Two notable experts on taxation have recently made an interesting comparison of European and American Taxation Models and have concluded that our budget-makers, consciously or unconsciously, are following American Taxation Model while dealing with economic classes within the society. Please go to Business Recorder to read article by Huzaima Bokhari and Dr Ikramul Haq. According to these experts, European governments in general and Scandinavian in particular, deplore the idea that people should remain mired in poverty.

In order to address this issue, these governments have initiated a number of welfare programs to help those lagging behind enabling them to move up economically and socially. According to these experts, these European governments resent the sight of rich families staying at the top, and thus impose high taxes on them to redistribute wealth and income in their societies. In the European view, social stability is desirable and if a certain amount of inflexibility is needed to underpin it, that is a price worth paying to avoid the perpetual class conflicts and restless uncertainties of market-driven models. This is how they do not let the monster of extremism raise its ugly head.

On the contrary, we have not been able to eliminate, let alone control the menace of extremism because our successive governments since 1962, following the American approach of free-for-all meritocracy started benefiting the rich through their economic policies. Inequalities are growing; wealth is being transferred from the poor to the rich with skilful maneuvering of prices of the essential items of daily consumption by the rich. State also gets taxes by price hikes in petroleum prices and make up deficiencies by levying surcharge. Ordinary people cannot afford even every day food consumables – what to talk of sugar, which the ruling mafia has converted into “white gold”. What makes the situation worst is persistence of unprecedented wasteful non-development expenditures.

Although we are already lagging behind and have lost precious time to initiate action, it is not too late to start following European Model even today. The time-bomb of class discrimination is ticking and can explode anytime soon.

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