什七稅與爲什麽我們可以錯得這麽厲害

上回話說稅制是社會問題中核心的核心,KrugmanDelong都在討論Diamond與Saez的新文章。D&S認爲對最富有的人徵收70%的稅是最優稅率, Krugman:

Why? Because if you’re trying to maximize any sort of aggregate welfare measure, it’s clear that a marginal dollar of income makes very little difference to the welfare of the wealthy, as compared with the difference it makes to the welfare of the poor and middle class.

Delong引用Moral Sentiment裏的Adam Smith指出大部分人不會支持D&S的觀點的原因,雖然D&S的論點是難以推翻的:

Smith believes, because we naturally sympathize with others…the more pleasant our thoughts about individuals or groups are, the more we tend to sympathize with them. The fact that the lifestyles of the rich and famous “seem almost the abstract idea of a perfect and happy state” leads us to “pity…that anything should spoil and corrupt so agreeable a situation! We could even wish them immortal…”

In short, on the one hand, we don’t wish to disrupt the perfect felicity of the lifestyles of the rich and famous; on the other hand, we don’t wish to add to the burdens of those who have spent their most precious possession – their time and energy – pursuing baubles.

簡單的說就是「大部分人」都很「蠢」,在心理上我們很抗拒對富人徵稅,因爲我們嚮往富人的完美生活,並且認爲富人之所以富有是因爲他們不斷勤勞工作,為社會做出貢獻。事實卻不是這樣,Krugman

Still, don’t some of the very rich get that way by producing innovations that are worth far more to the world than the income they receive? Sure, but if you look at who really makes up the 0.1 percent, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, by and large, the members of the super-elite are overpaid, not underpaid, for what they do.

For who are the 0.1 percent? Very few of them are Steve Jobs-type innovators; most of them are corporate bigwigs and financial wheeler-dealers. One recent analysis found that 43 percent of the super-elite are executives at nonfinancial companies, 18 percent are in finance and another 12 percent are lawyers or in real estate. And these are not, to put it mildly, professions in which there is a clear relationship between someone’s income and his economic contribution.

另一奇怪現象是,現在很多香港人在「反霸權」,但我並沒有聼到其他提議稅制改革的聲音。很多人在呼籲建設社會保險制度,但沒有人提出提高累進稅幅度(最高個人入息稅是15%;企業16.5%)。要求十五年免費教學,但鮮有人要求/示威降低大學收費。我看到佔領中環:「我們從沒有嘗試與[菲傭]溝通,況且她們是資本主義下的嚴重受害人」(11月27日),我不得不說這些人連最簡單的經濟學原理都不懂。發展中國家的工人能透過跨越國境到達發達國家工作以獲得更高的收入,並把收入送回去本國的行爲能有效地使當地人民獲得他們所缺少的資本,所以大多數經濟學家支持更大的跨國勞工流動。你們要爭取的是社會要合理對待這些工人並支付適當的工資;如果你們認爲香港人有義務支持發展中國家,你們要爭取的是更開放的引入外籍勞工,而不是「反對資本主義」!

站出來爭取什麽、反對什麽只是一種意識上的表態行徑;能不能提出建設性的建議卻直接反映爭取的人與反對的人的精神狀態與思考能力。可悲的是,香港的抗爭只停留在發音階段,從來沒有人站出來作出有邏輯、有策略、有系統的主張。「資本主義」老祖宗Adam Smith早就知道人類並不能倚賴觀感來作出重大決定,爲什麽今天的「反對資本主義」者會比他們所反對的事物還不如?

This entry was posted in 社會心理, 稅制, 經濟學, 政治與經濟 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 則回應給 什七稅與爲什麽我們可以錯得這麽厲害

  1. 司南 說:

    也不是沒有人提出累進稅,不過不是很多,而且聲音也不大。

    在網上找到這一篇:
    http://www.hkcd.com.hk/content/2010-07/29/content_2565258.htm

    此外,本人網誌很多年前也提過一下:
    http://point.south.hk/post/76/

    • 山中 說:

      謝謝資料。
      我希望這些聲音在公衆討論中能有系統的、持續的反映出來:
      1)社會保障制度、教育需要稅務支持,提議建設社會保障制度是也需要稅制改革。
      2)很多香港人認爲現有稅制是累進的,他們不明白累進空間太少其實是等於flat rate,大部分人按照15%交稅。
      3)大部分人不明白稅務的重要性,不會想到他們在稅務中能分一杯羹,因此他們不明白什麽是就業、退休保險基金。
      4)經濟學家有責任站出來説話。奈何香港有骨氣的學者已成少數,大多已成學棍與走狗。

  2. 通告: 什麽是貧困? | 中華人文主義者協會

  3. 通告: 什麽是貧困?— 山中 | 主場新聞博客群(測試中)

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