Tim Price: How the West was lost
Comment of the Day

October 17 2012

Commentary by David Fuller

Tim Price: How the West was lost

My thanks to the author for his original and insightful letter. Here is a brief sample:
What is the biggest purchase you will ever make in your lifetime ? You will probably answer: a mortgage. Perhaps school or university fees. A car. A divorce.

The answer is: government.

For every $100 that the average American worker earns, $36 is spent on paying for the government - $29 directly in payroll taxes and $7 in various consumption taxes when the average American tries to spend the rest of his or her pay packet.

In Japan, the average worker pays for ¥33 of government for every ¥100 earned (I'm surprised it's not higher).

In Britain, the average worker buys £46 of government for every £100 earned.

In France and Germany, after spending €59 paying for government, the average worker has only €41 left to spend on themselves.

As we suggested in a recent commentary ('Think small'), national salvation across Europe requires not bigger government but much, much smaller. But that would be to fight against the tide. According to Carswell, there are so many quangos in the UK (quasi-autonomous non-government organisations - even the vocabulary is inflationary) that nobody knows the true figure for sure - estimates vary between 766 and 1,148. We have even run out of letters of the alphabet to name them all. The letters FSA, for example, refer to both the Food Standards Agency and the Financial Services Authority, the City regulator so adept at overseeing our banks. In the words of Matt Ridley,

"Government has employed more and more ambitious elites able to capture a greater and greater share of societies' income by interfering more and more in people's lives as they give themselves more and more rules to enforce, until they kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."

David Fuller's view And it's all done, so we are told, in the name of social justice.

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