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So, someone was paying attention

One way to try to ensure compliance and prevent avoidance would be to announce a one-off tax to be applied retrospectively to wealth held at a given moment in the past, then demand payment over the next five years.

But Tim Worstall of the Adam Smith Institute said this would be “akin to theft”.

He said: “Taxing people today on what they earned last year, changing the law on them, I regard as an appalling breach of civil rights.”

41 thoughts on “So, someone was paying attention”

  1. So, five years ago I had one meeeellion quid. Last year I went bankrupt. Next year I’ll be taxed on what I had five years ago. How do I pay?

  2. Is it just me (it probably is), but I don’t see compulsory vaccination in the same category as the others.

    Ignore questions of efficacy in order to explore the principle:
    (as a not-quite libertarian) it seems not unreasonable to say, “if you want to live with us, then we require you to take certain measures to protect our health. These include: not defecating in public spaces; not polluting our water supplies; and getting vaccinated against the following things.”

  3. How about bill the Mandarins for every costly fuck up they made during their careers and then see how much is needed?

  4. “…a one-off tax…”

    How many of us believe that a one-off tax will not be repeated when the government next runs short of our money?

  5. Clovis,

    There is no need for person A to get vaccinated to protect person B if a vaccine of such high efficacy as the non peer-reviewed press releases claim becomes available. Person B can choose to have that vaccine themselves if they are concerned that infection may result in a sufficiently negative outcome.

  6. I can see Sir Humphrey explaining this now. “You see, we need money, and you have money.” Smiles politely.

  7. @ BiG
    Yes there is if person B has a compromised immune system. This can and does happen as a result of medical interventions by our wondrous NHS to treat other, less serious, conditions.

  8. @BiG
    “There is no need for person A to get vaccinated to protect person B if a vaccine of such high efficacy”.
    I think that’s true, if the rates are correct (personally I think even if they are they soon won’t be because RNA virus, mutation, …).
    I was thinking about MMR where (for measles at least) the main aim is to protect infants who are too young to be vaccinated, so we are aiming for herd immunity via vaccination.

    Of course the same will/could be true here.
    I would think vaccination might be contraindicated for certain groups.

  9. “What did you do with the money we already gave you?”

    The government has not stopped the invasion. Their raison d’etre. They have not eliminated crime. They aren’t even responding to some.

    They ‘need’ money because they like spending it. It is great fun spending other people’s money.

  10. BTW: wealthy readers of this blog who don’t like being assaulted by their own government might be interested in moving their businesses to South Carolina.

    Start here:

    “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible
    amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.” – Colbert

    The wealthy are capable of great hissing. They also have mobility. Punitive taxes in NY and California have led to the egress of the wealthy. In other words, wealth taxes are likely to produce a net loss of tax revenue.

  11. john, your Person Bi is at risk from 20,000 different bugs. It appears you think that reducing that to 19,999 is an acceptable reason to throw the entirety of post-1945 medical ethics and human rights concepts in the bin.

    Covid is going to end up as an endemic disease vaccine or none, with both infection and death rates substantially lower than we saw during the pandemic, as epidemiology 101 tells us for every other easily human-to-human transmissible bug. If it is going to mutate as much as influenza (not likely) then any vaccine is a waste of effort for such a low consequence infection. If not, vaccines are already too late to make much difference in most of the world (mileage may vary in the antipodes, Taiwan, etc).

    You will end up vaccinating a high proportion, at least approaching 50% in most of Europe, who have either prior immunity or were already infected and thus have acquired immunity. With a population-wide IFR of 0.2% (current WHO estimate) the absolute worst-case NNT for death from Covid is over 1000. I trust that, even if you believe you can throw post-1945 medical ethics in the bin to prevent a small number of deaths you would not, as a “near libertarian” stretch that justification to preventing any number of cases of mild to moderate influenza-like illness.

    The discussion about side effects is pointless, most vaccines are astonishingly safe and have a clearly positive benefit/risk ratio, the issue is, I am now entirely convinced, about turning what remains of the liberal world order on its head. Don’t be a useful idiot to the people who want to do that.

    The vaccine needs to be targeted at people who are at risk, which is frankly people who are at elevated risk of death anyway. Post-pandemic Covid seems to have very little effect on your relative risk of death, which is why deaths are only apparent among elderly, multiple comorbid care-dependent end-of-lifers. In this it is like every other endemic coronavirus, which kill 5% to 10% of such populations that they get in to.

  12. @BiG
    You are probably right in this context. I was making a point of principle:
    it is not unreasonable for a group to demand certain actions from people who want to be in the group.

    It seems to me that your comments are about efficacy.

  13. Clovis, the underpinning of liberal thought is that you have one life, it is short, the goal of life is to enjoy the very best life you personally can have in accordance with your own personal values and desires, and that restrictions on your actions should be in place only to the extent that your actions would hinder others from doing likewise.

    This is an entirely negative view of rights. IT establishes that I am not allowed to intentionally (or in some circumstances negligently) kill you nor you me (short of self defense), it doesn’t establish that I have any _obligation_ whatsoever to you to prevent your demise from any particular condition. Even within the far less liberal confines of most European states, we have a limit on the extent to which we are prepared to pick the taxpayer’s pocket to extend life – NICE in the UK for example. People die of treatable conditions earlier than they would if we would only pay for it, but we don’t.

    Supporting compulsory vaccination means you believe the post-1945 medical ethical order is fit for the trash can. Maybe it is, but that case can be made on its own merits without reference to the current crisis. There is an old saying that difficult cases make bad law. We also know that opportunists love abusing crises – forget even the WEF shit, look at Hong Kong, Nagorno-Karabach, BLM, and all the rest of the score-settling, paradigm-shifting, and opposition-crushing going on under the cover of Covid. It is for times like these that we need those principles, and I am as shocked as doubtless many at how quickly our masters can just shovel them in to the trash can of history.

    This is a time to be defending fundamental human rights principles. If we let the powers that be squash them we will never get them back, because we won’t have the opportunity of a war* to get it. Because either there will be no new war, or the next one will be against China, which would set things back decades

  14. @BiG
    All very impressive and I largely agree (particularly about our political masters) but…
    you actually haven’t addressed my libertarian point about the right of groups to impose codes of conduct to protect themselves and I’m getting very frustrated by that.

    I regard the post-1945 medical ethical order (in the UK) as suspect BTW- anybody who junks the principle of “first do no harm” and the Hippocratic Oath is suspect.

  15. Well if the example of murder isn’t clear enough, then “an it harm none, do as thou wilt” is another way of putting the liberal code of conduct across. You can argue the shades of grey on how you trade off your freedoms against negligent harms (speed limits and such), but an inescapable corollary is that once the code of conduct starts restricting, certainly once it starts harming those who are subject to it you no longer have a liberal society!

    Obviously there is not and cannot be such a thing as a liberal utopia, so you have to somehow strike a balance between the harm a code of conduct would cause and the harm that would be caused by not having it. Were compulsory covid vaccination a price of remaining in a society one has essentially no choice but to remain a member of, I would argue that the cost to others of not being vaccinated would have to be rather higher than it plainly is. The fact that this would open the door to a whole raft of successive illiberal measures and consequences (think back to “three weeks to flatten the curve”, followed by “it’s only a bit of cloth, it’s only to protect the NHS, it’s to save granny, …”) is only part of the reason to step back from the brink now, assuming it isn’t already too late.

  16. Incidentally, it should be obvious that a group you willingly join can make more demands. IF you want to join the Ku Klux Klan, or go and work for Barclays, there will be other demands and restrictions that you can negotiate, or take or leave. Many public libertarians are communists within their own families. The national/international community is something you can’t opt out of, which is why liberals believe its powers should be strictly limited, and libertarians limited to only absolute essentials.

    You’re probably better served by reading JSM’s “on liberty” or other tomes like “don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff” for further background.

  17. @BiG
    When did murder come into it?

    You still haven’t explicitly addressed my point (although I know you think you have), whilst patronisingly implying I might not have read JSM.

    Might describing oneself as a not quite libertarian be a clue?
    Also, you can voluntarily opt out of this nation at fairly low cost…

    The irony is I agree with your conclusions and have hammered medics for trying to tell me that vaccination should be compulsory…

  18. . . . my libertarian point about the right of groups to impose codes of conduct to protect themselves . . .

    There was a group that imposed the mere wearing of identifying symbols (yellow stars, pink triangles, etc) on some members, in order to protect the wider welfare of the group. They weren’t libertarians and they had no intention of stopping at something as apparently harmless as wearing a badge.

    New badges are being planned:

    I was making a point of principle . . .

    Those are always the ones you need to be most careful with. When you’re willing to die on a hill, there are those happy to kill you on it.

  19. . . . forget even the WEF shit . . .

    Well, don’t forget that shit completely:

    Trudeau: Build Back Better

    Biden: Build Back Better

    Jonson: Build Back Better

    This is no accident. It’s all over the world and it’s always tied up with the 2030 Agenda shit from the UN / WEF.

    I spent quite a bit of time reassuring Mr Ecks (where he?) that this was all cock-up rather than conspiracy. The brazen 2020 US Election steal and cover-up has convinced me otherwise.

  20. The goal of advocates of wealth taxes is not to raise revenue to the government but to reduce wealth. The age old argument of liberals that they need to tax more so that they can do more is being augmented with an argument that we need to put limits on what people may have. They also understand that forcing people to sell assets to pay taxes might tend to decrease the value of all assets, again reducing wealth.

    It would be a nightmare to implement. Can you imagine a business owner having to have his business appraised each year? Or annual home, commercial building, and collectible appraisals? Followed by disputes about the accuracy of the appraisals?

  21. PJF,

    Following the protests in Berlin yesterday, where thousands turned up for a free cold shower, written off by the MSM as the usual “right wing Nazi tin foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists”, with the fresh addition of “AfD summoning its mob to intimidate parliament”, the regime, in the form of constitution-denier Karl Lauterbach have finally realised that much of the protest comes from a “newly and increasingly radicalised middle class who no longer care if their movement has far-right associations”.

    God, you don’t fucking say.

    There is now absolutely no question in my mind that there is a very malign agenda behind this. I don’t know what it is. I do know that there are a bunch of UN types who want us to all live as vegans in unheated identical state-owned housing units and be allocated the occasional travel permit, or even a steak dinner every 5 years if social credit is high enough (or you are a member of the inner party). It all sounds a bit like East Germany, and those people are certainly living in their own fantasy world of globally enforced poverty, but they also want to impose it on us. I don’t know if it is them, if it is China, or something else. But things are moving in a very negative direction and we have to stop being pushed around.

    The ability of malign people to exploit the human capacity to willingly destroy others based on irrational fear of those others is unlimited. We only have to look back a few decades in the history of this country for the prime example of that. There is much ruin in the human spirit.

    So I may as well turn up to the next tin foil hat demo in my town despite the rather esoteric characters the movement is clustered around. As Lauterbach laments, I no longer much care who is on my side, merely how many of them we are.

  22. @ BiG
    Since when was stating a fact throwing the whole of medical ethics in a dustbin?
    Your hat-size is off the scale.
    I did not even comment on whether that justified compulsory vaccination: I merely stated a fact that you chose to pretend did not exist.

  23. @Clovis Sangrail

    ‘… it seems not unreasonable to say, “if you want to live with us, then we require you to take certain measures to protect our health. These include: not defecating in public spaces; not polluting our water supplies; and getting vaccinated against the following things.”

    Who is ‘us’ and ‘we’. And if ‘us’ and ‘we’ are so worried go somewhere else or live in a compound.

    It depends what those ‘things’ are and who decides. Once compulsory medication is acceptable, then it need not be limited just to vaccines.

  24. john77, I apologise if I have read your thinking “this is a reason why A ought to voluntarily do X” as “this is a reason why we ought to make A do X”.

    I don’t dispute that there are people with immune systems compromised by treatment, whether it’s due to 1980s blood transfusions, corticosteroids, post-transplant immunosuppression, cladribine, chemo-induced leukopenia, etc.

  25. @BIG

    Don’t think you should be looking at China. Perhaps, if anything, it’s the ironical final revenge of the USSR – that place fell apart first, but not before planting a bomb under us, through its reach into our “deep culture”.

    The West generally thinks of itself as having made excellent use of “soft power” in the international politico-cultural wars, but I fear a lot of it reached only into the realms of “superficial culture”. Chinese or Russian teens and twenty-somethings can lap up movies about Marvel characters, listen to music that – even though domestically produced – is heavily influenced by Western rock, pop or even these days hip-hop, can name characters from Western fiction from obscure members of the Potterverse to Sherlock Holmes, but we haven’t “got under the skin”, changed their value system, uprooted their society, or fundamentally altered their allegiance to a nation ruled by some very nasty people indeed.

    Whereas the ideology of the USSR and its supporters rooted itself very deep in our cultural-production centres, and though that’s a slow burn, it’s a very effective place to branch out power from if you’ve got a couple of decades to do it. And you can produce a generation of “young leaders” who in terms of superficial culture are fully Western (they may be green anarchocommunist vegans but they still watch Marvel movies on their very Western-capitalist iPad) yet whose ideological affiliations are, in terms of intellectual parentage, both alien and opposed to our traditional way of life.

    Perhaps blaming a defunct political empire is a bit rich, and the real blame lays on us ourselves, collectively. But yes, speaking as someone who’s spent a fair amount of time around folk who’ve been on “young leader” schemes or accelerated through civil service fast-tracking and has spent time at “workshops” for “systems change”, it isn’t all coming from nowhere, it’s got a certain force and direction behind it even if it doesn’t form a single coherent movement with identifiable leaders.

  26. “…or fundamentally altered their allegiance to a nation ruled by some very nasty people indeed. ”

    This, I thought, was the difference. China sees no difference between the government, the nation, and the people. Insult the government and you are insulting every Chinese, ignore an edict and you are damaging the nation. Whereas in the west you can (could) say more or less what you want about the government without anyone taking any notice at all, and even ignore a large amount of government-mandated crap with little to no consequence. It’s not as if anyone has time to comply with all of it.

    But now, I swear, if Mutti went on telly to tell people that having a carrot shoved up your arse would save granny, every newspaper would report it, no shop would let you in without it, and you would at the very least get funny looks on the street for not having a carrot up your arse.

  27. BiG – Thanks for all of that.

    In the you-tube clip just posted, what was that about? What was they arrested for? Or is there an English link/narrative?

  28. BIG: I’d argue that we’re compelled already to pay for universal health care for all others in our country. Indeed the real fuckwits insist we pay for the health care of the whole world.

    Thus I feel that we can reasonably demand that those receiving the care should make sure it is at minimum cost to us. Hence the case for compulsory vaccination and indeed seat belts.

    Of course as you point out, we have to draw the line somewhere. I have no objection to allowing someone else to die in the gutter – my own precious hide is naturally an entirely different matter. Hence I certainly believe we should stop attempting to protect all foreigners from polio. They should be allowed to go to hell after their own fashion.

    As for the covid vaccine, it’s pleasant to hear you say it should be quite safe. The argument for it would appear to be that we can thus avoid all these expensive and inconvenient lockdowns by obtaining herd immunity. In effect we are being imprisoned until we bow to the will of our lords and masters.

    Evidently covid merely hastens the death of white haired old bastards like the one I see in the mirror. So I presume I’d have the jab regardless, just as I did with the free fluvac when the covid panic first started. However I very definitely agree with your point that if we give them an inch they’ll take a light year. They already have.

  29. @ BiG
    Thank you.
    As it happens I do have a close friend being treated for cancer and a family member on an immuno-suppressant drug so I shall queue up to be vaccinated early as one who is categorised as being in a high-risk group on grounds of age – otherwise I should wait until all those genuinely at risk had had their shots.

  30. Who is ‘us’ and ‘we’

    Is the most important question of our times. There are so many things we’re being told we need to do or not do to safeguard our future. And many if not most of them are from relatively small pressure groups claiming to represent us.

    Example: “We” need to ban petrol & diesel cars by 2030. Now ask any of the car using public who drives a car more than 5 years old how they feel about giving up motoring? Because that’s what it’s going to mean. People generally drive older cars because they can’t afford new. Cars currently give service out past the 10 y/o mark. It’s probably another 5 years before we see a really viable electric car with a range & recharging cycle time comparable to ICEs. So cars in 2030 between 5 & 10 years old won’t serve the needs of current car users. If their battery packs are even still able to hold a charge for a reasonable period & haven’t degenerated. Would you give that away for some very small decimal point off of global temperatures in 2100?

  31. BiS:

    The point is not to replace your oil-burning car with an electric car. The point is to take away your car. There won’t be enough electricity to charge electric cars: we know this because we’re not building proper grown-up power stations right now.

    You will be forced onto public transport for your own good. And you’ll be able to buy a ticket if you have a reasonable excuse for travel.

  32. I think you miss the point, Mr Teacake. They’re doing this because “we” want them to. They tell us.

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