We live in an age of envy that doesn’t distinguish between rightfully acquired fortune and those which were stolen or swindled (usually with the assistance of the government). From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:
Roughly two thousand years ago, the government of ancient Rome was facing a serious problem.
The tributium capitus, or poll tax, that they had imposed across their provinces was becoming unpopular.
And there was among a growing minority of Roman subjects who felt they were being forced to pay an unfair, overly burdensome, disproportionately high tax bill.
Things got so bad that there were small revolts, especially in one of Rome’s critical eastern provinces where many simply refused to pay.
Eventually the authorities were able to round up the leader of the movement– a youthful, charismatic local artisan who was brought before the provincial prefecture.
After reviewing the evidence, though, the prefecture found that the leader had actually done nothing illegal, and according to ancient texts, announced to the public:
“I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. . .”
But the crowd was out for blood. They wanted the resistance leader put down for good, viewing him as arrogant and disrespectful of their values.
Plus the central government in Rome wanted to send a strong message to strike fear in everyone subverting their authority and not paying tax.
So in the end the prefecture bowed to pressure, and the resistance leader was sentenced to death.
His name was Jesus Christ.
Two thousand years later there seems to be a lot of people out for blood again.
Over the weekend we witnessed the release of the “Paradise Papers,” another gigantic leak of financial records (similar to last year’s “Panama Papers”) which shows how clients of a Bermuda law firm have legally used foreign corporate and trust structures for privacy and tax mitigation.
Among the names unearthed so far are Madonna, U2’s Bono, actress Keira Knightly, Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton, Queen Elizabeth II, and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
And the public is outraged.
The basis of this outrage is that rich and powerful people are ‘hiding’ trillions of dollars in offshore tax havens, places like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.
To continue reading: Class Warfare: People Are Out For Blood