Taxation and human rights

More Ritchie. Arguing that not paying taxes is a breach of the human rights of the state:

The right of a State to determine its will shall not be constrained by the actions of another State; (28, 29)

Excellent, that means that the UK cannot tell Ireland how to run its tax system, the EU cannot tell the Caymans etc. Failure of Ritchie’s entire scheme to impose his favoured tax system on everyone else.

22 thoughts on “Taxation and human rights”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    So we have to let all those poor former-Yugoslavs go then. As he seems to be taking a strong positivist position that there is no, and cannot be any, international jurisdiction.

    Naturally Pinochet shouldn’t have been arrested.

    And he seems to have legalised the Holocaust.

  2. Repost from another thread:

    I’m sure this will be blogged on soon enough by Tim, but Richie is now a legal expert as well – he’s using the UN universal declaration of Human rights to justify that non-payment of tax is an abuse of human rights meme.

    Problem is, once again, it’s nonsense.

    Tax law is wholly independent of fundamental human rights, and is also independent of property rights. Not paying tax when you buy a property for example, has no bearing on your right to own that property – the one does not automatically transmute to preventing the other (in this case, you would be prosecuted for the non-payment of tax, not the illegal ownership of property).

    The only time when your property rights become subject is through acts such as “the proceeds of crime” and again, this independent of tax law.

    Hat-tip: Advocate girlfriend and her senior counsel friends.

  3. Also, of course, if the state has human rights, then so does other corporate bodies (Amazon, Vodafone…) – does Ritchie really want to go down that particular track?

  4. Also, of course, if the state has human rights, then so does other corporate bodies

    Oh, no, you neo-liberal sophist! Human rights only accrue to Courageous corporate bodies. Like trades unions, right-minded charities and leftist political parties.

    Neo-liberal corporates, formed as they are for the express and sole purpose of tax avoidance, such as UKIP, the companies you mentioned, and anything to do with the egregious international trade in scandium, have no rights – property, civil, or human, whatsoever.

  5. @Tyler

    Just read your exchange with him on his blog. It gets more surreal by the sentence.

    Apparently he has a right to arbitrate on rights & therefore the law, judges, Parliament etc are all wrong.

  6. I would like to congratulate Tyler for

    1) Making it through his new comments policy; I’ll have to try.

    2) Getting him to add judges and lawyers to his list, which now includes micro-economists, statisticians, all businessmen, accountants, Big Pharma, Big Oil, and of course Scandium traders. P.S. I wear glasses, should I start shitting myself?

  7. @ Max

    It does indeed. What I didn’t tell him, is that my gf was working for lawyers for human rights (pro bono, living off my evil neo-liberal income I might add) last year – hence having lunch with other advocates and a judge.

    All of them were 100% sure he was entirely wrong. Personally I’ll back a judge and a couple of senior advocates over Richard Murphy any day – but I suppose he’s become a legal expert overnight as well.

    It is fun watching him twist and turn though – he simply has no coherent argument. All he can offer is an opinion, which as it stands in law is simply worng.

  8. I think he was saying that non-payment of tax is a breach of the human rights of the people who would otherwise benefit from the schools & hospitals etc that the tax would pay for, rather than the State having human rights.

    But I may be misinterpreting him. I think he did refer to the State having rights (but not “human rights”).

  9. Tyler

    I have to say that exchange has really brightened my day – Many thanks!!

    No doubt his legal pre-eminence merely buttresses his other roles as :

    1/ A historical expert (Did you not know there was no poverty in the UK before ‘NeoLiberals’ took over in 1979?)

    2/ A geopolitical expert (Cuba has a world leading health system whereas under Neoliberalism there is no healthcare) and

    3/ An economics guru (regardless of 250 years of classical or other forms of ‘conventional’ economics the likes of Ricardo, Smith, Schumpeter, Friedman or Hayek are wrong, and I, Murphy, am right)

    The exchange with you should be retweeted by anyone with an interest. The idea that this guy’s opinions on any topic have validity is frankly ridiculous and he seems to be getting more delusional by the day.

  10. Tyler,

    It is fun watching him twist and turn though – he simply has no coherent argument. All he can offer is an opinion, which as it stands in law is simply worng.

    He said you were seeking to deny him his opinion, which was wrong too – you just said he was mistaken and why he was mistaken.

    Serious problems with logic, comprehension, narcissism, Dunning-Kruger…

  11. @ UKliberty

    Yes indeed – I didn’t stop him saying anything, I just said what he said was rubbish.

    By denying my right to say that ( as I’m sure he will soon do by blocking my posts) he will be denying me my freedom of speech.

  12. Apparently (based on his comments on the Wolf for the day entry) the state doesn’t need to pay it’s debt off, should just print as much money as it needs, but still needs to collect taxes, “to ensure balance in the economy”

  13. The problem is his rabid statism has transgressed the rationale that “the State” is a separate entity from the real physical human beings that comprise it, thus he effectively regards “the State” as a proto-deity to be worshipped and sacrificed to, and himself as it’s High Priest.

    Pointless to be arguing from a libertarian standpoint, the man has gone full gaga. He will no more accept any movement toward acknowledging individuality exists as a fundamental right than a theist would deny his god.

  14. Tyler

    Have just returned to that blog entry – LMAO! Absolutely brilliant – kudos to you for basically exposing him – really any Commons Select committee that wants to use him as ‘an expert on tax’ should be shown this exchange as hard evidence of why he is totally unsuited to advise or pontificate on anything of import…..

  15. Just goes to prove that intellectual consistency isn’t one of Ritchie’s strong suits.

    I still think we should buy him a Berkshire sow and see if we can get him to go Lord Emsworth on us. It might be brutal on the pig, but I know I’d feel better…

  16. Worth standing back & looking past the content of the man’s words to the intention.
    He’s providing an “intellectual” platform for the “Tax The Rich” movement. No doubt you’ll be hearing a version of this being trotted out on a TV discussion programme but its real work will be done down the pub or in the workplace as lefties go to work on as yet unconvinced voters. It doesn’t have to be intellectually rigorous. Doesn’t need to be particularly comprehensible. A measure of obscurity’s a feature. A concept that’s just out of grasp makes the listener reluctant to admit they haven’t quite got it but the imparter earns respect for having done so.
    Like a lot of Richie’s stuff, it’s borrowed from the dodgy end of direct sales marketing. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if, when he’s verbally explaining something, he’s repeatedly getting the listener to confirm their understanding. Old ploy. By the end they’re so accustomed to assenting, even they believe they have.
    See life assurance sales.

  17. The EU is not a state. It has no “right” to tell anyone anything. Glad we have that cleared up. When do we leave?

  18. @ BenCta and Van_Patten

    Thanks for your support guys.

    My girlfiriend spent most of last year working (pro-bono, funded by my evil neo-liberal job in finance) for lawyers for human rights, and I posed the tax/HR question to the assorted lawyers, advocates and judge at a recent lunch we went to with that bunch.

    As I said, they fell about laughing, and this lot are hardly the neo-liberal type.

    I do worry though that there is more to Ritchie’s latest rumblings and they will appear as a part of some of his forthcoming work – maybe this fair tax mark. Hopefully at this point most people will realise he has simply jumped the shark, but I’m sure there will be enough hard-lefty pressure groups who will pick this up and run with it, forcing the sane to debate nonsense rather than spending time dealing with real issues.

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