Democracy, taxes and our legislators

February 17, 2007

I am always reading about how our legislators proceed in questions of taxes. I also read that these very same legislators set their earnings as our representatives. I read as well that on many occasions heated debates take place of what should be the minimum wage payable to a worker. And indeed the three issues, in my opinion, clash with the quality of our representatives as such.

The issue of taxes is something that reaches the limits of ridicule, if it were not for the exaggerated rate workers have to pay to the Treasury as compared with the obligation “imposed” to Chief Executives or companies and corporations. Indeed in proportion workers due to “their faculty of appointing their representatives” bear the brunt of the tax chain. And this does not appear to show signs of changing.

But when it comes to setting salaries for our representatives at parliaments, then the media do not echo any “heated debates”, it seems on this issue politicians of any trend do agree without any further ado. And I believe this is the only issue where politicians are effectively in agreement. And of course we pay those salaries they have agreed upon.

The most shameful of the three issues, the minimum salary, is something that does not bear any criticism in that it takes sometimes months and months of occasional debate, sometimes being left for the next elected legislature to decide.

Democratically speaking I would say that legislators should be consistent with their electors’ needs and their obligations ought to be explicitly manifested in their approval of either of the three issues mentioned above, to which end they should act as follows:

1. Taxes to be paid by electors in general should take into account that they are the weakest layer of our society. Companies and corporations to meet the highest rates in the tax scale. Executives with high salaries to be in between the two layers.

2. The salaries the legislators approve for themselves should never be higher than those collected by the average of workers. That is if legislators want to give themselves a new rise that new rise exactly should also be paid to their electors.

3. The minimum salary should be consistent with the actual cost of living and the members of each family.

This is one of the ways legislators have to convince their electors that they are effectively on their side of the fence.

Otherwise we will always think we are poorly represented.


9 Responses to “Democracy, taxes and our legislators”

  1. earthpal said

    It’s not just their salaries Jose. We the tax-payers are being made to top up our MP’s pensions due to an increasing deficit, despite the fact that other public sector workers are having their pension rights cut by those very same politicians.

    They clearly feel they are way above the people they are paid to serve.

  2. Jose said

    Indeed, earthpal. The giant mockery of democracy.

  3. Thanks for broaching the ‘Democratic Deficit’ topic in these last two posts.

  4. Richard said

    Ummmm…’the democratic deficit’…I sense a Chomsky influence there, 1loneranger…would you care to define what that means ?

  5. richard-
    I refer you to anitcant. I’m just learning. He’s the one with the experience.

  6. Dave On Fire said

    I agree. Indeed, why not tie MPs’ salaries to the median national wage? That would prevent them from forgetting the little guy (and it would save us quite a bit of money too).

    Richard: democratic deficit is simply a deficit of democracy. So many decisions are taken beyond the reach of any democratic control. Corrupt and inneffective national governments are part of this, but many of the entities that most influence our lives come from other nations or indeed from supernational entities like corporations, the UN and the IMF, over whic we have no democratic control. And what’s wrong with Chomsky?

  7. Jose said

    Nothing is wrong with Chomsky, Dave, on the contrary he is much admired here.

    And that side of politics which you mention and appears impossible to be dealt with – corruption – is an added value to the topic under discussion and the lack of control of institutions like the IMF or the World Bank – the UN I believe is another question because in my opinion it deserves a total overhaul or drastic changes – which makes them almighty under the close scrutiny of those who really move money around the world, our money unfortunately not theirs, are subjects of deeper consideration.

    Incidentally, I wonder whether this manipulation of money from taxes by the IMF and the World Bank does produce the sought results and whom those results go to.

    As Anticant says we need various blogs to discuss all these points in depth.

  8. anticant said

    Yes, and look where the arch-hawk Wolfowitz is now!

    I’m pondering over possible ways of “theming and streaming” our respective sites, and will post some suggestions in anticant’s arena soon.

  9. Jose said

    Good, Anticant. There’s much to be done yet. I’ll have a look on my side to see if I can find a good system for that idea.

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