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, August 27, 2013

David Cunliffe and the End of the Free World, Again.

The dreadful No Right Turn summed up Keynesian Socialist David Cunliffe’s victory nomination speech yesterday well enough:

Note his delight in the scale of theft he knows David will enact. It’s sick. It’s the ‘fuck yeah’ of Chris Trotter delighting in squeezing my pips until they squeak.

Here’s an interesting notion, those of us bloggers writing political blogs, put up on our menus the income tax we’ll be paying over the coming twelve months. Let’s see which of the statist’s are living by their principles. I don’t have to because this blog is about my privacy, and how I have so little of it, but tomorrow I’ll be paying a third of this year's provisional tax, and it’s five figures.

This is David’s true slogan:

New taxes and spending.
New taxes and spending.
New taxes and spending.

Same old.
Same old.

Writing from a house in that 27% of households paying 70% of the tax take, and constraining ourselves and our finances this year to pay our tax bills so mum of nine can have the extra room for her Sky decoder, I ask David, who used the word fair seven times in a one and a half page speech, to take my fairness test please, because not a single politician has felt themselves up to the task yet.

As a man who has had to have my privacy and right to be left alone before the tax surveillance state taken from me, because apparently David knows how to spend my money better than I do, let's first replace fair with serfdom.

Then looking further through David’s speech in place of community, let's write dependence. Community can only exist on voluntary relationships and the voluntary transaction, not on David’s viciously coercive tax state and the welfare that corrodes self-respect, self-responsibility, and the bonds of natural love and affection between families by incentivising the most imprudent life choices.

And the sad thing is we have all the evidence we need at where his Keynesian socialism leads economically: let’s take at random any country in Europe, say, France:

France's Socialist government has admitted that the country cannot cope with any further tax rises and promised no more hikes just days ahead of the country's largest ever tax bill.

Returning from their summer break, the French are about to discover stinging rises in tax bills in their letter boxes – the result of a series of new levies enacted by President François Hollande as he seeks to plug the French deficit and bring down public debt – now riding at 92 per cent of GDP.

But the extent of the hikes has apparently even shocked the very Socialist ministers who implemented them.

The total tax pressure (taxes and social security contributions) will account for 46.3 per cent of GDP this year – a historic high – compared to 45 per cent in 2012.

Some 16 million households will see an automatic 2 per cent rise in income tax as calculations are no longer mitigated by inflation.

The rich will see the highest rises, following Mr Hollande's decision to raise the rate to 45 per cent for those earning more than 150,000 euros – effectively 49 per cent due to an additional levy.

And here’s the truly offensive bit:

“The problem in France — for both the Left and Right — is that nobody has the bravery to slash state spending, which has now reached 57 per cent of GDP. Just how high can it go?”

Really, is that what we want for New Zealand? Because that’s what David Cunliffe and the cluelessly vicious No Right Turn will bring us. And No Right Turn is further clueless in his campaign against the GCSB Bill, last month, when he takes this blood lust thirst in the tax surveillance state – figure it out. The Left double standard.

Talking of double standards, recalling my blog post from yesterday I am also disappointed that after wanting gender quotas just last month, not one Labour woman MP has tried to contest the leadership away from this dreadful man, and save us from him. Apparently Labour women do expect to be given by quota what they don’t have the gumption to contest when they have equal footing. There’s plenty of capable women Labour MPs, why aren’t any of you contesting? You know you’ll be getting this shameful hypocrisy pointed out to you when at some stage in the future you’re furthering the coercive state by legislating gender quotas on the private sector, because we know that’s the agenda.

Finally, unlike No Right Turn, who certainly lives up to the first part of his name before the forward slash, none of this post is about money. It’s about the voluntary society versus the planned economy dependent as that is on our centrally planned and surveilled lives.

If David makes it to the sandpit in the Fortress of Legislation in 2014, I’ll be either semi or completely retiring: I won’t be  his serf.

Because if David wins, it really is the end of the free world, again.

Update 1:

Ele Ludemann has a great post up, also, on the foolishness of taxing and spending Cunliffe.


  1. 57% of state spending - is that where we want to end up?

    stupid question: that's where we are!

    take someone on a moderate income, say only $250,000.
    Under current policy of this National government they'll pay
    33% income tax, 15% GST, 5% KiwiSaver, 2% ACC.
    Add to that say $ in Auckland rates, that's another
    $20,000 at least.

    57%? NZ is already there.

    only for "rich pricks" of course.

    1. When you add rates, etc, yes, quite possibly.

      Though the equivalent figure in NZ is 44% government spend as a percentage of GDP. Cunliffe will lift that figure alarmingly I suspect.

    2. I would be rich beyond my wildest dreams if only I could earn a "moderate income".

      Never mind the complete incoherence of counting 5% contributions to KiwiSaver as a Tax! I really don't need to hear the mind boggling non-sense justification for doing this!

      Of course anybody earning such a "moderate income" with have no capacity to save, so you need to account for the fact they will consume their entire income and pay a full 15% GST on the lot of course.

      Then there is the small issue of the individual not being able to spend the entire $250,000 and pay income tax on it at the same time. This means they can't possibly have paid 15% of $250,000 in GST even if they managed to consume their entire income on goods and services. FYI, The effective GST would be exactly 9% of 250,000 in the case they really consumed 60% of $250,000 annually.

      I am given to understand Tories are the logical, economically literate, ones? Which explains rather a lot. Mark, in your professional capacity, I hope you can add up somewhat better and don't accidentally submit 57% of anybodies income in their returns for them. Its really surprising that you didn't notice the lack of accounting coherence shown by this comment!

    3. I wasn't agreeing with Angry Tory's figures in the details, Nic, only philosophically.

      Indeed, on the only figure that was from my post, I corrected him.

      Don't be facile.

    4. Philosophically it would be horrendous to tax people on a moderate income excessively. There is just one problem with this, taxing an individual with income well inside the top 1% of NZ incomes (in 2010 the top 1% band began at $165,000 p.a), at about 36% in practise is far from excessive.

      I didn't point out the 33% band only kicks in at $70,000 but you probably know that right?

      On the details, he's not even in the ball park of excessive.

      I think you need to look up the meaning of facile because to the untrained eye it might appear that Tory's comment was, "Appearing neat and comprehensive by ignoring the complexities of an issue; superficial." (

    5. Comment to the points I make on my header post, or I'm not interested in interacting Nic.

      And yes, I know very well how the tax system works, my first comment to AT was a throwaway, I'd not even read his figures, thus I only corrected him on the one my post dealt with: government spend as percentage of GDP. As always, my posts are self-evident, your's are an attempt to usurp your own mandate. You've got a blog do it there.

    6. No one point: taxing ANY income group is philosophically repugnant: it's about the free society versus that governed by state force and coercion. It's not about money. But of course you've not actually read my post.

  2. Hi Mark

    It would be discouraging indeed if they had a realistic and immediate prospect of becoming government. Capital gains tax did nothing to take the heat out of the Sydney property market, but socialists seem to love it, probably on the basis that it is another tax. It can be avoided to some extent by not selling, and simply drawing capital out of the 'asset' to re-finance the next property or venture, but it's still unwelcome.

    The real goal for these folks is now the asset tax. You know, those things that the prudent have built up gradually over time through work, saving, investment, risk and occasional failure; assets. The socialists are on to our secret, that we obtained those assets by exploitation and greed, and they intend to punish us as soon as possible.

    Once they are redistributed and dissapated, perhaps then they will be satisfied. In the mean time we fight a rear guard action to keep them at bay. Unfortunately, the tide of human history is flowing in their direction. Even America is starting to look like Europe.

    1. I agree with every bit of that, yes. And wealth taxes of all sorts from capital gains, capital ratings, and estate taxes.

  3. What a surprise. The current government is passing numerous legalised invasions of your privacy, and simultaneously removing any form of transparency as to how or why or what it is doing. However you are rather more concerned by the opposition, who have been more than transparent and up front about their intentions.

    1. Read my blog, I am equally scathing of National as of the opposition.

      Look at every anti-GCSB post just this month: it's well over half the content, and that's before we start counting my correspondence with MPs. Look at every anti-animal testing post last month. Look at every anti-tax-surveillance state post I make every one of which is against the current government. Anyone who had read this blog then accused me of favouring one over the other, would be a liar. Though yes, Cunliffe in power is horrifying. I can understand why you would be overjoyed, however.

      Again Nic, you're a nasty piece of work, who does not post in good faith. If this were many of NZ's left sites from which I am blocked your words would never be allowed to be seen here.

      I'll probably answer to your posts on the other thread this weekend if we don't go away, because Mrs H and I are both in need of a holiday. In the meantime I've got work.

      Perhaps in the meantime you reconcile for me how you're against the surveillance state (as I am) that supposedly protects us from terrorism, but for the surveillance state set up with the sole aim of taking NZ'ers property from them by force?

    2. If you are equally scathing of National as Labour and the Greens, I don't see it. In general (though I could highlight particular examples) I think you hold National to the standard of, 'should not implement policy I don't like', and the left to the standard, 'it should not even be imaginable that they could implement a policy I don't like'. That is what I get out of your frequent use of hypothetical scenarios, where you decide how the left politic acts and responds. You appear to be holding David Cunliffe to this standard already in fact, right after accusing me of lying by pointing this out to you! Maybe you could identify the last time you suggested National coming to power was anything like horrifying? I doubt you could find one, and I have not seen it.

    3. I will give this question a fair whack, but its not simple to explain when our frames of reference are so different. I don't see any contradiction between having reasonable enforcement of tax law, and not having a surveillance state.

      "Perhaps in the meantime you reconcile for me how you're against the surveillance state (as I am) that supposedly protects us from terrorism, but for the surveillance state set up with the sole aim of taking NZ'ers property from them by force?"

    4. As you will understand from discussion elsewhere I don't accept that taxes pay for anything. The NZ government, like many (but not all) others does not lack spending power. While taxation is a necessary element of the currency system (the paper and account entries of the country would be worthless if nobody needed to pay them in tax) the government can create and spend as much as it elects. Clearly the tax base should be spread as broadly as possible, everybody who earns currency should pay some tax in as far as that is possible.

      You recently criticised a number of commentators for invoking the statement 'fairness' in their discussion of tax avoidance. They were however correct, when you allow major international corporations to avoid tax, and don't allow local corporations (due to their jurisdiction and structure) to avoid tax then this is not placing them in fair competition. Its easy to understand that the tax exempt ones will do better, and the tax paying corporations may well be beaten out of the market. This is nothing to do with the competitive nature of the losing business. If we compare Starbucks to a NZ tax paying Coffee company, they are probably both manufacturing Coffee for the same price, but Starbucks is not paying the same amount of tax so its Coffee is cheaper (or its more profitable for its investors). It may even be the less competitive of the pair with significant enough subsidies or exemptions.

    5. There are however some consequences of placing a currency onto the economy, 1) Unemployment, if the government doesn't allow the private sector to have enough of its currency there will be people who despite being willing to earn the currency can't find the work to earn what they want. The amount of currency the government must produce to keep everybody satisfied (meaning not registering as unemployed) is increased by the propensity of many economic participants to save part of their income (rather than spending it all). The government will allow the private sector more currency by either spending more or reducing taxation (the decision about which should be undertaken democratically as far as possible). Now would be a particularly good time for the government to broadly cut tax rates & spend more.

      2) In the rare circumstance when the government gets the economy running at full capacity to produce (meaning less than 2% measurable unemployment, e.g has never happened in NZ since I was born), and keeps on increasing spending, then this will produce inflation (because more goods and services are not being produced). Producing a significant amount of inflation would be counter-productive so the government should stop stimulating the economy at this point. It should do this by either cutting back its spending or increasing taxes (a decision which ought to be taken democratically as far as possible).

    6. The other consideration the government should make, in determining tax policy, is that if significant pockets of extreme wealth will develop in the economy this will undermine the democratic system of government. This problem has actually been understood since Plato wrote about Democracy, and he described that Democracy works best if there is limited economic inequality in the democracy. If a significant economic inequality develops then the wealthy sectors (who will obviously be highly politically influential) will turn from democratically mandated policy to protecting their economic interests against democratically mandated policy. To assign it a label the government becomes a plutocracy, not a democracy in practise.

      Actually this dynamic is presently operating in the NZ economy. Many people have identified (correctly) that the practise of negative gearing allows many quite wealthy people to profit due to house price appreciation. There are of course lobbies who do their best to make sure the government doesn't attempt to do anything about this. This is destabilising, and may well result in bank failures at some point, just as it resulted in finance company failures quite recently (after the property bubble partially collapsed). However the government will find it extremely difficult to do anything about this by changing the tax legislation (which would remove the economic incentive created by negative gearing). This undermines the ability of many people to purchase a home, and if this results in bank failures the resulting economic crash will leave many people unemployed for a significant period of time.

    7. A surveillance state on the other hand is also an undermining of democracy. It should not come as a surprise that a democratically elected representative government would be for measures which undermine democracy. Governments which come in for criticism do run into problems. As such it should be understood that both left and right ends of the political spectrum are not too keen on the public observing the process of government.

      If however you even able to cast an eye on what people are saying, then they are less prone to criticise. This works even in the event that you don't actively monitor them. That's why the government was keen to monitor the media, keen to know where the leaks are coming from, keen to be able to monitor the NZ public, etc...

      Its seems likely that Peter Dunne has done something in his private life which he deeply regrets. I don't care what he does in his private life, but there are many who would judge him, and the escape of this information would probably hurt people he is quite close to. Unfortunately he is also the only person in the government with enough guts to stand up for releasing information about the governments illegal surveillance. This and the obvious fact he has been blackmailed into supporting the GCSB bill shows how political suppression can and does function in practise.
      The information Peter Dunne released shows illegal activity by the government (by the governments own definition) it also produced absolutely no threat to the security of NZ or its citizens. When a member of parliament is not entitled to speak publicly and highlight that the government is acting illegally we have a serious problem.

    8. When the NZ government elects to release information which highlights how the GCSB spying can and hopefully has protected the country from potential Terrorist attack then we can judge this on the merits. However on the limited information which has been released this spying does not protect NZ from Terrorism.

      Obviously there is no contradiction between these two positions. They are both for enhancing the democratic functioning of our system of government.

    9. Clearly Mark you can not judge if I have ever read your blog. But the comment you didn't finish reading showed a way you could justify your equal opportunity political standards. All you must do is find a post where you described the impending National party government as similar to 'The end of the free world' or substantively 'Horrendous'.

      Probably your novel was/is slightly longer? I don't insist you spend your time on here, especially if you are busy.

    10. I said yesterday I was busy, and I meant it. You've just put a novel up. However, your very first post in this 'grouping' began, quote:

      "If you are equally scathing of National as Labour and the Greens, I don't see it."

      From that I now realise you've never actually read my blog. Thus I've not read a single one of your comments after that sentence. I might if I get the chance, but my past pointless forays with you teaches me that is probably a waste of my time.

      I do see skimming you're back to your pet topic though:

      Do I believe a market will stop because a government is not taxing? No. I believe without taxing we will have a free market, which can be the only basis for a free society.

      The notion of fairness has no meaning when an all powerful state is holding a gun to one group to take their property, and in doing so shreds them of their privacy by a necessary tax surveillance state, to redistribute to another group. The fact that this system actually grows the harm it is then trying to solve, by incentivising disastrous, irresponsible life choices, just increases the evil of it. But it is evil from it's very base.

      I'm a minarchist, you're a statist.

      I want a world where what I think has no affect on you at all, and I can do what I want so long as I harm not one (including charitable works).

      You want a world where I'm slave to your belief in sacrificing the individual to the mob,just as in every state tyranny in modern history.

      End of.

    11. Oh, I see you were posting again. Here's my assumption: there is no free world, that is why I said 'again'. This National government is one of the most authoritarian since Muldoon. I don't like them at all.

  4. Malcolm Habrow is a fcuking cunt

    1. Oh is that his name. He allows no comments on his blog, and seems to block everyone on Twitter.

      As you can see from Nic above, I don't moderate or censor, free speech, etc, so, keep your language clean ;)

      Yeah, I know ... I was brought up a prude.

  5. Unfortunately, by the left the word fair is defined as "you have something, I'll take it, and I'll abuse you for having it in the first place before and after".

    1. Yes, it's one of the most abused words in English.

      As Deidre McCloskey puts it:

      "Taxing Peter to pay Paul is using Peter for Paul. It is corrupting. Modern governments have been encouraged to think that any abuse of Peter is just fine, that Peter is a slave available for any duty that the ruler has in mind. A little like non-modern governments."