“[From the State's perspective], There is always good and sufficient reason for
more and more taxes. Solomon's temple, the roads of Rome, the rearing of 'infant
industries,' military preparedness, the regulation of morals, the improvement of
the 'general welfare'--all call for drafts on the marketplace, and the end-product
of each draft is an increase in the power of the State. Some of the appropriations
seep through to some members of Society, thus satisfying the something-for-nothing
urge, at least temporarily, and so stimulate a disposition to tolerate the institution
and to obliterate understanding of its predatory character. Until the State reaches
its ultimate objective, absolutism, its answer to tax-grumbling is that the 'other
fellow' pays all the levies and that seems to satisfy."
- Frank Chodorov, from his book The Rise and Fall of Society
The government’s budget is promised to be in black next year, meaning its promised spending of your money is less than they expect to take from your directly in tax. So, given the flurry of interest in inequality, I thought you might like to know which income-earners have the government’s hand deepest in their pockets.
The most relevant columns to correlate (above) are the second and the fourth. They show that, for example, the top 6% of income earners are required to pay for 37% of the government’s spending . And, as you’ll see, this vastly understates the proportion they pay, since this table excludes doesn’t reflect everyone balancing off their tax bill by sucking in so much Welfare For Working Families they’re net tax takers, not givers. Which is most low- and middle-income earners.
Doesn’t that sound unequal to you?
“In the West the rise of the great masses to tolerable comfort has been the effect of
the general growth of wealth and has been merely slowed down by measures interfering
with the market mechanism. It has been this market mechanism which has created
the increase of aggregate income, which also has made it possible to provide outside
the market for the support of those unable to earn enough. But the attempts to ‘correct’
the results of the market in the direction of ‘social justice’ have probably produced more
injustice in the form of new privileges, obstacles to mobility and frustration of efforts
than they have contributed to the alleviation of the lot of the poor.
- Friedrich Hayek, Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2: The Mirage of Social Justice
They’ve promised a surplus. They’ve also promised more spending.
... Government announces bigger new spending allowances ahead of election – INTEREST.CO.NZ
“While there’s a little bit of fat trimming here and there, overall its more of the same tax and spend. To fix our long term problems of an excessive tax burden, Bill English needed to wield an axe to superfluous spending. He’s failed to do so.”
Budget in Surplus But Little Else for Taxpayers to Crow About – TAXPAYERS’ UNION
Post-Budget Comments – TAXPAYERS’ UNION
“Budgets are essentially political documents, particularly in election year, and this year even more so because the Minister of Finance thinks the Government can have a bit of a spend up while proclaiming the need for restraint and praising themselves for the restraint they have shown.”
Analysis of Budget 2014 – John Bishop, TAXPAYERS’ UNION
Removing tariffs from imported building materials – long overdue and supposedly worth around $3,500 per house; politicised land releases – with all their noise about the issue these represent the government’s only plan for improved housing affordability.
Thank goodness folk like NZIER are continuing to pressure for real action.
NZIER calls for Auckland's Metropolitan Urban Limit to be pushed out ... – NZIER, INTEREST.CO.NZ
Special Housing Areas - Old Tricks at Play – WHALE OIL
“80 Billion Dollars in Dept for less than 2 million taxpayers. New Zealand, first country in history to go from a first world country to a third world country. ( Don't believe the hype).”
New Zealand National Debt Clock
Meanwhile … “David Cunliffe's pledge to get unemployment down to 4% should be viewed cynically.”
Rodney Dickens shows why targeting 4% unemployment is misguided and would backfire. He says it is political nonsense – Rodney Dickens, INTEREST.CO.NZ
And in case you’d missed the bankrupt Labour-Green bloc’s latest…
Surprise – Cunliffe wants Labour to be funded by taxpayers – KIWIBLOG
“They may well be in the majority.Conflicts of interest among such practitioners abound.”
On Shane Taurima, Linda Clark and Conflicts of Interest Left, Right and Centre – Brian Edwards, NBR
The biggest media bias? Supposedly “neutral” state radio, very consciously biased towards statism.
Sean Plunket Sticks it to State Radio – WHALE OIL
"Note to developers – never build anything distinctive from now on, shun imaginative architects, don’t buy ‘landmark’ assets. Boring is good."
Taking property by deceit (this is not a Treaty article) – STEPHEN FRANKS
“Sniff it all”? WTF?
“Until this week, relatively little published from Edward Snowden's trove of NSA documents has concerned New Zealand and its specific role as a "Five Eyes" intelligence partner. … But yesterday, Snowden's journalistic ally Glenn Greenwald released another tranche of documents, alongside his new book on the Snowden story, No Place to Hide. And finally, we're in the picture [see above] …
“How does "sniff it all" sit with this assurance last week from GCSB director Ian Fletcher?”
Snowden and New Zealand – Russell Brown, HARD NEWS
You Can't Opt Out: 10 NSA Myths Debunked – Peter Van Buren, HUFFINGTON POST
Does Immigration Impact Economic Freedom? – CATO
“Tell your MP, Colorado is Calling!”
3 Months Since Legalizing Marijuana, Here's What Colorado Looks Like – Tom McKay, POLICY MIC
“As futile as the actions of these protestors are, they don't compare to the pathetic frivolousness of Michelle Obama's hashtag photo opportunity shown above. The US president's wife insults the victims of this horrible religious violence precisely because she is one of the few people in the world who has the ability to influence the outcome of this event.
“There are only a handful of countries capable of rendering assistance to the kidnap victims. The United States, obviously, is one of these, but don't hold your breath waiting for President Obama to act. The President has shown himself to be a moral weakling where foreign policy is concerned.”
Michelle Obama's Pathetic Hashtag Photo Won't Help Kidnap Victims – KIWIWIT
“At the risk of damning Mrs Obama with faint praise, I have to acknowledge that the First Lady's is not quite the lamest Hashtag of Western Impotence pose. That honor belongs to the gentleman at right - the Rt Hon David Cameron, PC, MP. Michelle Obama is merely the wife of the head of government; Mr Cameron is an actual head of government. So who exactly is he calling on to do all this "bringing back" he's so in favor of? Activist celebrities pull these stunts to put pressure on government. Who are all these government celebrities meant to be pressurizing?”
#BringBackOurBalls (cont.) – Mark Steyn, STEYN ONLINE
"Westerners who pretend that Boko Haram is motivated by anything other than its religion, Islam, are to that extent party to these crimes and should be condemned along with Boko Haram."
The Jihadist War Behind the Kidnapping of Nigerian Schoolgirls—and the Westerners Behind It – OBJECTIVE STANDARD
Obama Girl burns her Obama bridges. And her shirt.
The Stunning Metamorphosis Of An “Obama Girl” – TRUTH EAGLE
“Here's a more serious history of Russia and Ukraine and the role of the borderlands between Europe and Russia.”
Fascism Is Returning to the Continent it Once Destroyed – NEW REPUBLIC
“Putin telling his Russian agitators in Ukraine to stop being so agitate-y? What strangeness is this, comrade?”
Mr. Nice Putin – VODKA PUNDIT
“Will the Benghazi investigation turn into a 21st-century version of Watergate?”
Finding the Truth at Benghazi – REASON
"People such as Thomas Piketty & Krugman worry about accumulations
of material wealth. I worry about accumulations of power"
Piketty's paradise? A maximum wage of $20/month…
The Last Communist City: A visit to the dystopian Havana that tourists never see – Michael J. Totten, CITY JOURNAL
“Modi’s relentless campaign projects him as the Indian equivalent of bapak pembangunan, or the Father of Development … Indeed, Modi may potentially become India’s first leader in the East Asian, and not South Asian, mould. Those seeing a Reagan in Modi are, like Christopher Columbus, mistaken about the direction they are looking in. Modi’s approach and governance style are closer to China’s Deng Xiaoping or Indonesia’s Suharto.”
How some of India's brightest minds have bought into the Modi myth – Sali Tripathi, VANTAGE
Turns out hatred of capitalism isn’t the only superstition that advocate of mysticism Pope Francis supports. In the twenty-first fucking century, yet. “…Vatican officials talk about a resurgence of mystical rites in the church, including exorcism — or the alleged act of evicting demons from a living host. Cardinals in Milan; Turin, Italy; and Madrid, for instance, recently moved to expand the number of exorcists in their dioceses to cope with ... surging demand."
This story about the pope includes a visit to a real exorcism – WASHINGTON POST
My hero Frederic Bastiat is quoted in the European Parliament. Russel Norman should take a listen.
"Less-dishonest environmentalists now admit the 'problem' is not that we’re running out of fossil fuels, but that we’re not running out of them... "
Environmentalists: Peak Oil and No Peak Oil, Equally Bad – OBJECTIVE STANDARD
News from two hemispheres.
Antarctic Sea Ice At Record Levels – WATTS UP WITH THAT
New paper finds Greenland ice accumulation has increased 10% over past 52 years – HOCKEY SCHTICK
“"The best response to climate change: Eliminate poverty. Instead of helping the poor deal with climate change, just make them all as wealthy as Americans—or better, make them as wealthy as we can be in a hundred years. That’s a lot easier than planetary engineering. And people will like the result a lot more. And it can be done ...”
Make Your World a Better Place: Ignore Climate Change – JOHN McCASKEY.COM
“Even as cases of whooping cough, polio, measles and mumps soar, vaccine deniers continue to leave children and babies unprotected. Stubbornness may be part of human nature—but the price is just too high.”
Anti-Vaxxers Just Won't Quit—Even as Diseases Spread – TIME
“Sure, those sprawling ugly wind farms blight the landscape, kill wildlife, and send electricity prices soaring, but so long as they reduce dependence on conventional ... oh.
A rerun in honor of FA Hayek's birthday last week.
Why I am not a conservative. – By F.A. Hayek, An Important Essay For the Freedom Inclined
Having done a lot of research on the American Revolutionary era to write his excellent series of Sparrow Hawk novels (get them now!), Ed Cline takes an informed look at a modern historian's account of how the concept of property rights fared in the minds of the Founders.
The Guardian of Every Other Right: Part I – Ed Cline, RULE OF REASON
Property Rights: The Guardian of Every Other Right: Part II – Ed Cline, RULE OF REASON
“The institution of private property has arguably been the greatest tool in human history for pulling us out of poverty.”
“Over time, general [price] inflation tends to mask changes in individual prices. … First, goods or services that have benefited from large productivity gains, thanks to technological improvements and mass production, have seen large price falls in real terms. … Second, for many goods, the figures overstate the true increase in unit price, because they do not take account of improvements in quality. … [Third], many goods that are popular today—television sets, say—did not exist 100 years ago. Nor the way of achieving some non-material goods…”
The price of age – ECONOMIST
“Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a thoroughly uninspiring, data-heavy dirge.” Which is why most are getting their news about it from its conclusions, rather than its arguments. It’s our job then to point out his arguments are mostly bollocks.
Pricking the Piketty Bubble – Sean Collins, SPIKED
- INTERVIEW: Thomas Piketty on Capital, Labour,Growth & Inequality – 3 QUARKS DAILY
- Piketty's "Capital" As Seen By An Austrian Economist – Sean Corrigan, ZERO HEDGE
- Piketty's "Capital" As Seen By Former Bank of England Governor – Mervyn King, TELEGRAPH
- Six Ways Thomas Piketty's 'Capital' Isn't Holding Up to Scrutiny – Kyle Smith, FORBES
- “The Crash of 2008 has been used to engineer a historic redistribution of wealth in favor of the US financial aristocracy” – AGAINST CRONY CAPITALISM
- Forget Free Markets, Finance Is a Policy Tool of the State – Jeffrey Snider, REAL CLEAR MARKETS
- Inequality Myths – Michael Tanner, CATO
- Piketty’s Capital and Actual Capital – Randall Holcombe, CIRCLE BASTIAT
- Piketty's Numbers Don't Add Up – EPJ
- Down the Lane with Piketty – Don Boudreaux, CAFE HAYEK
- The Piketty Fallacy – Richard Epstein
- Piketty’s Rickety Economics – Richard Epstein
- Something to Celebrate – Steven Landsburg, THE BIG QUESTIONS
- Thomas Piketty’s Improbable Data – MISES DAILY
- Piketty’s Garden of Envy – Theodore Dalrymple, TAKI
- The housing bubble: Why implicit insurance may well be the real driver of Piketty’s concerns – TVHE
- Piketty Can’t Even Get His Basic Tax History Right – Robert Murphy, FREE ADVICE
“…the pitfalls of “big data” analysis.”
Correlation still ain’t causation – AARON SCHIFF
“It’s a crazy thing. In most price systems or most parts of the economy, people understand that it’s wrong to plan prices. So here we are, we’ve had chaos in the credit markets, and the credit markets are centrally planned by a cooperating international network of central banks, committees of planners, who deliberately alter the height of interest rates. And we don’t make the connection that central planning causes chaos. And it’s just a really simple thing, and it’s true in money and banking and it’s true in everything else.”
Steve Baker on centrally planned interest rates: “It’s a crazy thing!” – SAMIZDATA
“Warren Buffett to Tim Geithner just after the Bear Sterns bailout: "I was sort of hoping you wouldn't do it, because then everything would have crashed and I would have been first in line to buy." Buffett continued, "It would have been terrible for the country, but I would've made a lot more money." Amen on number one. …Absolutely wrong on number 2, Mr. Buffett.”
In praise of bottom-feeders – GRUMPY ECONOMIST
Huzzah! to these students calling for a change in economics education – “to get over its childish passion for mathematics and for purely theoretical and often highly ideological speculation,” and for students to be exposed to “a variety of theoretical perspectives, from the commonly taught neoclassically-based approaches to the largely excluded classical, post-Keynesian, institutional, ecological, feminist, Marxist and Austrian traditions—among others. Most economics students graduate without ever encountering such diverse perspectives in the classroom.”
They should come along to the Auckland Uni Economics Group …
Rebellious Econoimics Students Have a Point – John Cassidy, NEW YORKER
An international student call for pluralism in economics education – INTERNATIONAL STUDENT INTITIATIVE FOR PLURALISM IN EDUCATION
China pays tribute to Milton Friedman.
China scraps price caps on low-cost drugs – WALL STREET JOURNAL
“"The solution to the paradoxes of capitalism lies in recognizing that the altruist code is wrong and that its antithesis is right. Morality consists not in sacrificing values but in pursuing values in order to live and prosper."
Two Paradoxes of Capitalism, Resolved – OBJECTIVE STANDARD
““To the extent the process of education is undermined, the whole of civilisation must also be undermined, starting a generation later. These results will appear more and more striking as time goes on and more and more defectively educated people take the place of those whose education was better…”
Education and the Racist Road to Barbarism [pdf] – George Reisman, CAPITALISM.NET
“Waterfront Auckland did not turn them down, but gave them an introduction to Auckland’s largest iwi, Ngati Whatua Orakei, which owns most of the land from west of Vector Arena eastwards to the Strand bridge over the railway lines.
“Ngati Whatua are mana whenua, but they are not alone. There are 19 iwi who can claim that status in the greater city area, and 12 of them — including Ngati Whatua Orakei — are represented by the Tamaki Makaurau Collective, a body set up to negotiate with the Crown over Auckland’s maunga.”
Whose Queens Wharf? – Simon Wilson, METRO
“The proposed new Elliott St tower fills a hole in the ground, but does it fulfil the needs of the city?”
The tower of middling ambition – Chris Barton, METRO
This one way (above) to use an abandoned quarry. Could you see it in Three Kings?
Lavish £345million five-star CAVE hotel being built in an abandoned Chinese quarry – MAIL ONLINE
Pssst! Last few days to see the Architecture Film Festival in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. Top films on Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Tadao Ando, Paolo Soleri, The Latin Skyscraper … and it carries on next week for threee days: showing the “best of” films to those who would otherwise have missed out!
Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival –RESENE
“Sleepless nights for interns, tearful tantrums, and structures that resemble fossilised turds. A new documentary called The Competition exposes the world of iconic architecture at its worst.”
The Competition: a documentary that exposes how 'starchitects' really work – GUARDIAN
This is what disruptive technology looks like. So it’s bound to be regulated out of existence.
This Giant 3D Printer Built 10 Houses In Just 1 Day – AGAINST CRONY CAPITALISM
AFL has a new fan in Conrad Smith – AFL-NZ
The price of statist sport. "Some estimates put the number of people removed from their homes because of the World Cup at around 250,000. Virtually all of them are desperately poor."
Brazil's Bread and Circuses – Emma Elliott Freire, THE FREEMAN
You know, soccer is like archaeology …
How Football Sounds To People That Don't Care. – TICKLD
If We Talked About Architecture Like We Talk About Writing – THE TOAST
"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost
almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the
game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over
and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
- Michael Jordan
Philosophy, who needs it? Comedians, and their audiences, that’s who.
How Post-Carlin Comedians Like Louis C.K. Have Become This Generation's True Philosophers – HUFFINGTON POST
Bold expansion for three Kiwi craft breweries – BEER & BREWER
Thanks for reading,
Have a great weekend!
[Hat tips Andrew Falloon, Dakta Green, Tomas O'mongain-Mango, Robert Tracinski, TakingHayekSeriousl, Screwed by State , Jeff Perren Novelist, Burgess Laughlin, Anthony Blomfield, James Stannard, Gena Davidovich, Against Crony Capitalism, Leonard Peikoff, Neil Miller, Lawrence Reed, HomePaddock, Small Dead Animals, Rudolf E. Havenstein, NDBnewswire, A Libertarian Rebel, Cathy, Justine Clark, Old Whig, Catotheyounger, Ifat Glassman]
PS: This weekend my drop is The Drop by Galbraith’s, a fresh-hopped beer produced for Auckland's Fresh Hop 2014 festival – and almost, almost, a session beer.