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.

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, July 16, 2012

Chris (The Fist) Trotter. Squeezing Freedom Until Its Pips Squeak.


If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human faceforever.
George Orwell – 1984


Chris (The Fist) Trotter, socialist political commentator, is quickly becoming New Zealand’s most useful, ‘useful idiot’, in that often he will let that urbane, reasonable fiction of his image drop and let us see the mean-spirited, malevolent heart of the coercive statist that slouches beneath. He posted the below comment, as stunning as it is appalling, to economist Matt Nolan’s TVHE blog thread on superannuation: it speaks so usefully for itself, I need provide no context.

Yeah, well think again, Matt, because we Baby Boomers are way ahead of you.
The moment you try that stunt, we’ll rediscover our socialist roots, reach out to the poor and marginalised members of Gen X and Gen Y, and join together in a festival of redistribution. The BBs will preserve their National Super, the majority of Gen X and Y will improve their standard of living, and well-paid capitalist apologists like yourself will be squeezed by the IRD until the pips squeak.
Like “Dragonfly” said, it’s who’s got the votes that counts, and for the foreseeable future we, the old and the poor, will remain the many, and you and your kind, Matt, will remain the few.
Ain’t democracy grand!


What you have to remember about a ‘festival of redistribution’, is that it’s a brutal orgy of theft. Innocent people are having their property taken from them, with their heads held down under the ruthless gun of-out-of-control government. There’s nothing nice about this, a nice man wouldn’t gloat about it, though Matt Nolan being the nice man that I’m not, made the below reasoned, good humoured reply: it’s worth reading, as it shows who the greedy one here is:

LOLOLOL “capitalist apologists”, good fun.

[Snip.]

So you are saying baby boomers are happy with free enterprise and choice for themselves, but are willing to subject future generations to a world of limited opportunities and enterprise.  You seem to make baby boomers sound like even more selfish and evil individuals than I have ever imagined!  I guess I’ve been lucky to meet generally well meaning and good natured baby boomers in my time

Full marks to the economist, and there's an even better quotation in the postscript of this post from analyst, John Mauldin, on the inter-generational theft being lauded here, however, first, befitting the themes of this blog, it’s not hard to figure out my angle, unless you’re one of the new alcohol induced generation  produced by Chris (The Fist) Trotter's welfare state, who will be incapable of thinking and reliant on government for the rest of your lives. For freedom lovers, The Fist’s post is, I hope, a wakeup call. His is the morally bankrupt ethic of too many of our politicians who take the compulsion route, every time, for what they think is good for us, and much worse. It’s not often you get to see the ‘caring socialist’ revelling joyously to this degree in the power of the state to destroy lives. And ironically the lives of those, to put the boot in - as he would want to - of those who’ve been forced, already, to fund the entirety of the coercive, thieving edifice of his thug state, which persecutes this group unlike any other group in our society. Capitalists, including that sub-set, ‘the rich’, have been cast as the scapegoats of this century, albeit the politicians have learned how to keep them on life support as they are cannibalised and eaten alive. Obviously The Fist has never had his world turned violently on its head, a complete stranger with the power of the totalitarian state – read my blog byline – picking over his every intimate cheque and receipt. It’s an appalling process, an IRD audit. A process that begins with a letter or phone call saying, 'I'm going to investigate your affairs for the last four years, starting with a two hour interview; please present yourself at Room 101 …' Think about receiving a call like that. Really think; hear the voice of that stranger, and understand you can't deny it anything. You will have fewer rights than a murderer or rapist. And your crime? You run a business, bettering the lives of all of us. This is happening to business people every day. An audit is a rape by the state of the innocence of privacy, and the right for the innocent to go about their peaceful lives unhindered and unruffled by brutes. It’s a disgrace: the barbarian state, extinguishing the civilised society. And The festive Fist is here cajoling and cheerleading, as in a day out at the guillotine, laughing through his gaping maw at the state built gallows of our lives, his included. ‘Squeeze’em, squeeze’em until their pips squeak’.

Free men please learn from this, that in the mind of The Fist, and it’s the hive mind that rules the country under statism, including John Key's lot, if you have money, regardless the personal cost of making it, you are not a human; you're a wallet for the collective, and as a previous finance minister contemptuously called you, rich pricks: despised, shamed, and shunned.  Some large segment of society, which owes you its very standard of living, has been taught to spit on you. As far as they’re concerned, their needs, manufactured by seventy years of statist policy, trump your ownership of what you have earned and saved, and your life, of course: they do not consider your emotions, your goals for yourself and your loved ones: statists deal in de-humanised collectives and aggregates, as the Keynesians do, explaining why our economies are failing, also. Your humanity, your individuality, is expunged in this comment, in almost every way that matters, aping the darkest immorality reaching out its claws again from the darkest places in human history, which is the place The Fist crawls from. And that is why, on a slight tangent, Mr Bryce Edwards Left Libertarianism is an oxymoron; explain that to me without the Left contradicting the Libertarian. And why the Left feminists over at the Hand Mirror are set to be eternally disappointed. Free the smallest minority in a society, the individual, and only then will you truly free yourselves, unless, of course, you aim to gain your freedom atop the bodies of others?

Every time a brute statist like The Fist shows us the whites of his fangs, and the avarice in his dull eyes, all I can do is repeat the rationale of my advocacy of classical liberalism, and it’s concomitant laissez faire capitalist system: the end point is not money, it’s never money, for me, it’s voluntarism, as I said in this post:

Unfortunately my advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism - noting the crony capitalism we have is to capitalism what sea horses are to horses - has never been about money; it's only ever been about that wonderful, evolutionary thing that capitalism, and only capitalism, is based on - the voluntary transaction. I'm a freedom freak: peace baby, the true sixties legacy, not those suited communists in the Greens Party whose every policy is the advocacy of force. Only on the voluntary transaction can there be a voluntary, free society. I said unfortunately because this has meant that while I'm comfortable, I'm not rich enough to build a space station. That's what I would do if I had money in real quantity. I'd build a space station and remove myself from the ugly, brute society we've created for ourselves, yet again. As generation text say, 'I'd be outa here'.


There’s a cliché that statists of all hues, left and right, refer to when justifying the life of tax slavery they advocate: we all are part of, and must live in, the village. By which what they really mean is, the village must own us, and if we don’t have sacrificed our liberty and our life, quietly, to the whim of the tyranny of the majority, then we'll be put on the rack, and ‘squeezed until our pips squeak’. Just like in every reign of terror throughout history, from which we never seem to have learned a damned thing. Freedom lovers like myself want to live in the village, certainly, but on the basis of voluntarism, pursuing our happiness from trading via the voluntary transaction, and not having to fear bullies whom monopolise only misery, such as The Fist would enjoy visiting on us, like the big brother state does. But I'm dreaming again, for by July of 2012, via the voting chamber, free men have long had our pips ripped out, we are ball-less, so must resign our lives to lying castrated before the bureaucrats of state, The Fist’s henchmen in crime. Hell, I'm a prudent man, so I'm scared of them. Yeah, Chris, ain’t democracy grand, when you have the numbers. Doesn't make it right, though. And for many of us, this ain't living. How many times do humans have to keep doing this ugliness to each other?

Coincidentally, I'm writing this missive Sunday morning on that great invention of capitalism, the iPad, but my first job tomorrow morning will be to ring IRD to begin negotiating a payment plan for a businessman in Christchurch - as if he didn't have enough problems with the quakes - running a sales fleet of seven cars to sell his products, and for whom the quarterly Fringe Benefit tax bill of over $6,000, plus penalties, plus interest at rates the finance companies wish they could get away with, is proving to be a bill too far. There's been a recession in his industry since 2009, with the year before being the last he earned more than any individual in his sales force. Indeed, after two years of losses he's been living on the hope, only, of 2012's small profit, and then toughing it out until 'it all turns around'. It's notable that despite the hardship over this time, he has never waivered by using legal measures he could have employed to mitigate the FBT bill: this is a tax based on the cost of the vehicle, so he could have halved it by running a lower cost, second hand car fleet, over buying, always, new vehicles, like he's continued to do. However, his sales staff, paid salaries, not commission, rack up a big mileage, and new cars are safer: not once over the last three years has their safety been negotiable. And the same applies to the individual staff 'owning' their own cars on operating leases and his company paying reimbursements to get around the FBT either: all the added complications, bookwork and higher risk will take his mind off core business, and that's where the answer for all of them lies, if the government would only leave him alone. Slowly, he's turning it around, but it's sick that monsters like The Fist, with an understanding of business, and capitalism, only as deep as his navel, will be ecstatic to see this 'capitalist apologist' being squeezed until his pips squeak.

So I leave the reader with the image of The Fist, salivating over a word processor invented for him by capitalists, punching the tortured face of liberty until its pips squeak - forever.

Remember that image next time you see The Fist in the media.

_________________________________

Postscript. 

I'd just finished this piece and US analyst, John Mauldin's, weekly investment eletter has hit my in-tray, and it might have been a taylor made response to Chris (The Fist) Trotter's tantrum to Matt Nolan, expanding on the point made by Matt – again, it’s worth a longer quotation:

What I am bearish on, however, is governments gone wild with ever-increasing taxes and spending, and especially governments that take on too much debt. When governments decide to spend today more than they can collect in taxes; when they borrow ever-greater amounts to live a national lifestyle that is beyond their means, obliging our children to pay in the future for our spending today to maintain that lifestyle; we know that there will eventually be a day of reckoning.

That day comes when the debt is growing faster than the economy. The final Bang! moment happens when the total interest on the debt overwhelms the nominal growth of the economy.

When that happens, whether to a family, a company, or a nation, either spending must be slashed or taxes raised (which will hurt overall growth), or there will be a default. There comes a moment when investors start to worry more about the return of their capital than the return on their capital. Rates begin to creep upward and the process turns into an ever-tightening spiral of rising taxes and falling spending (which we currently call austerity), which hampers the growth of the nation and makes it ever more difficult to escape the debt trap.

In the course of human experience we have watched this process unfold literally hundreds of times, yet we never seem to learn. Somehow, we always manage to tell ourselves that this time is different. Someone else can pay more taxes. We can grow our way out of the problem, just like we did the last time. Or we settle for the desperate, cynical belief that future generations will sacrifice their lifestyles so that we can get paid our unfunded pensions and health care.


UPDATE 1:

A couple of points.

First, US Professor of Economics,  Greg Mankiw , on studying the US tax-take for 2009, has found that the US middle class in that year, under stimulunacy , were, via credit transfers, net tax takers, not tax payers, so, it would appear the ‘rich pricks’ truly are carrying everyone, making their scape-goating all the more reprehensible:

The most surprising fact to me was that the effective tax rate is negative for the middle quintile.  According to the CBO data, this number was +14 percent in 1979 (when the data begin) and remained positive through 2007.  It was negative 0.5 percent in 2008, and negative 5 percent in 2009.  That is, the middle class, having long been a net contributor to the funding of government, is now a net recipient of government largess.

I recognize that part of this change is attributable to temporary measures to deal with the deep recession.  But it is noteworthy nonetheless, as other deep recessions, such as that in 1982, did not produce a similar policy response.



Second, Lindsay Perigo, over at SOLO has completed my education. I probably should’ve known the quotation, or at least that Chris Trotter was alluding to someone else:

You may not be aware, since you are too young to remember, that the expression "squeeze them till the pips squeak" goes back to Harold Wilson's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey. I remember him saying it. At that time top tax rates were already in excess of 90p in the pound.

If you follow that latter link, you’ll also see confirmed the nature of The Fist, as portrayed above.


 
UPDATE 2:

Over lunch, I’ve been quickly researching the lineage of the ‘pips until they squeak’ quotation. It seems that Healey wasn’t the first to use the expression either; he was quoting Lloyd George:

We began gently with an attempt, at my suggestion, to establish once and for all that Healey never came out with the quote that the Conservatives are still fond of digging up, namely that he wished 'to squeeze the rich until the pips squeak'.

'I never used it. I quoted something from the 1920s. That can happen. Jim Callaghan never said "crisis, what crisis?".' What the then shadow chancellor in fact said, at Labour's 1973 conference, was 'there are going to be howls of anguish from the 80,000 people who are rich enough to pay over 75 per cent on the last slice of their income'. The 'pips squeak' was originally used by First World War leader Lloyd George; Healey did quote fellow Labour Cabinet minister Tony Crosland, requoting it 'in reference to property speculators, not to the rich in general'.


UPDATE 3:

I said above: "Capitalists, including that sub-set, ‘the rich’, have been cast as the scapegoats of this century, albeit the politicians have learned how to keep them on life support as they are cannibalised and eaten alive."
 
The proof is in  the media every day. Pity politicians weren't so circumspect in keeping their own irresponsible spending in check, so that we free men might have kept our privacy, and our lives.

8 comments:

  1. If your client has a tax problem perhaps you should send him to me.

    I fix tax problems.

    Very effectively.

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  2. No, my point is it's taxation that is the problem, muddle-man ;)

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  3. Oh, by the way, loved your Herald op-ed last Sunday.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      been a bit busy working and winding up reporters.

      Insolvency is a good industry.

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  4. I seem to remember the "Pips squeak" quotation from studying the causes of the second world war in history. "We must squeeze the German orange 'til the pips squeak!"-Lloyd George. Doubtless it was a saying of his. He was referring to German war reparations of course; he probably knew better than to reduce Germany to such desperation, but he had an election to win and with his French counterpart Clemanceau going around shouting "Revanche!" jingoism was the order of the day. Woodrow Wilson, the voice of reason was out-voted. So down serfdom road they went, money printing, fascism, war.

    I too have noticed Trotter's true colours appearing. His columns are usually fairly restrained, but the jack-boots appear in the less guarded comments. Nasty little shit.

    Always enjoy your stuff, Regards.

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  5. Cheers Will. Thanks for reading. Interesting on the thoughts behind Lloyd George's use of that phrase.

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  6. Doing away with the societal messes that exist will be a long slow process since it requires a paradigm shift in thinking by at least a large minority of those who live in the self-decreed government jurisdictions worldwide. Anything other than this means violence, a method in which governments are always at the advantage because such violence by the frustrated provides justification to the enforcers - those willing to threaten and actually initiate physical force. In fact the enforcers are the key to all of government; without them all the politicians/legislators/executives (Presidents/PMs included)/judges/etc. are simply wordmongers.

    With many fewer willing to be enforcers (domestic policing agents and military), governments could do much less harm. And when more people learn that governments are not even necessary since their "services" can be obtained via mutually beneficial voluntary interactions, governments can actually whither away from disuse. But first it is necessary that enforcer-jobs become very undesirable by the majority of those living in any particular government jurisdiction. Do NOT voluntarily associate - no sales, no service, no camaraderie, no anything - with those who continue to be enforcers despite attempts with reasoned logic to get truly value-producing jobs. And make it clear publicly that and why you are doing so, in order that others who agree are encouraged to do the same. Some will not agree even when the logic is presented, but then you (and fellow-thinkers) will know who is supportive and who is not, with whom to voluntarily associate less and with whom more.
    When most people in-person and online shun enforcers and continue to do so over many months, large numbers of enforcers will be persuaded to cease those roles. One cannot exist if no one will associate with them in any way. Shunning has a long history of being highly persuasive when reasoned logic is insufficient and does not employ violence.

    There is no "quick fix" and the roots of the problem must also be understood in order that it truly be solved. More on the starting process above and getting to the roots of solution: "Tax/Regulation Protests are Not Enough: Relationship of Self-Responsibility and Social Order" http://selfsip.org/focus/protestsnotenough.html

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    Replies
    1. Kitty, just in case you come back to this thread, I've made a reply to you under your second post: here.

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