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Via City A.M. – Boris on Starbucks and DC on judicial review

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On the cover of City A.M. this morning, Boris Johnson argues that Starbucks must do more for the UK. Apparently, the Mayor said of Starbucks, “It needs to reflect very fast and very seriously on its position…Either it makes a change in its tax arrangements or does a lot more to visibly serve society.” Now, I was critical of Starbucks in the press myself, but the Mayor is mixing up two issues: paying tax and serving society. As I said […]

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The moral case for lower, simpler taxes and a request for a debate

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This week, the 2020 Tax Commission published its final report (PDF). Yesterday, Eamonn Butler wrote Don’t ignore the powerful moral arguments against high taxation. I recommend the whole article, but this section is particularly compelling: Tax reduces people’s ability to act morally. They might prefer to spend their money on helping their children become good citizens, caring for their elderly relatives, or supporting good causes. Instead they see it taken and going on bank bailouts or expensive prestige projects. Though we wish […]

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The transformation of our society: the Labour vote and state spending

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Two charts show how our society has been transformed in the last century or so: the party share of the UK popular vote and UK state spending as a proportion of GDP. Via Wikipedia, the parties’ vote shares since about 1830: And via 2020tax.org, an updated chart I have used before: David B Smith’s historic look at the growth of state spending since 1870: Anyone who thinks this is a crisis of freedom is at best ill-informed. This is a […]

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