Tax is theft, tax is love

I have seen tax referred to as theft for yonks. That’s a silly description. Tax is an essential part of any modern society. We can choose to opt out by becoming hermits if we can find some land to squat on. Otherwise we need to contribute to the costs of a running an advanced civilisation.

We can debate what sort of taxes should be levied, and how much tax we should pay, but tax is an essential part of how things work.

‘Tax is love’ is a new term for me. It sounds Orwellian.

But these two odd ways of describing tax are being debated.

‘Tax is love’ sounds ridiculous to me.

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72 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 21, 2018

    The Left love tax that other people pay. Simple as that.

    Reply
  2. Corky

     /  November 21, 2018

    Of course tax is theft. The problem is no one ever stops to think about a world without tax, and if that is possible.

    Let’s look at one example: Privatise education and give parents back a percentage of their tax. Tax that would’ve gone on funding our Marxist education system. That way parents get to choose the type of education their children receive. And the state has one less burden.

    Regional councils could be replaced with a covenant system allowing people to choose what areas they’ll live in with mutually agreed rules and cooperation with other areas for mutual infrastructure, or lack thereof.

    The reality is the present system wouldn’t be half bad if governments and councils just kept to their core responsibilities and let the market deal with everything else.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 21, 2018

      And yet look how well all countries with taxation & education systems broadly like ours have done for themselves over the last couple of centuries, and compare it with how well countries with systems such as you propose have done, like Mali, or Nigeria, or Afghanistan?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  November 21, 2018

        Mali, or Nigeria, or Afghanistan?

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  November 21, 2018

        “Mali, or Nigeria, or Afghanistan?”

        All of these countries have taxes.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  November 21, 2018

          Not when you get outside of the main cities where they basically have a covenant system allowing people to choose what areas they’ll live in with mutually agreed rules and cooperation with other areas for mutual infrastructure, or lack thereof. Mostly lack thereof.

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  November 21, 2018

          They have passports too according to Gezza.😄 Of course, unlike Europeans, these folk have yet to find their individuality. With individuality comes progress. With progress comes choices. With choices comes division and angst over directions to follow. Until recently, the West was still inching slowly forward and evolving even given our division.

          We have pissed that advantage down the drain with immigration, and are devolving back to apes.

          Gezzas sarcasm may yet bite him on the bum… Mali, or Nigeria, or Afghanistan may come to visit him.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 21, 2018

            Highly unlikely, although individuals from those countries may.

            It’s a myth that humans evolved from apes, but one assumes that Corky is using the royal or editorial we with the statement about ‘devolving’ back to one.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              The Great Apes are named for their large bodies. They also have larger brains than other primates. Like Lesser Apes, the Great Apes are active during the day. There are four types of Great Apes – the orang-utans, gorillas, chimpanzees and humans.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 21, 2018

              I don’t think that humans are apes (well, there are some who make one wonder)

              It used to drive a Malaysian university friend when people rhymed orang utan with meringue….it’s o-rang u-tan. Not that I ever remember to say it like that.

              What’s white and sticky and swings through the trees?

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              The fact is, Kitty, we are just a very successful variety of hairless great ape, and it pays never to forget that. It also explains a lot of human behaviour that otherwise makes no sense.

          • Corky

             /  November 21, 2018

            There goes the neighbourhood … neighbourhoods? Reverting back to one neighbourhood by royal decree.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              Irony Corks, it’s ironical humour, for those with a refined sense of humour. ☝

              I don’t do sarcasm. 😐 I leave that up to sarcastic buggers.

            • Corky

               /  November 21, 2018

              But of course.. a refined sense of humour! Ah, the question mark.

              But to practice that refined sense of humour you need to suspend common sense. Feign not knowing what is meant.

              That of course makes it sarcasm to me.

              Now, there’s some irony given your spat with Robert.

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              I’m not having a spat with robert, Corks o_O.

              I’m just explaining things to him. Patiently. Or at least I was, but he’s now had the 10 minutes that is all the time I now to allocate to him per day. So any further patient explanations he appears to need may have to wait until tomorrow. I’ve got other things to do and to read.

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              o_O Ah yes. That’s better. I must have mistakenly typed a zero.

  3. david in aus

     /  November 21, 2018

    If ‘Tax is Love’, those with those sentiments would find societies such as Communist Cuba and the Soviet Union to be nirvana. In those countries, the government occupied 100% of the economy.

    Tax is necessary for essential functions of government. But confiscation of someone else’s property (Taxes) is not an act of love.

    Reply
    • Fight4NZ

       /  November 21, 2018

      Nor is the use of commonly held assets without contributing to costs.

      Reply
      • david in aus

         /  November 21, 2018

        huh?
        I think sharing and giving is an act of love. Charity without thoughts benefits to oneself is an act of love.
        Threatening jail is one does not pay tax is NOT love.

        I am not sure how people can conflate such different concepts- warped thinking.

        Reply
  4. robertguyton

     /  November 21, 2018

    It’s the title for a debate. It takes so little to stir the Actoid nest.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 21, 2018

      Umm … precisely, so folk can debate it here as well. You don’t seem to understand the concept of a blog where people can debate issues of politics or governance. The Standard & Kiwiblog & The Daily Blog are essentially echo chambers. This might have a preponderance of rightie types but the problem I think is mainly finding lefty types who have the time or interest or skills to debate the better righty posters. Also this blog’s the wittiest.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  November 21, 2018

        “This might have a preponderance of rightie types”
        Indeed it has and a preponderance of rightie-favouring posts from Pete too.I’ve noticed that “righties types” use personal insults and name calling far more than any “lefty types” that comment here and I suspect that’s the reason few lefties visit here or stay long if they do chance by. For a “centrist”, Gezza, you employ those tactics more often than seems reasonable. Perhaps it’s only me that has good manners?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  November 21, 2018

          Indeed it has and a preponderance of rightie-favouring posts from Pete too.
          1. It has a preponderance of critiques of the government of the day posts.

          I’ve noticed that “righties types” use personal insults and name calling far more than any “lefty types” that comment here and I suspect that’s the reason few lefties visit here or stay long if they do chance by.
          2. They can’t help it; they were born that way. I make allowances for their deficiencies. Have you met Blazer (Mr “Cork Soaker”) or Griff (You name it with the personal insults but window licking is a fave), btw?

          For a “centrist”, Gezza, you employ those tactics more often than seems reasonable.
          3. I’m not a centrist. I’m me. I’m conservative on some issues, left-leaning on others, and just basically wise on most. This is often indicated by wisecracks. Also sometimes I like to bait people I’ve gone right off & see if I can get them to show themselves up as hypocrites or whingers. Nobody’s perfect.

          Perhaps it’s only me that has good manners?
          4. You gratuitously personally insult & attribute bad motives to the blogmeister on a regular basis & are very fortunate that he tolerates it far more than any other blog rulers I’m aware of. The fact you don’t use nasty names doesn’t get you a free pass or disguise that this is the height of bad manners.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  November 21, 2018

            Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  November 21, 2018

            Pete can look after himself; after all, he’s able to delete and does so often enough, like the OIA people in some ways – redact what doesn’t suit the narrative. I find that curious on a blog that professes to uphold the principles of free speech. Of course, you might not get to read this comment…

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 21, 2018

              We did get to waste a few seconds of our life reading it, Robert. As usual it contributed nothing but a glimpse of the futility of yours.

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              Pete can look after himself; after all, he’s able to delete and does so often enough

              Of course he can, and he does. This is just my personal take on a lot of your whingeing & frequently downright puerile comments. You get back what you put out.

              PG deletes very rarely, and very little, from my observations. Generally when someone persistently ignores repeated warnings or where their posts may unintentionally – or intentionally (as is the case with a couple of wack-job changing-ID nasty posters) compromise the blog and/or place him at legal risk.

              You are just being supercilious and silly.

  5. PDB

     /  November 21, 2018

    It’s more a case of taxes being used well and for intended purposes.

    Tax can be seen as theft when this doesn’t occur and more tax is then needed to pay for stuff the original tax take should have covered. The failure to address tax bracket creep could also be considered theft as it’s led to people being overtaxed.

    The other issue we face is the disconnect for many people as to where govt money actually comes from – much like many people nowadays have no concept/ appreciation of where our food comes from. A quick drive through areas like Pukekohe shows how quickly some of our most viable horticultural land is being eaten up by the supercity which if anything will need greater food production in such areas as Pukekohe & its surrounds to satisfy its growing population.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 21, 2018

      I agree with your comments here, PDB, especially those regarding Pukekohe. I was there recently and witnessed what you describe. It’s a global phenomenon, but there are solutions, I reckon.

      Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  November 21, 2018

          Just yet another unintended consequence of the RMA making housing land so expensive that horticulture can’t compete. The Lefty solution to too much bureaucracy will only ever be even more bureaucracy and therefore more and worse unintended consequences.

          Reply
          • Fight4NZ

             /  November 21, 2018

            So the decades of protection afforded such areas by the green belt built into regional plans, more latterly brought under RMA jurisdiction, reconfirmed by the council at the original Unitary Plan meeting, but in an outrageous anti-democratic fit of pique and self interest was swept away by the Key govt and its puppet review board, was a lefty plot.
            Have you got some sort of reality inverting eyewear?

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  November 21, 2018

              I reckon he does, Fight4NZ.
              I reckon he does.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 21, 2018

              Still hankering for more bureaucracy then? While complaining about the unaffordable houses and rents it produces? And claiming market failure because residential use is now higher value than food production? Tragic.

    • NOEL

       /  November 21, 2018

      When Pukekohe was in Franklin District the “prime volcanic agricultural land” was an impediment used to restrict growth.
      Small block owners had to prove economic use on land in the District that had previously been marginal farms. This resulted in a lot of wasted work and taxpayers money by MAF who were tasked to find crops that could yield a return on small acreages

      By the the 1990’s Pukekohe growers were leasing land as far south as Tuakau for the then money spinner squash because of problems with overuse of that “prime agricultural land” in Pukekohe. .

      When Franklin was combined in the the greater Auckland area the “prime agricultural land” classification was challenged in the courts and found to have no substance.

      Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  November 21, 2018

      Great post PDB. I think the vast majority agree that taxation for core services is a worthwhile endeavour – infrastructure, law and order, defence, education to secondary level, some form of health care. Only slightly less would disagree that tax should also cover a “safety net” for those in strife (hand up rather than hand out).
      It is the use of taxes in areas beyond that that brings the debate. There are of course, many worthwhile areas the Government gets involved in, but the extent and breadth of this involvement and use of other people’s money to engage in activities “on behalf of the taxpayer” has a creeping inevitability that needs to be reigned in periodically.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  November 21, 2018

        And it is, with elections that lead to fiscally tight governments. This can in turn lead eventually to under-funding of necessary or desirable nationwide public services, which can get corrected again with a change of government when there’s too much pain & not enuf gain for too many voters. NZ & NZers have done very well out of this system. God forbid we should ever become the sort of shit-hole country the US is where some folk are obscenely wealthy, taxes are levied by every state as well as the feds, the quality of your healthcare is determined by your income level & people working in some service industries are forced to beg for tips because they are so appallingly underpaid – & the poor saps over there think that’s acceptable.

        Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  November 21, 2018

          You’re not wrong about some services becoming underfunded on occasion. Some services become bloated as well, or just seem underfunded because they are badly run.
          I like the NZ system – taxation is generally fair, the system is simple (as far as tax systems go), and people are able to go about their business with little Government interference in the main.
          There are of course, exceptions – RMA is a good example, but i would not like to see any large overhaul of the current systems in place. The Tax Working Group could change everything as some of the options they are seriously considering would impose significant compliance costs, and some would create taxation removed from income earning (some of the CGT models using deemed rates of return for taxation).

          On the actual topic of the post, I believe taxation (beyond the core services of Government) is the abdication of love to the state. It is giving up ones moral prerogatives as a citizen to be charitable and to engender community of your own free will by taking discretionary income and funnelling it to a faceless bureaucracy to determine how it is spent.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  November 21, 2018

            Tax, the abdication of love? More like, filling for the vacuum caused by capitalism.

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  November 22, 2018

              It’s hard to be altruistic when the Government is stepping in with high taxes to spread around on your behalf.

  6. david in aus

     /  November 21, 2018

    How about framing the debate “Tax is a necessary evil; we should limit it where ever possible”

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  November 21, 2018

      How is, tax is evil, better than tax is love? And who shouldn’t they choose their own framing?

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  November 21, 2018

        Because taking money off people at the point of a gun is not love.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  November 21, 2018

          Fuxake Pink David ! 🙄 Who is taking tax off kiwis at the point of a bloody gun !

          Keep it real, buddy.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  November 21, 2018

            That is the endgame. You can of course surrender before that happens.

            Reply
          • Pink David

             /  November 21, 2018

            ” Who is taking tax off kiwis at the point of a bloody gun !”

            It is real, and it is the origin of taxation. The guns are not actually needed because the public generally accept the current level of taxation.

            Earlier this week there were major demonstrations over increased taxes in France. Where does the line get crossed for the guns to be drawn?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              No one is going to come to your bloody house with a gun and force you to pay your bloody taxes in New Zealand. If you refuse to pay your taxes and persist long enuf the worst that would happen was a nice bailiff would turn up and remove some of your possessions leaving you with a lot less to dust and vacuum clean around.

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              Nalini Kumar knowingly signed false tax, GST and PAYE returns with the intention of evading assessment and payment of tax totalling $127,029.60.

              In July Rakesh pleaded guilty to three representative charges of evading assessment and payment of tax. His wife pleaded guilty to one similar charge.

              Basically fraud, Al. I’m talking about Pink David or Corky just deciding not to pay their taxes.

              Besides which I didn’t see anything in there about armed police turning up to force them to pay at the point of a gun. Some nice, unarmed court security or corrections officers probably escorted him to his new temporary lodgings and I imagine she just went home with a bracelet.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 21, 2018

              As I noted, you can surrender gracefully before the endgame.
              Or:
              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10805559

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              Bastards. Worse bastards than you, if that were even possible. But 2012, Sir Alan ! No doubt under the current administration they are all nowadays all sweetness and light and exuding kindness from their every pore.

              Still nothing about the point of a gun. Your desperation is becoming embarrassing to watch. I suggest you give up now. Pink David simply got carried away with himself & imagined we were some place like Saudi Arabia where they’d cart him away to the Carlton at the point of a gun and slap him around a bit until he turned over most of his fortune to MBS.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 21, 2018

              Obviously if you arm yourself to resist inevitable arrest the guns will be there for you, Sir Gerald. As you know.

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              Well, obviously. But that’s not what Pink David was suggesting folk do, Sir Alan. Please, your desperation to prove a point has been demolished. I cannot bear to see you continuing with this foolishness. How the state can use its powers to enforce payment of taxes, and whether it should, is a different issue. If you wish to debate that I suggest you do it elsewhere as you have lost this one that they do it at the point of a gun in NZ. I win again, and everyone knows. 🏆

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 21, 2018

              Ultimately the state’s guns decide the issue, Sir Gerald. As you know and admit.

          • david in aus

             /  November 21, 2018

            Is tax evasion legal then and with no repercussions?

            We accept the State using force for a common good within reason. But when it used to line personal pockets or vote buying exercises (regional redevelopment fund), the State becomes perilously closer to becoming a tyranny.

            Taxes are a necessarily evil but the temptations are to take-take-take; there would be restriction place upon excessive burdens. Otherwise we will be modern day serfs.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              No, tax evasion is not legal. I have explained the difference in simply refusing to pay your taxes & in deliberately using subterfuge to pay them whilst pretending to pay some.

              But I think you are overstating your case. Western nations have been built on the infrastructure & funding for key national services such as law n order, health, education, provided by general taxation.

              In a democracy such as ours, too much taxation – and wastage of those taxes without an appreciable return or benefit to taxpayers – will inevitably see any government that does that turfed out in elections and replaced with a government of parties who promise to reduce taxes (and who do so, without attempting to simply hide them as levies or increases to GST).

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              *using subterfuge to NOT pay them whilst pretending to pay some.

              soz

            • robertguyton

               /  November 21, 2018

              Pink David said, “taking money off people at the point of a gun”
              Pink David said: “it is real”.
              Engaging Pink David in debate is futile.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 21, 2018

              In a democracy such as ours, too much taxation – and wastage of those taxes without an appreciable return or benefit to taxpayers – will inevitably see any government that does that turfed out in elections and replaced with a government of parties who promise to reduce taxes

              Hard to show any historical evidence of that. Taxation/Government Expenditure significantly increased as a percentage of GDP in the 1970s and since then has usually risen under Labour and fallen under National.

              https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/compare-countries/

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              Taxation/Government Expenditure significantly increased as a percentage of GDP in the 1970s and since then has usually risen under Labour and fallen under National.

              Fuxake. I rest my case. Are you on beer or wine?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 21, 2018

              Neither. The rotation between National and Labour isn’t driven by tax levels, just by “time for a change”. The exception was Nordmeyer’s Black Budget before your time.

            • Gezza

               /  November 21, 2018

              And part of that “time for a change” is always taxation and what the government is doing with our money – the new government invariably argues they can spend it better and/or take less of it. Give it up, Al,

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  November 21, 2018

        I presume even Robert thinks that 100% tax rates are a bad idea. So the subject for debate is at what point can you spend your own money better than the Government?

        The answer “At 0% for me and 100% for everyone else” is not available to Lefties.

        Reply
  7. adamsmith1922

     /  November 21, 2018

    It won’t be a debate with that panel

    Reply
  8. High Flying Duck

     /  November 21, 2018

    Reply

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