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  • How would you describe this topic

  • in one simple punchy statement?

  • The pandemic is a tragedy.

  • But it is also a once in a lifetime

  • chance to rebuild better economies that

  • work for everyone.

  • All rich societies have been polarising for a good four

  • decades.

  • Around 1980 the good jobs that were plentiful and available

  • to a lot of people in the past disappeared,

  • in particular factory jobs.

  • Globalisation is not the big factor here.

  • Some factory jobs moved to Asia to other low-cost countries.

  • Many more were automated away.

  • And the clerical jobs that were lost to computers,

  • the retail jobs that were lost to online shopping,

  • those have little to do with globalisation and a lot

  • to do with technology.

  • Tax systems have not redistributed as much as

  • before.

  • Unions that often kept wages high

  • have been on the decline in one country after another.

  • Perhaps the worst effect of all these changes

  • is that entire regions have been left behind

  • because the new good jobs they tend

  • to thrive in the big cities, not in the smaller

  • towns and the rural areas.

  • The pandemic hit societies that were already fragile because

  • of this polarisation.

  • The people in low paid, low productive service jobs

  • are also most exposed to the disease

  • because they have to be physically present.

  • My hope is that the pandemic can be a catalyst for change.

  • In the past, the deepest crises have also

  • been opportunities for the greatest social improvements.

  • In the US the Great Depression led to the New Deal.

  • In Europe the shock of the second world war

  • produced the postwar welfare state.

  • We cannot resist technological change.

  • We need to embrace new ways of working.

  • We can do that by putting much more money

  • into skills, education, training to equip people for more

  • advanced well-paid jobs.

  • Rather than means tested benefits,

  • let's have a universal basic income.

  • We need to lower the burden of taxes on labour, on work,

  • cutting income taxes, payroll taxes,

  • any tax that creates a cost for hiring people into better jobs.

  • Instead, let's make up the revenue elsewhere.

  • Wealth has increased enormously over the last 40 years

  • and it's very unequal.

  • It's a good thing to tax.

  • The other thing we should tax is carbon emissions to help with

  • climate change and penalise polluting behaviour,

  • then redistribute that to the whole population,

  • so that you help the worst off.

  • We need to overcome rising regional inequality

  • within countries.

  • And the pandemic is an opportunity for that.

  • The shift to remote working, we have all experienced,

  • gives us a way to imagine how the most modern highest paid

  • knowledge jobs could be done from anywhere.

  • We have the tools and we have the policies to make economies

  • work better for everyone.

  • What we need is the political will.

How would you describe this topic

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B1 FinancialTimes tax pandemic paid factory income

Could the pandemic lead to a fairer economy? | Rethink Sustainability

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    洪子雯 posted on 2021/03/27
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