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.

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, October 30, 2012

A Riposte to Jacinda Ardern’s Privacy Concerns Regarding the MSD. (Powers of IRD)



Jacinda, regardless of your attack on Paula Bennett and the MSD privacy breach, and I see this morning IRD are guilty of over six thousand privacy breaches also, voting Labour on privacy concerns, would be like lambs voting for abattoirs, so you’re wasting your breath trying to score political points off this, as bad as it is. Worse, you have debased the beauty our language is capable of, by turning worthy words into something as worthless as this:


Labour MP Jacinda Ardern said [ the MSD privacy]  breach "points to a cavalier approach to privacy and to the protection of information by this Government and the buck has to stop somewhere."


I don’t know if you’re being woefully ignorant, or cynically deceitful, in your inferred denial here that the surveillance thug state your party, and every other party in Parliament, including Bennett’s, requires for redistribution – called theft by free men – necessitates that no citizen can be allowed privacy anymore, or to be left alone.  To take my income and property to finance your dream - my nightmare - of the semi-police-state, you first had to take my privacy from me. From when the very first of your sodality of statist dictatorians decided they were more worthy to spend my money than I was, then my life staked out prostrate before your bureaucrats was mandatory.

Redistribution, as Rodney Hide has ably shown, has required Parliament to give IRD the powers of the full police state. Despite the businessman lives his life peacefully in the community of the voluntary transaction, the state, via the IRD, treat him worse than a murder or rapist. In respect of the innocent businessman:
        
The burden of proof is reversed in a tax case. He is not innocent until proven guilty, IRD can simply assess, and it’s up to him to prove them wrong. This happens in no other jurisdiction.

Despite he has done nothing wrong, he has no right to silence, and must attend audit room 101 for any interrogation by the Big Brother state, with serious criminal charges for daring to keep his peace and wanting to be left alone.

He must hand over all documentation the IRD wish, yet;

To get information regarding assessments from the IRD, in return, requires him to go the tortuous and expensive path of obtaining a court order, which practically makes this impossible for SME's.

IRD actions up to issuing their assessments cannot be judicially reviewed; they are above the rule of law.


Truly, whose being cavalier with the lives of free men? State worshippers: you're all knuckles off the same fist: you, Bennett; there is no difference.


And you don't have to goose-step far to find the true victims of your police state. Touch a dictator, I’ve had a good run, interpersonally, with IRD, however, NBR recently ran a story on a tax case, albeit the interesting part wasn’t in the story, but in the comments. Post after post from taxpayers made anonymously; and prudently anonymously, given the major characteristic about any police state is fear. Fear of state sanction at the hands of fallible bureaucrats who have been given the powers of tyrants over free men, and against whom the only defence is anonymity.  Please take the time to read how you have bound and destroyed the voluntary and free society – simply copying and pasting:


Few of the readers have been investigated and then had the IRD attack their tax interpretation.

I've had the misfortune, they are like a pack hunting their prey. Use tactics that are better suited to battle, it was a very unpleasant experience and although we won and eventually the TRA agreed and threw out tax avoidance charges. But costs of time, energy, lawyers and hard cash take your focus away from running your business. 

All it takes is some petty minded bureaucrat to take a dislike to your own tax advisors interpretation and you are in for a very unpleasant ride.


And:


I too, have had the emminent (imminent?) men & women of the IRD ravage our businesses, all for no gain, the destruction of 3 family businesses, and the crippling of another. The effect on our health was enormous. And we were enthusiastic taxpayers working to the law.


And:


IRD are out of control. 3x days with some pimply faced kid causing havoc. extra work and upset in my business and leaves at the end of it all owing me money as the audit found stuff I forgot to claim fully. Still not worth the hassle. Business is too tough here and employing staff a real hassle. Reckon it would be easier to chuck it all in and head to the GC.


And, (sick of this yet, I am):


Couldn’t agree more - after a 5 year audit, $100k in costs, then the IRD admitting they were wrong - Ive has a guts full of NZ's growing civil servants industry smacking the hard working Kiwis for a six.
The burden now placed on tax payers is huge - it is crushing the country!!!


There are more in this litany of looting if you care to peruse that thread.

Note I’m not saying you’re an ‘evil’ person, Jacinda, ironically, it’s quite the opposite: the gulag you’ve created is one of forced altruism, it arose from a misguided conspiracy of the caring, as Milton Friedman attested to (hat-tip Cafe Hayek):


The great movement toward government has not come about as a result of people with evil intentions trying to do evil.  The great growth of government has come about because of good people trying to do good.  But the method by which they have tried to do good has been basically flawed.  They have tried to do good with other people’s money.  Doing good with other people’s money has two basic flaws.  In the first place, you never spend anybody else’s money as carefully as you spend your own.  So a large fraction of that money is inevitably wasted.  In the second place, and equally important, you cannot do good with other people’s money unless you first get the money away from them.  So that force – sending a policeman to take the money from somebody’s pocket – is fundamentally at the basis of the philosophy of the welfare state.


And I’ve already posted in this blog that though nothing excuses the immorality of the initial daily made theft at the heart of the welfare state, if it had worked to bring communities together, you might have campaigned on excusing the state's violence by some awful pragmatism; but you don’t even have that to fall back on, as David Schmidtz’s stated in his important 1998 book, Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility: For and Against:



If communitarians are right to say Western society has been atomized, then surely one of the causes has been the state’s penchant for making itself (rather than the community) the primary focus of public life….

What explains market society’s unparalleled success in helping people to prosper? The key, I have argued, lies in background institutions, especially property institutions, that lead people to take responsibility for their own welfare….

The welfare state would have made people better off if it had led neighbors to rely on each other and on themselves, but it seems to have done the opposite.


So, this caring society you represent, and your new found concern for my privacy; excuse me for not buying it. And after this length of time, it has now become, per the taxpayers above, something much worse than benign. I resent this surveillance state you’ve created for every reason possible from philosophical, political, right down to a simple compassion for my fellow man, because there is nothing crueller than the poverty of mind and pocket being created by you. And to pair your debased words, with those of a debased literature, please wake up and see the slave shackles you have me in: you may well be into this fifty shades of political BDSM bullshit, but I am a free man, and demand you release me to my own volition, so that I can look after my family and loved ones without the governments brass knuckles in my every transaction.

Your unwilling servant.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bernard Hickey’s Latest Outage, Sorry, Outrage.


Bernard, affectionately called Kim Jong on this blog because his every policy recommendation involves more state in my life, not less, quickly outs himself in the heading of his newly penned poison:

 How much freedom should individuals or companies have [I should just stop here, but …] to change their affairs in response to tax rules? Bernard Hickey calls on us to join a British boycott of companies that do this.

First, the economic issue: as with other forms of nationalistic protectionism you would force for our exporters, Bernard, income tax is a cost: when you advocate a boycott on firms not paying what ‘you’ think is enough tax - and we know for you there will never be enough tax - then what you’re telling consumers to do is boycott firms until they increase their costs, and so, necessarily the prices they charge for their goods and services sold to consumers. You’re asking consumers to protest against not being charged more for what they buy from private companies, and thus you’re advocating a harsher life for low income earners on strict budgets, not a better one. Shame on you for not seeing beyond the copy of your next statist Granny Herald fee.

 And on the more important philosophical issue, it’s bounded freedom all over again. If you won’t read economics, then please read the history of the twentieth century. Already thanks to the big brute surveillance state you advocate, and the social chaos that comes from your bounded humans, a null-minded, ugly fascism begins to bind Europe again, and even a graveyard in Auckland. My entire blog is about joining the dots for you from bounded liberty to societies of fist saluting hatred as self-reliant individuals are thrown into the merciless, gaping maw of state, pulled inexorably down, finger nails scraping along their IRD assessments, into the barbaric pit of dependence.

Postscript:

 And you’ve still not taken up my currency contract, Bernard.

Update:

Economist Paul Walker at Anti-Dismal has written a nice piece on this also.

Monday, October 22, 2012

On Reading, Writing, and a Weekend Ramble Through Some NZ Literature I've Enjoyed.



Not counting books by every Russian author I've read, and Stephen Hawking's still unfinished History of Time, which I started over January, 2001, I'm on the longest period of time it has taken me to read a book: one month. The book is a good one, Hitch-22, the autobiography of polymath, Christopher Hitchens, however, it’s just not a fit for me currently. For some reason since hitting my 'upper' forties, I can’t stomach book length non-fiction, outside of cook books, meaning, together with his fiction news, Graham Beattie’s Book Blog is one of my most visited sites anymore. I seem to need narrative, and the relevance that literary fiction has to living a life. So I've decided to put Hitch aside, planning on coming back to him from time to time, a chapter at a time - he's dead, there's no hurry anymore - and move to a novel again. But there are so many I want to read. I thought it was going to be Emily Perkin’s The Forrests, given I enjoyed her Novel About My Wife (that’s the title, Emily didn’t write a novel about ‘my’ wife, she doesn’t know us). Though perhaps a bit soon to read her again, just yet, as I only read Wife earlier this year, and something more; it's the turn of a male voice.

The last four writers entered into my reading log have been women: Emily (above), Charlotte Grimshaw, Pat Barker (three novels, Regeneration, Double Vision, and The Eye in the Door), and the dry witted, philosophical, Jennie Erdal. I believe there is a gender distinction in the narrative voice, conscious or otherwise, and sometimes, as a bloke, I need the whiskey bass of a male voice sounding away in the back of my mind, and I need a dose of that now. Unfortunately the male voice that has given me the most value over time, a home-coming in every read, has silenced himself: Maurice Gee, who published what he called his last novel, Access Road, over 2009. It’s a great sadness there are to be no more Gee titles to add to his great ones: Going West, Live Bodies, and the Plumb trilogy. There are many other other male voices, Witi Ihimaera (The Uncle’s Story), and then the foreigners: Ian McEwan, David Lodge (brilliant – if you take nothing else from this post, read him), Nick Hornby, and many more, but none will replace Gee for me.

So – and by the by, it’s Labour Weekend Sunday, my wife and I are pleasantly imbibed of a Waipara Mt Brown Riesling over lunch – the next read has happened on me by accident, on parsing the Press's weekend supplement, and Philip Matthew’s review of father and daughter books: C K Stead’s Risk, and Charlotte Grimshaw’s Soon.  My relationship to that funny old stick, Mr Stead, is complicated. I’ve not quite forgiven him for his condescension to Keri Hulme’s Booker winner: I like the Bone People. And I will never forgive his sheer impertinence to what would be – well, outside Ayn Rand, philosophically – one of my favourite female authors, Elizabeth Knox (who might well never forgive me for mentioning her in the same breath as Ayn). Let it be said, Mr Stead most cruelly enjoys plucking the wings from fantastical angels, not realising the angel concerned, in The Vintner’s Luck and The Angels Cut, is one of the best rendered mortals in New Zealand literature. And I wonder if he has read what for me is still Knox’s crowning glory: Glamour and the Sea (again, if you take a second thing from this post, read it). Plus while quickly Googling a fact in the above, for the first time I've come across the (indirectly related, via a marriage in the previous sentence) whole Nigel Cox mess: I'm not even going there. So, Mr Stead has annoyed me at times, but none of that takes away his own skills behind the word processor – um, nor his genes, for that matter. He’s got that ugly bald sexy thing going on, like Patrick Stewart, but looking at photos in the MSM this week of daughter Charlotte, and the publisher one in England, I can only assume their mother was in her day, and currently for all I know, a stunner …

Oh Jesus. No, no, no. I can’t go there, the Hand Mirror blog might get hold of this, tar and feather in hand: I’ve already been castrated once in their comments section, and that for simply being a gentleman. Or perhaps it was trying to tell them throwing your lot in with big government would achieve feminism nothing: if you want a world without the 'isms (racism, sexism, et al), free the individual.

The last book of Mr Stead’s I read was My Name Was Judas.  I have lovely memories attached to that book, as I was reading it on a holiday in Perth, one of those holiday's that actually worked. Though it was not quite as good as his Mansfield, or his Sister Hollywood, or my favourite Stead novel, All Visitors Ashore, again associated with good life memories due to the circumstances in which I was reading it; namely, university, women - talking to them as much as anything after a country high school (work that out for yourself) - and, of course, the liberating weed.  While I can no longer remember the protagonist's name, I can still that cheeky hole in his pocket, even after all this time and inhalation - albeit the latter, mind, never in the last quarter century: I'm responsible now, damn it. So, given Carl Stead's Risk, published last week, had snuck up on me unawares, informed via Matthew’s review, it seemed like serendipity. The only issue being whether to read this, or daughter Charlotte’s Soon, also published over the week. Given I have read Soon’s predecessor, The Night Book, I was tempted to go for that first, however, I needed the male voice more,  plus I have to say, Mr Matthew’s opinion, while very generous to Mr Stead’s offering, was most ungenerous to Ms Grimshaw’s.  So I trundled onto Amazon and downloaded Risk, all the while noting, despite the bad review, one must assess a novel on one's own terms, and having enjoyed all I have read of Grimshaw in the past, will certainly be reading Soon, um, soon.

Mind you, moving to my own particular point of depression of the moment, which is the ‘thing’ I’m trying to write, Matthew’s closing critique of Soon piqued my interest. According to Matthew, Grimshaw's latest novel  is a failure – he said that, brave, stupid, call it what you will, (I call it rude) - because though well crafted, well written, it is, according to him, a novel without purpose.

Repeat, a novel without purpose.

 Well, let’s open another bottle of wine on that line.

Initially I worry his comment is the mirror image of my own project, currently at 40,000 words - meaning, according to Ian McEwan’s rules, I’ve left novella and am now into the uncharted seas of the novel. I’m worrying my novel, brimming with purpose, may not be, therefore, either well written, or crafted.

‘Purpose’ seems to be a rather dangerous reef for this soidisant dilettante. George Orwell wanted to turn political writing into art, an endeavour that might explain my own efforts, only the last Guardian essay I read stated, quite purposefully, that the best political writing was, ironically, without purpose. Apparently political writing reaches the pinnacle of art, or the precipice, in my case, when it is ambiguous and tries to say nothing. In an exchange with an actual author, who has two great adult books published, The Sound of Butterflies and Magpie Hall, plus a young adult novel, the name of which escapes me, who kindly humours this libertarian nut-job from time to time on Twitter, despite my politick would be anathema to her, I tweeted, that if the best political writing was about saying nothing, then I may as well take up market gardening. Funnily enough, unrelated to anything, on tweeting ‘market gardening’ what then happened was I almost instantly had fifteen women sign up to my twitter feed; at least, all had women’s names, but on looking at their profiles, none of them had made any tweets, and no one was following them?

Got me a bit paranoid: I blocked them.

So, returning to my problem, apparently my best novelistic advice is to write in a manner which is purposely ambiguous.

Now, really, look at my blog. You probably can groke pretty quickly the nature of my conundrum.

Actually, the author concerned gave me some very good advice, being to literature (verb), rather than lecture. And partly, I have been doing this, though I am now changing the ‘emphasis’ from one character to another as the dominant one, allowing me to kill off the character with a purpose. Or something. Writing is hard. For me it will only ever be a hobby, and that’s fine. Or perhaps like Mr Samuel Pepys, after Western civilisation has gone through the death throes of Big Brother State Keynesian socialism and fiat money, my diary might be found in the digital rubble and published as an example of how the free, decent society could have been saved. Or not. That might just be the megalomania in this Giesen 2012 Reisling speaking (and recommended, a clever wine: goes on the tongue sweet, then slips off the back dry. I’ve never tasted a wine like it. $18.05 at New World.)

In summation, because I’ve got to plant tomatoes, I’ve just written 1,500 words: pity they weren’t on my novel, which I shall struggle on with, trying to ‘write my way around impasse.' In the meantime I’ve almost finished another blog post, waste of time, call it what you will, in the form of a short note to Comrade Jacinta Adern, which is many purposeful things, ambiguous not being one of them, and broaches the topics of privacy and hypocrisy.


Postscript:

I’m publishing this Labour Monday, and unbelievably it’s snowing. One of the joys in life at the Hubbard household is the first pre-Christmas feed of baby broad beans: if this snow starts to settle, a tradition is about to be broken.