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Ljubljana
Sunday, May 26, 2024

The more resources for the state, the less for the citizens

By: dr. Matevž Tomšič

This is not only about rising costs for fuel, heating, food, which at least to some extent depends on external factors (mainly the rise in energy prices caused by the war in Ukraine), so we cannot fully blame the current government for it.

They are also exposed to a constant increase in the tax burden. The government’s tax “anti-reform” has caused most people to be taxed more (this is especially true for highly qualified professionals), which in turn means that they have less money left over. In addition, there are constant threats of new and new taxes. The rulers would additionally tax independent entrepreneurs and property owners, they would introduce various “special” taxes and we would not be too surprised if they wanted to tax certain types of food – especially meat and meat products – in accordance with the drive against them by the nutritional (vegan) activists who clearly have a strong influence in the power structures.

Politicians from the Levica party play the main role in this tax mania. This is consistent with their radical egalitarian ideology, according to which everyone with high incomes (which in comparison to developed countries are not at all) are exploiters of little wealth and as such “class enemies” who must be reaped as much as possible. For those who have “means of production”, it would be best to nationalise them, according to them.

The last such “flower” that arose in the circles of this party (specifically with the newly minted minister Maljevec) is the proposal to introduce a new housing tax. In this way, funds are supposed to be collected, with which the state will smooth out rental housing. Allegedly, they are inspired by the arrangement they know in the Austrian capital Vienna (which has been ruled by socialists for decades). It was supposed to be a one percent tax on gross personal income, half of which would be paid by the employee and half by the employer. At first glance, this does not seem like much, but if we calculate the thing into an absolute amount, we see that it is not exactly small (especially for those who earn a little more). In any case, for the citizen, this means nothing more than a lower net salary and higher contributions.

The essence of the logic of socialists is that the state has as much as possible and the citizens as little as possible. When it comes to housing policy, it is the following direction: not to leave people the means to buy their own housing, but to take it away from them. Then they will distribute these apartments, which will be built with taxpayer funds, according to their discretion. And we can be sure that they will reward their followers with them. In fact, they are already doing this. Let’s just look at the list of people who, either from the state or from the city of Ljubljana, for “special merits” received the use of an apartment at a non-profit rent (this is significantly cheaper than on the market). Among them there is a whole series of those who are “deserving” especially in terms of political activism and agitation for the left option.

In general, socialists are not in favour of people managing their own money. For example, to be able to choose which civil society organisations to sponsor. According to them, the state should rather decide which ones deserve public funding and which ones do not. In practice, of course, this means that the ruling group decides according to its political-ideological preferences. And the result is – again – in rewarding one’s own political clientele. This is also something that is a widespread practice in Slovenia (and many other places).

We have to do with the paternalistic belief that the state knows better than the citizens how they should spend their resources. And not only that, it also knows better than them how they should live, how to spend their free time, how to eat, etc. This is called social engineering. The more of it there is, the less free people are.

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