I read today that the plan to reintroduce a 50% tax band has ‘stoked fury’.
It is criticised as “penalising the business community, which is already hard-pressed.” Yet “The 50p top rate, which affects the top 1% of earners..” http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/Politics/article1367969.ece
If I were cynical I would say that this looks like the wealthy lining up to protect their wealth.
With nobody pointing out the moral obligations of the wealthy as members of society, that we need them to be ready to help the millions who are really being penalised by austerity, and who are really suffering, then who can blame them. With government leaders like Boris Johnson telling them it is good to be greedy, then a selfish attitude to protecting their wealth is inevitable – but as a society such selfishness is not acceptable.
Research has shown that wealth in a moral vacuum will lead to selfishness, lack of empathy and self-justification. However it also shows that with a little moral guidance, pointing out the difficulties being faced by those on very low incomes the attitude can change.(See http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_piff_does_money_make_you_mean.html?utm_source=email&source=email&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ios-share)
I don’t believe that the wealthy are irredeemably greedy, but please can we offer some moral guidance, and help them to understand that we are “all in this together”.
So please, politicians and media magnates, say to the wealthy, “There are millions of people in our country who are really suffering due to economic hardship. They are not all scroungers. Most would like to work and to contribute to society, but they cannot. They need your help. Will you help please?”