Ritchie tries philosophy

And it\’s not a pretty sight:

We actually only own our post tax income: the tax we owe must belong to the state.

Dear God, please, someone get out the Janet and John book of logic would you?

So, when HMRC comes along asking for me to pay my tax bill. Do they ask me to hand over someone elses\’ property to them in settlement of it?

Err, no, I don\’t think they do actually. In fact, I rather think that I would be sent to jail if I attempted to hand over R. Murphy\’s property in settlement of T. Worstall\’s tax bill.

HMRC rather wants me to hand over my property in exchange for the benefits of government. Indeed, they\’re rather known for insisting that people cough up property that they own free and clear (you know, the odd house, share portfolio etc) to pay off tax bills.

In fact, I\’m sure we could find court orders about this. \”Mithering Terrace, being the property of T. Worstall, is now forfeit to HMRC in payment of a tax debt.\”

The wording might change, but the basic idea will be there: even HMRC agree that it\’s the property of someone else that HMRC are claiming.

11 thoughts on “Ritchie tries philosophy”

  1. Isn’t this just another way of saying ‘All your income belongs to the State’?

    If I earn 20K and pay 20% tax on it (say) my actual income is 16k and the State ‘owns’ the 4K. But if the State owned the 4K from the beginning, surely my tax should be based on 16K, which means I’m due another 3.2K to the State, which according to RM it owned from the outset as well, so we repeat all the way down the rabbit hole until the State owns all your income, and you get nothing.

    Which is how the Courageous State wants it.

  2. john b will agree with Ritchie since he seems to be riffing on a groove of imbecility at mthe moment. Maybe John b is actually Arnald. If you don’t pay him to be sensible, he turns into Ritchie.

  3. The justification for his authoritarian viewpoint continues:

    “If it were not [the property of the state] then we could not enjoy society as we do.”

    At least – on this occasion – he does accept that this is simply an opinion..

    Beware the strategy for centralised deductions..:)

  4. Well, I dunno on this one. Ritchie seems to have a point. If something is assumed to be under someone else’s control, like some proportion of income, it isn’t your property. This is most obvious with PAYE. The supposed earner (and owner) of the taxed money never even sees it, for even a nanosecond, let alone owns it. It seems to me that property rights in taxed money are assigned to the State, as Murphy says. It probably is clearer if you’re a PAYE person rather than not.

  5. So Much for Subtlety

    If Ritchie is going to try his hand at philosophy, perhaps we should start him out on something simpler.

    How about presumed consent for organ donation? If you die and the State wants to take your organs, well they are the State’s organs, right? So the State should be able to just take them.

    And of course if you do something to really piss off the government, like murder someone else or practice Falun Gong, then the State ought to be able to step in earlier and take them even while you are still using them. Because without the State we would have nothing.

    So we ought to give thanks for the years they graciously allow us and give up our hearts and kidneys any time someone else has a greater need. Lord Prescott for instance looks like he might be in the market for a new liver any time now.

  6. If Ritchie doesn’t believe his pre-tax income belongs to him, it’s fair game. The state certainly doesn’t claim it, legally speaking. Anyone know his bank account details?

  7. The logical conclusion should then be that all money flows to the state, and then the state distributes what it feels it should to individuals from there.

    I suspect that’s been tried before….

  8. The logical conclusion should then be that all money flows to the state, and then the state distributes what it feels it should to individuals from there.

    Well, it’s not unreasonable to say that that is the situation currently. Remember, we’re talking about the “is”, not the “ought”.

    I do not myself see any clear evidence that the State considers me to have any absolute property at all. It is all at best conditional, and some of it (tax money, or say, death duties) is theirs.

    I am a Libertarian because I want to change this state of affairs, precisely because that is what the state of affairs is.

  9. Funny, but the my notes in my pocket seem to say ‘promise to pay the bearer’, not ‘promise to pay the government’. So I’m entitled to the exchange of ownership of something aren’t I, even if it’s not the actual note ?

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