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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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Riposte to Jacinda Ardern’s Privacy Concerns Regarding the MSD. (Powers of IRD)

Jacinda, regardless of your attack on Paula Bennett and the MSD privacy breach, and I see this morning IRD are guilty of over six thousand privacy breaches also, voting Labour on privacy concerns, would be like lambs voting for abattoirs, so you’re wasting your breath trying to score political points off this, as bad as it is. Worse, you have debased the beauty our language is capable of, by turning worthy words into something as worthless as this:

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern said [ the MSD privacy]  breach "points to a cavalier approach to privacy and to the protection of information by this Government and the buck has to stop somewhere."

I don’t know if you’re being woefully ignorant, or cynically deceitful, in your inferred denial here that the surveillance thug state your party, and every other party in Parliament, including Bennett’s, requires for redistribution – called theft by free men – necessitates that no citizen can be allowed privacy anymore, or to be left alone.  To take my income and property to finance your dream - my nightmare - of the semi-police-state, you first had to take my privacy from me. From when the very first of your sodality of statist dictatorians decided they were more worthy to spend my money than I was, then my life staked out prostrate before your bureaucrats was mandatory.

Redistribution, as Rodney Hide has ably shown, has required Parliament to give IRD the powers of the full police state. Despite the businessman lives his life peacefully in the community of the voluntary transaction, the state, via the IRD, treat him worse than a murder or rapist. In respect of the innocent businessman:
The burden of proof is reversed in a tax case. He is not innocent until proven guilty, IRD can simply assess, and it’s up to him to prove them wrong. This happens in no other jurisdiction.

Despite he has done nothing wrong, he has no right to silence, and must attend audit room 101 for any interrogation by the Big Brother state, with serious criminal charges for daring to keep his peace and wanting to be left alone.

He must hand over all documentation the IRD wish, yet;

To get information regarding assessments from the IRD, in return, requires him to go the tortuous and expensive path of obtaining a court order, which practically makes this impossible for SME's.

IRD actions up to issuing their assessments cannot be judicially reviewed; they are above the rule of law.

Truly, whose being cavalier with the lives of free men? State worshippers: you're all knuckles off the same fist: you, Bennett; there is no difference.

And you don't have to goose-step far to find the true victims of your police state. Touch a dictator, I’ve had a good run, interpersonally, with IRD, however, NBR recently ran a story on a tax case, albeit the interesting part wasn’t in the story, but in the comments. Post after post from taxpayers made anonymously; and prudently anonymously, given the major characteristic about any police state is fear. Fear of state sanction at the hands of fallible bureaucrats who have been given the powers of tyrants over free men, and against whom the only defence is anonymity.  Please take the time to read how you have bound and destroyed the voluntary and free society – simply copying and pasting:

Few of the readers have been investigated and then had the IRD attack their tax interpretation.

I've had the misfortune, they are like a pack hunting their prey. Use tactics that are better suited to battle, it was a very unpleasant experience and although we won and eventually the TRA agreed and threw out tax avoidance charges. But costs of time, energy, lawyers and hard cash take your focus away from running your business. 

All it takes is some petty minded bureaucrat to take a dislike to your own tax advisors interpretation and you are in for a very unpleasant ride.


I too, have had the emminent (imminent?) men & women of the IRD ravage our businesses, all for no gain, the destruction of 3 family businesses, and the crippling of another. The effect on our health was enormous. And we were enthusiastic taxpayers working to the law.


IRD are out of control. 3x days with some pimply faced kid causing havoc. extra work and upset in my business and leaves at the end of it all owing me money as the audit found stuff I forgot to claim fully. Still not worth the hassle. Business is too tough here and employing staff a real hassle. Reckon it would be easier to chuck it all in and head to the GC.

And, (sick of this yet, I am):

Couldn’t agree more - after a 5 year audit, $100k in costs, then the IRD admitting they were wrong - Ive has a guts full of NZ's growing civil servants industry smacking the hard working Kiwis for a six.
The burden now placed on tax payers is huge - it is crushing the country!!!

There are more in this litany of looting if you care to peruse that thread.

Note I’m not saying you’re an ‘evil’ person, Jacinda, ironically, it’s quite the opposite: the gulag you’ve created is one of forced altruism, it arose from a misguided conspiracy of the caring, as Milton Friedman attested to (hat-tip Cafe Hayek):

The great movement toward government has not come about as a result of people with evil intentions trying to do evil.  The great growth of government has come about because of good people trying to do good.  But the method by which they have tried to do good has been basically flawed.  They have tried to do good with other people’s money.  Doing good with other people’s money has two basic flaws.  In the first place, you never spend anybody else’s money as carefully as you spend your own.  So a large fraction of that money is inevitably wasted.  In the second place, and equally important, you cannot do good with other people’s money unless you first get the money away from them.  So that force – sending a policeman to take the money from somebody’s pocket – is fundamentally at the basis of the philosophy of the welfare state.

And I’ve already posted in this blog that though nothing excuses the immorality of the initial daily made theft at the heart of the welfare state, if it had worked to bring communities together, you might have campaigned on excusing the state's violence by some awful pragmatism; but you don’t even have that to fall back on, as David Schmidtz’s stated in his important 1998 book, Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility: For and Against:

If communitarians are right to say Western society has been atomized, then surely one of the causes has been the state’s penchant for making itself (rather than the community) the primary focus of public life….

What explains market society’s unparalleled success in helping people to prosper? The key, I have argued, lies in background institutions, especially property institutions, that lead people to take responsibility for their own welfare….

The welfare state would have made people better off if it had led neighbors to rely on each other and on themselves, but it seems to have done the opposite.

So, this caring society you represent, and your new found concern for my privacy; excuse me for not buying it. And after this length of time, it has now become, per the taxpayers above, something much worse than benign. I resent this surveillance state you’ve created for every reason possible from philosophical, political, right down to a simple compassion for my fellow man, because there is nothing crueller than the poverty of mind and pocket being created by you. And to pair your debased words, with those of a debased literature, please wake up and see the slave shackles you have me in: you may well be into this fifty shades of political BDSM bullshit, but I am a free man, and demand you release me to my own volition, so that I can look after my family and loved ones without the governments brass knuckles in my every transaction.

Your unwilling servant.


  1. Fantastic post, Mark. I'm about to head across the ditch to earn some fast bucks (working on Christmas Island as it happens); I'm wondering if the Australian Tax Office will be as brutal as their counterparts over here. I know that foreigners such as me are taxed from the first dollar (unlike residents who enjoy a Libz-style tax-free band for the first $18k or thereabouts) and at the top end 45c is taken back for every dollar earned. Keep up the good work. Your columns are a joy to read.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, and sounds like an interesting job coming up. Assume you'll be back in time for 2014 election?

      ATO is like all taxing authorities: vicious :( And their 45% rate obscene, as are their capital gains taxes.

    2. Hi Mark, amazingly it took me 4 weeks to receive a tax file number over here. In the end I had to phone the ATO to get it. Will be back in NZ on Friday, then coming back to CI in late November. Not sure I want to work here long term, but the opportunities via short term contracts are pretty good at the moment, so I may travel back and forth for a while.

    3. The IR's are mainly efficient when it comes to the penalty system: at least, efficient at putting them on, (not so much off).

      If nothing else you can get a good traveling lifestyle for a while.