Are Britons ready for “the nationalization of rail, water, mail, and electricity distribution; various big tax increases on corporations and the rich; powerful new rights for tenants in any disputes with landlords; legislation to increase the power of labor unions; and pay caps for corporate executives”? This stream of bad economic policies is awaiting them in any potential Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn, explains Robert W. Merry in The American Conservative. Corbyn is bent on policies that will be the end of Great Britain as we know it. Merry writes (abridged):
“A Corbyn government promises a genuine revolution in the British economy,” write Pickard and Shrimsley. “Labour’s leadership intends to pursue not only a fundamental change in ownership and tax but a systemic effort to embed reform in a way that future parties will struggle to unpick.”
They quote a Corbyn ally, Jon Lansman, as saying, ”We have to take decisive steps to both achieve a significant redistribution and create a constituency of an awful lot of people with an obvious stake in a continuing Labour government.” In other words, the aim is to buy votes with other people’s money.
Among other initiatives, Labour would force all companies with 250 employees or more to transfer 10 percent of their shares to employees. The FT, working with a prominent London law firm, calculated that this would amount to a transfer of £300 billion. Workers would manage the shares and receive dividends of up to £500 a year. Any income beyond that level would be redistributed to the government treasury—”representing,” as the authors write, “a stealth tax by the state.
The Labour plan also includes the nationalization of rail, water, mail, and electricity distribution; various big tax increases on corporations and the rich; powerful new rights for tenants in any disputes with landlords; legislation to increase the power of labor unions; and pay caps for corporate executives.
Under study are such “radical ideas,” as the FT labels them, as a four-day work week, a universal basic income, and government actions “to control the flow of capital.” And Labour officials have made clear that if the party ever is in position to nationalize various industries, there would be no effort to hit any market price for those companies.
Thus the nationalization as conceived of by Labour would offer another wide avenue of redistribution.
In Britain, it’s true that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t particularly popular these days. But the Brexit issue has driven a wedge through the Conservative Party and raised questions among many British about its commitment to economic stability.
And Labour remains the party best positioned to benefit from the Conservatives’ travails. Thus, it is highly significant that it is lurching so far to the left, just as it is significant that in our country the Democrats are showing similar tendencies.
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