Sunday, 14 September 2014

It's cool and sexy to pay tax...

There's been much heated debate in Sweden leading up to today's election and I particularly liked the piece in Aftonbladet by Fredrik Virtanen entitled 'Yes, It's sexy to pay tax' ('Jo, det är sexigt att betala skatt).

Virtanen calls out politicians for refusing to state the truth: if there isn't enough money to pay for the public services we demand then the only option is to increase taxes. And the reason politicians don't dare to speak the truth is that we voters wouldn't elect them if we did.

So we get the untruthful two-faced politicians that we deserve. We, the voters, 'hope for some kind of magical shortcut to prosperity' and 'refuse to understand that tax is money we loan [to the government] to get back'.

He concludes: 'Taxes are the price of civilisation. Not only is it cool to pay taxes, it's sexy'.

I think there are a few other democracies around the world where the same home truths are being avoided.

Note: The original article is in Swedish - the translations above are my own so apologies if I got anything wrong.

1 comment:

  1. In this month's Dublin Review of Books a blogger puts the blame firmly on us, the voters. We fall for the populist tactics of our politicians, sometimes because of our vested interest in protecting our position, sometimes through our own...stupidity.

    The post is entitled Flattering the People: http://www.drb.ie/blog/comment/2014/08/31/flattering-the-people

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