Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Protestant Work Ethic being exploited by Gordon Brown

This is a cross post to posts , followups and discussions elsewhere happening at the LPUK members blog, which came about because in Patrick's view (the original poster at LPUK) that Gordon Brown, the Marxist, remember, is trying to hijack the Protestant Work Ethic for his own Authoritarian ends. Frankly when I see the word "fairness", it just means "forced redistribution decided by a Statist Elite". It sits alongside "deprivation", "social justice" and "progressive" as poisonous newspeak. 

I intend to work for the rest of my life. I intend to not have to work as soon as possible. Does that make any sense to anyone outside of a suicide cult? I work so I can get money that will enable me to provide for my family and to have a choice. If I have to work so hard just to eat and pay someone per week for a roof, rags over the windows and a bucket in the corner, my choices and freedoms are limited. 

I see Socialism as the path towards the rags-and-bucket scenario, with the State taking everything in return for some shoddy roof over my head because full-on LVT has taxed my property from under me. If I am a "good boy" or kiss the Statist butt, then they might give me a slightly less leaky roof, private use of a cold water tap and permission to cook food and take a dump in private. 

Rule of Law and specifically property rights will enable me to amass wealth for me and my kids. Slowly but surely, for Rule of Law will prevent the Feudalists (Socialism is just a form of Nationalised Feudalism) from having first dibbs at my stuff or arbitrarily being able to seize my stuff should I not conform or be deemed non conformist for the convenience of their covetousness. I might start with my own bucket. I might get a bow and arrow or fishing rod. I might get an axe to enable me to cut more wood than I need so I can sell it to another. Rule of Law will allow my sons and daughters to keep what I have collected without the Feudal Lord having a piece when I die (IHT). 

The only Party that appears to understand Rule of Law is the Libertarian Party

I think the Protestant Work Ethic is a good thing, but it is a PERSONAL thing. Anyone should be free to judge another on this, mind, but the State has no business in imposing the Tyranny of the Majority, especially if it cooks up a majority to suit its own ends. "society" cannot have an opinion. Individuals alone can have an opinion. Same for freedoms and rights. Only individuals can gain justice. Social Justice implies social rights. Social rights are a pox on civilisation, a Dictator's tool. 

Gordon Brown needs some people to work until they drop dead while another group is kept on the teat. The Matrix had people kept in a dream world and fed to provide electrical energy. The Gordonian Matrix is almost the same except he relies on Electoral Energy, votes, to keep his ghoulish machine functioning. HG Wells had a supine, beautiful, but idle Eloi fed upon by the hard working technocratic, violent but ugly Morlocks. A Gordonian, Socialist future will have the brutal and violent idle feeding upon the hard-working and civilised. 

Take the blue pill, the red pill or even the yellow pill, the dream-nightmare will continue, only the parasites will change as you push forward on the lever and watch the years spin by. Stop taking it from anyone. Statism is just nationalised Feudalism. When will people realise?


Mark Wadsworth said...

Why would LVT "tax your property from under you"? How is it any different to paying the bank or building society x% a year of the land value?

It would keep prices low and stable, thus preventing credit bubbles, and we are now seeing what happens when they burst.

And it would allow other more damaging taxes to be reduced (i.e. all of them).

So houses would be cheaper, and people would have higher net incomes to buy them.

What factors do you think create the value of the site on which your house sits? You? The economy? The local council?

Why do think that proper small gummint free market liberals from Adam Smith via Ricardo, Henry George all the way to Milton Friedman say that LVT was the least-bad tax?

What's not to like?

Cont. p94.

Roger Thornhill said...


Though you may be a sensible promoter of LVT, there are enough closet communists out there to give me the feeling that once it is let in, it may dispossess us all.

If you say houses will be dramatically cheaper, what you don't mention is that the cost will shift from up-front asset price to an inescapable land rental price, causing current owners to lose a bundle by Government Fiat and THEN have to pay for the privilege. Redistribution? If that is a plan, then it is Socialist, not Libertarian.

If I pay off my mortgage, that is the end of it. Can I pay off LVT? No. It is State rent, albeit regulated by the Landlord itself (can you not see the danger there?). It WILL be a rental - LVT is probably the only idea created where calling it a tax makes it sound better!

If you think my Local Council makes my property have value, remember who votes in that Council, pays for their operation and holds them to account. Is it the Council or my neighbours and I? With LVT we pay the council to improve the area. What?, so they can charge us more LVT? Nice. Can I move my house to another plot of land? No.

LVT to collect planning gain, fine. LVT as a form of taxation - i.e. taxing something as essential as food or water? Pandora's Box.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Rog, before discussing LVT it is useful to look at actual land values.

At 2007 values:
Agricultural land = £1 per square yard.
Normal E&W residential = £1,000 per square yard
Prime central London = £10,000 per square yard (and then some!)

Then think about what makes up land values, I would say a simple formula is "generosity of planning permission x local amenities + scarcity value".

Then look at the changes over time: E&W residential land has gone up five or ten fold in the last fifteen years (-> the underlying cause of house price rise). And this is reversing rapidly with the house price crash. So all those people who own land today are going to lose 80% of its value over the next few years in the house price crash.

Then more people will buy in, make tax-free windfall gains over the next ten or fifteen years, sell it on to mugs, who then lose most of what they've paid for again, ad infinitum.

Do you think this is a healthy or desirable state of affairs?

And somebody has to pay for local services, however minimal, however much you pare them down.

Under current system, the state can extort as much as likes out of us for wasting it on crap.

Under LVT, there is a natural upper limit to the tax that can be collected (that is a simple mathematical fact, just like there is a natural upper limit to the rent that a landlord can charge, it's called 'market rent').

And the state can only collect the land value tax (or rent, if you will) if it does stuff that makes an area more attractive to live in (in other words, more like central London, less like agricultural land).

To use the landlord analogy, if he spends £500 on cleaning and refurbishing the flat before you move in, he can probably collect that in extra rent. You are happy to pay, he is happy to spend. If the landlord of a basic flat spent £10,000 on gold-plated taps etc, he would not get his money back.

Applying that analogy to LVT, there comes a stage at which the state has fulfilled its core functions (however defined), if it tries to spend above and beyond that, the extra tax (to finance the spending) depresses location values without the value of the services adding to location values, so receipts go down again.

It's the nigh perfect tax. Especially if it replace Council Tax, Business Rates, Stamp Duty, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, VAT on domestic fuel etc etc.

And this 'ability to pay' is complete rubbish. Somebody in an ex-council flat in Newcastle would pay £100 a year LVT, an average family would pay £1,500 and somebody in a villa in Hampstead would pay £10,000.