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, April 14, 2014

Taxing Away Prosperity: UK, New Zealand versus Hong Kong.

In one of my stupid moments – sadly, I have them – some time ago I ended up defending the English economy on Twitter.
I know – what was I thinking?  
It didn’t start out that way, indeed, the debate was over how Cunliffe was a Keynesian zealot, but then someone tweeted in and changed the course of the thread and suddenly I was into a nonsense relativistic debate comparing UK to Spain, Greece, etc, which then somehow changed to I was advocating the UK economy was something other than crippled. Albeit they do seem to have made some admirable progress via cutting government expenditure, with the UK economy projected to finally September this year surpass the size it was pre the GFC in 2008 for the first time, it is yet a moribund, debt laden economy, struggling under low growth, tax and regulation: perhaps the nature of the impossibility they face can be best shown by a single photo:


On the left is the UK’s various taxing legislation, on the right, the little thin blue book, that’s Hong Kong’s. There’s a whole bunch of hooks in applying causation, but I’m unsurprised that according to the International Monetary Fund Hong Kong’s GDP per capita in 2013 was $52,722 international dollars, sixth highest in the world, compared to the UK’s $37,307 way down in twenty first place.
New Zealand? We’re back further in thirtieth place on $30,493. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact of on a total population which could be lost in a single suburb of Hong Kong, our Income Tax and GST legislation looks like this:



I’m also unsurprised that the gross government debt as a percentage of GDP – per IMF - is as follows:

Hong Kong:    32.4%

New Zealand: 38.2%

UK:                 90.3%  (Wow.)

For the Leftists, statists of all hues - including too many Tories - who believe in the big brother tax surveillance state: as one of the sharpest minds in the twentieth century said, you can ignore reality for so long, but you can’t ignore it’s consequences; one of those being the cult of redistribution - cult, because irrational, yet chanted like a mantra - funded by taxing away my liberty, privacy, and right to be left alone, creates only a cycle of dependency and poverty.
Tax destroys the free society philosophically, and ‘after’ that, destroys our prosperity economically.

To the politicians reading this: just f***ing stop it.



  1. I agree with the sentiments but Hong Kong has some "advantages" we will never have - a lot of people in a small place allows some economies of scale and there appears to be a cultural work ethic deeply ingrained. The former is not something I want here and the latter will take a big stick to develop in some circles. I'm not sure HK should be compared to us beyond very general principles.

    Having just come back from a week there with my wife (her first visit) she was amazed at the place thinking it was like a beehive of worker bees. My continuing impression is the sheer number of small businesses and I wonder if that is a strength that we have given away to the big corporates to save a $ at the check out. HK can be very cheap to visit but again I suspect that economies of scale makes some aspects of that, such as the MTR, work in a way Auckland never will.

    The other thing wifey noticed was the speed through the airport immigration and customs. They cater for an A380 arriving. It seems we were on the train in about 30 mins after arrival with most of that wait being at the luggage carousel. They appear far less concerned about how much money you have on you. There may be a bigger lesson in that than anything else.


    1. Yeah, I was being facile with causation which is always complex. Taxation will drag on an economy, but is one of many elements, albeit an important one. Note NZ theoretically has many advantages over Hong Kong, vis a vis natural resources, including oil and gas, as well as agricultural land, skills, climate and technology.

  2. there appears to be a cultural work ethic deeply ingrained

    There's a very simple reason a "cultural work ethic" is "deeply ingrained" in Hong Kong and Singapore.

    No welfare whatsoever. You don't eat, you and your family starve.

    Introduce that policy in to NZ (could be done overnight, only requires an Order in Council to zero the rates of all the main benefits: Dole, DPB & "Super") and that ingrained work ethic would arrive in NZ within the week.

    Oh - and Hong Kong and Singapore's other trick: government tightly controls the property market. Rather than build McMansions and expand the city limits, you pay rent for a government (or government-controlled quango) and you save for your retirement when you'll still be paying rent, won't get any super, and still have to pay all your expense including healthcare, as well as helping out your kids.

    Hong Kong and Singapore have saving rates around 50%. NZ, less than 5%

    As Don Brash said - no doubt while looking in the mirror - all NZ needs is our own Lee Kuan Yew.