Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Australia govt set to impose a tax on online commerce

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More steps are afoot to tax the Australian public. This time it is a corporate business owner who is looking for government favours. The government is taking steps to tax online commerce. Why? Because Gerry Harvey, owner of the retail chain Harvey Norman is not seeing the sales growth that he would like to see. The reason why his sales are flagging is of course because his prices are too expensive. For example, the USB memory sticks which he can buy in China for $4-5, he sells for $40-50. Why wouldn't people look online. If he is worried about the shift in business online, then let him improve his online presence.
In fact I know that he is doing that...but that is not sufficient. He wants to help the government legitimatise the adopting of a new tax, which gives him some market favour. One has to recognise at this point the difference between business people who have integrity and those who don't. It takes more than participation in a market to be a capitalist; there is a philosophy or theory of values underpinning it. Consider that free trade is based upon the 'voluntary' and mutual exchange of goods and services. It is a conditional arrangement. No goods or services, no payment. Compare that with government-sponsored extortion, or those efforts by govt to extort some market advantage through government regulation.
Harvey would have you believe that he is protecting Australian jobs. Nonsense, he is protecting the value of his retail store investments. People don't need to go into his store to find the value of his products, they need only see an online product review, or search for other online sources of information. They are more trustworthy than anything his uneducated sales people might convey because the customer has nothing in writing. They are not accountable, and most do not know what they are talking about.
The reality is that Australians or Kiwis should not be working in retail stores. It is low-value employment; particularly given the trend towards online shopping. The implication is that Harvey is looking at a form of protectionism. These people ought to be studying software, business services, etc. Not wasting time in retail stores.
From the perspective of the government, this is the type of complaint governments love, because it is an excuse to adopt a new tax or extend its taxing powers to another sector. How can people plan their lives if there is a government who is ready to stamp out any commercial opportunity. We recently saw the government jump on the resources industry, wanting to adopt a new resource rent tax. It saw that the resources sector was going to take off...its taken them 20 years to finally realise..and they want a 'piece of the action'. They earned nothing, they take what they live....seemingly under the pretense that they are serving the public interest. All extortionists labour that argument. Altruism is just one excuse to steal from others. Its not a virtue. Its a dirty justification for favouring the weak, who do not know or what to know how to live, at the expense of the virtuous, who know how to live, whose lives the parasites depend upon. If these 'parasites' like Harvey (yes, business is often worse that the humble beggar) are doing nothing but reclaiming some loss because of some grave injustice...then let them recoup it through the court system. It will make a great class action. I would even favour overhauling our court system. Surely with all these taxes we might expect a decent justice system. You might ask...where does all the money go! We don't need any arbitrary law which incorporates a lot of exceptions, creates loopholes, and a resulting litany of failures in execution. We simply need a privately-run court system and common law. Anything else simply exists for the government to justify its role as a middleman.
Harvey acknowledges that online commerce accounts for just 4% of retail sales, but argues that his lost sales growth could become a reality if 'online commerce' doubles. The reality is that he does have advantages in certain areas. He has an advantage in several areas:
1. Old people are less inclined to shop online
2. Certain products are not easily bought online, e.g. bulky or technical
He also has some disadvantages. People can come into his store, ask for advice, examine a product, and then buy online. He has the opportunity to offer products online too. Maybe he could package warranty with store-bought product only. That is after all part of his value-add.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A story of tax abuse - Australia and the ATO

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Here is another Australian who laments the powers and incompetence of the Australian Tax Office. Head about his story.

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Wesley Snipes - moral crusader for taxpayers?

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Another media celebrity, actor Wesley Snipes, is being persecuted by 'all powerful' government. The problem I fear is that this is another media celebrity without a good defense. Not that it ought to be hard to defend oneself from thieves. After all, why do common criminals get sanctioned for thieving, but its legitimate when the government does it. Its not a very common sense system is it. Well, that should not surprise you because the voting system is not sensible either. Why would an election between candidates you don't know result in a leader following prudent policy if you don't know the person, and they are not accountable for you for 3 years, and what's more, you have only a choice of two candidates to start with, because there are only really two parties contesting the election. Does this not surprise anyone? Moral scepticism perhaps. This is my fear, that Wesley Snipes, is just another taxpayer who is annoyed by the system, who does not have a well-conceived or sophisticated defense against this system.

This system of persecution has to stop. These are innocent people. Taxation is slavery. These guys are 'quasi-heroes' for standing up against the system. Unfortunately, they probably don't have a well-conceived defense. We live in hope. Paul Hogan tried to circumvent the system, so he looks like a 'tax cheat'. In his defense, morally-speaking you don't have to be honest with immoral people. You are perfectly ok to lie and cheat the tax office of funds they did not earn. To the extent that there is utterly no public accountability, there is a good chance many of your are paying too much tax, and even if you are paying too little...good for you, since you did not sanction this system...even if you voted for it...you could argue that you only wanted a better class of idiot.
I want to applaud Wesley Snipe's courage....I hope his intellect and choice of lawyers stands up to scrutiny. I tried emailing Paul Hogan's lawyers....but they are moral sceptics. There is no other way but an appeal to morality. Any win in the court system necessarily has to take the court back to the start of statutory law. Our political system was corrupted in the 1200s. Why? Well, we were still in the Dark Ages, and during that time, extorting money under the threat of fear was considered good practice. You would not stand by and watch an authority figure extort money from a child, a private person...so why do you stand by why the government does it 'unconditionally' to you. That's right. There is no limit to what the government can do to you. Even in countries with a Bill of Rights....that protection is moot in a system of arbitrary 'morally sceptical' legislature.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thieving ATO targets Paul Hogan

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The Australian Tax Office has scaled up its extortion racket by extracting accusations by a tax advisor to Paul Hogan and John Cornell. Why do I say this? It has long been the practice of the ATO to target high-profile, wealthy Australians who clearly don't believe in paying excessive taxes to support regimes they don't believe in. One cannot say what justification Hogan & Cornell had for minimising taxation. I can only say that any law based on extortion, unconditional and 'initiated' coercion, whether it is the arbitrary law of a 'representative' government or some mob, is still theft. There is no moral legitimacy behind the law, and the fact that it is a 'tyranny of the majority' who condemn these men because of their own cynical acceptance of slavery, in no way admonishes them. Slavery is bad for everyone. Unconditionally funding government results in the worst form of public administration.
Send a message to the ATO that you do not support persecution of wealthy Australians for the sake of its self-serving power plays. Does anyone remember the efforts the government went in pursuit of Rene Rivkin. In the meantime, you can't even get the govt to look at disclosure issues. This is where it should be focused. Fraud and disclosure - to protect the legitimate interests of Australians...not stealing money from those who have 'made it'....why? Because they have more than you.

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