Mission Impossible star Simon Pegg has signed an open letter demanding that multi-millionaires like himself should pay more tax.
The open letter — Millionaires Against Pitchforks — has been released to coincide with the orgy of virtue-signalling by the globalist elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
According to the letter both the climate and democracy are at stake:
It is time for us to act. Despite vocal protests to the contrary, most reasonable people understand that philanthropy has always been, and always will be, an inadequate substitute for government investment. Taxes are the best and only appropriate way to ensure adequate investment in the things our societies need. Individuals who reject this truth pose a dual threat both to the climate and to democracy itself, as those seeking to avoid their tax responsibilities are often the same ones manipulating governments and democratic processes around the world for their own gain.
Explaining his decision to sign, Simon Pegg writes in the Times (of London):
“Inequality is not inevitable, it’s a policy choice. It’s the product of governments passing policies that favour the very wealthy at the expense of the less fortunate. New estimates show that almost half of the world’s population is trying to survive on $5.50 a day or less, and that the rate of poverty reduction has halved since 2013. In the last decade the number of billionaires has doubled.”
Pegg’s article is certainly an invaluable reminder of why thespians are much better at speaking lines written for them by clever people than they are at pronouncing intelligently on global fiscal policy.
Few would deny that Pegg — who made a name for himself in the charming 90s series Spaced, before launching his film career with cult classic movies such as Shaun of the Dead — is a fine and amusing comedy actor. Nobody begrudges the way he lucked out so massively by landing the role of Tom Cruise’s geeky tech whizz in the Mission Impossible movies and broke into the Hollywood big time.
What people might well wonder, though, is what on earth he thinks he’s doing putting his name to such economically illiterate tosh as this fatuous, bleeding heart screed of borderline communist drivel.
“Our fractured world is repairable, we can build a more equal society where the richest contribute their fair share. Our politicians must govern in the interests of all, not just those with the deepest pockets.”
But the richest do already contribute their fair share, as UK political interviewer Andrew Neil bluntly pointed to Labour leadership candidate Emily Thornberry only this week on his BBC TV show.
Like many on the left, Thornberry — aka Baroness Nugee — sees taxing the rich as the solution to everything and attempted to claim that the “well-off” are paying less tax now than 10 years ago.
In the UK, though, this is objectively untrue.
As Neil pointed out, in the last year of the Labour government, in 2010, the richest 5 percent of taxpayers provided 45 percent of total government revenue. Now the richest 5 percent of taxpayers provide 50 percent of total government revenue in the UK.
This is a simple function of the Laffer Curve — a phenomenon clearly unknown to actors like Simon Pegg, which is surprising because it does get a mention in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Reducing the upper tax rate can often, counterintuitively, increase total government tax revenue — because the rich, instead of engaging in complicated (but legal) tax avoidance schemes, are happy to pay what they consider a fair rate.
If Pegg and his fellow signatories — including the inevitable Richard Curtis, director of some of the world’s most nauseating rom-coms — got their way, then, far from easing the burden of the poor it would make their lives harder. The wealthy are quite reasonably reluctant to give away more of their money than they have to and would simply move to more tax friendly jurisdictions, thus meaning the governments in high tax jurisdictions would have less to spend on worthy projects.