Chilling

Nation states compete for corporate capital as hoteliers do for guests.

That, last comment is completely absurd.

It is true hoteliers compete. We even encourage them to do so because, quite frankly, most of us would rather not stay in bad hotels and in that case we tolerate failure, knowing that, by and large, a failed hotelier is usually replaced by a new hotelier who might do better.

But that’s not true of states. Competition is built on the notion of failure. It has to be. After all, if that is not the case the downside that incentivises the process does not exist. But in the case of the state failure is impossible to contemplate. No one wants to live in a state like Somalia. More than any bank, states have to be too big to fail.

But in that case what does tax competition require? There is only one answer, and that is that it must mean that the tax burden is shifted from mobile capital to largely immobile labour. That is the inevitable consequnce of tax competition and it is why the notion of tax competition is so popular in the City and why there is also no benign form of it. It always and inevitably undermines well-being, increases inequality and harms society.

No one must ever be able to compete with the State for fear that the State will fail. No one should be allowed to leave for example: that would be competition for the citizenry. Capital must not be allowed to leave (aka “you doing what you want with your money”) for this would be competition for the State. The State simply is and must continue to be so.

Still, at least he seems to have grasped the idea of capital tax incidence, finally.

19 comments on “Chilling

  1. It is interesting that he cannot see any other choices except success and failure. Either the state holds on to its population by fair means or foul or it fails.

    It does not occur to him that competition means that people can change. A state that is starting down the path of failure can stop, take a good look at themselves and what works elsewhere and pull themselves together. But no, it is either successful or it is failed. Nothing else.

    Competition among states is what made Europe great. Enabled them to over-take fast starters like India and China. No doubt he thinks the Ming Empire is model to be emulated. Tosser.

  2. His strident claims of “only one answer” and “inevitable consequence” speak to the poverty of his knowledge and imagination, not to any other aspect of reality.

  3. No Tim. ‘Chilling’ is his Twitter post from last night:

    “Whatever Gerry Adams’ past, peace must take precedence over justice”m

    So now we finally know that citizens’ right to justice – in as much as they have any – are subordinate to the exigencies of the Courageous State.

    As for the children of the Belfast mother and their 40 year wait for justice; they do not even merit a passing mention. They are non-persons as far as this twisted fuck is concerned.

  4. “So now we finally know that citizens’ right to justice – in as much as they have any – are subordinate to the exigencies of the Courageous State.”

    Of course, he’s a nasty little authoritarian shit, like all socialists deep down (some like RM only covered by a veneer of decency), who fantasize about having the power to tell all the little people what to do, and suffering from the self-delusion that they are uniquely moral people who can do no wrong, and can therefore justify regarding anyone who opposes them is not only wrong but also evil and who can be disposed of by whatever means necessary.

  5. As usual, Tim’s being far too kind to Ritchie, having picked up the wrong end of the dichotomy. The Murph isn’t arguing against tax competition, but for concentration-camps and slavery.

  6. I see the WGCE’s Somalia and raise him a North Korea.

    No doubt he’d enjoy the courageousness of the state there: I’m willing to buy him the plane ticket. One-way of course!

  7. I think Cuba would be more his style and I would certainly chip in for a one-way ticket. Maybe his gimlit-like views on tax justice will impress Fidel sufficiently and they can go fishing together. Fidel must be missing a fishing buddy since Gabriel García Márquez died.

    Going back to the point at hand, even Jean-Jacques Rousseau understood that if the Social Contract of a state was oppressive or objectionable then citizens should be free to up sticks (lock, stock and barrel) and move elsewhere which had either no social contract or a substantially different one.

    P.S. North Korea is one of the few places in the world we immigration is not possible. Rather a feature of the nationalist/racist Juche philosophy of the Kim’s – long may they burn in hell.

  8. Bloke in Wales (#7)

    For some reason North Korea ( maybe vestigial racism against the South?) doe not elicit the support that Cuba foes, despite being quite similar – you are of course absolutely correct that his argument hat ‘no one wants to live in Somalia’ is easily countered by the DPRK amongst other states (I’m told the Las Geel cave paintings in Somaliland are almost a must see anyhow)

    Tim, and the many other posters have hit on something here – In correspondence with Murphy and one of his lickspittles, I pointed out that there tropes made no mention of either immigra

  9. Bloke in Wales (#7)

    For some reason North Korea ( maybe vestigial racism against the South?) does not elicit the support that Cuba does amongst the UK Left, despite being quite similar – you are of course absolutely correct that his argument hat ‘no one wants to live in Somalia’ is easily countered by the DPRK amongst other states (I’m told the Las Geel cave paintings in Somaliland are almost a must see anyhow)

    Tim, and the many other posters have hit on something here – In correspondence with Murphy and one of his lickspittles, I pointed out that their tropes made no mention of either immigration or emigration – I was thinking that was a politically expedient simplification, but reading this, I think the idea is that every state is as courageous as North Korea, and treats their citizens as the states’ property to do with as the state sees fit. As The brilliant Ironman says, that Tweet tells us more than you know. To paraphrase Louis XIV, for Murphy:

    ‘l’etat, c’est tout’

    Truly chilling stuff……

  10. Tutto nello Stato, nessuno al fiori dello Stato, nulla contra dello Stato Coraggioso.

  11. Jim

    I would argue there isn’t even the veneer of decency – he is the embodiment of pure evil….

  12. @Ironman:

    “Everything in the state, no one in the flowers of the State, nothing against the State Courageous.”?

    See me after class boy 🙁

  13. “what does tax competition require? There is only one answer, and that is that it must mean that the tax burden is shifted from mobile capital to largely immobile labour”

    if he was educated enough he would realise that his actually making a case for shifting the burden of tax to the most immobile factor of production. ie make land value tax dominant.

  14. Van_Patten – “For some reason North Korea ( maybe vestigial racism against the South?) doe not elicit the support that Cuba foes, despite being quite similar”

    North Korea has no beaches, no little old Saintly Black musicians given to Yoda-like statements – and the government does not take kindly to sex tourism. Especially involving children.

    Of course the Left is going to prefer Cuba.

  15. At the risk of sticking up for the Murph again, my reading of it is at odds with Tim’s and everyone else’s. What he seems to me to be saying is that tax competition shouldn’t be allowed, since doing so inevitably (in his analysis) forces the tax burden onto labour (which is largely immobile compared to international capital). He wants the capital to be unable to avoid taxation by shifting around the world, he’s not (at least in this excerpt) arguing for labour immobility.

    I think.

    I’m seriously comng around to supporting a lad value tax. Not because I agree with any of the Georgism, just that it’s simple, and land can’t move around, and it doesn’t need much State prying into what you’ve bought and sold and so on. You have 100 acres, here’s your tax bill. Might be a “least worst” and solve both Tim’s and Ritchie’s disapprovals of who gets taxed, and incidence, and all that.

  16. That wouldn’t work, BIS. The whole point of preferring a particular tax policy in a democracy is to shift the tax burden onto other people. That’s why Tim doesn’t like corporation tax and Ritchie does. It’s simply not the done thing to prefer some kind of just or fair tax system, it’s obligatory to prefer “the tax those other buggers over there pay”.

  17. “It’s simply not the done thing to prefer some kind of just or fair tax system.”

    The only fair tax system is for people to pay for the services they use, no more, no less. How can taking more money from people just because they own some land possibly be ‘fair’?

    I suppose you could argue that someone who owns a hundred acres of land magically needs a thousand times as much military protection as someone who just owns a house, but a Glorious State that builds aircraft carriers with no aircraft is unlikely to be providing much protection.

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