Re: And this is where the complexity comes in..
"To my downvoter, which of the following statements do you disagree with and why?
* VAT is regressive."
It isn't so much of a problem as is usually presented. Food, after all, is free of VAT, as is rent and mortgage.
Also, VAT on a second hand car, such as I have, is zero. On a £10k car it is £2k, and on a £100k it is £20k. Last time I looked, £20k was a bigger number than £2k. People who buy more expensive items, even of the same type, pay more tax. Are you saying that's a bad thing?
"The consequences of massively unequal distribution of wealth are undesireable."
Often claimed, though usually spelt correctly, but not proven. Consider, for example, China. Inequality has increased markedly in the last 10 years, due to fewer constraints on the market. Yet in those same 10 years more than 500m people have been lifted out of poverty in that country, because there are now fewer constraints on markets.
Maybe, despite what you might want to be true, greater inequality is a by-product of generally increasing wealth overall.
"The more wealth one has in surplus, the more there is available for investment, resulting in ever greater concentration of wealth in the absence of redistributive taxes."
Investment is generally regarded as a good thing - investment in companies after all produces jobs (including my own). Perhaps, as a by-product, it increases inequality, but so what if the overall effect is good?
If taxes are too redistributive, they may reduce or remove the incentive to invest and create jobs. Which in turn lift people out of poverty.