The poverty of neoliberalism

Canada’s Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty says there are to be no cuts in income taxes. However, there will be — and need to be — cuts in corporate taxes. The reason for this is that the heavy hand of government needs to stay out of the economy.

The putrid hypocrisy of neoliberalism should be evident here: it doesn’t even conform to neoclassical economic theory. Here, at the least, individuals (or households) are seen as — for all intents and purposes — equivalents to firms (or corporations). Thus, to make the economy truly competitive — and we know that the particularly ardent free market ideologues (e.g., Austrian/Chicago school) argue this — one must eliminate all taxes. I would say, if your excuse is economic competitiveness, you should at least look to cutting taxes proportionately. That’s probably not going to happen.

The populism previously present in the Conservative platform (personal tax cuts, a little bit) is dissipating, leaving us with little more than baldfaced brown-nosing of corporations — that is, “enabling” conditions for business competitiveness. Whatever that means.

Update: In the October mini-budget the Conservatives did schedule tax cuts in personal income — and they said this is good for the economy. It doesn’t save most people a lot of money: money that, in the aggregate, would probably be well-spent on something like, I don’t know, national childcare. The post above refers to their plans for the future. this!

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