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Peter Larson on the richest percentage

Peter Larson: The New Nobility is Safe

This is a cultural article It is part of Aftonbladet Opinion Press.

In Aftonbladet Kultur’s “Unmasculine” series, we asked some writers to highlight issues missing from this year’s election campaign. When all politicians are working in the same direction, we want to highlight everything else. Issues and constituencies that no one talks about. Things not mentioned.

In the second part, Peter Larson writes about the richest percentage.

They are so few that they are rarely seen in the stats. The richest percentage or percentage disappears when they are combined with all those lawyers, editors, engineers, doctors, professors and managers of small businesses who make up the 20 or 10 richest percent of the country.

And they are so powerful that they have become almost political pariahs, not least because they have hijacked the middle class as a shield.

This combination of invisibility and power is a good guarantee not to turn into a boxing ball on the campaign trail.

Sure, maybe some angry left-wing demagogue will rant about the upper classes and billionaires at some meeting in the deserted town square. They can simply take it. The big “responsible” parties aren’t stupid enough to risk seriously angering them.

They saw how things went last time, when the S government wanted to put a cap on savings in ISK accounts which had become a low tax area for the wealthy. Immediately there were a lot of small savers, the so-called “common people”, in the papers, howling. Despite the fact that one percent of investors own 35 percent of the funds.

It was the same as with the property tax. When it was replaced by a property tax in 2008, it meant a barrage of money on the elite. A villa of 9 million means in the old system 90,000 taxes. Now you can get about 8000 – less than in an ordinary detached house.

It wasn’t the luxury homes that were the focus when the tax was abolished. It has always been one of the ordinary incomers who inherited a cottage in the archipelago, which will now be freed from the terrible tax burden.

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This is what I mean by the middle class as a shield.

95 percent of the country’s total capital income now goes to the top 10 percent

Behind the shield opens A world full of immense wealth and inherited privileges that recalls the old aristocracy rather than the modern welfare state that proclaims the equal value of all people, the line of work and merit.

It is caused in part by rising wages, but above all, it is the ownership of capital and income from capital that separates the richest from the upper middle class.

95 percent of the country’s total capital income It now goes to the top ten percent.

At the same time, only about 2% goes to the poorer half of the population.

But all the rich They are not rich.

The richest per cent took 59 per cent of the capital income and the richest per thousand took about a quarter.

Total capital income of the Swedish people In 2020 it was 342 billion. And so 201 billion went to the richest percent. At the same time, 31 percent of the population did not receive a penny and most received only a few hundred Swedish kronor. The average value was 1700 SEK. (SCA 2018, 2022). I spent 646 kroner myself.

It’s not surprising that Gini coefficient of capital income in 2019 It fell at 0.96 (SCB 2021). Gini number 1 means that the individual has all the income. 0.96 is very close to such a situation.

The top ten percent of income earners have 95 percent of total capital income.

Reflect capital gains wealth distribution. If Sweden is, after all, still one of the world’s most egalitarian countries when we count income, the distribution of wealth is quite like a fairy tale, and by that I mean fairy tales of dragon gold and beggars.

Since the abolition of the wealth tax in 2007, good statistics have been lacking. But there are some serious estimates. Swiss National Bank Swiss credit Gini is used in his 2021 report as a measure of the distribution of wealth in 40 different countries.

The most uneven are Russia’s oligarchs and South Africa’s shantytowns with a Gini scale of 0.88.

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In third place on this unflattering list, Sweden ends up with a Gini scale of 0.87.

Thus, the property distribution in Old Suss is more uneven than in the USA (0.85), India (0.82), Turkey (0.82) and of course further away from Finland, Denmark (0.74) and Norway (0.78).

That was enough Any devotee of capitalism could defend it if fortunes were created through the hard work and exceptional talent of the rich. leading businesses! Take risks! Well deserved pennies!

But unfortunately: about 40-50 percent of all wealth in Sweden is inherited, and thus nothing any enterprising entrepreneur or thrifty teacher has worked for.

Today’s fortunes are similarly passed on to the next generation.

A study of the richest percentage It shows that social mobility, that is, the possibility of a class trip, is almost non-existent on the cream shelf. To measure mobility, a scale of duration (persistence) is usually used, which can vary between zero and one. In term zero, there is no social inheritance at all and mobility is total. In the first term, children are pure clones of their parents.

For the super-rich, the duration is 0.9. It is heritability stronger than, say, body length or intelligence and three times the strength of the population as a whole. This means that almost the entire financial advantage of the fathers passes to the sons – largely precisely because of the right of inheritance.

Thus, an average inheritance tax of 40 percent (150 billion) will make it possible to distribute one million kronor to each person on his 25th birthday.

One of the most The direct ideas for breaking this chain of transmission are of course a high and progressive inheritance and gift tax.

French economist Thomas Piketty He designed such a proposal for France where the inheritance tax would be on average 50-60 percent and up to 90 percent for the largest inheritances.

The principle is not strange. A number of countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Japan, United States, France, Denmark and Finland have different inheritance and gift taxes. Sweden is a strange exception that allows the wealth of the wealthy to be passed untouched between generations.

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The subtlety of Piketty’s proposal is that the income from the inheritance tax would go directly to the population: every Frenchman at the age of 25 would receive 1.2 million crowns.

In Sweden, in 2017 a total of about 376 billion Swedish kronor. The fact that I chose 2017 is because there is data for that year.

In the same year, there were 145,000 25-year-olds.

Thus, an average inheritance tax of 40 percent (150 billion) will make it possible to distribute one million kronor to each person on his 25th birthday.

It will be a good start-up capital for those who want to start a company, it is enough to deposit in an apartment, and it will give people an unattainable capital. This will be the most important thing: the power of wage-earners in society will suddenly increase dramatically, when hundreds of thousands of young people will be able to say no to the worst jobs.

That would be true Ideological liberal tax. The right of inheritance goes against the essence of the proverb that wealth should be an individual’s advantage and that every individual should have equal opportunities.

But no one will suggest that.

Citizens because they have higher property rights and have the financial and political support of the rich. left because they are afraid to frighten the “ordinary people” who mistakenly think they are going to lose their mother’s summer home.

So it is safer to compete in talking (foolishly) about the poor: their crime, their suburbs, their poor school results, the lack of housing and unemployment, their steadfast ability to be defined as political problems.

The richest percent can sit on election night in peace again. They win regardless of the government.