Prepare To Welcome The New Immigrants
The British have always been a cruel people. You see it in their relations with our own country. They imposed a stamp tax here in colonial times so simple and hard to avoid, it drove American smugglers like John Adams to start a revolution in 1776. The British then burned Washington during the War of 1812, but bugled the burning so badly the city wasn’t totally destroyed, leading to the government that operates there today.
Yes, the British are a cruel lot. But what they’ve done in recent weeks to their own people beats all. I refer, of course, to the just enacted 50 percent tax on bonuses that bankers in The City (Britain’s Wall Street) gave themselves this recession year. A 50 percent exaction, one must add, almost immediately replicated by the French (them again, the folks who opposed our invasion of Iraq!).
The British banker bonus tax was largely a ploy to improve that country’s Labour Party’s standings before an upcoming election. It’s a ploy that seems to have worked, because immediately after its announcement the gap between Labour and the opposing Conservatives narrowed sharply.
Imagine! British voters are so small-minded, so riddled with jealousy, that they actually support a measure to trim the bonuses of people largely responsible for driving their country into a recession far deeper than our own. What can one say about such a nasty national attitude? Or about the comment of Alistair Darling, who holds the British equivalent of Ben Bernanke’s job in Britain, who had the unmitigated gall to say that bankers “need to demonstrate they live on the same planet as the rest of us.”
Tosh on you Mr. Darling. Tosh, tosh, tosh. Here in America, pondering the cruel and unusual behavior of Darling’s government toward its bankers, we can only feel gratitude that our own Congress and Administration have not fallen into this socialist sump.
Now comes the inevitable upshot, however, the flight of those smitten with this tax horror. Bankers from The City have warned they might have to flee to another financial center if such a tax were imposed. It has now been imposed and they can’t across the Channel to France because of that country’s copycat nastiness (And because the Chunnel has been temporarily blocked by the weather). So these bankers will doubtless emigrate our way soon.
The words of Emma Lazarus’ poem, “The New Colossus,” immediately come to mind. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses longing to be free of bonus taxes…”
That’s how the poem went, isn’t it? I mean, if the present-day United States of America isn’t the last refuge of astonishing rich stock traders, who think they have a God-given right to get fatter and fatter while so many others get leaner and leaner, what’s this country coming to anyway?