So in fact tax due is not an individual’s property extorted from them: it is money they hold in trust for its rightful owner.

Sigh.

71 thoughts on “Guess who?”

  1. And that ‘rightful owner’ has the right to decide just how much of an individual’s property it wants.

    Sounds like the basis for a utopian society. Probably.

  2. This isn’t the most outrageous kind of statement, to be fair. Especially when you replace “an individual” by “Mr I. Banker” or “Global Super MegaCorp Inc” – not the kind of statement that would enrage a middle of the road swing voter anyway. Best to focus on the egregiously false and obviously barmy: someone writing about economics who skipped all their classes is going to make a lot of those slips, and it’s lack of credibility that would condemn him in the eyes of the general public.

  3. Just tried to find the full article and cam a cross a press release for The Joy of Tax; really a word play on a 1980’s sex manual for middle class puritans? The man has no shame.

    In the presser, it does say:

    “Murphy is a chartered accountant and is the author of Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policy.”

    Pretty much sums up how good that economic policy would be, but the real classic is:

    “already made a series of radio and newspaper appearances talking about Corbynomics with Transworld, which has secured a quote from journalist Owen Jones for the cover,….”

    Must be good to have received a quote from the boy Marxist.

  4. MBE
    I’ve just tried Murphy’s statement out on the decorators here, one of whom reads the Mirror. Both were, er, unimpressed, to put it mildly.

  5. personally I think extortion is a very silly word to apply to something which is the policy of a democratically elected government and also delivers goods and services* and that the legion of tax haters that swarm around this blog are no better than the legions of capitalism haters that swarm around others.

    but to regard the government as the rightful owner of people’s money is ghastly dreadful frightening thinking.

    *although what you receive is mostly not linked to what you pay

  6. As a self employed person I’m used to the idea that some of the money I put in the bank is going to have to go out to the taxman later – it isn’t “my” money, in the sense that if I spent it all I’d be stuffed. And as Luis says, “extortion” would be an odd word for it. I might not enjoy paying my taxes over, if it were voluntary all the evidence suggests the Great British public would hand over less if we had the choice, but it isn’t being extorted from us and it is trivially correct to say that lawfully it belongs to the government.

    If the starting point was that rightfully all of our hard earned cash belongs to the state, and we should be grateful for whatever part of it we are “allowed” to keep, then *that* is an outrageous statement that will go down with the general public like cold sick and vinegar. And I’m sure Mr Murphy or his fellow travellers have spurted such outpourings before, in one of their “the state gives us roads and courts and Teflon saucepans and stuff so really it is the state that made the money, not you” moments. That would be a better petard to hoist them with.

  7. personally I think extortion is a very silly word to apply

    Given that it’s Murphy who applied it, this isn’t a statement of fantastic genius.

    I appreciate that minarchists also use it – as do some of the Americans. It gets to being almost (but not quite) reasonable when the tax code is so complex and the penalties for making any error are so severe (and so one-sided) that tax compliance is very hard for a normal person.

    Frankly (barring the last and not sufficient factor) I don’t think we are there in the UK yet. I’ve got reasonably complex tax affairs and no accountancy or tax training and I don’t find it too hard.

  8. MBE

    Someone might rent under a rental agreement (under which you will pay money to the landlord). It is not due to the landlord until it is legally due. It does not “belong” to the landlord prior to that point.

    One will undoubtedly pay money for food. It does belong to the supermarket until the transaction takes place.

    Tax becomes due once assessed (or self assessed). Until then, the money belongs to you. And in the meantime the rules may change and you may ultimately end up owing less or more (or eating less or more).

  9. “Luis Enrique

    personally I think extortion is a very silly word to apply to something which is the policy of a democratically elected government and also delivers goods and services…”

    The Reichsfluchtsteuer was one of many policies of a democratically elected German government in the 1930s. Some might consider that was extortion.

    Maybe this “if it’s the law it’s OK” thing is more of a grey area than you think?

  10. @SE

    We are there already. HMRC has the power, following three warnings, to remove without judicial oversight that which it claims you owe. Directly from your account(s). It’s your responsibility to prove otherwise and recover the money. The only safeguard is they cannot cause your account* to fall below £5k.

    Progressing from this and “it’s the state’s money held in trust” needs only a few steps to “we want X in tax; now go and earn enough to pay it”.

    Fail to submit your tax return within a defined timeframe (several years) and / or submit one which they reject, and you’ll get a “determination” – which is exactly as above. “we decided you earnt y, you are liable to pay x”.

    * Can’t remember if that’s per account or in total.

  11. Andrew C

    sure, I’d never say that whatever a government does, w.r.t seizing property, it is not extortion.

  12. bloke (not) in spain

    “but it isn’t being extorted from us ”
    I think that’d be fair to say about the taxes go to fund many of the services government supplies. We may not individually agree with them, but we accept they’re provided in response to public demand expressed through the democratic process.
    But there’s whole raft of spending that gets done, despite there’s nothing like universal approval. More; there’s almost universal objection. Sometimes to the level of spending. Sometimes that it’s done at all.
    And it’s not subject to democratic approval because there’s not a hair’s breadth of difference between policies of the major parties on the issue.
    And there’s what I’d call “platform spending”. Done for political purposes to attract approval from constituencies politicians wish to court for their own purposes. We vote for it, because we vote for the party that does it. But it doesn’t mean we agree with it, anymore than those vote for the opposition parties.

  13. “The Reichsfluchtsteuer was one of many policies of a democratically elected German government in the 1930s. Some might consider that was extortion.”

    However Ritchie has spoken favourably on it, earlier this year IIRC.

  14. Luis & My Burning Ears.

    There is no better word than “Extortion”.

    Very few people would argue for zero tax, even the “haters” on here, the level demanded is the extortion.

    Politicians come up with some arbitrary number in support of their pork barrel projects to remain in their posts. Wealth creators are then forced to pay multiple layers of tax to support these projects or face violence and jail.

    Violence in that the police FORCE do not gently request you go to jail for non payment of tax; bailiffs supported by the FORCE kick in your door and drag you away.

    You could argue the UK is a democracy with majority vote. Gordon Brown was elected by 29,000 Scottish votes. He then bullied all within his party and became labour leader and by default PM. So 29,000 Kirkcaldy villagers foisted Brown on 70,000,000 Brits.

    Democracy as played out is a farce, wherein a few thousand essentials decide whom the ‘selectorate’ gets to select.

  15. Ritchie on property rights

    I unambupuguously support personal property rights and require that the state uphold them

    We all have a clear right to our after tax income

    Nothing else need be said on this

  16. @B(n)iS, “but we accept they’re provided in response to public demand expressed through the democratic process. But there’s whole raft of spending that gets done, despite there’s nothing like universal approval”

    We have a representative democracy, not a true democracy.

    So we elect politicians to act on our behalf. They do not need to check with us, the public, on every single decision. We elected them to make decisions on our behalf so that we aren’t pestered with referendum after referendum.

    In theory they can be elected and never speak with the public ever again and that is perfectly valid. They won’t get re-elected so politicians go through the smoke screen of pretending that they speak with us. They will make sure that they communicate with the public on controversial subjects or ones where a tiny minority shout very loudly.

    So politicians can do many things which aren’t liked at all by 100% of the population, but its still valid for them to perform these activities.

  17. If I say I don’t want any of their services, I will be ignored. If I don’t pay, I’ll be threatened with violence. If I still refuse, violence will be used against me. If I sufficiently resist, they will kill me over it.

    How is this not coercion and extortion?

  18. David Cameron yesterday named the massive increase in Britain’s foreign aid budget ( ‘arbitrary’ UN-backed target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income) on aid,as his ‘proudest achievement’ in Government.”
    If I can’t use the word extortion, I hope I can still use, useless destructive cunts, of the first order?

  19. bloke (not) in spain

    “So politicians can do many things which aren’t liked at all by 100% of the population,”
    But some of government spending isn’t liked by 99% of the population. The only approval’s coming from the 1% who’re benefiting from it.
    Look at the 0.7% of GDP for foreign aid, commitment. Gets about a 90% disapproval return in most surveys. But no major party’s opposing it. That’s way past any “representative democracy” mandate. it’s simply doing it because you can’t stop us.

  20. I can see some forms of tax where you might be able to claim that the money is held in trust – VAT has some aspects of this – a vendor charges VAT, but is allowed to reclaim her own and is expected to pay over the VAT she has collected.

  21. ken
    Or a charity collects PAYE on behalf of its employees…oh, wait. Mr Murphy has pronounced on this too, and apparently there is an exception.

  22. @Luis Enrique

    If I may surmise… when used to describe tax, you dislike the extremely negative connotation which words such as “extortion” carry, and the corollary implication that all tax-funded functions are therefore unethical. What you want to do is disavow that implication and so you assert that using the word “extortion” is silly.

    But the others above are correct. Tax does indeed fall under the definition of value extracted by coercion.

    You’d probably do us all a favour by allowing that the use of the word “extortion” is in fact accurate, but then arguing that some level of extortion is necessary or desirable for the production of public goods. Denying that taxation is extortion in order to appear “sensible” is an unnecessary insult to other people’s intelligence.

  23. mike

    yes, I think the connotations are wrong, and another word describing being made to do something you may not wish to by the force of the law backed up by violence (in the drag to you jail sense) would be more sensible.

    I think the word is silly because Tony Soprano does not come into your pizzeria and say “give me $$$ or I shall hit you with this baseball bat, and then provide a free education for your children whether you like it or not, as mandated by the democratic process”

  24. and, really, flower, can’t you read somebody claiming that a word you think is appropriate, is inappropriate, without feeling like your intelligence has been insulted?

  25. another word describing being made to do something you may not wish to by the force of the law backed up by violence

    “Exaction”? Doesn’t carry the “against the law” context of “extortion”.

    @Justin,

    We are there already. HMRC has the power …

    Indeed it does, but I don’t see how that meets any of the criteria I posited?

    * the tax code is so complex- we’re not really there yet. (Although I’ll be honest and say that I’ve got problems managing how a business using the flat rate scheme manages purchases from and supplies to other EU nations. For a whole £29 on the purchase side!)
    * the penalties for making any error are so severe – a fine, and non-compound interest at a not-particularly punitive rate. If you don’t get let off.
    * and so one-sided – yes, there should be penalties applied to HMRC corporate and, in egregious circumstances, individually, for their errors (<- that last was auto-incorrected to "wee" for some reason. Which is appropriate in the context.)

  26. The mainstream Christian position reconciling the Commandment “Thou shalt not kill” with army service and the death penalty is that “thou” is singular “you”, and the Commandment therefore applies to individuals, not whole societies. It is therefore wrong for a Christian to kill someone on their own behalf, for their own ends, as a result of their own decision, but is not a breach of the Commandment for a Christian to take a job as state executioner, wherein they will be killing people merely as the instrument of the collective will of the larger society. That’s not to say that being an executioner is good, but that it is a different order of thing from being a murderer and that it is not covered by the Commandment. (Personally, I think the argument was extremely tenuous when originally used in non-democracies.)

    It strikes me that the distinction between extortion and tax-collection is essentially the same. There are perfectly good arguments to be made that tax-collection is as bad as — or even worse than — extortion, but it is a different thing.

  27. Somebody ask him if HMRC makes a mistake and charges too much tax whether it has then taken something which did not belong to it, and to which the person had a right acknowledged by him, is this not Taking Without Owner’s Consent?

  28. Or if HMRC overcharges it is then holding money in trust for its rightful owner and should give it back with the minimum of effort and fuss?

  29. I think the word is silly because Tony Soprano does not come into your pizzeria and say “give me $$$ or I shall hit you with this baseball bat, and then provide a free education for your children whether you like it or not, as mandated by the democratic process”

    Not so sure about that, doesn’t the Mafia provide some rewards for good behaviour and acceptance of their authority ? There’s not much difference in essence between the mafia and the feudal lords of the past and those lords provided support for royalty which in turn gradually evolved into the modern state. I think you have may have too generous a view of the essentially thuggish nature of all those who wield authority over the rest of us.

  30. doesn’t the Mafia provide some rewards for good behaviour and acceptance of their authority ?

    yeah, it doesn’t burn your pizzeria down.

    no, you’re right – I wouldn’t be surprised if they also dole out some patronage. Still, I don’t think “extortioner” is the right wod for government.

  31. “I think the word is silly because Tony Soprano does not come into your pizzeria and say “give me $$$ or I shall hit you with this baseball bat, and then provide a free education for your children whether you like it or not, as mandated by the democratic process””

    No, he spends it on hookers and cocaine, or whatever mobsters spend their extorted gains on. Thats not the point. There’s two issues at point, one, how the money is extracted from people, and two, what its spent on. You have to compare like with like. You can compare how Tony Soprano gets his money with how the State gets its money, and you can compare how they both spend their income.

    The fact is the State’s method of extracting money from the populace is the same as Tony Soprano’s. Its ‘Do as we say, or bad things happen to you’. Now in mitigation to that evil we can then compare what they do with that cash, and yes, the State does ‘some’ good works with the money it extorts. But the basic fundamental principle applies – any monies that are collected with the implied threat of force are extortion. The State’s spending can only be seen as mitigation for the wrong it has already done.

    For example, if I threaten you with violence to give me £500, and then give it all to charity, is that OK? Can what I do with my ill-gotten gains outweigh the crime I have committed against you?

  32. @Luis,

    Yes, in principle there’s patronage (or there was under the traditional mafia, that’s probably changed with the times). It’s indeed effectively a parallel feudal state.

  33. In tomorrow’s Graun “Corbyn thinks Mrs Batmanandrobin and the trustees of KC are guilty of a breach of trust.”

    But possibly not…

  34. is this not Taking Without Owner’s Consent?

    {dons ‘wah’ shield}

    Only if you can prove that your money is “a conveyance” under section 12(1) of the Theft Act 1968. Which would be rather hard, I think.

  35. I live in China and pay Chinese taxes.

    According to those tax fans out there am I morally obligated to not to to avoid/evade every penny I can in tax given the nature and behaviour of the PRC government?

  36. Pendantry …

    The mainstream Christian position reconciling the Commandment “Thou shalt not kill”

    is that the commandment should actually be considered as “thou shall not murder”. Especially given that the death penalty is mandated elsewhere within the Old Testament and that leaders of armies are often praised, neither execution nor killing during legitimate armed conflict are seen as “murder” (it is clearly possible to commit murder whilst being in an army, even during an otherwise legitimate campaign.)

  37. It’s OK folks, Mr Murphy says he rates as a libertarian on every survey he has done.

    Candidly

    I think he is

    Telling porkies

  38. SE,

    > is that the commandment should actually be considered as “thou shall not murder”.

    That doesn’t solve the problem, it just redefines it. What’s the distinction between killing and murder?

    Therefore, what is here forbidden is forbidden to the individual in his relation to any one else, and not to the government.

    — Martin Luther

  39. I’ve been trying for years to find an analogy for tax. Today MyBurningEars has provided it: rent.
    Yes the rent for residing securely in a stable society where my rights are upheld and certain basic services are provided to me for free ( except for that rent of course).
    So the Tony Soprano analogy falls down, though the State can and often has acted as particlar nasty loan shark.
    And then I am.remjnded of Ritchie’s thoughts on the Greek debt crisis and how profligate and careless creditors are to be treated. Ohhh what a glorious thought. Is there no hostage to fortune thay idiot hasn’t left lying around for us on his blog?

  40. There is indeed a lot to look at in wonderment on the Murphblog. Consider this little snippet from today:

    “On a scale of 1 to 10 that is at the unsubtle end of the commentary scale.

    The difficulty for Chris is that he has a problem: he’s judging Corbynomics against the standards set by his own failed economics. He thinks that neoliberal economics can be used to create left wing policy.”

    Perhpas Luis Enrique can advise what neoliberal economics are as distinct from economics or leftwing economics? Personally I adore the shambolic non-sequitur of the first sentence.

    Then again, further down the thread this delicious bon mot:

    “Tax is the norm people want”

    I sense another Venn fiagram for our times might be about to emerge:

    “Libertarians are to logic and clear thinking as hollandaise sauce is to cricket stumps”

    Since Murphy claims to be a libertarian, this is surely a blow to his self-esteem but no, he likes it.

    “Giles can’t pick and choose on this: you either believe in upholding property rights or you don’t. It’s not at all clear he does. The left is unambiguous on the point. Which is precisely why, for example, his suggestion of compulsory purchase of city centre sites to enable enforced building of high density housing either just shows his contempt for his fellow citizens or is his idea of a joke, and in the process clear indication of the poverty of thinking lined up against the new ideas Corbynomics represents.”

    This doesn’t seem to fit easily with a remark on the very next post, admittedly not by Murph but surely inline with his thinking regarding PFI contracts:

    “Contracts exist within the law, and the law is set by parliament. If parliament asserts that the asset is nationalised, then it is nationalised and that is the end of the matter.

    How much PFI contractors get in compensation depends entirely upon the mood of the population.

    If we decide democratically that they get nothing, then they’d better call in the administrators.”

    Compared with what Murph said in 2012:

    “My answer? Compulsory repurchase at undeveloped land value paid with gilts that are not saleable for a significant period. And if that seems harsh, so be it: this is about reclaiming the common good from those who have sought to destroy it. – See more at: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2012/09/05/time-to-end-pfi-by-compulsory-repurchase/#sthash.8wGE7ANc.dpuf

  41. “On a scale of 1 to 10 that is at the unsubtle end of the commentary scale’

    He’s either mad, or both

  42. diogenes

    I did try to ask him whether he was now seeking to ban all compulsory purchase; I was deleted.

  43. bloke (not) in spain

    Theo got there long before me:

    “doesn’t the Mafia provide some rewards for good behaviour and acceptance of their authority ?”

    Very much so. It’s why “mafias”, as opposed to common extortion gangs, sink their roots so deeply into the communities they’re part of. Why they’re so hard to get rid of. The pizza shop owner gets a lot for his squeeze. Lack of any competing pizza shops nearby, for a start.
    And “mafias” don’t bleed their clients dry. They’ve far too much business savvy for that. It’s in their interest you prosper as much as theirs.
    The similarity to governments stops before the beginning of the final paragraph.

  44. @LE,

    Free education? What free education? You mean the one paid for by taxes? Nothing that the state provides as services (most of which are wasteful and inefficient) is free.

    Does this simple fact really need to be reminded?

  45. Look at what you pay in tax per month.

    Unless you’re chronically ill, do you think you receive even half that in “services” and security (HM Forces, Police etc)?

  46. The Mafia are a parallel state. They do provide services. If you are a stall holder selling shoes and you pay protection money, and a competitor enters your market, you can go to the Mafiosi and ask for the competitor to be run off.

    They are not just selling protection from violence they themselves could inflict, but provide stability. Which is why they are strong in places where the State is weak.

  47. bloke (not) in spain

    And strong where the State is overly strong. See USSR.

    And if Murphy gets his way, that’s what you’ll end up with. Not everyone bows down under the might of the Courageous State. Some see it as an opportunity

  48. Let’s see. I’m not chronically ill, or ill at all. I earn a good bit more than the national mean or median. I commute to work on an unsubsidised rail service. So I don’t drive on taxpayer funded roads all thay much. I have no children of school age.

    So I guess I pay far more to the state than I get from it.

    What though if I WAS chronically ill? Who would pay? I think on balance I like taxes. Not HIGH tax; but, yes, taxes.

  49. Jeremy Corbyn has quite rightly been ridiculed for suggesting an equivalence between Islamic State and the United States of America. He was forced to deny what he has held dear for decades.

    Nobody here is suggesting an equivalence between the apparatus of democratically elected government and the Mafia are they? Because that would be embarrassing and pathetic.

  50. S2

    Joseph and Mary (great with child) had a long journey to get to Bethlehem so that the whole world should be taxed.
    And they found the place packed and had to sleep in a stable.
    It sounds to me very likely that Bethlehem was a tax haven if people flocked there for their taxes and census data.
    Ritchie, as a good Quaker, should be on to this scam.

  51. Ironman: I think it’s PF who made the rent analogy in response to me.

    PF has a point about the “on trust” thing, legally at any rate. If you have to pay your rent at the end of the month, you don’t empty your account before then, though that isn’t because the rent money is being held on trust – it’s just that you’re budgeting sensibly. Similarly for the day the tax is due. So I agree that what Mr Murphy was suggesting is not legally correct. But as an approximation of the truth, it’s not too far out: like the rent, you don’t want to spend it all before it’s due, you need to make an appropriate mental account for it that is not dissimilar to holding on trust. I still think there is more potential for outrage from Murphy’s other musings, this is not his most egregious by any means.

  52. “Tax due is not an individual’s property extorted from them: it is money they hold in trust for its rightful owner.”

    I think that’s actually a quotation from the Sheriff of Nottingham, isn’t it?

  53. Nobody here is suggesting an equivalence between the apparatus of democratically elected government and the Mafia are they? Because that would be embarrassing and pathetic.

    No, as far as I can see no one is doing that, just responding to Luis Enrique’s original comment and suggesting that the Mafia is a kind of substitute criminal state. God knows there are enough places in the world today whose governments could teach the mafia a thing or two.

  54. Ironman

    “I’ve been trying for years to find an analogy for tax … rent”

    So – if I understand this properly – are you describing the Curajus State as the ultimate rent seeker…

  55. MBE

    The thing that bugs me about Richard’s continual nonsense is that, as others have described above, one can apply this to lots of things. Household bills, other contracts, etc, wherever there is an obligation to pay for a service rendered.

    Sure, the state can enforce its obligatory “contract”, despite usually being crap value for money. And yet no one tries to insist (as you rightly point out) that the money that will be used for the equally enforceable BT bill or electric bill actually already belongs say to that utility company. No one talks in the terms of “only one’s net salary after the BT bill is owned by that individual”

    And, unlike say a longer term rental contract, the tax contract can easily and quickly be cancelled, simply by moving overseas.

    Richard, as always, has various agendas and hence cannot be ignored, particularly at the current time.

  56. “And, unlike say a longer term rental contract, the tax contract can easily and quickly be cancelled, simply by moving overseas.”

    Well, it cancels it from the following tax year 🙂

    And Ritchie, at least before his U-turn, thought that that should not be the case.

    But, he still seems to be a fan of an exit tax. Let’s think how that might all apply to him.

    Ritchie is a dual national and hold an Irish passport. Someone in his financial situation in Ireland would be paying higher taxes than in the UK. So if the Irish came knocking for what is “rightfully theirs”, following the US / previous ritchie, he said he would then reconsider holding the Irish passport. Sounds like advocating clear and unambiguous tax avoidance to me.

    But what then if, like the US sometimes do, they demanded a massive exit tax to do so? For instance, Irish capital gains tax on his house in Downham Market, on his pension plan (US doesn’t recognise most non-US pensions as tax privileged, so why should the Irish?), savings and so on. Could be a hefty whack and require him to sell the house and partly cash in his pension early, possibly incurring a parallel UK tax bill as a result.

    Well, he was only holding 33% of the gains in his house, pension and so on in trust for the Irish government, it was never really his anyway, right? right? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

  57. PF,

    > No one talks in the terms of “only one’s net salary after the BT bill is owned by that individual”

    EXACTLY. Although…

    True story, happened to good friends of mine and made the NI press.

    They were running a restaurant (a very good one, too). Their first business as owners. Phoenix Gas (to all extents and purposes, the NI equivalent of British Gas: they were for many years the only gas supplier in NI; they handled installations as well as supply; they certify gas engineers — but they weren’t ever actually nationalised) had been issuing them with gas bills and they’d been paying them. It’s a restaurant, so the bills run into thousands a month. A couple of years down the line, Phoenix reveal that the guy they’d been sending to read the gas meter wasn’t actually able to read gas meters and had got the bills wrong by an order of magnitude. So Phoenix demanded the missed amounts be paid, refused to negotiate on a repayment plan, and forced a thriving new business into bankruptcy (which of course meant they didn’t get their money, the stupid bastards).

    Now, if almost any business issues me with an invoice for £x and I pay them £x, that business is legally concluded. If a waiter chases me down the street to say “Sorry, we forgot to ask you for 50 quid,” I am free to ignore them. The loss is the business’s: they pay the cost of making a mistake. But what we learnt at the time is that Phoenix Gas (and presumably other utility providers) get preferential legal treatment, and have SIX YEARS to change their mind about an invoice and bill their customers more for accounts those customers thought they had already settled — and don’t even have any obligation to negotiate terms on these retrospective amounts. I assume this law is a legacy of the days when utilities were nationalised. If not, it must be a result of the lobbying power held by utilities to get preferential legal treatment. Either way, it’s certainly an example of the consequences of Murphy’s thinking: that money isn’t yours.

  58. @ S2
    Phoenix Gas was set up by British Gas, so it originally *was* part of a nationalised industry.

    If your friends had debts, of which they were unaware, to Phoenix Gas, then the tax they paid exceeded the amount that they should have paid to the extent of their debts multiplied by the corporation tax rate. So the rightful owner of part of the tax exacted (“extorted”) was not the government but Phoenix Gas.
    I think that you have just disproved Murphy’s assumption.

  59. Snag
    August 27, 2015 at 9:48 am

    And that ‘rightful owner’ has the right to decide just how much of an individual’s property it wants.

    =================

    Exactly. Any remaining after tax money is not yours, either, as the state is free to decide at any time that it wants that money, too.

  60. Dear Mr Worstall

    It seems to me that that nice Mr Murphy is declaring that people are livestock of the state.

    Human livestock are slaves, ergo that nice Mr Murphy seems to support slavery, albeit (currently) part time slavery.

    DP

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