Dear God the man’s stupid

The economic justification for taxing wealth

There is growing inequality

It is now accepted inequality imposes a cost

At the same time every state accepts it has the duty to protect private property

But not all share in the benefit of doing so equally: some tread very lightly on the world’s wealth

The justification for a wealth tax is then that it’s a charge on the rent wealth enjoys from the protection the state provides to it

And this if my stash of wealth is offshore then there’s no justification for it to be taxed. Because that protection from the state is being provided by that offshore place where the wealth is stashed. Where I live isn’t protecting it thus can claim no rent for doing so.

And here’s the thing that really interests me. Is he really this stupid that he cannot see the holes in his own arguments?

Just to emphasise this. Imagine that I am a UK citizen resident in the UK. Ritchie’s argument is that my wealth can be righteously taxed by the UK because the UK protects my wealth. Well, think of that argument as you wish. I then earn some money elsewhere (say, I dunno, a book does well, I get royalties outside the UK). Which I stash in Panama. Ritchie would insist that both that income and that wealth should be taxed in the UK under normal circumstances. But this new argument says that it should not be: because that wealth is protected by the state of Panama which is protecting it.

Man’s an idiot.

29 thoughts on “Dear God the man’s stupid”

  1. “And here’s the thing that really interests me. Is he really this stupid that he cannot see the holes in his own arguments?”

    Ritchie defined.

  2. The Meissen Bison

    Is Murphy angling to moonlight for a partial chair in poetry, I wonder?

    It looks as though he’s trying to develop his own variant on the haiku.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Maybe he thinks the Royal Navy will send a gunboat if the locals try to steal it?

    He does approve of that sort of thing in other circumstances. Such as, when they don’t tax it enough.

  4. It’s your duty to invest offshore in order to lift the burden of protecting your assets from the state and thus reduce inequality further.

  5. The great man is now saying that it isn’t tax avoidance because HMRC aren’t likely to challenge Oxfam.

    This is now the latest test of whether there is tax avoidance going on.

  6. Rob

    Exactly – the resident Troll here intervened to point out the historical resonance of one of his erstwhile commentators, Lavrenti Beria to a man whose ignorance appears to have no beginning.

    I don’t think there is a significant difference between the worldview of Beria and that of Murphy – if anyone capable of writing a post with no insulting language could point the difference out I’d be interested to hear…

  7. Where’s DBC Reed to tell us that onshore wealth in the form of land should be taxed until the pips squeak?

  8. Old Murph’s coming out fighting against the reasoned arguments put by the ever excellent Andrew Jackson over on TRUK.

  9. Lizardking:

    Worth looking at the ‘expert’ standard of argument here:

    ‘Either way please stop being an embarrassment and accept that of course authority has to be delegated by parliament

    I am genuinely embarrassed by your comments

    Just go and read what I have posted this morning

    And then apologise’

    This is a ‘tax expert’ talking – the mind boggles…..

  10. I hope the superb Pellinor appears here to give his side of the story – once more he has basically exposed Murphy as a total hypocrite and being unable to argue coherently even within the same blog post. What a thoroughly disreputable little toerag he is….

  11. This is neo-anti-Semitism in microcosm. Not ‘you’re rich, share the wealth’, which is social democracy, but ‘someone’s stolen a share that belongs to others, make them give it back’, which always ends with the ‘someone’ being ‘the jooz’.

  12. VP – the quality of Muprhy’s debating skills knows no bounds. Can you imagine being a student of his? The mind boggles.

  13. Lizardking

    I can imagine being a student of his – I would imagine if ‘The Curajus State’ becomes a reality his work will be like the writings of Kim Il Sung in North Korea, or Saparmurat Niyazov in Turkmenistan, required by law – and before people accuse me of exaggerating – no doubt they guffawed in Germany in 1928 at people suggesting ‘Mein Kampf’ might be compulsory a mere 6 years later….

  14. “I hope the superb Pellinor appears here to give his side of the story…”

    Why thank you very much 🙂

    “What a thoroughly disreputable little toerag he is…”

    Ouch! Well, if you’re going to be like that about me… :-p

  15. My father once remarked that on the most obvious occasion that his wealth needed protection the state proved so poor at it that he had to go and kill Germans himself.

  16. I don’t think I have much of a side of the story to give.

    Charities are clearly getting what feels like a sensible result (to them, to Murphy, to HMRC, and to me) by operating artificial structures which can be interpreted as meeting the wording of the legislation, even though the substance is very different from the form.

    Murphy is happy with this because HMRC have blessed the structure.

    He regards HMRC not challenging taxpayer A, even though they have challenged taxpayer B, as them blessing A’s position.

    The logical conclusion is that any taxpayer who is not under enquiry is fine.

    “Tax avoidance” is therefore limited to the situation where HMRC actively challenge your return. Presumably it also requires that they win.

    This is such a massive difference from Murphy’s previous position that the only possible conclusion is that he is looking only at the end, and ignoring the means.

    In other words, the only way I can see to reconcile this with Murphy’s statements about Google, Amazon, etc is to say that “tax avoidance” consists of paying less tax than Murphy thinks you should. Which is probably not news to many people here, of course 🙂

  17. I should probably add that HMRC’s blessing is important. Certainly I would advise clients to proceed on the basis that if HMRC say it’s OK then it’s OK.

    But I still think it’s tax avoidance – it’s just that it’s acceptable avoidance. It gets you to a sensible tax position, in the spirit of the law if not the wording.

    Murphy’s problem is that he can’t accept that any sort of tax avoidance can be acceptable. So if something is acceptable, it can’t be avoidance.

    If he would only accept that there is a spectrum of avoidance, from ISAs at one end to the GAAR at the other with a blurry bit in the middle where things get a bit iffy, he’d be OK. But by being black and white he has tied his colours to the mast (as it were) 🙂

  18. Agree with LizardKing – we get contributions on here like those from Pellinor, Ironman, BiS, now Richard Teather to name those who spring to mind but there are others, people who are real experts in their field. I like the entertainment, it is the internet after all, but also appreciate their insight. They don’t get thanked enough.

  19. A quick google search: “Richard Murphy + ad hominem”. Very revealing about the character of the man.

  20. Lizardking – I did that search, and now I feel quite sick. The man is a passionately obsessive moron, so convinced of his own moral rectitude that he feels he can dogmatically dismiss coherent and factual challenges to his position of the week or day.

  21. Theo: his definition of ad hominem is anyone who dares to challenge him / take a contrary (albeit informed, reasonable) view. On the other hand he feels free to slander, libel, disparage and undermine anyone and everyone. He’s a nasty piece of work.

  22. This would be the same HMRC that he regularly accuses of incomptence and collusion amounting to fraud

  23. Lizardking

    I have often described him as the most dangerous man in Britain, if not the world – the historian A.L Rowse once wrote ‘there are no people potentially more dangerous than the half -educated’ – Murphy is living proof of how true that is..

  24. VP – indeed, yet he manages to position himself (and achieves this) as a figure of authority in the public eye (rather than ridicule) which is quite some achievement given the floggings he invites over on TRUK.

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