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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Friday, October 31, 2014

Minister McClay Announces Formation of Oceania to Govern Western World #GATCA




 … [This post is not about FATCA, but Minister McClay states the pan-OECD information sharing mechanism of his press release is designed on a FATCA which] wasn't designed only to kill corporates, it’s about capturing the lives of individuals: it’s sharing information at the level of individual citizens, no matter where they live in the world, and on every financial asset they hold, including, therefore, transactions through them. If you’re married to an American, living in New Zealand, every detail of every transaction you transact through a joint account with your spouse, is likely being screened by IRD to be reported to IRS, or straight handed over; that’s all your details, with your names on it, not just some mere anonymous aggregate metadata which Progressives – surprisingly unsurprisingly invisible in this debate - are so concerned about: what do you think about that? Because if I were to legislate for myself access to your every financial transaction, I could describe your life down to its intimate details, indeed down to what’s happening in the bedroom.



… coercive Western welfare states are destroying our economic lives, after having first frog marched our private lives at gunpoint into the digital garrisons of state officials.


Civilisation is a movement toward privacy, an Orwellian surveillance state the opposite, and tax legislation, especially tax administration, has become the legislation and administration of surveillance and authoritarian rule, in contravention of the rule of law, and common decency. I




If only this post was satire. I’m taking a short respite from writing my critique of modern English literature – it’s a big task, after all - to broadcast this ‘breaking news’ – at least that’s how it should have been treated.

On this day, Wednesday, 29 October, 2014, New Zealand’s Minister of Revenue-Taking has announced, by way press release, the timetable for the roll out of a Pan-Western Police Surveillance State. Yet as far as I can (quickly) see, not one MSM outlet thought it newsworthy to report this formation of the foundation of mankind’s greatest nemesis, the totalitarian state; this particularly surprising given the size of the endeavour is not on a national scale, but a grand one dwarfing the old Soviet Bloc, and - because the Godwin is relevant – while not covering a land area as big as Hitler dreamed, bigger than what he achieved, as well as bigger, if I remember rightly, than Orwell’s Oceania in 1984. As I said in my last post, reciting a philosopher who understood A is A, the difference between welfare states and totalitarian states is was only time.

Here’s Minister McClay’s declaration in its totalitarian totality; let your mind stop on the notions I’ve highlighted:


Hon Todd McClay
Minister of Revenue

Media statement

29 October 2014

NZ to join global crackdown on tax evasion

Revenue Minister Todd McClay today announced New Zealand’s timetable for participation in a global automatic exchange of information aimed at cracking down on tax evasion.

G20 leaders announced the initiative in September 2013 - and in May 2014, New Zealand, along with all OECD countries, joined in the general declaration of support for the move. Australia, holding the G20 Presidency this year, announced their implementation timetable last month.

“Multinational companies that use base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) measures to avoid tax is a global problem – and we are committing to joining other OECD countries in finding a global solution.

“New Zealand intends to align its timetable with Australia’s and begin exchanging information on a voluntary basis from 2018, aiming for mandatory reporting in 2019. This will give New Zealand’s financial industry enough time to comply with the initiative”, says Mr McClay

The automatic exchange of information initiative will set a global standard for sharing information. It will operate much like the recently introduced US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act [FATCA] where financial institutions will provide information on account holders’ financial assets to their local tax authority.”

Mr McClay says New Zealand is firmly supportive of this global move to counter evasion.

“Tax evasion respects no borders so global co-operation is the way to combat it. Sharing information is a powerful weapon in that fight”.


Forget the considerable costs of this on the private sector - that is, on you and me - this central mechanism of the police state, the tax take, so large it is funding government activities which constitute up to half the spend in Western economies, here justifies the passing of a ‘global standard for information sharing’ putatively to be known as the Global Account Tax Compliance Act (GATCA). Noted by Mr McClay was the final brick in the wall leading to this near-global police surveillance prison, namely, that extraordinary piece of US imperialism known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, FATCA; I’ve written previously on why that Act is evil, and that post has become the sixth most read post on this blog, albeit two thirds read out of America even though it affects all of us with Minister McClay’s declaration today - I hope even one person on reading here will choose to become informed by reading that earlier post: FATCA - The New Zealand Officials' Report: A Crime That Deserves a Revolution

This blogger, and some few others who resist a big brother statism that gathers pace year on year, are lone voices in the wilderness anymore, and I know the score. Most people reading this, including every hypocritical progressive who was out on the street protesting the NSA and GCSB, will be celebrating this crushing of those scapegoat firms the Googles and the Amazons, even as with taxes fired into them, the cost of their goods and services will have to skyrocket, adversely affecting the standard of living of all of us. Noting that politicians won’t stop the rise and rise of the tax take, they can’t afford to in the short term and will never find an excuse to in the long term, until they destroy every public and private good created by free market capitalism. And don’t console yourself with the thought that via this declaration of a GATCA they’re only after the big boys or the fat cats: FATCA, which this information sharing is based on, wasn't designed to kill corporates, it’s about capturing the lives of individuals: it’s sharing information at the level of individual citizens, no matter where they live in the world, and on every financial asset they hold, including, therefore, transactions through them. If you’re married to an American, living in New Zealand, every detail of every transaction you transact through a joint account with your spouse, is likely being screened by IRD to be reported to IRS, or straight handed over; that’s all your details, with your names on it, not just some mere anonymous aggregate metadata which Progressives – surprisingly unsurprisingly invisible in this debate - are so concerned about: what do you think about that? Because if I were to legislate for myself access to your every financial transaction, I could describe your life down to its intimate details, indeed down to what’s happening in the bedroom. And soon it's not just Americans caught, under GATCA we're all in the global surveillance net.

While the economic disintegration of the West under its hubris of debt and welfare is a given, the reason Big Brother McClay’s press release hurts this writer is that in it resides the official sanction of New Zealand’s political party that once stood for small government, that the right of citizens to be left alone if doing no harm, and to be allowed lives private from the state, is long gone. And with that must have gone hope. Given the frightening powers of our taxing authority, operating above the purview of our Privacy Act, a government whose bureaucrats can routinely demand, search and analyse the financial transactions of any individual, has the private lives of every citizen open to it, with this information to be shared by massive bureaucracies around the world. ‘Automatic, autocratic information sharing’. I ask Minister McClay to watch one movie during his coming Christmas vacation - The Lives of Others: the movie which showed how the East Berlin surveillance state dehumanised and oppressed its population until it hurt so much they rebelled and struck down their Berlin Wall to reclaim their private lives from tyrants.

I will end by pointing out there is the odd redoubt of a freedom ethic making a valiant stand against the darkness, but in the end – and this is the middle of the end – they don’t have a chance. Companies whom – not ‘which’, companies are people - have awoken to their plight in the US are using a process called inversion to get out of the US tax state to lower tax jurisdictions, the latest attempt to escape being Pfizer. Also individuals incredibly are renouncing their US citizenship to avoid being spied on by all world governments, their lives reported back to the IRS – did you think you’d live to see the day Americans had to burn their passports to be free? And, of course, there are the tax havens.

In my last post I indicated how thanks to Panama we all get to enjoy the benefits of cheap shipping of product to New Zealand which increases the standard of living of all of us, and now I find amidst the predictable unseemly FATCA envy of Western politicians, such as Minister McClay, there is one tiny, unsurprisingly prosperous principality, holding out: Panama – again, note the highlighted sentence:

The South American nation of Colombia does not have its own version of FATCA, but its government wishes it did. That’s evident from its current tussle with neighbor Panama. The root of the problem between the two nations is FATCA-style reporting of bank data, or the lack thereof. Colombia wants it badly; Panama wants nothing to do with it.

Here’s a brief background:

Panama City boasts a thriving financial center, one of the largest in Latin America. Together with the Canal Zone it accounts for most of the country’s GDP. One reason for the Panamanian banking sector’s success is ring-fencing. This policy attracts capital flow from wealthy foreign investors all over the world. Banks in Panama don’t collect information on accounts held by nonresident depositors, so there is no information to share with tax collectors in other countries.[FATCA alters that policy, but only for U.S. accountholders.]

[Snip.]

Recently, Colombian officials asked their Panamanian counterparts to sign a bilateral tax information exchange agreement, known as a TIEA. The TIEA would have been reciprocal in nature, meaning it would oblige each signatory nation to collect and share bank information about the other nation’s residents. Panama said “no, thanks.”

A bouquet goes to Panama.

If a politician’s actions were governed by the best interests of those who voted them in, the pursuit of prosperity and the continuation of the highest standards of living any humans have achieved throughout history thanks to capitalism, they wouldn’t be seeking to destroy tax havens, but to become one. They would not be legislating taxes that were driving their most prosperous companies beyond their borders, but ensuring through prudent spending a low tax environment which compelled those companies to stay. But the corporations will be destroyed, slowly, Panama’s days are numbered; you’ll note from the above that just as Obama’s FATCA has – in a feat Hitler was never capable of - cracked Swiss banking secrecy (read freedom), so FATCA has been too strong even for this principled little principality; they're having to grass up their dual US citizens also.

And we’re all the losers. Not just cheap shipping, that money finding a tax-free home in tax havens is working voluntarily in the capitalist system to seed innovation, and to better the quality of all our lives around the world in a way coercive Western welfare states are only destroying our economic lives, after having first frog marched our private lives at gunpoint into the digital garrisons of state officials. 

Remember this day when our Revenue Minister announced the year the Western Surveillance State will become mandatory: 2019. And remember that in the meantime our political masters are happy to share our private information, voluntarily – there’s the final inversion for you, of language itself into doublespeak.




Update One:


Professor of Economics, Donald J. Boudreaux, makes the point about GATCA that in 31 of the 67 post-war years in the US when tax receipts increased, government spending increased by more than $1 for every additional $1 of tax. So tax evaders are not putting a further burden on non-evaders, indeed, lower taxes raised perhaps force politicians to be prudent, meaning bringing the Googles et al into the OECD tax net will in every way be growing Western state surveillance tyrannies because they will consume all the extra monies, and more, placing a bigger burden on future taxpayers, only to grow the power of the state, and certainly the vice type grip of our autocratic, now global, taxing and information sharing mechanisms. With so much information in the hands of the IR’s, and them being so free to trade in it, there can be no space left for a private life to inhabit. That’s not what our ANZACs were fighting for, and that’s not what a free people should have accepted, let alone voted for.

Regarding Boudreaux's point, note the actual problem: politicians.

 

10 comments:

  1. adversely affecting the standard of living of all of us

    no, it doesn't. It adversely affects the standard of living of those relatively few of us who pay nett tax - about 10% in NZ, fewer than that in the USA. If anything it positively affects the standards of living of the 90% who are living off our backs.

    Oh wait a minute - perhaps you meant "us" to mean independent homo sapiens, not bludgers who certainly aren't really in any way part of "us - that'd be OK, bludgers are not fully human.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I mean our welfare states are out of control, creating dependency. Consequently our tax states are similarly out of control.

      You are an angry Tory :)

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