British Celebs Fight Taxation with Representation

In my New Atlanticist piece, “British Revolt of the Artists,” I take a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the threats of  Michael Caine and Andrew LLoyd Webber to leave the UK if a Labour plan to raise taxes goes through.

While refraining from gratuitous Alec Baldwin references, I do point out that, “Rich artists are perhaps not best spokesmen for this cause, as they both have the appearance of speaking for their own interest and seem to some to make an extraordinary amount of money for relatively little work.”

I also note that there aren’t a lot of great options for Brits seeking lower-tax states.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, World Politics, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    Since the two cited people owe 100% of their income and wealth to a government-granted copyright monopoly, this strikes me as the most fatuous of all possible tax revolts.

  2. James Joyner says:

    That’s unfair, I think. Both are giants in their field. Aside from the ability of people to steal movies, Caine’s work doesn’t require much govt interaction. Webber’s money, presumably, is mostly from performances of his work. They’re creating useful work.

    They’re benefiting from govt only slightly more than anyone else whose assets might be stolen. That’s worth something, to be sure. But half their earnings? I don’t think so.

  3. Tlaloc says:

    Caine created useful, although mostly cheesy “B”, work (Deathtrap with Christopher Reeve is still a favorite of mine). Webber should be shot for hideous offenses against actual music.

  4. Tlaloc says:

    They’re benefiting from govt only slightly more than anyone else whose assets might be stolen. That’s worth something, to be sure. But half their earnings? I don’t think so.

    I don;t think that’s the right question. I think the right question is what did they do that warrants paying them so much more than, say, a doctor? And if nothing they’ve done compares with saving human lives (and it doesn’t) then, well, I have no problem with relieving them of any secret moral pangs their ill deserved wealth might be bringing them and using it to help others.

  5. sam says:

    Caine created useful, although mostly cheesy “B”, work

    Hey, Harry Palmer is one of the great cinematic creations. I will give you the cheesiness, though, of, what was it, Jaws III or IV, Shark Mama’s Revenge or whatever the hell it was.

  6. Joe R. says:

    I don;t think that’s the right question. I think the right question is what did they do that warrants paying them so much more than, say, a doctor? And if nothing they’ve done compares with saving human lives (and it doesn’t) then, well, I have no problem with relieving them of any secret moral pangs their ill deserved wealth might be bringing them and using it to help others.

    Because someone freely offered them the money? Who appointed you Salary Decider Of The World? Two people entered a contract and your opinion that the fee was ill-deserved does not grant you a claim to a portion of the fee.

  7. Rick DeMent says:

    Both are giants in their field. Aside from the ability of people to steal movies …

    But you can’t “steal” a movie that way you can “teal” a car. In the latter you not only appropriate the car for your own purpose, you deny the owner of the use of it. With a movie all you are “stealing” is, at best, a potential royalty which is dubious because it assumes that if you could not “steal” it you would have bought it otherwise which not only cannot be assumed but I would argue is unlikely.

    …Caine’s work doesn’t require much govt interaction.

    If this were true then there is no need for copyright laws, but since the producers of content spend so much time, energy and money protecting them it’s hard to imagine that Jame’s statement is true.

    Because someone freely offered them the money?

    … and the government freely offers copyright protection, and the courts to adjudicate them. So what?

  8. floyd says:

    Jeffrey W. Baker;
    Your government enforces the law that protects you from murder, therefor you owe them your life and property…….Same logic

  9. BigFire says:

    Re: Tlaloc

    Michael Caine one said of the terrible movie that he was in in 1980s (paraphrase): I haven’t seen the move, I heard it was terrible. I have seen the house it build. It’s terrific.

  10. Tlaloc says:

    Because someone freely offered them the money? Who appointed you Salary Decider Of The World? Two people entered a contract and your opinion that the fee was ill-deserved does not grant you a claim to a portion of the fee.

    Me personally? No right at all. Me plus 50% of the electorate? All the right we need.

    Deal with it.

  11. Tlaloc says:

    Re: Tlaloc

    Michael Caine one said of the terrible movie that he was in in 1980s (paraphrase): I haven’t seen the move, I heard it was terrible. I have seen the house it build. It’s terrific.

    Ice T once said something very similar. How often do you get one degree of separation between those two individuals? 🙂

  12. floyd says:

    “”Me personally? No right at all. Me plus 50% of the electorate? All the right we need.””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    1] Rights are not given or determined by majorities.
    2]The hope of democracy is to avoid tyranny, not to produce a plebeian dictatorship.
    3] The hope of a republic is to restrain democracy within the bounds of respect for the individual.
    4]See # 1]

  13. Tlaloc says:

    1] Rights are not given or determined by majorities.
    2]The hope of democracy is to avoid tyranny, not to produce a plebeian dictatorship.
    3] The hope of a republic is to restrain democracy within the bounds of respect for the individual.
    4]See # 1]

    Getting paid in government bills is not a right, it is a privilege. The government produces money as a service to people, people who want to use those bills (because they are damned convenient) will pay whatever tax the government wants to set.

    Finally the term “plebeian dictatorship” is rather amusing, please continue using it.

  14. Grewgills says:

    The hope of a republic is to restrain democracy within the bounds of respect for the individual.

    Electing representatives rather than engaging in direct democracy does not restrain the majority from removing individual liberties. A constitution can place bounds on the ability of a government with respect to individual rights. Our constitution does that on a number of fronts but it does not protect us from tax increases.

  15. floyd says:

    Grewgills;
    You are absolutely correct, but it is nonetheless the hope of those who respect and understand liberty to elect those who who are of like mind.
    A waning hope at best today.

    Actually, there is no real protection from tyranny, short of eternal vigilance and the blood of patriots.

  16. floyd says:

    Tlaloc;

    Plebeian dictatorship.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    Actually, there is no real protection from tyranny, short of eternal vigilance and the blood of patriots.

    Do tell how exactly you are prepared to spill your blood to stop this newfound tyranny which you think has befallen us…