The Bagehot column in this week’s Economist contemplates an Atlas Shrugged-like future for Britain.
The combined result of Brexit and Corbyn could be the dystopia that Rand warned about: a stagnant society driven by resentment of the successful. The flight of talent will not only have a knock-on effect on the wider economy, as high earners who would have spent money in London or Leeds start moving to Paris or Frankfurt. It will also reduce the state’s revenues, since the top 1% of earners pay almost 30% of income tax and the top 10% pay nearly 60%.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:King_Alfred_Statue,_Winchester.jpg
The Adam Smith Institute’s Eamonn Butler posts a useful reminder:
But taxes, tariffs, quotas, regulations, licences, trade restrictions and all the rest do not cost business. They cost people. People like you and me, even those of us with no business interests. And they cost us far more than the £x price-sticker suggests.
It’s too easy to assume that “business” or “the rich” or just simply “they” can afford it, or even deserve it, whatever the “it” of the moment happens to be.
As Butler says,
Most businesses are small businesses, as small as one person, and most of a country’s commerce goes through these small operations. Something that costs “business” in fact costs millions of these same people, from the local farmer to the budding software developer.
Read the full post, here.
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The UK’s accounts had an unexpected monthly surplus in July – the first July surplus since 2002 – driven by unexpectedly large tax receipts from self-employed individuals (see The Telegraph, here).
Such news helps highlight the growing importance of self-employment and the Sovereign Professional.
Of course, because of the B2B nature of their work, many Sovereign Professionals will actually be employees of their own limited companies and related tax payments will not form part of these figures.
Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash
There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.
John Ruskin (1819 – 1900)
Left a good job in the city
Workin’ for the man ev’ry night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleepin’
Worryin’ ’bout the way things might have been
A song about freedom. According to Wikipedia, the first line was inspired by Fogerty being discharged from the National Guard.
It’s a great piece of rootsy, raw country rock from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s second album, Bayou Country.
This version seems to be from the Johnny Cash Show…
The Daily Stoic is a great resource and I love their daily emails. This is from the 7th August, quoting Brand Blanshard on Marcus Aurelius:
“Few care now about the marches and counter marches of the Roman commanders. What the centuries have clung to is a notebook of thoughts by a man whose real life was largely unknown who put down in the midnight dimness of not the events of the day or the plans of the morrow, but something of far more permanent interest, the ideals and aspirations that a rare spirit lived by.”
I’ve only recently discovered the site, but they have a useful “beginners’ guide” here.
The above quotation, I think, originates from Brand Blanshard’s Four Reasonable Men.
A great reminder from Seth Godin. Everyone wants to be “discovered”, everyone wants to be an “overnight success”.
The reality is that you have to pay your dues, you have to work for years to reach the night over which your success happens. Jimmy Page (and, indeed, the recently departed Glen Campbell) were session guitarists before their fame. Hendrix, too, was a backing musician. Einstein was a patent clerk.
As Seth says:
The thing about being discovered is that in addition to being fabulous, it’s incredibly rare. Because few people have the time or energy to go hunting for something that might not be there.
To be sought out.
Instead of hoping that people will find you, the alternative is to become the sort of person these people will go looking for.
Read the rest, here.
Photo by Jaro León on Unsplash