terça-feira, 7 de março de 2006

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"Rattling the tin" no Daily Telegraph
All that money has to go somewhere. The Government takes nearly half the national wealth each year, and it all finds its way back into the economy in the end. And an economy, after all, is mostly people.

To put it plainly, in some areas of the country nearly three quarters of the working-age population receive their income from the state - whether as benefit recipients, public sector employees, or employees of companies which receive all their revenue from the taxpayer.

There is an economic and a political significance to this. The public sector and its appendages - the burgeoning "parastate", comprising nominally private businesses which are nevertheless entirely reliant on Government contracts - do generate economic growth, but on nothing like the scale of the genuinely private sector.

The incentives for innovation and efficiency that make for high productivity in the commercial world are almost completely absent in the state and parastate: receiving all their revenue from one source, and that source notoriously bureaucratic and risk-averse, tax-funded organisations are more a drain than a boost to the economy.

The transfer of wealth from the productive to the unproductive sector, accomplished with remorseless determination by Gordon Brown, is the prime reason why (as the OECD reported yesterday) Britain's economy now has a lower growth rate than the EU average.

If the economics are troubling, the politics are sinister. Nine of the top 10 constituencies for public employment have Labour MPs. In these areas we are seeing the steady establishment of the client state: a system not unlike vassalage, whereby the largesse of the feudal overlord keeps the peasantry in a state of miserable subjection.

The fact that voters in these areas consistently return Labour MPs is not evidence of their gratitude, but of their fear that the beneficence of the Government will be withdrawn. The difficult challenge for the Conservatives is to convince people that independence does not mean destitution, but liberation.
[enviado por Patricia Lança]

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