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, March 31, 2014

Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act - Redux. Stymied in Best Practice.

Finally, a little victory.

The precursor of the below email is my earlier post regarding Judith Collin’s infuriating Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act. I’m wondering about the cost of this legislation to both our liberty, and the economy, given the bureaucratic monster it has unleashed. And just how much this Act, like the diabolical FATCA, is down to US bullying of New Zealand at the expense of our privacy and right to be left alone.

On the fifth day of my supposed annual holiday I have had to send this to a Christchurch law firm regarding a client trust property transaction, for which I am an independent trustee (all names redacted):

... here's the bit where you find I'm a pain in the arse, however I finally want to know the current law regarding witnessing and other matters. I was hoping to have this transaction dealt with by the time we left Geraldine, and as I said in my previous email, from this point I'll be asking my trust clients to please install their solicitors as independent trustee, but this would not necessarily have been the case were our legal processes, especially around contract, up to pace with the twenty first century use of Internet. I can be in the middle of nowhere here in the Marlborough Sounds doing my client work online, working seamlessly and securely through encryption with IRD, etc, until it comes to legal processes such as this, a simple contract for the sale of land: the legal profession and its legislative framework, seems to have barely moved beyond chiseling promises in granite, or medieval quill scrawled on parchment with a waxed royal decree, despatched over four days by horse and rider. Judith Collin's big government bureaucratic new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act has made this situation noticeably worse, laying to waste the efficiencies that might have been gained for the productive sector, with the Internet as a way to transact contract quickly and cheaply.

... my major problem is this growing conundrum around witnessing our driver's licences, passports, etc, on the authority to act, on every single client transaction - and for a start why are we repeating this every transaction? [Mrs H] and I are the only two here in the Mahau Sound because we 'are our firm', there is no one else to witness, other than our neighbours (some of whom I do know despite studiously endeavouring to know no one here, given we come to get away from people.) Going by what other solicitors are making us do since Judith Collin's new Act, here and in Geraldine, you will therefore want a solicitor, JP, notary public, et al, to witness our signatures and identification? That will be beyond inconvenient, possibly impossible, because from where we are in the Sounds it will involve a day trip. [Mrs H] is refusing to get in the car for that, she wants four weeks annual holiday, doing nothing (perhaps the odd nice winery meal). Note it isn't practical for us to have a power of delegation for our many trips to the Sounds, and in absence of these increasingly pedantic requirements, nor would we need one unless going overseas for a length of time. Until this stage I've not managed to get a single legal office to quote me the section and clause of this Act that says, for example, the retired school teacher neighbour we have, whom we can walk to for a cup of tea, and who knows us well,  isn’t better placed to witness our ID's and signatures over any solicitor, JP, et al in Blenheim, who wouldn’t know us from Al-Qaeda sleepers. That is, if you are going to insist on total inconvenience to myself and [Mrs H], is this mandated by an actual Act, or, is this the legal profession's pursuit of best practice in the chase of insane legislation? Because if not mandated by the letter of the law, then we'll just pop over to the neighbour - it is, after all, merely witnessing our corporeal selves, and we are merely the independent trustee :)
That said, got to go, [Mrs H] is looking daggers at me on the deck.

 And from this my tiny victory. The lawyer concerned – and I know I was a royal pain, sorry - said I could use my neighbour as witness, so the legislation does not demand a lawyer, JP, etc to be witness: all the lawyers making us do this up until now have I presume been following their new best practice – read ‘cover our arses’ – evolving from the profession (plus financing sector) around this monstrous Act of Judith's. I’m not necessarily blaming the licencing monopoly of lawyers for that. The blame rests squarely with the over-regulation of this small population of our's that would disappear in a single suburb of Hong Kong: the more rules created, the more moribund will become any system as participants seek to cover themselves due to perceived risk of falling foul of the state, or sued in contract. (And for those wondering why I didn’t just read for the applicable part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, as to witnessing requirements, I have enough trouble keeping up with constantly multiplying income tax legislation, as you’ll see in my next post, and clearly there is no specific clause stating this in the Act, regardless, just the corpus and intention of that Act as interpreted by the legal profession, so I would've had to read the whole ruddy thing.)

This gets me back to where I started on the earlier post :

So my problem looks predominantly to have been legal best practice, no doubt being promulgated out of the professions continuing education programs. Peter Cresswell has a great piece on how bad for business - and my mental health -best practice is:

I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but I’ve grown heartily sick at the number times I've encountered wankers waffling on about "the importance" of following something called "best practice"—a practice by which everyone in a profession or industry is encouraged to copy the practices of those whom the wankers deem to be the best.

It’s not just bad grammar, it’s bad for business.

It is, of course, simply a recipe for encouraging mediocrity and box-ticking, discouraging entrepreneurial experimentation and innovation.  For banishing competition and difference. To substitute conformity for innovation, and “conventional wisdom” for independent thought. To establish an establishment.

Until recently, wankers like this were a danger only to themselves and to know-nothings who paid for their advice and could be safely ignored. (Wankers like this always charge for their advice--and the more worthless it is, the more they charge. As Greek philosopher Thales was supposed to have observed around 2,500 years ago, the most difficult thing in the world is to know oneself; the easiest is to give advice to others. The wankers always charge the most for the least.)

But with the government increasingly trying to put every professional's head into one noose--and with the grey ooze of bureaucracy increasingly covering every part of the country, ignoring this stupidity is becoming increasingly difficult. With the onset of compulsory occupational licensing for everyone from drainlayers to financial advisers, pretty soon we will see the elevation of “conventional wisdom” into law, to be ignored only at the risk of expulsion from one’s chosen profession.

“Best practice” is a recipe for the calcification of industry, and the banishment of the very entrepreneurial experimentation that drives production and technology improvements.

Finally, to show Judith it’s not only from this ranty libertarian perspective that there is a problem with this Act; look at the havoc its begetting all of us, from selling a property to such a simple thing as opening a bank account where all a person wants to do is deposit their own money, a transaction that is no business of the state at all. For the cost to New Zealand in resources and time, multiply this inconvenience by the thousands of such transactions occurring every day:

) (@ksuyin) March 18, 2014

Those last few posts are interesting. This Act is coming from Judith succumbing to US bullying and coercion: at some stage I shall have to write a post on the crossover of this to that other privacy destroying monstrosity, FATCA, and how that US fist into the belly of the West’s dying classical liberalism, thus the destruction of the Free West via the colonising US tax surveillance state, made possible only from the complete capitulation of our rights by our gutless politicians, is not even constitutional in the US.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Insulting the Rich for Giving, and the Culture that Spawns this. (Hattip Lindsay Mitchell.)

If you haven’t got Lindsay Mitchell’s blog bookmarked then you should: Lindsay is the first go-to for clearing the fog of propaganda and statistics abuse used to justify and build New Zealand’s welfare state. Over Saturday she posted an intelligent piece written by Helen Rittelmeyer of the Centre of Independent Studies which analysed the, at best, deceptive, and at worst, fraudulent, use of statistics in a Sydney Morning Herald op-ed with the overt socialist agenda of hyping, against the facts, a myth that only low income earners have a sense of community, and a further myth that the rich are essentially miserly and only using charity as a tax dodge. The analysis on Rittelmeyer’s post is an important read if for no other reason than to understand how deceitful the editorial stance of MSM outlets like the SMH are, and how they’re emoting the news, with that agenda, not intelligently presenting it factually to their readers.

It is also important to understand the second-hander culture that allows such shabbiness and lies, and inculcates it into the tyranny of the majority voting us all into the prison of each other’s minds. It’s not the free, but the fallen West:

Coincidentally I read the piece on Lindsay’s blog after first reading about this couple who are in the process of giving $100 million to environmental and educational initiatives in New Zealand, and you can bet there are elements of the Left who without so much as a thank you, will scorn them for having that wealth in the first place. As much as I don’t want my life run by the Tories, there is a much too sizeable portion of the Left who are just plain cynical and nasty.

And while we’re on the topic of how according to the Left ethic such wealth should have been forcibly taken from this couple by the tax surveillance state so they couldn’t have the arrogance of redistributing according to their own philosophy, rather than the dictates of state, in response to David Cunliffe’s dreadful and mistake laden speech on how he’s going to destroy us economically (because we’ve already been destroyed philosophically), a personal note:

As ACT leader, Jamie Whyte, rightly points out in this weekend’s NBR:

David Cunliffe yesterday gave a speech to the New Zealand Initiative, an economics think tank. The talk outlined the Labour Party’s economic policy. It displayed so much economic confusion that it will take several posts to get through it all.

Follow Jamie’s critique in the NBR over the next few weeks, as I hope he drives home what a dangerous man Cunliffe would be should he storm the sandpit and grab all the toys at the Fortress of Legislation this coming election. I'm worried about this one; my opening allusion was to the fog of war in which the first casualty is truth, and that's the case in the West currently. There's a war on for peoples minds, which can only be won one at a time, and until that time, a new Enlightenment, there will always be enough voters to put a Cunliffe or a Russel in power.

Finally, this blog will only ever be partisan to the philosophy and the economics that derive logically of classical liberalism, never to a political party, but regarding this year’s general election in New Zealand, and Jamie Whyte, I’ll close this post by repeating one of my comments from that NBR thread:

… I'm finding it so refreshing finally seeing a true classical liberal ethic from a leader of a NZ political party which has a chance of getting seats, and though I don't believe Jamie is carrying anything like all of ACT with him, which is the past has been ruled by conservatism, great to see the liberal in classical liberal being accentuated in other of Jamie's writings. (And the wonderful contradiction of seeing the Left rush to pillory a man who is far more liberal than the bigoted Left can ever be.)


Monday, March 10, 2014

NZ's Anti-Money Laundering & Countering Financing of Terrorism Act; Trust Law; Bounded Liberty #RedTapeNonsense


[ This’s a plea to Minister Judith Collins. It started out as an angry, ranty post, until I read on BBC that angry people risk heart attacks so I’ve tried to tone it down. This’s hard for me, though fortunately also useful as practice for when Judith’s anti-cyber bullying (hate speech) bill makes it to anti-free speech legislation and I really have to start self-censoring my b’s and f’s. (Although for the record, before I begin, that cup of milk … it’s irrelevant, I couldn’t give a damn, pass my congratulations onto your husband for his business success. Reads like a good bloke.) ]

As an independent (corporate) trustee of various trusts, the new Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act is adversely impacting on my life for no good reason I can see. On every client bank or property transaction I have to provide two, sometimes more, verified forms of ID, where previously one would do. A bank of one client trust which already has my driver’s licence details to prove I’m me, not an Al Qaeda sleeper, has just emailed to say it now requires a scanned copy of my credit card – what? - passport, or some other form of ID on their file. When asked why, the reply is 'because of the new money laundering Act.' Surely one ID is enough? Worse, my driver's licence et al has further got to be verified or witnessed by a solicitor, JP, or notary public, even on client banking facilities, loans, etc, I will never be executing a single cheque or drawdown from, and against which I have a professional indemnity. This is mental. And whereas in the past a wide range of people independent of myself could witness my signature on electronic transaction authorities, now it has to be, again, a solicitor, JP, or public notary, meaning when I’m living in the Mahau Sounds – soon to be six months a year – and a client sells the shop because they’re giving up under a tsunami of regulation and tax which is now life in the West - I have to drop any plans I might have had on that day, incur the understandable wrath of Mrs H., and make a three hour round ruddy trip to Blenheim – meaning I effectively lose a day – just to get a solicitor or JP to witness my signature; (witnessing only a witless nonsense.) As I thought this legislation was going to be, it has resulted in an ongoing waste of my time, all the while being philosophically repugnant given there are some privacy issues around having to give a huge range of financial institutions that I do not bank with, my private information, because much of the information in my passport, my driver's licence, et al, is private (for example, my birthdate - Mrs H, a joint director, is mortified at having to supply this to every damned bank in our small town and rural area, most of the staff of whom we have a passing acquaintance), and as for being asked to send a copy of my credit card, I wouldn't insecurely email my credit card details for a purchase transaction, let alone for this. And I'm not alone.
Coincidentally, just today I’ve had a lawyer – mine in fact - call in to sign a book of loan documents for a mutual client that would make War and Peace look like a short story, and he told of a bank that had just asked him, in his capacity as independent trustee, for a verified copy of his driver’s licence, a copy of his passport, a bank statement with his name on it - few more private documents than that - and a photocopy of his credit card. When it got to that latter item he told the bank to, quote, ‘F*** Off’.
And I concur. F*** off. The same reply the aforementioned bank will be getting in due course, (though I'll make them chase up the request first, and waste their time like mine is being.)
(Damn, I’ve let that pissed off feeling catch up with me.)
Judith, can you please get some reason back into this red tape monstrosity of an Act. It’s bullshit. I have started a process of actively trying to get out of all independent trusteeships, given the hurdles set up by this Act combined, more especially, with what looks to be the likely scoping of future trust legislation vis a vis such further liabilities that will have to be borne by independent trustees, including corporate trustees. Question: how does a corporate trustee with no assets pass a major transaction resolution or solvency test? Answer: it can't. And if legislation comes out of the Law Commission Review of Trusts as it is looking to be, there’s going to be unjustified, unholy mayhem in this field. Because while we're on the topic of trusts and privacy, trusts serve a useful function for many families when used correctly, and I’m not referring to matters regarding tax (in which they now have the highest overall tax rate). With what looks to be the upcoming move to public disclosure and transparency for family trusts this usefulness, and for some families, necessity, will be lost, and with that the last chance for parents in New Zealand to control the wishes and plans they have for their estate - the material product of their lives work – as distributed amongst the members of their families, given our judiciary has succumbed totally to a socialist ethic of ‘fairness’ and has no compunction anymore over-throwing Wills they think may advantage one sibling over another, despite that being, for whatever reason, the dead parent’s wishes: what a state when our children have been nationalised, judges apparently knowing what is better for children than their parents do. I’ve written many posts in here on the parlous state of our law with Gramsci at the head of every state classroom training our lawyers. An individual’s rights over their property, and the right to control what happens to that property, in life and death, are sadly consigned to distant history in New Zealand. Not just the overthrowing of what should be a sacrosanct last will and testament, no matter how unpopular a Will’s provisions might be to its beneficiaries, and offended a judge’s sense of fairness, but in the absence of trusts, and attacks on pre-nups, relationship property law as being interpreted by the courts, has also become another means of destroying private property rights - though that’s another topic entirely.

Back to the subject I started with, all this hassle and inconvenience for what? The number of instances of money laundering I’ve seen, heard of, read about, over almost quarter of a century in practice, is precisely none. That’s zero, zilch, not a single case. And last time I looked there were no terrorist cells running amok in South Canterbury, and even if there were, I doubt they’d be doing the economic and philosophical carnage that the Fortress of Legislation in Wellington is doing to us. Tell me again why we had this further red tape foisted on us? Particularly, how is supplying a verified copy of my driver’s licence, and my credit card, or bank statements, verified by a solicitor, JP or notary public, at much inconvenience, and complete with Mrs H having to disclose her age to the whole damn town, going to save New Zealand from terrorists?

Your party of small government continues its bureaucratic goose step into an intrusive big government pain in the arse. Kiwis have to wake up the real costs, which you can't count on an abacus.
Whoops, no that was a rant, wasn't it. Never mind, it's over now, thank you for your time, Judith, albeit I realise nothing will come from this.


Footnote on Privacy:

Bureaucrats will always be offhand with your privacy because your privacy from the state is, first, anathema to them, second, an annoyance: it’s the culture that is necessary for them to go about the evil work of having the big nose of state stuck firmly in your entrails. You must not have privacy from the tax surveillance state, ever. So this latest passport privacy breach is unsurprising, and from my perspective barely registers anymore:  so 400 passport applicants got to see the others email addresses. I’ve got to show my actual passport to all and bloody sundry, thanks to Judith, and for business which is ultimately nothing to do with me. Now that’s a privacy breach.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Question for the Film Classification Unit. And Bank Lending.

The usual apologies to Keri for appearing (below) on my blog; needless to say we don’t know each other, and my inclusion of her tweets in no way means she would agree with anything else in here, but two of the themes of this blog are protest against any type of censorship of free speech or expression, and that it is the right of parents to bring up their children, the state has no business in that.




How appropriate is it that members of a government body whose views may well be distorted by watching wholly too much porn, get to determine, over Keri, what her daughter should watch?

Further, with everything available on the Internet today, perhaps the film classification unit is way past its use by date anyway? Unless parents police this for their children, they’re going to see what they want, regardless.

Addendum: Unintended Consequences – Bank Lending:

Surprise. Now that banks lending to low deposit borrowers has been mandated at no more than 10% of a bank’s book, banks have found if they want to lend more to such borrowers, they only need to increase the size of total lending, so net indebtedness in New Zealand is going up. (Proof: ANZ’s latest result, as reported by RNZ this morning).
Of course, classical libs are not surprised.
We need to separate the state from economies, just as once the church was once wisely separated from the state.