Cower Ye Peasants!

Second Rees-Mogg was wrong to say that beating the tax gap meant more tax had to be paid. It might, of course. But I strongly suggest that since tax is primarily a tool of fiscal policy designed to beat inflation above all other goals then revenue maximisation is not the goal of any government. Rather the aim should always be to raise the required amount of tax as equitably as possible to achieve that fiscal goal in ways that achieve the secondary (but vital) goals of redistribution, repricing market failure, reorganising the economy and reinforcing the relationship between the citizen and the state.

That being, I suggest, what the Senior Lecturer thinks is the correct relationship which should be reinforced?

Astonishingly, official and other research data on tax is frequently inaccurate.

So too often is GDP data, which makes tax gap estimation hard.

And even the number of taxpayers is frequently subject to misreporting between data sources.

At its most basic level understanding tax is hard because official statistics seem to be perversely dedicated to ensuring that we cannot know the truth.

And when it comes to tax gaps, there is too little research and even too much denial that the issue is of consequence.

There’s the pitch for the next series of grants.

But it’s an amusing confirmation of Hayek, isn’t it? Which leads to an interesting question. How can the State be Curajus if no bugger knows what is going on?

25 thoughts on “Cower Ye Peasants!”

  1. Joey Vimsante, there is no need for redistribution unless of course you are going to lead by example and redistribute the profits from your book to the working class.

  2. “Reorganising the economy” is a “secondary goal” of taxation. Wut?!

    A minor, easily achieved goal with a simple and clear process.

    “REORGANISING THE ECONOMY”.

    Whatever. What a fucking loon.

  3. Let me see if I have Spud’s logic worked through…..

    1. Tax doesn’t pay for things, government spending does as that is first.
    2. Government spending is returned by taxation to control inflation.
    3. The government is doing “austerity” and not spending enough in Spud’s opinion.
    4. There is a danger of deflation or inflation should he higher (depending on blog post of the day).

    Therefore it’s down to the people to avoid and evade as much tax as possible to help the economy by creating inflation and by not destroying what the government spent before, or something.

    Hurrah!

  4. I’d say Governments do tend towards revenue maximisation. The question is what’s the maximum? – the amount allowed by the plucked before they give the other guys a try.

  5. “We do not want massive income inequality”

    Are you so sure? Income inequality has historically gone hand in hand with the destruction of poverty. If income inequality is the price to be paid for the destruction of poverty, I for one would be happy to pay that price.

  6. I wonder if the potato is thinking of Selective Employment Tax – that glorious Labour policy failure cooked up by Lord Kaldor – when he brainfarts stuff about taxation being used to reorganise an economy. The chances are, obviously, that he hasn’t heard of it and can give no examples of such taxation. Let’s face it, taxation only ever buggers things up by creating anomalies in the economy such as welfare traps.

    What do the words “repricing market failure” mean? Have any of the mental migits who suck up to him enquired?

    And as for reinforcing the relationship between the citizen and the state, is he back to his Joy of Tax crap – 79 positions and none of them work? I just did my tax return and all it did was remind me of the iron fist of the bloody state. It’s a bit like saying that going to prison reinforces the relationship between the citizen and the state. Actually the state owes me a very small sum. I thought about not submitting it but, on the principle that I hate the state, regard it as a necessary evil but wish it would stop fucking us over, I sent it in with a song in my heart, regardless of the inflationary potential. What an absolute moron the potato is. And he is paid by the bloody state! There in itself is an argument against taxation

  7. “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to procure the largest quantity of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing. It is simply, and solely, the abundance of money within a state [which] makes the difference in its grandeur and power.”

    (Jean-Baptiste Colbert)

    Does anyone seriously believe that Murphy only bangs on about the tax gap (which he invented) as some kind of performance measure rather than as a target to achieve?

    As well as everything else, he is a fraudulent liar. I bet even his trainset hates him

  8. Interesting article in the TLS last year by Jane Frecknall-Hughes, Professor of Accounting and Taxation at Nottingham University Business School.

    “We might wonder, however, by what right governments take away their citizens’ money via taxation, and pluck those feathers, in the first place. We hear much these days about the ethics of tax avoidance, but little about the ethics of taxation itself. The idea that imposing tax is unethical – that it is, in fact, theft – has a long history, dating back at least to Augustine of Hippo, although often attributed to Thomas Aquinas, and remains central to the thinking of libertarian philosophers. The basic premiss is that if anyone other than a government took away your money without your consent, then it would be undoubtedly theft: why should a government be allowed to do this when no one else is permitted to do so?”

    Someone should post this in Spudland. That should get the fists pounding. I have already been banned 3 or 4 times this month

  9. “I’d say Governments do tend towards revenue maximisation”

    Sad isn’t it – that none of them try to do the more sensible thing and cut, so that the private sector can do something more productive with the resource..

  10. Joey

    If we ever get to the stage where there are no jobs left, then AI will be at the top of the food chain, and your future offspring will be nothing more than pets within the new order.

    At best – if they can do tricks or otherwise prove interesting enough that is…

    Hence, at that stage you are probably right. The basic income will be the equivalent of the Whiskers that you currently feed your cat.

    But then how would you stop some AI owners feeding their humans higher quality tit bits, or maybe being neglectful..;)

  11. But I strongly suggest that since tax is primarily a tool of fiscal policy designed to beat inflation above all other goals then revenue maximisation is not the goal of any government. Rather the aim should always be to raise the required amount of tax as equitably as possible to achieve that fiscal goal in ways that achieve the secondary (but vital) goals of redistribution, repricing market failure, reorganising the economy and reinforcing the relationship between the citizen and the state.

    A rather concise expression of fascist intent, no?

  12. My name is Richard Murphy, economics professor;
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

    We do, Richard, just not in the manner you imagine…

  13. Joey Vimsante, there is no need for redistribution unless of course you are going to lead by example and redistribute the profits from your book to the working class.

    From the looks of it, there will be none to redistribute.

    Which means he’s on the mooch.

  14. If the tax gap is unpaid taxes and you want to make it smaller then there are only 2 things you can do

    1. Demand less tax
    2.Collect more tax

    So you can beat the tax gap without collecting more tax, somehow I don’t see that this is what Murphy is advocating

  15. this is where the potato’s house of cards all falls down.

    he has stated on various occasions
    1) there’s a massive tax gap – ie what’s collected is far less than what’s actually due and that this is a bad thing because it’s robbing the state of funds to do things.
    2) all government spending is recouped through taxation so it is literally self funding.
    3) taxation doesn’t pay for government spending it is only used to control inflation.
    4) Inflation is too low (suggests due to above- less taxation is necessary)
    5) Low taxation is bad because reasons.

    And he wants to be taken seriously ???

  16. And he wants to be taken seriously ???

    Yes, he wibbled that £100bn was missed annually, yet inflation was under 2% at the time. As tax only controls inflation (so the expert says), he was advocating a massively deflationary policy, yet also arguing that the 2% target was too low.

    The man hasn’t got the intellectual capacity to understand, let alone maintain, any coherence in what he believes to be true.

  17. What I wonder is how does his fantasy stack up to the EU, the Euro, and EU taxes

    Hmm, yes. How do EU taxes relate to UK inflation? Oh sorry, you are banned. Problem solved.

  18. I believe Murphy squares the circle by claiming that tax avoiders come from the rich, and the rich take their excess money out of circulation, sitting idle in the Caymans or whatever.

    Were they to pay their fair share, the money could be given to and spent by the ordinaries.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset

    Completely OT and abusing Tim’s tolerance for a public service broadcast because I think many readers here will be interested, especially DK:

    Those who’ve been following blogs since they really kicked off may remember a blog called To Miss With Love. She was an inner city teacher who by her own admission was an out and out lefty. She started blogging and got a bit of a rude awaking when she realised that she had more in common with her conservative (read classic liberal) commenters than lefty commenters who came to hate her. I’m sure Tim mentioned her in his early days and I’m pretty positive DK was one of those commenters which was how I found her blog.

    Anyway, she upset the establishment because she didn’t follow lefty orthodoxy on inner city kids, made a speech about the need to ditch lefty education orthodoxy and had to leave her job. She then set up an inner city Free School and by all accounts is making a success of it.

    I was catching up with the today on the Rubin Report (podcast) today and she was Dave’s guest and what an inspirational woman she’s turned out to be. She’s started blogging again on To Miss With Love and the Rubin Report YouTube is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXc46-NlOyw

    We need more like her.

    Thanks Tim.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *