Saturday, 8 February 2014
Financial transparency is the way to go.
I have been arguing for TOTAL FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY FOR ALL for some time and it has always seemed to me to be a sure fire way of putting the cat amongst the pigeons. I don't just mean finding out how rich the rich actually are but transparency for all of us. Every pay slip, tax return, property deal, shares portfolio should all be in the public domain. Post modern life has created a sexual transparency unheard of in the past. We know all kinds of details about other people's intimacies but the former privacy of the bedroom has been replaced by a compulsive secrecy about financial matters that simply plays into the hands of the power elite. How much we earn is "private" but start breaking this taboo and all kinds of things might happen. I had to deal with "performance related pay" in one job. Of course it was a device to isolate staff from each other but I made a point of revealing to colleagues exactly how I had fared and asked that they do the same. Management hated this openness. People want to keep their finances secret for one reason only, because they are ashamed. Ashamed of being so rich or, sadly, ashamed of being so poor. There is a long way to go from revealing the full measure of financial inequality to being able to do something about it but a demand for full financial transparency would be a step in the right direction.