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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Socialist “New Deal”

By: Mitja Iršič

Until now, it was considered that the main guide of the new-look governments is stagnation and lack of reforms with the accompanying iconography of socialism. Golob’s government changed the rules of the game. Because for the first time it officially includes Levica party with a clearly defined ideology, and because even Golob sometimes sounds like an older version of Luka Mesec in his statements, we actually got a government that wants to do something. Unfortunately, that something is far from good for citizens.

This government – if it succeeds in its mandate – wants to thoroughly overhaul the social contract and create a kind of socialist “New Deal”. If previous governments talked a lot about egalitarianism, but under the surface actually practiced gradualist Nazism invented by the LDS party, this government has bold plans to carry out a wider redistribution of wealth, not from the rich to the poor, but from the middle class to the ultra-rich, while the poor would receive symbolic crumbs.

The government is aware that there are not enough rich people in Slovenia. Those from the last income tax bracket already pay most of the income to the budget and it is difficult to screw them over even more. There are so few Boscarols, Akrapovics and Batagels that we could nationalise all their property, and it would be enough for three months of pensions. As in every country, the real potential for collecting taxes is the middle class – that is, people who earn somewhere between 1,500- and 3,000-euros net. People who would be a social problem in Switzerland, but here the state sees them as class enemies with capitalist aspirations. Such people are tied to Slovenia – they have business and family here. Unlike the really rich, they cannot afford to escape abroad. Unlike the poorest who have nothing, they cannot afford to declare personal bankruptcy – they have houses, cars, savings… These people are the fuel of economic growth – the backbone of industry. But also, easy prey for the statists in power.

The annulment of the amendment to the Income Tax Act prepared by the Janša’s government was an overture to what was to come. The government justified the measure by claiming that the 800 million less in the budget would be unsustainable for public finances (although empiricism proved them false, as the tax revenue was in 2022). Nevertheless, it has already distributed almost the entire sum, which would have relieved everyone’s salaries, to various interest guilds within the public administration and left-wing NGOs, of course, even before the reform of the uniform salary system in the public administration, which according to experts’ estimates, will cost at least 2 billion euros. With the measure, which leaves us all with lower wages, the government has tested the terrain of how people react when there is actually less money in their pockets. The results are encouraging for the government so far. Few people even talk about the fact that the authorities have robbed them of part of their income as of January 1st, 2023. Therefore, a socialist “New Deal” is increasingly possible regardless of what the Prime Minister says.

So how will they rewrite the social contract? The “rich”, i.e., those with an average good job, a house, a car and savings in the bank, will sacrifice their standard of living in order for the social cash assistance to approach the minimum wage as soon as possible, and the latter to the average wage as quickly as possible, while at the same time we will build a Slovenian utopian “energiewende”, which will be just as wasteful and unsuccessful as the German one. The real estate tax (with the NUSZ unchanged) will slowly but surely nationalise our houses that we have built for ourselves, but if we want to preserve them for the next generation, we will have to buy another house as a mafia guarantee of the states. A global tax on all wealth will break one of the foundations of the capitalist incentive system – the incentive of private property. A system in which – in addition to regular taxation, which covers almost every pore of life – we will also pay the penalty of accumulation of all assets, will create two social classes: the former middle class, which will move among the poor, a new class of government-connected sellers of a green utopia with companies in Estonia and Cyprus, and the “authority” – the one that will “depoliticise” the country and will rule “depoliticised” the 1000-year-old socialist Reich. The first class – the poor – will be the biggest, and if we believe the findings of the sociological experiment of reducing wages through income tax, they will not really know who made them poor.

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