This is a bit of a challenge, isn\’t it?

Tax is not theft, never has been and never will be

From the Murphmeister of course.

Entirely possible to take issue with that.

Willy the Conq\’s confiscation of all of the land of the Kingdom could be described as theft backed up by armed menace for example (as one has said on Twitter). Parliament certainly decided that Charles I\’s Ship Money was theft and went to war to prove the point. Soviet taxation of small business post NEP was over 100% of turnover in some cases: I think we might colloquially consider that to be theft.

I would regard Woy Jenkins\’ retrospective taxation of investment income at 130% as theft. If Vodafone had been forced to pay £6 billion in corporation tax that would have been theft: as the courts themselves agreed. If Barclays had had to pay tax on the near £6 billion they got from selling a subsidiary that would have been theft: for the law specifically and exactly stated that no tax was due. If Tina, Lady Green, were forced to pay £270 million income tax on dividends from Taveta that would be theft: for the law specifically states that no tax is due. The same with Boots taking interest paid as an operating expense of the company. Or Amazon selling into the UK from Luxembourg. Or Facebook/Google from Eire. Starbucks even.

To tax any of these more than the law states is currently due is the advocacy of theft.

But the one I would really run with is Charles I. We fought a vast and bloody uprising over exactly this point. There are indeed taxes which are theft. A theft which we should righteously rise up against and go slaughter the bastards.

What the Fuck does anyone think the Civil War was about?

45 comments on “This is a bit of a challenge, isn\’t it?

  1. Or, indeed, Magna Carta – a reaction to a decade of taxes raised under increasingly dubious taxation methods to pay for military action following the loss of Normandy in 1204. The immediate cause a specific quarrel about scutage, the tax levied in lieu of military service.

    Radical politics and political reform tend to be founded on resistance to taxes of one sort or another.

  2. “Tax is not theft, never has been and never will be”

    Mind totally blown…how can he have written a book on the state and yet failed to read any of the literature of state creation?

  3. He might have been able to make a case, had he just stuck with the first part of the sentence.. but, then, that wouldn’t be the Ritchie we’ve all come to know and love I suppose..

  4. Dear Mr Worstall

    Taxation is not merely theft, but robbery, that is theft with violence or the threat of violence.

    All taxation is robbery. Being legal does not make it lawful.

    DP

  5. If the concept of tax can be thought of as an bill or debt to the state for services rendered then I suppose it wouldn’t be theft.

    However, Mr Richie is firmly signed up to the Robin Hood concept of tax, which may be considered moral in some way but is still theft, the clue is in the wording: “steal from the rich and give to the poor”.

    Of course, it actually works out to be “steal from the moderately well off and minimum wage teenagers to give to the workshy and terrorists”, which is why some people have an issue with it, and why it isn’t and different to what Magna Carta was all about.

  6. What the Fuck does anyone think the Civil War was about?

    Well, it wasn’t about taxes, for a start.

    There’s a certain Whiggish interpretation of history, one aspect of which is a curious secularisation of matters like the Civil War. I have to admit, I believed it for most of my life; that it was all about Monarchism versus Parliamentarianism, the pantomime demon king, and so on. It’s part of a grand narrative of progress beloved of Whigs. When you realise that the Whigs (and the later Progressives) are the ideological descendents of the belligerent faction in that war, it starts to become clear why they would write history that way.

    It was a religious war. England was in an unusual situation compared to the rest of Christendom of neither Catholic nor properly Protestant. We had broken from Rome for one reason and one reason only; a King’s desire for a divorce, to enable an heir to be produced. Unlike other areas that had gone over to the Protestant side, there was no religious fanaticism at the basis of it. The result was that the new Church Of England was Protestant In Name Only; basically Catholic without the Pope.

    Neither was there the same populist Protestant hysteria that was disfiguring the Continent with terrible and bloody wars. The people didn’t much give a damn either way. We had (as is often the English way) a muddled but working compromise. Enter, the Puritans.

    The Puritans were fanatics who were appalled at the new Church’s lack of Protestant purity. As their descendents would do, and still do this day with their single issue fanaticisms, they chose particular matters of policy (vestements, the pryer book, etc) and went on and on and on and on about them. They weren’t going to be satisfied with anything less than a Protestant theocracy.

    When the Stuart monarchy turned out to be relative moderates with the naive idea that the Catholics and Protestants could find a compromise; most articulated by Charles I marrying a Catholic, they were horrified, horrified that they may lose even the tepid Protestantism that currently existed and revert all the way back to the Church Of Satan. They needed him done away with. They needed a war.

    What followed was a cartload of political manouevering purposely designed to back him into a corner where war would be inevitable. They denied him the right to collect taxes that the Crown had always been entitled to with a pro forma nod from Parliament, hence the ship tax. With what amounted to a slow-burning insurrection under his feet, Charles had his own little Gitmo Bay in the form of the Star Chamber. Then, as now, it was hard to know who the enemy were; that they came from the Puritans was easy to know, but which ones in particular was harder to know.

    Charles made mistakes. He was dragged into the war the Protestant jihadists wanted. He lost it, and was executed. The jihad successfully imposed, for a mercifully brief period, a Protestant theocracy, and a new ideologically protestant monarchy- the Cromwell Dynasty. It was not fit to the English spirit and, after the death of King Oliver- the most joyous day in England since the jihad, it is reported- it crumbled, not least thanks to a son who had neither the skills nor, one suspects, the stomach for holding a religious tyranny together. And England returned to normal, at least until the descendants of the Puritans managed to engineer a comeback in the Victorian Era (memories having grown dim of the previous misery they had inflicted). And those second-wave Puritans wrote histories that quietly glossed over the jihadist aspects of their ancestors in favour of a presentation of the war being about moderate, secular issues. That it was about liberty from tyranny, and that every good Englishman should prefer the tyranny dispensed by Parliament to that dispensed by a King.

    But taxes? No, it wasn’t about taxes. It was about religion. And from that we must understand that the proto-liberal side was the Cavalier side, not the Roundheads. If in some science fiction scenario I fell back through time to Naesby with a modern armoured division at my disposal, I know which sort of hats I’d choose to wear; a big floppy one above cascading ringlets.

    It leads one to one of those utilitarian what-ifs, where one treats living souls sufficiently removed by time as Stalin’s “mere statistics”. If the Restoration had been accompanied by a thorough and ruthless pogrom, a total obliteration of the Puritans, rather than by Charles II’s wise but (we now know, overly tepid) exclusion of them from Parliament, Universities and the Church, the likely speculated outcome would have been a much freer England, perhaps even retaining a system of checks and balances between the Executive (Monarchy) and Parliament, instead of the Parliamentary tyranny they finally imposed upon us and which now treats us as their property. And of course, none of them could have escaped to America to continue their infernal work there. In that sense, an opportunity missed.

  7. Sorry, that rant was a bit longer than expected. But just to add, Murph is a typical Puritan, in whose ideology the Parliament is (in a Platonic essentialist sense) “the people” and thus it owns both our souls and our persons. Hence his inability to understand why our money isn’t their (Parliament’s) money.

  8. Ian B: a superb rant. But one that’s totally in accord with the history of the Civil War I learned. Perhaps the Puritans didn’t get to write all the history books?

  9. The civil war in England started from Charles intolerant notion of imposing C of E habits onto the Scots. Imposing stuff needs an army and that costs money. And then it snowballed.

  10. Certainly tax is legalized theft. Just as capital punishment is legalized killing.

    And, just like government itself, the least possible amount of each is no doubt the best amount.

    The argument is over “the least possible amount” of such government behavior – not the nature of that behavior.

  11. The argument should be over “the least possible amount” of such government behavior – not the nature of that behavior.

    Unfortunately, my fixed version is correct. I like your Utopia, but it isn’t reality.

  12. Tax is not theft, never has been and never will be

    That’s Robin Hood fucked, then. Apparently the Sherriff of Nottingham was just collecting what was rightfully his.

  13. A great history lesson Ian B, thank you.

    In your counterfactual though about the destruction of the Puritans being a Good Thing, would you not have to take into account the possible reduction in economic growth as a result – it being considered that nations who were Protestant did better economically than the more Catholic ones? The Puritans being both fervent religious believers, and also rugged individualists who believed in their right to do their own thing in this world (if not the next) outside State interference? The Protestant Work Ethic would not have existed if the Puritans had all been wiped out.

  14. Jim #18

    Interesting and valid point IMHO. A couple of responses; firstly whether there is such a good correlation between Protestantism and economic success. Rothbard argues in his History Of Economic Thought that this is questionable. For instance, Scotland (more ideologically Protestant than England) did not develop very well economically. It may be more of a coincidence than a correlation.

    The economic role and success of the post-Puritans may be explained, strangely, by their marginalisation. Certain Puritan characteristics no doubt helped; a preference for education (to better understand the Bible), and the Calvininist work ethic, but perhaps we can interpret their success as being similar to Jewish succeess; an unintended consequence of their exclusion. When Charles II excluded them from traditional positions of power and patronage (Parlaiment, Church, Academia) they had to make their own way, and thus tapped into a particular moment in history when commerce was a superb strategy to follow. Being tight-knit co-religionists, they also had powerful networking effects, as with the Jews.

    The work ethic itself is highly admired but somewhat dubious. It certainly encourages people to work hard. It also makes people think that he who works hardest deserves the most reward, which stops them understanding that the greatest reward should go to he who gets the most production for the least work (per unit produced). Which leads one into the Labour Theory Of Value, Ricardo, Marx, and Richard Murphy, and a general resentment against those who appear to be wealthy despite not “working very hard” and that something is wrong with the economy and they should have that ill-gotten wealthy confiscated. So, bit of a mixed bag really, the work ethic thing.

  15. I was going to say that I thought the courts ruled that Ship Money was legal, so Tim was wrong about that, but now I feel I should counter some of Ian B’s comments.

    Firstly, Charles and his father had imported the untraditional view that they ruled from divine right, with no need to consider what anyone else, including Parliament thought. James wrote that kings were like gods to the rest of us. For this reason, and for the decisions which it led Charles to make, disregarding the established law, which meant nothing to him, as he was empowered from God alone, he pissed off a lot of people. Because he refused to call a Parliament, which was necessary to raise taxes, he had to employ every trick in the book to raise money, hence the extension of Ship Money to the whole country, the selling of monopolies, and sundry droit-de-seigneur affronts.

    He lost the war, and had it been possible to do a deal with him, he would have kept his head and his crown, but instead he plotted to continue the war, which broke out again in 1648, and it was for this second war that he was executed.

    It is all very well to look back and think everyone should have been happy with their lot, but people wanted freedom of religion and freedom of trade, neither of which was available under the Stuarts. Charles’ father was an absolute scumbag, as his treatment of Sir Walter Ralegh indicates.

    It’s a big subject. Radicals like John Lilburne and Richard Overton were true libertarians. They did not prosper under Cromwell, as they rejected the military dictatorship, as much as they had previously rejected the autocratic monarchy. If I went back with an armoured division, it would be backing those guys.

  16. Richard, Charles ruled without a Parliament because it was openly hostile to him, and refused to grant him the monarch’s customary taxes (particularly tonnage and poundage), which was why he turned to the ship tax. The Puritans wanted the monarchy done away with because it stood in the way of their ambitions for a zealously Protestant England.

  17. Ian B,

    Parliament rarely met, as Charles refused to call it, so when it did meet, it was not at all compliant. I don’t think you are taking into account the innovations of James and Charles to the established order, which very much recognised the role of Parliament. James got away with it, but stored up trouble for his son.

    I don’t think there was much talk of abolishing the monarchy until 1648, and the leaders of Parliament at the beginning of the war (1642) certainly did not have this declared aim.

    One notable exception to this was the staunch republican Henry Marten, but no one ever accused him of being a puritan – indeed Cromwell was pointedly looking at him during his speech dissolving Parliament, with its references to “sordid prostitutes” and the like.

    The puritans were not all the same, there were the two major factions of presbyterians and independents, and amongst the independents, you can find a radical wing, and the Cromwellian wing, which became dominant. The same divisions were seen in New England between hardcore Calvinist theocrats and antinomians, real or imagined.

    I certainly agree that it was a religious war, to a great extent, as it is on the lines of religion that the factions divide, but at the time, there was no strict line between religion and politics.

    (If you want counter-factual history, a great one is to consider what would have happened if Charles’ elder brother Harry hadn’t died aged 18 in 1612. There would have been no civil war, but he would have most likely dragged us into the 30 Years War in Europe.)

  18. Returning from roundheads and cavaliers to tax ‘n’ theft: Healey’s retrospective changes to Death Duties (or whatever they were called at the time).

  19. Ian B, Richard>

    You both present good points, but I don’t think either of you has got right to the heart of the matter. To my mind the English Civil War was about administrative restructuring rather than any greater cause. Not very glorious, of course, when put like that, but both Magna Carta and the Civil War ended up with significant transfers of power from national to local government.

    Re tax and theft, for once I happen to agree (almost) with Ritch. Taxation is not necessarily theft. That said, theft is not necessarily morally wrong, and that which is morally wrong is not necessarily theft.

  20. From a Scottish perspective, most of the wealth of the country went to absentee lairds in either London or Paris, feudal infighting or foreign wars (often against the English or Irish).

    It wasn’t until after the formation of the union in 1707 (precipitated by the Gulf of Darien disaster), that Scotland ceased being a ruinous and rebellious country and became the industrious nation of Adam Smith and James Watt which could be described as having a genuinely protestant work ethic.

    Even then, this was almost exclusively a lowland phenomenon, restricted to Glasgow, Edinburgh and the larger lowland towns.

    The Scottish Highlands and Islands were largely untouched by these changes, hence there involvement in the Jacobite Rebellion (basically Lowlanders versus Highlanders) and the preservation of Scottish Highland feudal loyalties well into the 19th century.

  21. Dave,

    “To my mind the English Civil War was about administrative restructuring rather than any greater cause.”

    Well, yes, I suppose, in the same way as you could describe the First World War as the administrative restructuring of the Habsburg Empire. :)

  22. To my mind the English Civil War was about administrative restructuring rather than any greater cause.

    Which is also valid. History is so intriguing because there so many dimensions to it; but I believe that there are multiple analyses which are all valid by being complementary. Hence the 200 (and counting!) theories of “why Rome fell”.

    But I would suggest that you may be to some degree confusing outcomes with intentions. The consequences of the War period (such as administrative restructuring) were not (necessarily) the intentions of the individuals and groups involved. As a crude analogy, the current turmoil in Islamdom bears some similarities to Christendom’s Reformation. If the consequences of that turn out to be similar- e.g. war weariness leading to the common adoption of religious tolerance as an ideology- that would not necessarily mean that that outcome was the intention of the Islamists and other participants. Or, common revulsion at anti-semitism has been the consequence of the Holocaust, but that wasn’t what the Nazis were trying to achieve.

  23. Great rants, all.
    re “Puritan jihadists”. The idea that Piers the ploughman, the butcher, baker and candlestick maker could have a direct personal relationship with God seems to us a bit weird. (After all, we know this was the age before mobile phone apps.)
    But this hot line idea is the fount of our respect for the liberty of individual conscience, largely a good thing and a settled part of our society.
    The rest is demographics.

  24. “And of course, none of them [Puritans]could have escaped to America to continue their infernal work there.”
    I think you overestimate the Puritan influence in America. They certainly dominated Massachusetts, but they had opposition even in New England, and had little influence in the southern colonies.

  25. “you may be to some degree confusing outcomes with intentions”

    No, more that I’m not convinced intentions actually mattered a lot. A country didn’t go up in flames because of a minority of religious nutters got upset, but because it was in a state where only a spark was needed to ignite it.

    If a situation exists where there is a significant imbalance between the allocation of power in a country and the distribution of the basis for that power, the system is very unstable. Something will happen to set it right. It might be a civil war or something else, depending on the other conditions existing at the time, but whilst the minor conditions dictate which something happens, the major conditions dictate that something will happen. To my mind, it’s the major conditions which one should label as the major cause.

  26. 19 Ian B – “A couple of responses; firstly whether there is such a good correlation between Protestantism and economic success. Rothbard argues in his History Of Economic Thought that this is questionable.”

    I note, without comment, that the present Euro crisis breaks down pretty much exactly along the Protestant-Catholic divide. The Protestant countries can run a modern, functioning and above all solvent, economy. The Catholics cannot not. The PIIGS? Catholic, Catholic, Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Catholic. The only major Catholic country to stand out so far is France. And as I have said before, it can only be a matter of time for Societie General.

    “For instance, Scotland (more ideologically Protestant than England) did not develop very well economically. It may be more of a coincidence than a correlation.”

    Compared to what? Portugal?

  27. Ritchie’s problem, well, one of his problems among many, is a woefully limited education linked with a stunted imagination. In the past people used to know that they had to work to improve their minds if they wanted to be taken seriously – even if they had degrees in vocational areas like Accounting. Ritchie? No.

    Hence he has no idea about the large body of Western thought devoted to this issue. He might start with Saint Augustine:

    “What are kingdoms without justice? They’re just gangs of bandits.”

  28. “I note, without comment, that the present Euro crisis breaks down pretty much exactly along the Protestant-Catholic divide.”

    Not really true at all. Two countries you name – France and Germany – are involved and relatively solvent; the UK is on the sidelines. Of those two countries, precisely half are nominally Catholic. If one were to draw any conclusions from your sample of two, it would be that there is no correlation whatsoever between nominal national religion – by the way, France is of course officially atheist – and economic success.

  29. Well, SMFS has a point. The Roman Empire is doing badly, the northern barbarian tribes are doing well. With the exception of the Scots, as ever; they’re a sort of never-ending Darien Scheme, aren’t they?

    Which brings in another interesting (possibly) correlation, which is that the Romans remained Catholic, and the barbarians became Protestants.

    Of course this all kind of falls apart when we remember that the ball-clenchingly culturally Protestant USA was the first domino to topple, and is only kicking the can down the road by printing ludicrous quantities of money. It’ll be interesting to see whether their Messiah can sustain this for another four years of His presidency.

  30. Dave – “Not really true at all. Two countries you name – France and Germany – are involved and relatively solvent; the UK is on the sidelines.”

    I dispute the claim France is solvent. It has not yet failed, but it is only a matter of time. But I did say France was the exception.

    “Of those two countries, precisely half are nominally Catholic. If one were to draw any conclusions from your sample of two, it would be that there is no correlation whatsoever between nominal national religion – by the way, France is of course officially atheist – and economic success.”

    France is nominally Catholic. And it is successful in the sense that it has got a large amount of money from the Germans over the years. It is a parasite on the Protestant nations and on its tourism industry. Whether that is sustainable or not is another matter. We will see. I think France will soon join the PIIGS.

    However apart from that one exception, and parts of Germany, the break down is clear. Even Ireland got dragged in. The Catholic countries are in trouble. The Protestant ones are not.

    34 Ian B – “Of course this all kind of falls apart when we remember that the ball-clenchingly culturally Protestant USA was the first domino to topple, and is only kicking the can down the road by printing ludicrous quantities of money. It’ll be interesting to see whether their Messiah can sustain this for another four years of His presidency.”

    But it is succeeding in kicking the can down the road so far. Notice that America does not have a single Protestant in any position of power any more. Well, Obama perhaps. Biden is Catholic. So is Bohner and a large chunk of the Supreme Court. Pelosi claims to be Catholic. The other half of the Supreme Court is Jewish.

    The WASP elite no longer runs the country. Thus we can expect disaster.

  31. SMFS-

    “France is nominally Catholic.”

    and

    “Notice that America does not have a single Protestant in any position of power any more. “

    Which is the key factor then, nominal culture or specific individuals? I would treat France as culturally Catholic, and the USA as culturally Protestant, whether the particular politicians at a given time are Catholics, Protestants, Athiests or Hindoos.

  32. Ian B – “Which is the key factor then, nominal culture or specific individuals? I would treat France as culturally Catholic, and the USA as culturally Protestant, whether the particular politicians at a given time are Catholics, Protestants, Athiests or Hindoos.”

    I would treat France as nominally Catholic too. Catholic by culture. Catholic by dint of the fact that their ancestors used to believe. As I keep saying, I think France is doomed precisely because whether or not they believe now, they do not believe in the wider culture of fiscal and moral rectitude that goes with being a Protestant.

    As for the US, it is a large and diverse country. I would not be surprised if the first measure of how f**ked up any one part of the US is, is race. But the second is probably Catholics. Or to put it another way, the larger a percentage of White Protestants in any region, the better off they are by every social measure.

    And that is because someone like Pelosi is not culturally Protestant. She is culturally Southern European. That is what the Democratic Party is – a vehicle for everyone who hates the English and all their descendents.

  33. “If Tina, Lady Green, were forced to pay £270 million income tax on dividends from Taveta that would be theft: for the law specifically states that no tax is due.”

    Absolutely. But I wouldn’t appoint her husband to the government either.

  34. SMFS (or should that be PMSL?):

    “I did say France was the exception.”

    So your sample size of two has one exception? I’m sure that’s an extremely robust result you have there from your single remaining datum.

    “However apart from that one exception, and parts of Germany, the break down is clear. Even Ireland got dragged in. The Catholic countries are in trouble. The Protestant ones are not.”

    The number of solvent Eurozone countries not called Germany (or France) and with a significantly sized economy is precisely zero. Amazingly enough, none of those zero countries have any religion, whether it’s Protestant, Catholic, or Pastafarianism.

    By the way, has it occurred to you that Greece is an Orthodox country, not a Catholic one?

  35. Dave – “So your sample size of two has one exception? I’m sure that’s an extremely robust result you have there from your single remaining datum.”

    Let’s go back and look at the countries I listed. The PIIGS. Five countries. Plus France and Germany. Seven countries. It is more robust than you think.

    “The number of solvent Eurozone countries not called Germany (or France) and with a significantly sized economy is precisely zero. Amazingly enough, none of those zero countries have any religion, whether it’s Protestant, Catholic, or Pastafarianism.”

    Protestant countries is a plural. Let’s look at the Protestant countries in the EU. Britain? Kind of getting by. Germany? Not too bad. Finland? OK. The Netherlands? OK. Sweden? Could be a lot worse.

    The Catholic ones? Well the midden hasn’t hit the windmill in France yet nor in Belgium. But it is, I think, only a matter of time. The rest of them are not looking too happy.

    Yes, it is a robust finding. The exceptions are in Eastern Europe but Communism screwed with them so badly it is hard to say anything about them either way. I note that Estonia, a formerly Protestant country, is doing quite well for a mildly radioactive post-Soviet wasteland. Much better than Lithuania, a formerly Catholic country, from what I can see.

    “By the way, has it occurred to you that Greece is an Orthodox country, not a Catholic one?”

    That would explain why I called it an Orthodox country. Now do you have an actual positive contribution to make or are you just going to ignore half of what I said and continue to play dumb about the other half?

  36. Oh, the Murph makes it too easy. Tell us, Dick, if it’s not theft, then what is it? The only possible reply to that is that it’s a contract, a bargain, a reciprocity. OhhhKaaaaay, so let’s consider taxation as one side of a contract, and start asking questions about voluntarity, equity, parity in enforcement rights, everything, in fact, that actually characterises a contract. The taxation “contract” fails at every single hurdle, and it’s clear that it is precisely equivalent to the “contract” that exists between the shopkeeper and the protection-racketeer. That is, theft.

    Immediate collapse of stout party.

  37. “Seven countries.”

    Of which only two are solvent and significantly sized, and one of those is ‘an exception’. It’s a sample of one.

    “Let’s look at the Protestant countries in the EU.”

    Why? We’re talking about the Eurozone, not the EU.

  38. Britain has its own central bank and currency. Sweden has its own central bank and currency. Denmark has its own central bank and currency. Germany (effectively) has its own central bank and currency (the Euro). That only leaves two minor Protestant countries- the Dutch and the Finns.

    FWIW I actually tentatively agree with SMFS, but the correlational evidence isn’t so strong as he suggests.

  39. Dave – “Of which only two are solvent and significantly sized, and one of those is ‘an exception’. It’s a sample of one.”

    Significantly sized? Italy and Spain not big enough for you? Keeping in mind the process is still on going and so we don’t know whether France will survive or not.

    I then added another seven countries. The relationship still holds over a dozen of them.

    “Why? We’re talking about the Eurozone, not the EU.”

    You’re quibbling.

    44 Ian B – “Britain has its own central bank and currency. Sweden has its own central bank and currency. Denmark has its own central bank and currency. Germany (effectively) has its own central bank and currency (the Euro). That only leaves two minor Protestant countries- the Dutch and the Finns.”

    Chickens and eggs. We know that the Catholic countries embraced the euro because they wanted some of that Protestant fiscal rectitude they were incapable of providing themselves. Alas, they didn’t and don’t want to pay for it. So the system is failing. It is not that some people have central banks that is the issue. It is that some people can run a decent economy and others cannot.

    “FWIW I actually tentatively agree with SMFS, but the correlational evidence isn’t so strong as he suggests.”

    I think it is. But we will see.

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