Friday, July 2, 2010

Andrew Forrest...the investor's friend

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An article in the Sydney Morning Herald provides a clue to how democracy works. If you are poor and don't matter, you attempt to contact your representative and hope they can help you. Unless they are helping themselves to your wealth, they can be accommodating. The system is flawed because its arbitrary. Its arbitrary because the government has to justify expropriating wealth. Common law does not allow stealing, but statutory law does. That's right....logic will support the adoption of taxation. You need political extortion or coercion to achieve that. The parliament and 'representative democracy' were merely concepts conjured to legitimatise expropriation or stealing. There is no justification for it. If you find any pretence of one, let me know, and I will repudiate it. Really folks! There is no argument. Attempt to offer one, and I will repudiate it.
People don't normally take such issues to the High Court. Maybe Andrew Forrest of Fortescue Metals will be the first. I hope he can seize upon the right arguments. This is where I fear his legal counsel will be the problem. They will not have any idea as well how to fight this battle. One of his biggest problems is a conflict of interest within the judiciary. The problem is they are appointed/selected by government, and they are paid by government, on the same basis as a bureaucrat. They are safe people by nature; generally not open to challenging a tradition of expropriation. The problem is it comes down to the spectre of a flawed philosophy of law which is based on arbitrary interpretation rather than any coherency test of conceptual validity. I would love to see Forrest test the system. I am glad there are still a few billlionaires left in the world who can afford to enter the justice system without much to lose.
That's right...we have been a culture of perpetrators and victims since well before the Magna Carta (12th century). The creation of parliaments was just a process for 'modernising expropriation'.
We must understand that Andrew Forrest is the embodiment of a asset owner. The guys at BHP and Rio Tinto are 'asset managers', i.e. CEOs with no equity in the business. They have no significant interest in the outcome. So what does it matter what they think about this tax? Nothing. Andrew Forrest is your friend because he, like you, is an asset owner. The great news is that he has more to lose than you, so he stands ready to take this 'Resource Rent Tax' issue to the High Court if necessary. But its not enough to test matters in the High Court because our legal system is flawed. It would be helpful if Australians differentiated 'asset owners' from 'asset managers'. Andrew Forrest is a fellow investor like you or I. The CEOs of Rio Tinto and BHP are really politicians or 'middlemen' only interested in taking their cut. If they can convince the board that they have no control over this issue, then they have their options incentive adjusted, and they might even come out ahead. Meanwhile, it is shareholders who suffer.
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Author
Andrew Sheldon
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