Prepare for some hardcore (and incomplete) utopianism…
If it’s true that the scale, rate, and effect of wealth inequality is as the RSA, the Equality Trust, and The Spirit Level claim it to be, then it might be a problem worth resolving.
The richest 100 people in the UK are as rich as the poorest 19 million – InequalityBriefing.org
The richest 1 per cent of the population have as much wealth as the poorest 57 per cent combined – Office for National Statistics
I mean, what benefit is it to the economy and society that Wayne Rooney earn’s £15m a year?
A neo-natally imposed maximum salary for British citizens that in turn pays for a Living Wage might resolve all of our income inequality problems. Taxation alone isn’t an effective or convenient mechanism for redistribution, since it only draws money into the state, as opposed to the economy.
Alternatively, limit top salaries to 10-20 times that of the lowest earner, with some kind of national pay scale.
The problems of such a proposition are the implications of individual business owners leaving when they reach the cap. Why would you remain a UK citizen, with (say for instance) a salary cap of £1m per annum, if on the other hand you could be a Spaniard and earn an unlimited amount of money. The business would therefore be taken elsewhere, at a detriment to the economy.
The EU here had a strong role to play, as standardising such a concept accross all EU countries would have limited physical practicalities of changing citizenship to avoid the cap. Unfortunately there would always be a sunny country willing to accept new citizens with enormous quantities of wealth.
- What effect might we suppose the neo-natal element of the idea might have?
- Do we therefore somehow try to uneducate greed?
- What is the salary of each person earning above, say, 500k?
- How much money is recoverable?