There are various arguments and "arguments" for and against. Here are some, to kick start the debate on what is acceptable and what is detrimental to Humanity as a whole... First some of the facts and the context: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16690607 - have a look at the bottom of this article, to see how little, by comparison to others, the UK invests into its population's health, education, pensions - but one couldn't forget bad public transport etc. [TH="class: left, colspan: 4"] [h=2]US v Europe[/h] [/TH] [TH="class: left"] US [/TH] [TH="class: left"] UK [/TH] [TH="class: left"] GERMANY [/TH] [TH="class: left"] FRANCE [/TH] [TH="class: left, colspan: 4"] Health [/TH] Source: OECD (GDP figures from 2009) Private provision, some federal aid. Individuals to be compelled to get health insurance, with subsidies for poor. Cost:17.4% of GDP National Health Service funded by taxation. Healthcare free at point of delivery. Mostly publicly-owned hospitals. Cost:9.8% of GDP Mandatory health insurance covers most of population. Mix of private and public hospitals. Cost:11.6% of GDP Compulsory social health insurance, but most people have extra private cover. Mix of public and private hospitals. Cost:11.8% of GDP [h=3]Welfare[/h] Few welfare benefits. Unemployment pay extended to 99 weeks in recession but recipients must rely on charity after that. Cost:19.5% of GDP Wide range of welfare benefits for low and middle income families. Unemployment pay not time-limited. Cost:24.3% of GDP All-embracing welfare system. Full unemployment pay limited to 12 months, before falling sharply. Cost:27.6% of GDP Broad-based welfare state. Maximum two years unemployment benefit for under 50s. Cost:30.7% of GDP [h=3]Industry[/h] Privately-owned, with federal regulation. Some consider bank and General Motors bail-outs 'nationalisation'. Vast majority of state-owned enterprises privatised in 1980s. Three banks partially nationalised in 2008. Privately owned, except railways, post office and some banks. State-owned East German firms sold off or closed. Mixed economy. State retains stake in several of France's largest companies and pursues active industrial policy. The second part of the picture: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16545898 - the inequality trends in the last few decades, as Neo-cons/Neo-libs got stronger and stronger... [TH="class: left, colspan: 5"] [h=2]Growth in real after-tax income, 1979-2007[/h] [/TH] [TH="class: left"] Income Groups [/TH] [TH="class: left"] 0-20% [/TH] [TH="class: left"] 21-80% [/TH] [TH="class: left"] 81-99% [/TH] [TH="class: left"] Top 1% [/TH] Source: US Congressional Budget Office, Oct 2011 Income increase 18% 37% 65% Third step: the argument that this is "beneficial not only to the economy as a whole and the rich in particular but also to the poor" - questioned... In most US-oriented and heavily influenced world one sees similar story, radically different from "progressive taxation": http://www.lovemoney.com/news/family-finance/tax/11996/the-poorest-pay-the-most-tax Add to it falling real income, higher working hours, less holidays and "benefits", higher proportion of short-term contract jobs, less stability and so on and so forth... Now, usually, we are told that if we increase the rates for seriously rich, big business/corporations etc. - they will go some place else... In other words, we must be schtum and take it on the chin, be servile and be happy that we are seriously exploited and we get less, in terms of chances in life... The question: what is going to happen next? For instance, UK will cheat even more? Cheat both on most of her population, as well as her partners in EU, who have higher taxes and expenditure on education, health, childcare, pensions, public transport etc. etc. etc. How come Germans or Japanese, Swedes and Norwegians don't keep saying that they will leave if they have to pay more taxes? And where are they all gonna go? US? China? Gimme a break... Most corporations are nationally based for a reason! They are not going anywhere, even though they are doing business globally! You see, unless one is rich oneself [in which case it is understandable if one thinks that it is not in one's immediate, short-term interest to pay more taxes] and still one was convinced [by whomever "educated" one (indoctrination and brain-washing by propaganda comes to mind)] that one's interests lie with one's exploiters' interests - I would consider one numb-nuts! If one maintains that, then his/her position renders one déclassé (one degrades oneself). In well ordered countries with properly educated population, where innovation, good strategising, solid organisation, and efficiency rule (see Germany, Sweden and similar countries), there is no such fear-mongering "argument", whereby we should all be schtum and take whatever they are doing to us... (So, what the hell is going on in the US, UK and similar places?!?) On the other hand, if we know our class position and we start thinking on the issues strategically: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16511956 A view on what us "rich": http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15822595 So, what say you?!? Where you live - what's going on there?