Thursday, 14 November 2013

Writer Brings Down Government!

Born on this day in 1907 was the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, whose wonderful creations Pippi Longstocking and the Bullerby Children have surely secured her immortality, as long as children read books. She also has the rare distinction among authors - especially children's authors - of having brought down a government.
  Well, that's a slight exaggeration, but in 1976 Lindgren made the startling discovery that she was paying tax at a marginal rate of 102 per cent. Even by social democratic standards, that's steep - a rate of taxation that actually makes people give the state more money than they have earned. The situation came about because Sweden's Social Democrat government had taken to charging the self-employed not only punitive income tax but also employer's fees.
  Lindgren was moved to write a satirical squib, Pomperipossa in the World of Money, which was published in a tabloid newspaper and sparked a stormy debate about the Swedish tax system. This issue was widely thought to have been decisive in the defeat of the Social Democrat government - for the first time in four decades - in the general election later that year.
  Lindgren, however, remained a Social Democrat supporter all her life.

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