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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Prob with compulsory Kiwisaver - other than the 'compulsory' - is every small/medium employer is forced to contribute their investment 1/x
— Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) April 28, 2014
@MarkHubbard33 ... capital 4 the largesse of 10 to 20 crony NZX firms. It's elitist policy from Labour, & a disaster 4 innovation in economy
— Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) April 28, 2014
I don’t deny Mr Neilson makes some attractive arguments; obviously so because, yes, savings are vital to a thriving capitalist economy: if you could put the taxes you currently have extorted from you voluntarily into savings we would all be better off in every way. However, the minute the country has forced on it a compulsory savings into KiwiSaver from the Fortress of Legislation, then its philosophically lost every gain that has been made, because a capitalist economy is defined as a voluntary one – add compulsion, then there is merely another planned, big state economy. Capitalism can only work, and works better than any centrally planned mechanism, when individuals are left free to go about the business of bettering their lives voluntarily, following their pursuit of happiness, and rational self-interest. This is also the pre-condition of a free country. Unfortunately, however, because 99 out of 100 professionals and business people, and 100 out of 100 lobbyists and politicians, no longer understand the philosophical issues underlying a capitalist system, by which I mean classical liberalism, I am forced to break this Herald piece down on its own shallow terms:
Significantly, never mentioned in Mr Neilson’s lobbying, there is a huge cost to business via the compulsory employers contribution that employers must make, matching their employees contributions, that is ignored, completely, by him. He is advocating that every small and medium sized enterprise (SME), including farms, in New Zealand, that’s every entity which employs, is forced to give over the capital they could use to grow themselves, and employ, so a very minute, elite group of ‘favoured’ firms listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange can use those extorted funds to further their own interests. Rational and fair people will rightly see this as first, philosophically repugnant, and after that economically retrograde. This is called crony capitalism, which, mixed with an uncritical MSM such as the lack of balance in this Herald piece, simply accelerates us all down the road to our serfdom.
Secondly, not only is every SME stripped of their own capital via the employers contribution, they also necessarily have to incur a higher incidence of income tax to fund the government contribution to each KiwiSaver’s scheme, being 50 cents for each $1 invested. Yet more money taken from business owners to play favourites and skew the open market for investment monies, given SME’s investing their own money in their own businesses is the major part of the investment market of any free country, and the KiwiSaver scheme is twice attacking that important source of investment funding, namely, retained earnings … (now repeat my philosophic arguments in above paragraph).
Finally, considering the KiwiSavers themselves, for many, compulsory savings into KiwiSaver will simply not be in their rational self-interest; they may well be prudent paying down their mortgages more quickly, than being forced to invest in risky start-up ventures such as Xero, Bliss, et al, as good as investment in some of those companies may indubitably be: investment has to consider both risk and return of each individual.
… please leave businesspeople, many of them struggling, brave entrepreneurs, alone – don’t make your career one of … forcibly taking the money, and hence the choices and opportunities, of these people who are our economy.
@IainLG @caffeine_addict @manstaneditor and do you really think the government would have given you a victory on this?
— Peter Dunne (@PeterDunneMP) April 27, 2014
Every man is entitled if he can to arrange his affairs so that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be. If he succeeds in ordering them so as to secure that result, then, however unappreciative the Commissioners of Inland Revenue or his fellow taxpayers may be of his ingenuity, he cannot be compelled to pay an increased tax. (IRC v Duke of Westminster [ 1936 ] AC1 (HL)).
This principle has been beaten back in recent years, in particular by laws that ask people to consider whether the tax minimisation scheme they have entered into is so artificial that instead of merely avoiding tax, the taxpayer is actively evading tax.
But even if the procedures used are legal, it’s not clear that they are ethically acceptable. This is in fact the closest I can get to understanding exactly what a rort is: it’s something that is technically legal, but nevertheless pushes the law to such an extent that it is immoral.
And it is immoral to make such a big effort to avoid paying taxes. It amounts to saying that you just don’t give a damn about anyone else, and that all you want to do is take. And take. And take some more.
We’ll know that the government is serious about all New Zealanders contributing fairly to the common good of our society when they start asking hard questions of their tax avoiding mates.
It has been confirmed the Employment Court can inquire into the business case behind a redundancy to see if it is genuine.
Confirmation, with major implications for employers, is found in the recent judgment of Employment Court Chief Judge Graeme Colgan, who found the rationale behind a Hawke's Bay farm’s decision to make a farm worker redundant did not stack up.
So the lawyer judge stands in the shoes of the employer making financial decisions affecting other staff and shareholders but with no responsibility for the company's operations.
On the face of it, the company had made a judgment that the job did not require a person of the existing holder's skill/experience and it would save money by downgrading the position. Offering the position to the present holder at a lower salary is OK in theory but it will only work if the person concerned accepts the situation. As often as not, as a result of the downgrade, the person has a 'chip' on their shoulder. As a general rule, judges with little or no senior management experience are not competent to make these sort of decisions.
MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, responding to a backlash for a promo she recently appeared in, doubled down Monday on her claims that children do not belong solely to their parents.“This isn’t about me wanting to take your kids, and this isn’t even about whether children are property,” she said. “This is about whether we as a society, expressing our collective will through our public institutions, including our government, have a right to impinge on individual freedoms in order to advance a common good. And that is exactly the fight that we have been having for a couple hundred years.”The MSNBC host has been thrust into the spotlight lately for a network promotion she appeared in, claiming that kids belong to whole communities.“We’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours, and your responsibility,” she says in the ad. “We haven’t had a very collective notion of ‘These are our children.’ So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that ‘kids belong to their parents’ or ‘kids belong to their families,’ and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”