Jämlikhet och populism

2015-02-03
LEDARE

Den så kallade åsiktskorridoren i Sverige blir allt snävare. Om man inte anser att det bara finns ett sätt att sköta ett samhälle (låga skatter, privata vinstdrivna välfärdsföretag, inga budgetunderskott, ett starkt försvar) så blir man av ledarskribenter och "experter" i media automatiskt beskylld för att vara vänsterpopulist. Detta argument vittnar om intellektuell slöhet och riskerar dessutom att strypa en nödvändig debatt om viktiga frågor.

Det drabbar inte bara Vänsterpartiet i Sverige, det drabbar också Syriza i Grekland och Podemos i Spanien. Den enda vägens förespråkare menar att dessa partier inte har förstått. Det finns en nedlåtande inställning, som om att det handlar om fattningsförmåga och inte om ideologi. Dessutom speglar resonemanget en endimensionell människosyn.

Vi människor antas vara drivna enbart av ekonomiska motiv och egennytta. Om man inte får ta ut vinst när man till exempel driver en privat skola, så kommer inga privata skolor att startas. Detta är ett felslut. Människor har i alla tider haft ett behov av att gå utanför sin privata sfär och göra något för andra utan tankar på ekonomisk vinning. Det kallas för idealism och är en stark kraft i samhället.

Man kan mycket väl ha åsikten att samhället borde ta från de rika och ge till de fattiga utan att behöva bli betraktad som mindre vetande. Klyftorna ökar mellan de välbeställda och de som har svårt att få vardagen att gå ihop. I varierande grad gäller detta de allra flesta samhällen i västvärlden. I USA har president Obama insett detta och han lanserar nu flera förslag som skall öka skattetrycket för de extremt rika. Högre skatter på aktieutdelningar och kapitalvinster ska finansiera barnomsorg och collegeavgifter för medelklassen.

Inför årets World Economic Forum i Davos konstaterade brittiska Oxfam att 1procent av jordens befolkning kontrollerar hälften av de ekonomiska tillgångarna i världen. Man vill lansera ett sjupunktsprogram för att komma till rätta med de orättvisa förhållandena. Bland annat behövs hårdare tag mot skatteflykt, både vad gäller företag och kapitalstarka individer. Man förordar en skatteväxling från arbete och konsumtion till kapital och förmögenheter. Minimilöner och lika lön för lika arbete för män och kvinnor måste införas. Oxfam har en av ordförandeposterna under Davos-mötet, vilket visar på att vänsterpopulismen nu har fått tillträde till en av världens mäktigaste ekonomiska arenor.

Det finns gott om forskning som visar på att samhällen som präglas av stora ekonomiska klyftor leder till sämre hälsa och lägre livskvalitet hos medborgarna. Sambanden är tydliga mellan ojämlikhet och livslängd, psykisk sjukdom, missbruk och antal fångar. Medlet för att öka alla medborgares välbefinnande består i att utjämna inkomstskillnaderna. Det verkar trots allt som om denna insikt håller på att vinna mark, även bland de mest inbitna förespråkarna för otyglad marknadsekonomi.


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