Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Points to Ponder

I don't always like the perspectives of this blogger, but this is a very good point in any world in which we are worrying about the knock-on effects of things like corporate taxes:
In the "debate" about welfare benefits, there's one point which is underweighted but so obvious that I'm embarrassed to mention it - that some form of welfare is beneficial not just to its recipients, but to capitalists.

Rightists like to point out - correctly - that the burden of taxes doesn't necessarily fall upon those who nominally pay it: corporation tax, for example, is paid by workers and not just capitalists.

But just as there's tax incidence, so there is benefit incidence; the benefits of benefits don't flow merely to their nominal recipients.

Housing benefit, for example, helps to sustain high rents and so could well be renamed landlords benefit.
Thinking about things in this sort of interlinked way makes it hard for me to understand why welfare programs are seem so negatively.  After all, they still create opportunities and it is not like the levels of pay-out make it actively fun to be employed. 

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