Theodore Dalrymple writes:
Why do the French—80% of them, according to some polls—want the footballers to be more highly taxed? Here is a fairly typical, though slightly more articulate than average, comment: “Si, si il faut tenir sur les 75% et aider les nécessiteux avec l’argent des vaniteux et des footeux.” (Yes, yes we must hold to the 75% [tax] and help the needy with the money of the puffed-up and of the football players.)
The effect of resentment on the ratiocination of a perfectly intelligent man is here evident. First he assumes that an economy is a cake whose proceeds can be redistributed without any effect whatever upon the size of the cake to be redistributed; and second he supposes that a euro taken by the state from the pocket of a footballer goes straight into the pocket, without any deduction by a greedy or inefficient state, of the needy (that is to say, in a country such as France, those who would like a larger flat-screened TV than they already have, or the latest iPhone).
The 75% tax appeals to similar low emotions as racism: I am poor because they are taking from me something that I deserve to have. It used to be said that anti-Semitism was the socialism of fools, but socialism is the anti-Semitism of intellectuals.
A Taki’s commenter read my mind…
The men who taste J-words in their sandwiches aren’t going to like the last part one bit.