Thursday, 13 December 2018

Greece is flogging its productive class to death

Greece has increased its taxes faster than any other developed economy over the past decade. In fact, only a minority of taxpayers carries the vast majority of the income tax burden. A new study found that 19 percent of workers pays 90 percent of income tax, and 4.5 percent of businesses pays 83 percent of corporate tax. This means one thing: the productive private sector is in its death throes. Most workers cannot earn enough to pay tax, and most businesses have very low turnover. It should tell the government that 2.2mn people still employed in the private sector can no longer support 700K public sector workers, a million unemployed and 3mn pensioners, plus children and other dependents. Greek governments have for years flogged a dying horse - no one more cruelly than Syriza. When I report on the travails of the Greeks, I see snide remarks about how they should stop whingeing and grow up etc. What people in better-governed societies may not realise is that a minority of Greeks is working very hard indeed to save the entire economy from collapse, but governments are not elected by them. They are elected by the handout majority. We have taxation without representation. Given demographic trends, other European societies could eventually end up with a similar democratic deficit.


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