Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Do I have a death wish?

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You might wonder. I certainly have considered it. I do live in fear. Actually I have felt threatened before. I attended a political rally near Port Macquarie in Australia. I was encouraged by local opposition to the main parties. I hoped for some fresh ideas, but instead it was fascist rhetoric. Their guest speaker was a public servant from Canberra.
But I felt for the first time the threat of no longer being in a free country . It used to be something we valued. That we were a free country. America had an even stronger sense of it. They even had rights enshrined in a constitution. We never had that. Did it make a difference. To some extent. But really the ideals of freedom have to live in people's minds. And people are just second handers, parasites and perpetrators.
The reason I felt uncomfortable after this meeting was that a person approached me and he wanted to know my name. I was surprised. I'm sure he's never heard a speech like mine before. You might think I should be appreciative for the attention. But actually my first thought was. I'm a threat to someone's entrenched vested interests. I did not have a heightened sense of my own importance. I knew 'they' (Liberals-Labor Coalition) were not threatened by me. Not yet. But one day they will be. They have years before they will need to terminate my life. Maybe they are waiting for me to tread some path to self-destruction. I won't go without a kick. But it would be nice if I wasn't kicking alone.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Do I have a problem with public institutions?

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I don't have a problem with institutions, only corrupt ones. Institutions are corrupt because of people. Some have formalised corruption because they have the power to act with impunity. Others are corrupt because they act under a veneer of credibility, but its mostly just rhetoric. Government is an instrument to exhort money from hard working people. Private institutions are similarly organised under government sanction because they offer employment. Indidviduals are powerless because they dont look beyond their short term needs. They are anti-intellectual. Abstract thinking is impractical, idealistic. Get with the 'real world'. A Neo-Nazi would agree, just with more passion.
Wondering which country I am talking about? I dont know any good ones, and increasingly they are working to undercut any effort which would free you from them. The internet will soon be taxed... if it is not already. Of course the banking system and the media are most important to governments. Thats why they have the privilege of bail-outs.
Actually in the modern world the freest place to be is in a country that has a poorly structured tax system. In these country's its fairest because the tax system works equally bad for everyone. Its still wrong, but at least it has flaws to wiggle through.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Who is tax helping?

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I want to ask who is tax helping? Tax was initially established to finance wars. Money was expropriated to fight wars to protect the monarch or expand his territories abroad. The British Empire was better than most, but it was unjust too. Consider the history of the East India Company. Eventually tax as a post-war phenomena was intended to finance reconstruction of destitute countries - because of war again. Well we are not at war now, but tax persists. In the post-war period the justification was to help the poor. It was an easy argument for governments to win because the poor were the majority, so the rich just had to suck up. Right? Wrong. The wealthy had greater capital mobility, lawyers to fight issues in court. The tax administrators didn't have time for that. So what did they do? They promised welfare programs in perpetuity but also wanted to tax the poor. So today the poor are taxed. But now they are talking about winding back the welfare state by allowing benefits from later in life. You are working longer.

The paradox is that the public service has expanded 4x, its benefits have ballooned. Some such as judges and military servicemen even get tax-free income. That's bargaining power for you. Rest assured the poor are no better off, not because of government. The number of welfare recipients under the welfare state has also ballooned. Why? Because government creates problems. I'll end up welfare. No desire to contribute to this system. Wish I could laugh. I can't even say this system is for public servants. I dont even think it serves them. It was designed by politicians, but I dont think you can fake reality. I think they just dont know how to live a meaningful, efficacious life, and they are taking everyone down with them. People more goal-driven, and less intellectual will argue they are doing better. But they should just wait. It will take them down a peg too. Ethically they are less than they were. Maybe they will be caught for insider trading, drift in anguish after a failed marriage, grow up to see their kids on drugs. Tell me society is not getting sicker. Oh yeh they are making money. Thats become so thoughtless. Even scientific discoveries are made by accident today. It takes an energy crisis to find a new energy solution. In between crisis there is very little that passes for valid science. This is not a new topic. Ayn Rand wrote as much about the decline or stagnation of society in 'Atlas Shrugged' (see My Amazon Books).

Friday, May 9, 2008

Political accountability reaches a low point

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This story highlights the pathetic state of corporate welfare in Australia and other western countries. The policy is being adopted in Australia, the USA, Britain and Scotland, and I dare say it will be copied in other countries. Is this what taxpayer funds should be used for. This is the worst form of largesse by state & corporate powers, and then they pass responsibility for their mistakes to the taxpayer. In the meantime they get to keep their corporate bonuses. The politicans retain their jobs. Where is the accountability.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

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