Gregory's Blog

Taxation – how to pluck the goose

While readying words to accompany this Nugget in a Nutshell on taxation I turned up the clearest most concise piece I have yet to read on the subject, by Dominic Frisby, who seamlessly combines his career in financial journalism with that of stand-up comic.

Taxation – in a minute 
Did you know that the UK tax code is ten times longer than the complete works of William Shakespeare? I sum it up in a minute on the video, as what it has always been – a funnel shifting wealth from the many to the few.

Why we need to simplify our tax code – Dominic Frisby

Back in August I took a show to the Edinburgh Festival all about tax. Not perhaps the most fertile subject for comedy – HMRC’s cock-ups aside – but I’d concluded that the dearth of media about such an important subject needed to be put right.

Tax is and has always been power. Whether kings, emperors or governments, if they lose their tax revenue, they lose their power. The aim behind every conquest in history has been to take control of the tax base. The purpose of every revolution is pretty much the same. Every war has been funded by some kind of tax, either before or after the event.

Tax permeates everything that we do. It’s as much a part of our lives as eating, drinking or sleeping. Can you name me an activity – apart from breathing – that doesn’t involve taxation in some way?

I know what you are thinking. All you’re doing by that is creating future taxpayers.

The way that a society is taxed speaks volumes about that society. In the UK taxes are taken at source, by stealth, by force and without choice. So, there’s a relationship between taxation and freedom, as well.

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5 thoughts on “Taxation – how to pluck the goose”

  1. Claudia Boulton

    Thanks Greg ended up listening tO the LOng interview with ONYAFONE all good. I llike the fact that you had the kitchen sink behind while he has the crazy wall paper!
    Yes deMocracy can onLy work at a local level with groups no larger THAn 360 HEAD OF HOUSEHOLDS PARTICIPATING . ENOUGH TO HAVE ONE REPRESENTATIVE TO SEND TO A REGIONAL MOOT, AND ON UP…
    Its all very idealistic and you would have to change the role of corporations whose only god is their “stock holders” … well lets have some moots around your place think tanks!
    Been very busy no chance to do more aloes yet. Have you got more soil? Pots? late this week . They say we can have some fun when it stops raining! ClaudiaXX

    1. “Stock holders” indeed. One of many elephants in that room is the Limited Liability company, legalised to encourage stockholders through removing liability for the liabilities of the company in which they are taking part ownership.

    2. “Stock holders” their god. Yes, that came about mid 19th century when government legalised the concept of the Limited Liability Company, created so that stockholder participation would be encouraged by making them not liable for the liabilities of the company in which they were buying part-ownership.
      Yes we have soil aplenty but must get pots.

  2. A limited liability trading company is still a possibility in a stateless free-market. It would just require that everyone dealing with the company entered a contract acknowledging that special status. That would be complicated enough but the bigger question is why would anyone want to deal with a company that asked you to enter a contract that limited the liability of the company’s owners. It would make alarm-bell ring if you were, say, buying a used car and the dealership’s owner said ‘”sign this” to indemnify me! But this is the situation we are placed in by the limited liability status the government gives to virtually anyone wanting to start trading And the ultimate limit to liability is for banks being allowed to enjoy the tax-payers funding their central banks as lenders of last resort. People think a limited company is a status, far from it, far better to deal with a person who you know is established, has a reputation and has assets .

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