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"I suspect that the answer, as Solon pointed out to Croesus, is not really, frankly; or no happier than the man with just enough to live on. If that is the case, and it really is true that having stupendous sums of money is very far from the same as being happy, then surely we should stop bashing the rich."
This might be the stupidest comment I've ever seen a major political figure make. Jesus Christ.
Although his point about the super-rich and philanthropy is a bit wide of the mark in the majority of interests.
I suspect his last paragraph is trolling, but then again the article does seem to be written from a slight tongue-in-cheek perspective.
and behave in a broadly ethical manner, the `super rich` (to borrow his terminology) contribute to society (both from a taxation and an innovation point of view) in a way that goes seemingly unrecognised by a lot of people.
Might be a naive way of stating things but I don't have a problem with the root of his argument.
and repeats the classic line that they JUST WORK HARDER THAN YOU OKAY, rather than having largely rigged the system to work in their favour.
Or about them behaving in an ethical manner, broadly or otherwise.
(unless you mean creative accounting, in which case fair enough)
paying income tax is a minimum requirement of being part of society (going by the laws of our society) - that the super rich pay a lot of money in income tax is merely an observation and whether people recognise it or not makes no difference; the action remains the same. fulfilling a basic requirement isn't something that deserves any gratitude pretty much by definition.
just illustrates how much they benefit from the present economic model, and how much the rest of the population hasn't.
says nothing as to what proportion of their income they're paying when compared to lower earners
without factoring in all the other taxes that the rest of the population pay on a scale disproportionate to their earnings.
He's wrong about charity and philanthropy too, and he seems to believe that this economy encourages wealth to trickle-down, rather than trickle up, and he seems to have conveniently forgotten about the tax status of non-doms too.
We've had this debate on DiS before, but having money circulating within the economy at the bottom end of the income percentiles will benefit the economy and overall tax revenues more than if it is accumulating and stagnating at the top or being shipped overseas and not reinvested.
Then we'd have someone in charge who understands the Laffer Curve, thank christ.
you should just reduce tax on the wealthiest.
I mean, it's so *obvious*.
Unless you're a thick/deluded tory dicksplash.
I forgot to add I don't agree with his proposal of further tax cuts amongst this group of individuals either. The `trickle-down effect` has been such a failure I'm amazed that Boris still seems to be so wedded to it. But it's central to his political beliefs and another reason why we must not let him get within a whiff of becoming PM.
He won't, of course, but still.
Can't see him securing enough votes from the party to become leader in the first instance. Unless his popularity ratings have changed in the last year since I checked.
Also, I can't see him gaining popular traction as a serious PM contender. Mayor of London is a reasonably ceremonial/minor office in the grand scheme of things. Don't think he's seen as a serious enough chap to win over the popular vote (plus I don't think he could handle the pressure of campaigning and would have a public blow out which would irreversibly damage his standing).
For him to become leader it would require or need to endorse a level of treachery within the party that would make most members baulk.
I think you're right about the campaigning too - he was very, very protected by his team and his friends in the media in London in the mayoral elections. Despite well over 80% of the papers in this country backing whoever runs for the Tories, I don't think he'll be able to escape lines of questioning that would cause him to have a bit of a meltdown or seem like a complete dilettante.
And for him to lose that would mean that the Boris 'brand' doesn't really exist anymore, meaning his central appeal vanishes.
From what I've heard from commentators, no-one in the higher echelons of the Tory party really takes him seriously as a future leader. Splintering an already farcically fractured party could destory the Conservatives altogether (which seems a far more likely scenario than Boris becoming PM).
Hyperbole killed the argument, bro.
And, also, the removal of the word farcical doesn't kill any of my argument.
It's the largest directly elected job in Europe!
Cos that sounds like bollocks
On the other hand, if you think that it's just a PR role, then it is pretty minor, I suppose.
Pretty sure he is directly elected
Administration of day-to-day services is still delegated to the various boroughs, and the office posesses little in the way of tax raising powers or legislative authority. As you've said below, it's often just an exercise in PR and transportation planning.
Mayor of New York City controls a budget of $50bn
Mayor of London controls a budget of £5bn
He has £11bn of revenue to ponder on. The GLA brings in £4bn in transport fares alone,which of course he has some control over setting and plenty of say over spending.
I did see that figure on the document I was looking at, just obviously misread it
In terms of overall responsibility (both in terms of budgets and policy) it's a lesser office than most cabinet positions isn't it? Most of the decisions made concerning it are made from central government so that cuts out a lot of work!
London survived for decades without an elected Mayor pre-Livingstone.
"It is my duty to stick up for every put-upon minority in the city – from the homeless to Irish travellers to ex-gang members to disgraced former MPs," so it would see that he is grouping ex-gang members with the homeless and the super-rich..........irish travellers with disgraced former MPs.
If you look at it like this, it is obviously just meaningless stuff that is coming out of his mouth in this respect and so should be treated as such, he is saying he is concerned about the rights of ex gang members (murderers) as those of the homeless?
Think about it, there is tons and tons of stuff that one could get cross with Boris about......just take it for what it is, something Boris has said.
the problem is of course, that the awful press print it as if its news.
I wish he'd saved this for pre-election though. Might have put people off voting for this dickhead. He's not a buffoon, he's just got you all fooled.
He successfully convinced an adequate proportion of the electorate that the job of mayor is a largely ceremonial role devoted mainly to PR stunts and designing buses. And then he got himself elected on that basis.
then just about all that's left is the PR bit.
It would be nice to have a mayor who appreciates that a city like London needs long-term visions and goals though.
...to have a mayor that treats the job like a labour of love and a job in and of itself, as opposed to using it for a tilt as his/her party leadership and a piece of career-jumping brio.
It wasn't in the past. He could do a lot if he wanted to. Livingstone did.
the Londoners who couldn't give two shits about art and culture, don't tend to use public transport but drive everywhere, and are convinced money spent on anything in London is simply going to fund immigrants getting better homes.
Essentially he's where he is on a wave of outer-London apathy.
Do you want to try responding to something I actually said?
Hasn't happened yet.
The idea that being in a minority automatically then makes you oppressed.
Poor Queen Elizabeth...
The Homeless, I would like to see society take these people out of this bracket by enabling them to be 'not homeless'
The Superrich, I would like society to take these people out of this bracket, by making them 'not superrich'
Ta dah! Its amazing what you can do with words.
you could just buy anything you wanted, on a whim. brilliant