From the Taranaki Daily News today:
A Government-commissioned report is urging dairy and sheep industry players to seize opportunities to farm overseas. [The report’s writer] acknowledged there were already New Zealanders … farming in Chile, Brazil and Uruguay, but few were operating at any scale.
Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne, from Hansard:
I will take just a brief call at this point to acknowledge the work of the Finance and Expenditure Committee, in particular, in dealing with what I think is the second-largest tax bill to come to this Parliament, the Taxation (International Taxation, …) Bill. This is an 842-page job. It does not beat my previous effort of 3,500 pages, … I acknowledge the fact that the select committee had a monstrous job in working through some very important, complex legislation in order to get it to this stage. I note that Supplementary Order Paper 34, which I have tabled, is 50-odd pages, so it is nearly a bill in itself. All those things really go to point out how complicated our tax law is …
Oh yes, let’s all jump into the penalty system known as our, quoting the Minister, ‘monstrous’ and complex, international tax regime. Perhaps the boffins who wrote the report, which I definitely agree with, should first have a word with the boffins who’ve made our mish mash of international tax laws. When you have a contradiction like this, then the Minister, and government, needs to re-examine their premises, and in this case some fundamental ones on how our society is structured, which has led to such complex tax laws being required to fund the ‘monstrous’ size of our state, where in every budget delivered by Bill English, despite the rhetoric, the state spend continues to be bigger in dollar terms than the year before, and approaching 50% of the entire spend in our economy; a phenomenon which is currently destroying the economies of Europe and America.
And I write this with the somehow connected thought in my mind, a thought in the form of a joke, of watching the article about Australian farmers on TV 1’s current affairs show, Sunday, last night, who are partaking in the black market their government has created in selling raw milk.
Yes, I said milk. Australian regulation has created a black market in milk.
Said one such farmer who was raided by food safety officers and armed police, after an expensive multi-departmental sting operation on him daring to blatantly sell milk to hippies at a farmer’s market - ‘I kept trying to tell them,' he said, 'all these officers with guns; it’s just milk. This is a farmers’ market, and I’m just selling milk.’ His fine was A$184,000, and his last musing to the camera was whether it was perhaps heroin in his plastic bottles: but no, it was just raw milk. I guess he’s no longer thinking of taking his farming overseas: he’s probably just thinking of taking himself overseas. At least if he’s got any sense.
Now remember that 380 page food bill signed off in New Zealand last year, where Minister Wilkinson’s comment on the draconian powers being given to our food officers was, ‘well, they’ll not be used.’ If they’re not going to be used, then they shouldn’t have been given such draconian powers, at all. And yes, I know, raw milk could, in the rare case, kill you: but if an individual wants to take that choice, because such milk also has more nutrients, then that’s their choice. A society must operate on that basis, for there’s far more important principles at stake. The freedoms we should be able to take for granted in the West - freedom being the right to be left alone - sometimes involves the freedom to take risks and die stupidly, whether it be test piloting a new jet engine, or drinking raw milk, for without risk, there will be no innovation, and it’s by innovation from the entrepreneurial pursuit fostered by true capitalism, that we have the best standard of living from any generation before us in history, that has allowed us to live in the first world, where we can have the absurd problem of a black market in milk.
And don't go thinking we're alone: I said this was a Western problem - hattip Offsetting Behaviour have a look at this clip and wonder no longer why the West is falling over: