Full text: Thoughts on a capital levy

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because his shoulders are proportionately far stronger), in 
ixing large fortunes we are laying the burden on wealth 
cquired by luck, and not by thrift and industry. These 
smarks, of course, apply with double force to large fortunes 
cquired by inheritance, for a man being born to wealth is a 
latter of pure chance, and not of merit. The Levy should 
1: e for eight thousand millions, large enough to cover both the 
ntemal and External Debts. The six thousand five hundred 
j; lillions of the former could be paid off at once, and a balance 
1 1,500 millions remain in the Government’s hands with 
| Inch to pay off the latter as opportunity might render desir- 
5le. This 1,500 millions would represent a claim by the 
overnment (A) on the Assets of the Capitalists (B), but 
istead of being transferred directly to the Nation’s foreign 
^ ‘editors, it might be better for the Government to treat with 
iese and utilise its funds for the redemption of the Externa! 
ebt on the best possible terms. The ideal should be to extin- 
lish the External Debt at the earliest possible moment, but 
■i our total exportable capital might not allow of this except 
ith great inconvenience and perhaps loss to the Nation, a 
ise conservation of National resources in the hands of an 
)le Committee of Public Finance might be most to the 
S ation’s advantage. As regards the payers finding the.Levy, 
would be of minor importance to them how the details of 
ttlement of the External Debt were arranged. If a Levy be 
ade, it should be made on an heroic scale; there should be 
|) two bites at the cherry. The whole Debt should be cleared 
f. A Levy on a sufficiently large scale does not run the 
| me risk of repetition that would accompany a smaller Levy. 
- must be faced that before long a Labour Government may 
> in power, and Capital Levies would appeal to many of the 
abour following as an easy way to meet financial difficulties. 
our Debt were once wiped out, taxation within the year 
r the purpose of the year should be our principle, and the 

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