Today\’s Ritchie

Certainly a bee in his bonnet.

And all those who support the secrecy these places provide to facilitate this abuse should be ashamed of themselves. By offering your excuses you will, undoubtedly, be causing hardship beyond imagination and death as well.

Which is why I campaign for the abolition of secrecy jurisdictions – the BVI and Cayman included.

Strong words about an organisation using the courts to enforce their legal claim to an unpaid debt really.

In fact, there\’s nothing about secrecy jurisdictions facilitating this at all. Richard Murphy himself, as an individual UK citizen, could use exactly the same prcedure to insist upon payment of a lawful debt in exactly the same way.

Indeed, I think it odds on that in his business career he did so.

The hard right and a secrecy jurisdiction acting in concert: no surprise there.

Secrecy jurisdictions are captured states that are used to promote the hard right.

There will be howls of protest – but let’s be clear.

Err, perhaps howls of laughter at that absurd conjunction. For this is about the Swiss voting to ban the building of new minarets. And I\’m having an extremely hard time thinking up any manner at all in which Swiss bank secrecy makes the population a group of religiously intolerant xenophobes.

I can think of something interesting that could be said about this story:

The 57 per cent approval of the minaret ban

That there\’s a difference between human rights, perhaps liberty, and what we can get the masses to vote for on any particular day or subject. But then, you see, if we admit to that, that the expressed will of the hoi polloi is not to be listened to in some circumstances then we then need a system of deciding when it will and when it won\’t be listened to.

As in, for example:

But she’s wrong about the electorate. Compass did some polling with YouGov on a sample of more than 1,000 people to support this report, which I co-wrote. The polling was pretty emphatic……..The finding to this one was 78% strongly in favour or agreeing;…….Here the finding to this one was 59% strongly in favour or agreeing…….And the finding to this one was 62% favoured the first statement…….

As we\’ve already noted, just because the people will vote for it does not mean that it\’s something we should do. Which is a teensie little problem for Ritchie there who is arguing that we should do it because the public seem to like it.

20 comments on “Today\’s Ritchie

  1. Why do you keep going on about him?Its you who keeps reminding people of him.
    You could attack his right-on progressive image by pointing out that he’s no fan of LVT- the tax which is the common denominator of serious critics of the tax system ( you,Mark Wadsworth,
    Martin Wolf & Sam Brittan of FT,Ashley Seager& Larry Elliott of Guardian er Polly Toynbee ,er me ,the list is endless,[up to a point]).
    martin Wolf

  2. Not sure I’m 100% with DBC Reed, but agree that it may be worth giving some tactical thought as to whether disagreeing so often with the nutty Ritchie is effectively damaging him or helping promote him.

  3. Tim, as your post suggests, there is tension between democracy and liberty. What Murphy ignores, or maybe does not care, is that banking secrecy has at times protected persecuted groups.

    Agree with Mark that the focus on tax havens
    misses the main issues in the current financial
    climate. (And no, DBC Reed, that does not
    include the absurd Georgist socialistic attack on ownership of private property.)

  4. Georgists don’t attack private property they just make people pay for the monopoly.

    Of course rent-seekers do various things to justify their un-earned income.

    Even Adam Smith was an LVTer.

  5. “Even Adam Smith was a LVTer”.

    Smith also supported a version of the labour theory of value, now discredited. Sorry, but just because even a great man in some ways supports a bad idea, does not turn it into a good one.

    The LVT crowd are not libertarians. They call land a “monopoly” as if this somehow weakens the right to own it. Well, I have a monopoly over my body and my mind and there is only one of me (for which you are no doubt grateful); does that mean I cannot charge a price for my physcial and mental labour as this is a “monopoly rent”? Sure, land is fixed in quantity, but you cannot just grow humans in vats, either (to quote a guy called IanB).

  6. So Johnathan Pearce lines up with Ritchie in anti-LVT sentiment.He’s a libertarian (whatever that means -something about the freedom to buy whatever you want is n’t it?) and Ritchie is not.Is that it?
    Maybe the truth is that lowering land and property prices with LVT is the way to foster liberty of movement and settlement,and to put money in working people’s pockets instead of taking it off them in rents and mortgage repayments.

  7. DBC, I see you quoted Polly Toynbee and Larry Elliott in defence of your pet scheme. Have you no shame?

  8. Paul, I made the point about land-tax folk having dubious claims to the word “libertarian” because I fail to see how anyone can champion the tax of land for the reasons that Georgists give and not to see the socialistic implications of that.

    Georgists regard landownership as “monopolistic” and hence, in some sense, illegitimate. All ownership is monopolistic in some sense. What the Georgists do, therefore, is penalise it (they may not use that word but that is the effect of what they favour).

  9. Johnathan Pearce: “All ownership is monopolistic in some sense. What the Georgists do, therefore, is penalise it”

    You’ve trotted this out on numerous occasions and it’s still as wrong as ever. I’ve never seen a single person who would describe him or herself as a georgist who would say that all ownership should be penalised.

    In any case, the word libertarian would, I think, imply to most people, somebody who prioritises liberty. You seem to use the word to mean propertarian – somebody who places property rights above liberty.

  10. DBC, I was not aware that he was, or that he supports it for the same nonsensical reasons as you do. I suspect that like one or two of the more intelligent advocates of that idea, that he backs as the “least worst” tax. You’ll have to let Tim answer for himself.

  11. Paul Lockett: it is precisely because I prioritise liberty that I put such stress on private property rights, as I believe the two are intertwined.

  12. Johnathan Pearce: “Paul Lockett: it is precisely because I prioritise liberty that I put such stress on private property rights, as I believe the two are intertwined.”

    I agree that they are intertwined, in much the same way that liberty and democracy are and as you said “there is tension between democracy and liberty.”

  13. Paul, well yes, up to a point. But the point I am making is that the ideas of liberty and severally owned property are congruent, rather than in conflict. Your argument seems to be that there is a choice, where one sometimes has to be sacrificed against the other. The key word in this is “severally”. So long as property is held in many different hands, and no vital resource like water is held by some tight monopoly, I see few problems for liberty. (This is a point that someone like Murphy probably also does not pick up on.)

    And back on the issue of Tim’s post about Mr Murphy, (sorry Tim!) I would also add that there is a tension, quite a big one actually, between Richard Murphy’s hatred of banking secrecy, and the issue of client privacy, particularly when that involves the ability of sometimes persecuted groups to avoid having their money stolen by rapacious, often deeply corrupt, governments. Sure, criminals have also exploited bank secrecy, but let’s not tar the whole thing with the same brush.

  14. Jonhathan Pearce: “But the point I am making is that the ideas of liberty and severally owned property are congruent, rather than in conflict. Your argument seems to be that there is a choice, where one sometimes has to be sacrificed against the other. The key word in this is “severally”. So long as property is held in many different hands, and no vital resource like water is held by some tight monopoly, I see few problems for liberty.”

    That comment acknowledges the point I’m making. By introducing a proviso on the ownership of property, you’re acknowledging that unlimited property rights have the potential to reduce liberty. By saying that property has to be severally owned, you’re tacitly saying that at some point, it may be necessary to constrain the possession or transfer of property in order to protect liberty.

    It’s the same as the conflict between democracy and liberty. They have the potential to be mutually supporting, but unconstrained majority decision making has the potential to seriously undermine liberty.

    “Sure, criminals have also exploited bank secrecy, but let’s not tar the whole thing with the same brush.”

    Absolutely agree.

  15. I see I am not alone in being banned from Murph’s tax research w/site !
    tried to assist in educating him about the Swiss and muslims ( see todays Times on Line Dr Taj Hargey( Oxford imam) – for excellent article on why swiss vote – whilst petty -does not infringe rights of muslims to worship Allah.

    He is clearly fundamentally reactionary and deals with alternative viewpoints with condescension and rudeness.
    what to do ?

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