scheduled to be screwed in the coming years.
Hello Alan, I was not surprised… And what’s more, the current government is not a traditional Labour party… Just to confirm, I was and am frustrated, but I am no victim.
It is indeed always good to see both sides of any argument and discussion in my book… But there is much propaganda on both sides of this… We can still rise up and do well for ourselves…
I do not partake in blame culture, I can vent some frustration from time to time, but am not going to blame others for any plight… I think that mindset is a poverty mindset.
Thank you for your contribution, A.
I realise it is a long time since this blog was first posted, and I intended to write a long time ago but just never got around to it. Firstly, I would say that you, Adam, are the dream for the government, not me. You are the one who earns enough money to take you into the top tier of tax paying, giving the government half of your wage. And because of your prosperity mindset, despite this tax rate, you will continue to work hard and provide for yourself, as well as handing over half your wage to the government. I, on the other hand, am not even close to entering the top tax bracket.
The key point to me in your story though, is that the inequality and uneven distribution of wealth in a society creates disharmony. This is true in your story and true in real life. And although at first, you maybe successful and reaping the benefits of your hardwork, in the long run, if you are so much more wealthy than the other people in your society, they will begrudge this, and eventually this will impact upon your quality of life in a negative way. The government is taking a 50% cut of your earnings, not from 0 pounds, but from anything above 150,000 pounds. So there is still something to be gained from you continuing to work and develop. In your story, the pipeline and boat are simply taken away from you. This would be the equivalent of a 100% tax, which is not the case here.
In a poor society where no health service was provided by the state, hardworking people with initiative would earn money and would be able to pay for treatment. Poor people, would die because they would not have the funds to pay doctors to treat them. Now maybe these poor people are even poor because they are lazy, but as a person living in that society you would most definitely be adversely affected by the illness, disease and death that surrounded you.