Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Persecuting Rich Pricks. An ABC of Ignobility from OBE to IRD.

I want to highlight the philosophical menace of the immorality reported by Granny Herald over the weekend, because it’s a certainty the MSM will never get to it, and it’s important. Look at what we do to the people who pay for this increasingly violent, second hander society:

‘New Zealand's richest people have paid more than $500 million in extra tax after an Inland Revenue crackdown.
IRD investigators have unravelled the complex tax affairs of individuals who have, or control, more than $50 million each to ensure they pay their fair share of tax.  …  Since the unit was set up in 2003, it has collected $467 million.’

Don't hold me to the following figures, as I'm too depressed to go confirm the stats somewhere on my hard disk, but this group of, to quote a former finance minister (the one who didn't believe in knighthoods, then took one), this group of 'rich pricks' form part of the 19% of taxpayers that pay 86% of the tax take (See update 1 below). In a civilised country you might think a thank you would be in order, but not in our social democracies: no, what we've done is have IRD set up an elite group of pricks to deal to them, and citing ‘fairness’ of all contradictory things. Aren’t they already paying more than their fair share? I don't know what the group is known as, in-house, though I suspect it rhymes with Gestapo, but if you show the initiative to make it onto New Zealand's rich list, unlike the two-faced politician with his knighthood, the one thing guaranteed is that you will earn a series of visits from them. Indeed, your privacy will be totally invaded, your life will be turned inside out, and if your accountant has got some part of our income tax legislation wrong - and this is as likely to be bad or wearisomely common retrospective tax law, as ‘cheating’ - then you may well lose a house.
If I can get more than 370 followers on Twitter, I think I'm going to start a movement for transparency in politics; given the only thing I've seen a Western politician do, for years now, is decry the selfishness of rich pricks, my first recommendation will be that all taxpayers with the cheek to have worked eighty hour weeks and taken the risks necessary to be worth fifty million dollars - and despite that in earning this they have delivered goods and services that will have improved the standards of living of all of us - I'm going to recommend they be forced to wear something in public to identify them, IRD shouldn’t be the only ones with access; perhaps a little yellow dollar sign on their lapels, so that we can spit at these brazen scapegoats in the street. We want what they've got, and in fairness, the IRD better take it from them. They're even so selfish as to think the state shouldn't decide how and on whom their money is spent.

Hang on, I need a wine to steady my anger down to rant, again (a wine which, with the excise taxes, I've probably paid fifty percent more than I would have had to in an actual free market. Dashwood Sauvignon, Marlborough, by the way, currently best buy for those who've blown the wine budget).

IRD hold compliance meetings every year, the last one I attended was three years ago where the department's chief commissar in charge of persecution/compliance, a Wellingtonian, of course, was bragging at how he loved using 'private sector assets against the private sector.' Those, remarkably, were his exact words. At the time I thought this very confrontational for a man whose wages were paid by the tax slavery of private sector risk takers, as I didn't think this was supposed to be a ‘them and us’ war. And, frankly, I didn't think it was very nice. In that instance he was talking about how IRD were mining the Waikato University benchmarking database; a database to which small business gives it's data freely - with a good faith now thrown back in their faces - so that they may obtain in return information to help them run their businesses better. The commissar was awfully pleased with himself that from the database they'd extracted the profit a painter should make on a litre of paint, and they were about to launch their blitzkrieg, demanding to know why, recession aside - which IRD audit know nothing of - each poor sod painter might not have made his quota of profit on his paint purchases for the year, with the intention, I assume, to levy tax on any difference ... if you remember, I've already written on where the burden of proof lies in a tax case. Anyway, that finished it for me, I've never been back to a compliance meeting for fear I might break someone, sorry, something. Instead I have simply been getting morose about my job, fearful of the consequence of getting it wrong, sleeping with my professional indemnity policy, and scaling back by asking some of my bigger clients to please go elsewhere. I'm over it, it’s not living, and I'm looking around me, with purpose, for something else that’s actually satisfying.

Unfortunately my advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism - noting the crony capitalism we have is to capitalism what sea horses are to horses - has never been about money; it's only ever been about that wonderful, evolutionary thing that capitalism, and only capitalism, is based on - the voluntary transaction. I'm a freedom freak: peace baby, the true sixties legacy, not those suited communists in the Greens Party whose every policy is the advocacy of force. Only on the voluntary transaction can there be a voluntary, free society. I said unfortunately because this has meant that while I'm comfortable, I'm not rich enough to build a space station. That's what I would do if I had money in real quantity. I'd build a space station and remove myself from the ugly, brute society we've created for ourselves, yet again. As generation text say, 'I'd be outa here'.
And unsurprisingly, they are - getting 'outa here'. There is a currently a prudent migration of the rich. The socialists’ Hollande in France, and Obama in the US, have been the best thing for the economies of Asia, where many of these wise ones are escaping to. I've heard the exodus of the rich from the taxing banning Mayor Bloomberg of New York is reaching biblical proportions. And so it should. The West is collapsing under a Keynesian hubris of debt, and the rot's so deep because it's philosophical, meaning there is no longer a fix. I give as proof of this, over there, that drunken youth, beer bottle in hand, slouching down the street, his bum hanging out of his pants. For myself, I can't escape, I've got domestic responsibilities, so the best I can do is perhaps learn to play the fiddle. For any IRD investigators reading this, note the 'the' in that, and fiddle as in burning. Don't go bringing my file up, I'm as scared of you as I would be of the Gestapo ;) 


Related Posts: Chris (The Fist) Trotter

Update 1:

Quoting from Stuff, 5 August, 2012:

"... roughly 40 to 50 percent of total net income tax is paid by those in the top 10 per cent income bracket, suggesting that the tax burden falls most heavily on the wealthy". 
 Hattip Cactus Kate.


  1. Mark, your rants just keep getting better and better. Is your novel written in the same style? I hope so.

  2. Cheers Richard.

    Novel certainly has same themes, of course, though I'm really finding it hard to convert over to character driven literary fiction ... it does inevitably change (and lose something, though hopefully picking up otherwise through story).

    Anyway, the novel protagonist just happens to run a blog called Life Behind the Iron Drape ...

  3. Mark,

    Is there much case law about NZers "owning" foreign multinational corporations (or shares in them) via Private Interest Foundations?

  4. Wouldn't have a clue. Why? Anything to do with NZ's ruthless international tax regime, I refer on: not even interested in getting wrecked on the reefs of it.

  5. I recently read about Aussie billionaire Lowy running his foreign assets through a Liechenstein PIF to claim he didn't own them and the "outrage" in AU over it. I wondered if something similar had happened in NZ, and as you seem very abreast of IRD case law thought I'd ask.

  6. Cheers Jeremy. As stated, I steer clear of our international tax regime, leaving it for those with much bigger insurance policies than mine. Note though, we do have a vicious, all encompassing international tax regime, to be feared by the wise, also the FIF and CFC regimes, thus doubt this would be possible. That's no an opinion though :)

  7. Ha ha, I too need better insurance and higher paid accountants methinks. Thanks Mark.