Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IX: Depressing Effect upon Wealth - Socialistic Fallacies
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CHAPTER IX: Depressing Effect upon Wealth - Yves Guyot, Socialistic Fallacies 
Socialistic Fallacies (London: Cope and Fenwick, 1910).
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Depressing Effect upon Wealth
Income tax—Mr. Hearst and Mr. Roosevelt—Death duties in France.
Socialist action has a depressing effect upon all fixed capital. Not only do threats of confiscation cause uneasiness for the future; the proceedings of an unscrupulous policy are disquieting for the present. A suggested income tax, the effect of which is to place an instrument of pressure in the hands of the Socialists destined to annihilate large fortunes and to exhaust moderate ones, does not invite people to embark in enterprises or to buy properties or transferable securities. Since the same spirit prevails, in different degrees, in countries whose evolution is advanced, everyone looks uneasily around him. Furthermore, in order to carry on a policy of preserving the political equilibrium, of giving a few bones to the demagogues to gnaw, concessions are made to the policy of spoliation. In order to contend against Mr. Hearst, the wealthy demagogue, Mr. Roosevelt feels the need of declaring war upon the corporations and threatening the millionaires with confiscation of a portion of their estates upon their decease.
Governments in democratic countries like the United States and France, carry on a system of class policies, which—contrary to the principle of the equality of all before the law and of the law as the same for all—brings us back to the old system.
Optimists would do well to cast an eye upon the following table of estates, passing by inheritance and deed of gift, in France.
In the two periods 1896–1900 and 1901–1904 there was a decline as compared with the period 1891–1895, and the period 1905–1907 only exceeds the period 1891–1895 by 14 millions. Between the two extreme periods covering a space of 26 years, the increase is only 12 per cent., or less than ½ per cent. per annum. Contrary to certain optimistic assertions, the increase of wealth in France, even if its development has not been arrested, is at all events extremely slow, and among the causes which are answerable for this, it may safely be stated that Socialism must be placed in the front rank.