Scotland needs more capitalism – not less!

Scotland needs more capitalism – not less!

by Ivor Tiefenbrun
article from Wednesday 11, November, 2015

INDIGENOUS BUSINESSES in Scotland are increasingly uncertain about their future prospects.  Until recently it was unimaginable that we would question whether the three-hundred-year-old United Kingdom of Great Britain would survive.  

Scotland’s contribution to this partnership has been enormous, and Scots have blossomed in every field of human endeavour, and led British achievements around the world.  Everything about our history, philosophy and education was designed to prepare Scots for a global role.  Yet now a vast block of our population have turned inwards, amidst a mass of contradictory aspirations.  

Scotland wants to thrive and become more prosperous, and all of us would agree with that proposition.  Yet some believe that we can do it by severing our closest connections, with England in particular, and the common market of the United Kingdom in general, despite the fact that it is responsible for the bulk of our trade, commercial, cultural and social intercourse.  Yet these very same Separatists are committed to remain within an undemocratic European Union even if the UK as a whole decides, that the terms of continued membership are so disadvantageous that we would be better off outside a failing European Union, to participate more fully in the far freer, larger and faster growing world beyond the EU where UK exports and trade are already greater, and the trading opportunities for Scotland are many times bigger. 

The only way to make sense of such contradictions is to understand that the wide appeal of the Separatists’ policies and beliefs is driven by the enmity of many Scots towards Free Enterprise Capitalism and the English, in combination with a powerful preference for more Statist policies.  

This is not an attractive prospect for most Scottish businesses as increased government interference in the economy, with more subsidies, regulations and higher taxes will all create increasingly disadvantageous differentials with both our immediate neighbours, and our global competitors.  Higher taxes on income, property, capital gains and corporations, and ever more public sector spending and welfare dependency can do nothing to increase Scotland’s wealth.  More and higher taxes will also not improve the circumstances of the poorest Scots as they can only result in slower growth, fewer employment opportunities and falling tax revenues, but especially because they do not address the fundamental reasons for income poverty.

Those responsible for the success of Scotland’s high performance specialist businesses upon which our country’s future depends have good cause to view their future with trepidation as do the young, bright and mobile who will find Scottish Nationalism far more remunerative in Vancouver or Sydney than it is every likely to be in Scotland.

The best and most promising Scottish businesses are already limited by skills shortages, and we are already seeing increased emigration of the most mobile and highly skilled, especially those who have a foothold, or ready access to a career, in England or beyond.  Why, especially if you are an English consultant, work twelve hour shifts for a failing and unreformed Scottish National Health Service when you can earn more, and work fewer hours in a Health Service in England which for all its faults is steadily improving?  

Why, unless you are too settled to move, or a very committed Scottish Leftist or Nationalist, work in Scotland’s academia, science, research or industry when you can earn more, and pay lower taxes and have far better financial prospects and security in the rest of the U.K. or elsewhere?  

Why commit yourself to a career, or invest your capital in Scotland when the outlook for earnings, income taxes, pensions, investment returns, social cohesion, family and personal career prospects and education all have such a high degree of uncertainty?

This is bad enough, before even considering the great herd of elephants in the room.  The Leftist, Statist mentality dominates Scottish politics and academia, and they and the far too large and ever-expanding public and welfare sectors contribute little to the economy, and depend heavily for their sustenance, excesses and increasing expectations on the ever diminishing strength of the productive wealth-generating part of the independent private sector that is not dependent on State largesse.  

Many Scots do not just prefer Europe to England because of their Socialist inclinations, but actively dislike the English, and particularly the City of London, because they see it as a Capitalist, dog-eat-dog society focussed on materialism rather than displaying the alleged inclusive concerns that some claim to manifest for the ever-expanding numbers of poor, cow’rin, tim’rous Scots who cannae get a job, or help themselves from being welfare dependents.  These same self-anointed caring Scots have no regard or concern whatsoever for those working the hardest in the private sector who carry the financial wealth-creating burden for the State’s counterproductive increasingly indiscriminate ruinous largesse.

The notion that men should be free to sell their own labour and be responsible for their own destiny rather than be subject to the dictates of the State or any other collective mechanisms that direct their efforts and sequester the fruits of their labour, has transformed the world for the better.  

Wealth creation depends on the sanctity of private property, savings and family inheritance, free enterprise and freethinking individuals who accept responsibility for their productive endeavours and their own personal lives.  Paradoxically they are the truly independent and empathetic people, and the total antithesis of Socialist Separatists who are driven by Nationalism, and whose collectivist political objectives are fundamentally totalitarian.  Because so-called progressive Scots think that they know what is best for everyone, they seek to penalise success in the name of the poor and the underprivileged.  

They believe that national wealth can be secured and redistributed at the expense of individual wealth, and fail to understand that failure is guaranteed when you limit success.  Real Scottish businesses have every reason to be concerned because we should be backing winners for the greatest gains and urgently need to stop rewarding failure.  It is little wonder that the private business sector and the ambitious highly skilled are demonstrating anxiety about our increasingly uncertain future.  Let’s hope our misguided political class soon start to ponder how they can address the destructive false expectations they have raised.  

Scotland needs to get real.


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