Maybe, just maybe, governments start to realise that you need a thriving economy to maintain a level of social welfare. Over the past decades, the illusion of free money – fed by the redistribution of wealth (taxes from individuals and enterprises) – created a disconnect between the ones who pay and the ones who receive. Politically correct discussions are held about the increasing gap between the “haves” and “have nots”, or the rich and the poor. But it is felt as a discussion between the “paying” and the “receiving” groups.
This is a fundamentally wrong discussion. Leading to a set of fundamentally wrong actions.
The discussion has to shift towards actions to support the economy. Especially in Europe this is something difficult to grasp by our elected representatives whose imagination stops at the word “tax”. Despite the increased rhetoric about supporting the economy, the reality is that the only measures that make it in real life are tax related. Nobody has to tell me that working for the government is boring. It takes a unique creativity to come up with “taxes on sugar drinks because we are so concerned about the health of our people”, “taxes on rain water”, “taxes on solar power”, etc.
So let’s help the governments to make this transition from tax to supporting the economy.
Action to all governments … shift from Social-Economic to Economic-Social.
This reads as a silly switch in words, but it contains the core of the change that we need to implement to rebuild the economy. Changing the word order is a small thing. But when executed consistently, it emphasizes that the economic growth fuels the social welfare and not the opposite. From now on, each debate should use the “economic-social” terminology. It’s a fundamental shift in 21st century politics.
I wonder if the liberal parties of Europe will ever adapt this idea ?