The Pledge of Philanthropy
THE PLEDGE OF PHILANTHROPY – Currently in the news is the call, by Ed Balls, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, to increase the upper tax limited from 45p to 50p; or if you like reversing what David Cameron did by reducing the tax limited from 50p to 45p.
As we pointed out in our article above there are many very wealthy people who are not opposed to a raise in taxation and indeed many feel that they should pay more.
This issue however is being marred by some people who simply think that the rich should pay more just because they can afford to do so without considering the underlying consequences of wealth creation and philanthropy.
It’s no secret that some of the world’s richest people, including Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and a plethora of others pledge vast proportions of their wealth for humanitarian causes.
Before we consider taxing the rich to death, how about looking at the underlying issue of where taxation goes and who spends it.
Taking just the United Kingdom alone it is clear that despite taxation generating billions of pounds a year, the Government still finds it can’t meet public expenditure levels and therefore has to borrow money.
The incompetence of Government Ministers is staggering when you put it to a monetary figure, for currently Britain is now approximately £1.4 trillion in debt and spending five times annually its national income therefore piling more debt on top of the debt already accumulated.
If Britain was a regular corporation subjected to a capitalist free market it would never have recovered in 1976 for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wouldn’t have bailed it out and then subsequently allowed successive Governments over the decades to continue accumulating more debt.
So here we’re looking at philanthropy and a humanitarian issue; so let’s look at how well a politician and a businessman compare.
In order to do this we need to look at Britain’s Department for International Development, the Government branch for distributing Foreign Aid and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (see website) which is a privately owned charitable organisation that provides cash for all manner of developments in infrastructure to medical advancements.
There is a marked difference in the two entities for one is powered by personal money and operated by experienced and highly motivated individuals whilst the other is ran by an incompetent Minister whose salary and funding comes from the taxpayer.
Ask yourself this simple question… ‘Which one do you think operates within budgetary constraints and utilises its financial resources that clearly have made remarkable headway without funds falling into the hands of despot dictators?’
Unless you really don’t have clue, then the answer is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; for it is widely accepted that the Department for International Development, run by Justine Greening wastes billions of pounds a year on developments that have never come to fruition due to the amount of corruption both within the UK and the despot nations that are handed cash.
Tax the rich? Really we ought to be grateful to them for there is not one single Government department that could hold water against any of the world’s richest people in terms of being able to manage money and indeed make a profit (surplus in Government terms).
I was asked the other day that if meebal.com grew into a large corporation making millions in profits if I would engage in tax avoidance.
Note I said tax avoidance rather than tax evasion, for the first is perfectly legal whilst the latter will land you in prison.
The answer… You bet I would. That of course is the simple version of the answer so let me explain.
Why anyone would want to hand over hard earned money to an organisation that is inept, corrupt and would make Ali Baba and his band look like choir boys is beyond me.
I despise politicians for whenever I come into contact with one I feel soiled; yes it’s an awful thing to say but these people have all the moral fortitude of a slug on a cabbage patch and are basically thieves and liars – why therefore would anyone want to hand them money?
Now I don’t want to get ahead of myself here for meebal.com is just over a year old and last month it generated a whopping £17.26; yes that was the revenue income for the entire month and by the time I paid for the server I was out of pocket by £7.74.
Yes it’s a long way off Google, Facebook, Twitter or any of the large corporate online brands but hey Rome wasn’t built in a day and besides I thoroughly enjoy writing my opinions on all manner of subjects; I can tell you it’s a wonderful form of relief from the injustice in the world.
Anyway… let’s just say that meebal.com was generating an income of £50 million a year with profits of say 10%. On that profit I would be expected to hand over 21% in corporation tax and then 45% on my personal earnings.
I wouldn’t mind, but knowing how Government works and the fools that operate it I find the whole affair of taxation little better than legalised theft where the money generated is then squandered; mainly through their own expense accounts and handing jobs out to their friends and family members – quite frankly it’s not only offensive, it criminal and I for one would take every possible measure to ensure that I don’t pay a penny more than absolutely necessary.
So what would I do with all the money? Yes I know you’re probably thinking it’ll be the jet-set lifestyle and honestly there’s nothing wrong with reaping the benefits of hard work.
Certainly I would live better than I’m doing now but I am also more of the same mindset as Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson and other such philanthropists who feel that so much more can be achieved providing the money is in the right hands and is used effectively and efficiently.
At nearly 50 years of age I have learned that no matter how rich or how poor I am when I die I will still be cold and the money will be inconsequential; or maybe not.
You see when I shuffle off this mortal coil I will have no use for money but certainly the legacy I would love to leave behind is one that allows my wealth to be used for the betterment of mankind.
I have no interest in accepting awards, accolades or any other of society’s social baubles in order of recognition for none will provide me comfort when gone, but hopefully the wealth I leave behind will certainly provide relief, comfort and indeed life for others to enjoy.
All of this, for now at least, remains a goal and call it dreaming if you will but certainly doing something is better than doing nothing and it could be worse… I could be a politician who will readily whore myself to curry the favour of others, claim for every expense conceivable from the taxpayer and lie and steal my way to a fortune.
Yes let’s not vilify the rich and especially those who engage in philanthropy for these are the people who truly make a difference to so many others, whilst a politician’s only remit is to see just how miserable they can make us.