Stuart Lau on Twitter
Xi just sent a tough message to China’s super-rich during a top-level finance committee of the CCP, on income equity:- Excessively high income to be reasonably adjusted - Regulation for high-income group to be strengthened- Illegal income to be resolutely banned— Stuart Lau (@StuartKLau) August 17, 2021

all the comments talking about the rich fleeing as if it’s as simple as that lol. It’s not as easy as “taxes go up I leave, taxes go down I come”.


The framing around that should always be that it’s a good thing the rich who won’t pay taxes are leaving. If there is a profitable niche then it will be filled by somebody else who’s willing to pay their fair share, it’s really that simple. So, the rich leaving should be seen akin to shaking off parasites who are a drain on the economy. Furthermore, it’s not like they can take their assets like factories with them, so those will be left in the country and can either be nationalized or turned into worker owned cooperatives. The country literally loses nothing in the process.


Furthermore, it’s not like they can take their assets like factories with them

This is one of the most important points. Capital flight is a problem only in governments that are naive enough to allow it, like the eastern bloc and the russian federation after 1991.


TFW you have actual means of production rather than a financialised circus of an economy backed by a fascist military

Why not? You can get a Malta citizenship for around 1 million euros and there are plenty of cheaper options if you have more time and don’t mind not being in the schengen zone. Portugal also has a great deal for around half a million. And you only need to be there for 2 week of the year.


Citizenship is not the primary issue; rich people already have the whole world open to them, if they want to go somewhere, they can. No hassle for them.

But they have to have a way to make money. These are business owners in China and there are various reasons companies choose to operate in their area, with taxes being very low in the list. They want local talent, they want security, they want potential to grow… they want a whole lot of things before low taxes even comes close. It’s also a very compelling argument against the neoliberal tax race to the bottom.

So sure they can move to Malta – but they already could before Xi announced this income equity reform. Instead we should ask why did these business owners not move before? And there will be our answer as to why they will not emigrate even after this reform.

The rich of China are on borrowed time. Soon their wealth will return rightfully to the proletariat.

Wouldn’t the key to addressing the super-rich be to address wealth rather than income? I’m going off the actual tweet, not the actual message (in case there is more to it). Also banning illegal income sounds tautological, no?


The key is income, based in the means of production. Wealth would quickly grow back to where it was, because the structure of things, the methods that got them to that situation in the first place, didn’t fundamentally change.

As for illegal income, it’s just a statement that more resources will be put into finding and prosecuting such things, no?

I don’t think that income is the key at all. No one became a billionaire because of their high income. You become a billionaire by capturing markets, creating monopolies and crafting policies.

You can easily be a billionaire, yet your income is so low that you don’t pay income tax. Lots of CEOs are on no or low incomes, yet they are still pretty well off. No idea how this is handled in China, but the fact that there are billionaires tells me it’s probably not that different.

Income does not address structural inequalities (such as people being billionaires). That is why you can’t just work hard and get to the top. Structural inequalities are caused by the way access to things is granted today, right now. And that access is wealth.

The other thing with wealth inequality is to look at how much a billion really is. Billionaires are obscenely rich, like King Midas style rich. The fact that this type of inequality exists is mind boggling. Oxfam estimates that:

“A one-off 99 percent levy on billionaires’ wealth gains during the pandemic could pay for everyone on Earth to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide a $20,000 cash grant to all unemployed workers, according to new analysis released today by Oxfam”

One year of profits only… This is literally insane!

Any policy that focuses on balancing income is, in my opinion, so misguided that it is hard to see how to not classify it as propaganda for the ruling class.

Yeah, at least in the US the way the ultra wealthy remain that way is by having their wealth grow. Their income isn’t very high, but they ride the wave of growing assets to a large valuation.

Praise Xi 🙏


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