The root of all evil

Francisco d’Anconia money speech from Atlas Shrugged:

“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

The whole speech can be read here.

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73 Responses to The root of all evil

  1. crocodile

    The lack of money is the root of all evil

  2. Tel

    Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force.

    So you think money is not the tool of the moocher and the looter? Ask yourself why they never mooch and loot for anything other than money.

  3. calli

    ‘The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil’ is the often misquoted text. Seems Rand is also guilty.

  4. tomix

    Is this thread about JEG?

  5. JohnA

    Tel #1300013, posted on May 10, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force.

    So you think money is not the tool of the moocher and the looter? Ask yourself why they never mooch and loot for anything other than money.

    Because the correct quote is

    “The LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil” 1 Timothy 6:10

  6. JohnA

    Calli beat me to it, but at least I got the reference. :-)

  7. Money is the tool of those who take from you by stealth.

  8. calli

    JohnA, it’s like that other beaut…’God helps those who help themselves’. :)

  9. mareeS

    There’s nothing wrong with money. It’s inanimate, and as an art form is highly collectible.

    However, the people who go after it at any cost are a problem.

  10. Sir Fred Lenin

    Greed is good! Motto of the alp/green/ fascist pardee. Look at the drunk hakie the sleazebag keato,crazyman rudd and his missus,and perfesser giliard in uts 2 M house and highly oaid untidy nayshuns “job” that she bought with Our Money.money is the root of all soshalism!

  11. egg_

    Radix malorum est cupiditas

    Idiomatically “greed is the root of evils” per the Pardoner’s Tale.

  12. Tel

    Greed is good!

    Wrong. Greed is a fact, and will always be a fact. Some good may come out of it, under the right circumstances, where people get ahead by achieving something, rather than getting ahead by stealing others’ achievements.

    Money can just as easily serve good or evil, which is why that particular Rand speech lets down her whole argument.

  13. Fleeced

    That speech was one of the best bits of Atlas Shrugged… certainly better than anything involving that boring Galt git.

  14. Fleeced

    Because the correct quote is

    “The LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil” 1 Timothy 6:10

    “Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

    Read the whole speech – it’s worth it.

  15. Anne

    Money equals energy expended (effort).

    How about we redistribute effort.

  16. Peter from SA

    Is Atlas Shrugged a good read? anyone? anyone?

  17. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From tomix at 5:03 pm:

    “Is this thread about JEG?”

    Well she’s evil, that’s for sure; and well known for the other.

  18. Anne

    Yes Peter, its terrific as is The Fountainhead.

    Anything Ayn Rand has written is worth reading.

  19. calli

    It did read the whole thing, Fleeced.

    It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it.

    Problem for me is that the speech starts off on a misquote, and then doubles down on the ‘hatred’ of money with a straw man.

    It may have something to do with the character of the speaker, but it’s still deception.

  20. .

    No, it doesn’t start off with a misquote at all.

    It quotes a common misreading of the (in)famous quote.

  21. Fleeced

    Is Atlas Shrugged a good read? anyone? anyone?

    Yes, but it could do with a decent trim/edit. In particular, there’s a long speech at the end that is better skimmed than read. It’s as though Rand wasn’t sure she’d made all of her points in the story, so she tacked an essay onto the end where a character explains things. Other than that, I found it mostly enjoyable.

  22. calli

    But it does have me intrigued…so the real ‘whole thing’ is now on my reading list. :)

  23. Sinclair Davidson

    Reading Atlas Shrugged is a hard slog – but worth the effort.

  24. .

    Is it easier than Human Action? – Mind you the first time I read that I forced myself to read it quickly and attentively.

  25. wreckage

    Interpreted even more narrowly, it’s the love “of ill-gotten gains”.

  26. calli

    It quotes a common misreading of the (in)famous quote.

    Sorry, Dot. That is beyond the grasp of my feeble intellect.

  27. wreckage

    Which is pretty much the point if free-market philosophy: no rents, no crony capitalism, no theft or coercion; ie.; no ill-gotten gains.

  28. Leo G

    Idiomatically “greed is the root of evils” per the Pardoner’s Tale.

    You’ve reminded me to brush up on the tale now that the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has opened in Sydney.

  29. Peter from SA

    thanks Anne & Sinc I will order them both right now …

  30. Peter from SA

    and thanks too Fleeced for those comments

  31. yackman

    Re “Atlas Shrugged”. I read it about 20 years ago and found it very hard going but stuck at it because of the constant references in other written material. Started the “The Fountainhead” but gave it away.

    The writing style I found very hard going.

  32. Anne

    Sinclair Davidson
    #1300071, posted on May 10, 2014 at 6:02 pm
    Reading Atlas Shrugged is a hard slog – but worth the effort.

    I read them when I was young, my brain was more agile. ;-)

    Currently reading Golberg’s Liberal fascism, which is terrific but that is hard slog! I read two sentences and have to sit for two minutes to digest it!

  33. egg_

    Leo G
    #1300080, posted on May 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Hehe ;)

  34. Tim

    Yeah, I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged as an earnest teenager. Don’t think I’d make it through again at the age of 40 – life is just too short.

  35. Anne

    Peter, an alternative to dip your toe might be Rand’s For the New Intellectual a compilation of works which sets out the fundamentals of Objectivism and includes the best bits of those two novels. I keep a dog eared, well foxed copy by the bed.

  36. Brett_McS

    Is it easier than Human Action? – Mind you the first time I read that I forced myself to read it quickly and attentively.

    Having read both Human Action and Atlas Shrugged, twice, I would say that if one hasn’t read Human Action, nor had much contact with the ideas in HA then AS is a bit of an eye opener. However, someone who has an appreciation for Mises will find AS rather obvious and somewhat tedious.

  37. Brett_McS

    Here is a classic review of the Ayn Rand movie (Ayn Rand – A Sense of Life) by James Bowman.

    http://www.jamesbowman.net/reviewDetail.asp?pubID=361

  38. Ellen of Tasmania

    Yes, but it could do with a decent trim/edit.

    Absolutely. That last Galt speech is the last gasp – we really had got the point by then. But some of the stuff is eerily prophetic.

    I certainly appreciate real money more than fiat currency that governments use as an invisible tax on us all.

  39. Ellen of Tasmania

    Rand’s For the New Intellectual a compilation of works which sets out the fundamentals of Objectivism

    Rand’s ‘Objectivism’ is nonsense.

  40. Up The Workers!

    I see on page 3 of today’s Melbourne Herald/Sun that the hand-picked stooges that Bull Shitten appointed to run the A.L.P.’s milking cow known as the H.S.U., have now claimed that whistle-blower, Kathy Jackson owes them $435,000.00.

    Not content with leaving dirt-filled shovels on her doorstep, these vastly corrupt and cowardly individuals STILL haven’t requested that Munificent Mike Williamson, the thieving imprisoned crook who was former Federal President of the A.L.P., repay the $20 million he embezzled from H.S.U. members.

    In their corrupt view, a thief who happened to be A.L.P. President, is entitled to steal AND KEEP $20 million, but a female whistle-blower against their corrupt and criminal mates, deserves death-threats and legal bullying.

  41. Clam Chowdah

    Money equals energy expended (effort).

    How about we redistribute effort.

    Wow, everyone missed this excellent observation. Brilliant.

  42. Tom

    Many thanks for posting this, your Doomlordship. Wisdom and liberty quotes everywhere:

    …the man who damns money has obtained it dishonourably…

    When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
    “Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.

    Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it.

    How far are we down this road? We’re about five minutes to midnight. Our greatest challenge is to save our civilisation by a return to the simple, elusive, unsophisticated principles that established it. It can be done.

  43. I wish I had read it as a teenager. My first introduction was a 20 something living at Bondi BeAch on the dole when a railway worker who slept all of the time on the job and off the job recommended it to me. My mother forbid it so it must be the most important book of our time.

  44. Leo G

    Francisco argues that money is a tool of exchange and is made possible only by the men who produce, and that the men who produce and the energy of those men in producing is not evil but good.
    So the root of money is men who produce and the energy involved in producing.
    Accordingly, money is NOT the root of all good.
    Am I asking for my own destruction, as Francisco asserts?

  45. I think it’s a young man’s game, reading Atlas Shrugged.

    When I tried to re-read it a couple of years ago, I floundered in the purple prose. It reads rather like Gone With The Wind, only with railways.

    I endorse all earlier comments about the need for a good editor, but then again, the soundness of the economic doctrine is refreshing. Plus the lefties get theirs at the end.

  46. PS Don’t get me wrong; I love Gone With The Wind, but I did find myself waiting for Dagny Taggart to make herself a dress out of the curtains.

  47. lem

    Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

    Brilliant. And here’s another thing. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy a really good facsimile. I know, I’ve tried living both ways and poor sucks.

  48. wreckage

    “People who say money can’t buy happiness never had any.” Samuel L Jackson.

    Money equals energy expended (effort).

    How about we redistribute effort.

    -Anne

    It IS an excellent observation. For one thing, Energy is the core, the key, the basic unit. For another, a free market is exactly how effort and wealth equalise and redistribute, offering the most rewards at any given moment, for the application of energy and effort most needed at that moment.

    When people want wealth redistributed to fix a thing, they’re really saying “This is important, but not so important as to compel me to put in any actual effort”. This becomes a virtue: I am so virtuous that I force lots of other people to do everything I think should be done! It’s about as much a reflection of the person’s “goodness” as it would be if they sent their slaves around to do good works while they sat at home watching internet videos of cats.

  49. wreckage

    Money can’t always buy you happiness, but poverty sure buys a lot of misery.

  50. Infidel Tiger

    I read them when I was young, my brain was more agile.

    Currently reading Golberg’s Liberal fascism, which is terrific but that is hard slog! I read two sentences and have to sit for two minutes to digest it!

    I feel that way reading all great writers that expose leftism for what it is. Takes me forever to read pieces aby Steyn, Goldberg et al. You don’t want to scoff the whole thing at once and you’re too busy nodding your head t

  51. Joe Goodacre

    Plus the lefties get theirs at the end

    Atlas Shrugged is right wing porn – it get’s everyone excited but it’s ultimately a fantasy.

    The premise of Atlas Shrugged is that at some point, productive people say ‘enough – enough mooching, enough looting’ and they leave society and create their own society and the world goes to pot.

    So what does reality show.

    Between 1950 and 1963 the top tax rate was 91% on incomes over $400,000 (inflation adjusted my understanding is that would have been under $3 million).

    Did all the productive people jump up, form their own society and the US went to pot?

    It seems to me that the answer is no.

    In 2003, a group started the Free State Project (http://freestateproject.org/). The project continues, with a goal for 20,000 liberty loving people to pledge that after the group total reaches 20,000, there is an intention within 5 years for everyone to New Hampshire and vote for small government. As of today, more than 10 years later they are at about 17,000 people who have pledged that intent.

    Here is a perfect example of reality disproving the Atlas Shrugged premise. Despite everything Obama has done, the free state project still lags behind it’s goal because productive people simply don’t mind taking plenty of punches. Why – because rebellion or starting off elsewhere in some third world hole is a crap life.

    Sure there are countries around that are low taxation. The top tax rate is less than or equal to 25% in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Estonia, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, North Korea, Lebanon, Lithuania etc etc.

    Countries that have taxes higher than 45% – Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and the USA – kind of like most of the countries people would like to live in.

    The dirty little secret of the ‘moral’ libertarians on here is that it is 100% a choice to give our money to moochers and looters because we want to live in the society we grew up in, in the climate we grew up in, around the family and friends we know and in that society’s security and prosperity. Unfortunately this good life comes at a cost – most people on here seem to want to complain obtusely about how crappy their choice is. Militant Libertarian’s are complaining literally about a first world problem – ‘the protection of my liberty and property isn’t cheap enough’.

    Hence we have Atlas Shrugged – right wing porn to stoke the fantasy of leaving all those moochers and looters behind.

  52. Joe Goodacre

    Great book though – not a hard slog at all.

  53. Jarrod

    Atlas Shrugged will regularly ask you “Who is John Galt?”

    I suggest you care not, for the more interesting characters are introduced much earlier.

    Wonderful book, though self indulgent towards the end.

    Interesting question relating to the above though, who are the more easily digested libertarian writers? PJ O’Rourke is brilliant in this regard. Any others?

  54. None

    “The LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil” 1 Timothy 6:10

    Rinse. Repeat.

  55. Combine_Dave

    – ‘the protection of my liberty and property isn’t cheap enough’.

    The high cost is due to padding and overheads that don’t directly (or even indirectly) contribute to either liberty or property. That’s why people get angry.

    Unless you believe direct action is needed to save the world.

  56. Fleeced

    Until the budget is released, these new and increased taxes don’t exist. Some Lib-loyalists are saying we should keep out mouths shut for this reason. On the contrary: we should make as much noise as possible until the budget, in the hopes they change their mind (which, according to Costello, often happens even up to the weekend before Budget day)

    If they are released in the budget – even in a watered down version – we should then keep the pressure up to see that they aren’t passed into law.

    This notion that we should “keep silent” because our criticism is helping ALP is the stupidest thing we could possibly do if we wish to avoid seeing the Libs implement ALP-style policy.

  57. Fleeced

    Dang it, wrong thread.

  58. Anne

    Hence we have Atlas Shrugged – right wing porn to stoke the fantasy of leaving all those moochers and looters behind.

    You may be right Joe, but in my fantasy the indolent are sent not left. They’re sent to a new state incorporating northern SA and southern NT.

    After a time the best of them emerge to become productive and begin trade with the other states.

  59. Anne

    …then there is an outbreak of prosperity, people start to feel guilty for being happy and assuage this by sharing their wealth with the unproductive.

    …and on it goes.

  60. .

    Atlas Shrugged is right wing porn – it get’s everyone excited but it’s ultimately a fantasy.

    Nope. It’s happeneing now. It was happeneing under Roosevelt as well.

    Between 1950 and 1963 the top tax rate was 91% on incomes over $400,000 (inflation adjusted my understanding is that would have been under $3 million).

    Did all the productive people jump up, form their own society and the US went to pot?

    They minimise the hell out of their taxes. They become ex patriots. They become perpetual travelers. They set up trust structures.

    It happened to us with Murdoch.

    As of today, more than 10 years later they are at about 17,000 people who have pledged that intent.

    They have 1000 who have moved and 2000 in NH who support it.

    Sure there are countries around that are low taxation. The top tax rate is less than or equal to 25% in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Estonia, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, North Korea, Lebanon, Lithuania etc etc.

    If you believe that wealth isn’t simply confiscated in North Korea, you’re a bloody imbecile.

    Countries that have taxes higher than 45% – Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and the USA – kind of like most of the countries people would like to live in.

    The rate is more like 50-70%, and even over 40% for a low income earner. Let’s be honest and include more than income tax. The all up effective tax rate is well over 60% for a high income earner.

    Despite everything Obama has done, the free state project still lags behind it’s goal because productive people simply don’t mind taking plenty of punches. Why – because rebellion or starting off elsewhere in some third world hole is a crap life.

    No, they retire, sell up and some of them do give up their businesses. Some of them move offshore. I’ve seen it happen.

    The dirty little secret of the ‘moral’ libertarians on here is that it is 100% a choice to give our money to moochers and looters because we want to live in the society we grew up in, in the climate we grew up in, around the family and friends we know and in that society’s security and prosperity. Unfortunately this good life comes at a cost – most people on here seem to want to complain obtusely about how crappy their choice is. Militant Libertarian’s are complaining literally about a first world problem – ‘the protection of my liberty and property isn’t cheap enough’.

    They don’t get my money by choice. I minimise the hell out of my taxes. I can’t force people not to pay GST or excise as business owners. I can’t drive down land prices because of regulation and taxes.

    What you are forgetting is that beyond the incidence and burden of taxes, each tax raises the cost of resources for everyone within that jurisdiction.

    You seem to be pushing the idea that prosperity comes through high taxes. This is nonsense and has been proven ad nauseum in the literature. Wealthy countries are simply impoverishing themselves by destroying their growth rates and in unsustainable ponzi schemes.

    Ignore the first world and third world.

    The 2nd world is rapidly catching up to the 1st world, not by engaging in Scandinavian scelerosis, but in free enterprise, low taxes and generally low debt.

    I have my own proposition in addition to stuff like seasteading, liberty dollars, the FSP (hard to do here with only 8 major jurisdictions and Tasmania being green mendicant already).

    Let’s call it the DOT POINT PLAN

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/04/29/day-1-of-a-broken-promise-there-will-be-no-new-taxes-under-a-government-i-lead/comment-page-2/#comment-1285439

    Dot Point Plan.

    Redacted from libertarian project

    In addition to supporting the IPA and LDP as a rolled gold member:

    (With some plans still under wraps, certain items have been edited out)

    There should be a libertarian charity which supports people to minimise the intrusion of Government from their lives, with zero financial or in kind cost to the user. Examples may be services to allow people to minimise tax, create trusts to minimise tax and protect their assets, assistance in trivial cases of prosecution and to offer such assistance to the point where prosecution of such cases becomes so burdensome on the legal system such laws will be repealed. Other assistance may be involve issues such as information concerning importing to lower tax costs. Other projects would include legal defence of private property rights, free speech, a think tank with a academic journal and a magazine like journal, advocacy of the removal of the most inefficient and inequitable taxes and fines, the charity would encourage gun ownership, providing legal advice, training and measures to cut costs for individuals trying to acquire firearms, and also facilitate the ownership of many categories of firearm. The charity would endeavour to disseminate libertarian literature, such as Atlas Shrugged or Free to Choose. The charity would have discretionary power to financially support the LDP, Aust. Tea Party or specific political campaigns (i.e, “Put the Greens Last”). The charity would have general aims of supporting privatisation, agorism and private provision of public goods like security, investigation and arbitration services. The charity would also support private philanthropy, such as the Human Capital Project. The charity would run parallel programmes to the Gideon’s programme. A copy of Atlas Shrugged and a copy of Free to Choose (for example) would be distributed for free in hotel rooms, etc.

    Further aim of legal services: to retain constitutional rights, protect civil liberties gained since Federation, to regain common law rights grandfathered just before Federation, protect private property rights and to find legitimate legal grounds to curtail Government action and agenda to restrict overall Government spending to 15% of GDP.

    A previous summary of my idea:

    This is why libertarians, free marketers, lovers of liberty, assorted right minded right wingers and righteous conservatives, need to form our own version of civil disobedience.

    The key is legal tax resistance and minimisation. A second pillar is to encourage people not to take welfare, and institutions not to take taxpayer supported funding (like churches). A third is to educate the public through evangelism like putting a copy of Atlas Shrugged and Free to Choose in every hotel room and doctor’s surgery and tyre shop. A fourth is to change language – TAXPAYER’S MONEY – let there be no illusion for low information voters that THE GOVERNMENT has its own funds for disposal. A fifth pillar is to initiate legal defence and challenges to petty imposition of fines, regulation or against minor misdemeanors and rules shackling development of businesses or the family home etc.

  61. Leo G

    I’ve heard that there’s good money on the root weevil.

  62. will

    Countries that have taxes higher than 45% – Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and the USA – kind of like most of the countries people would like to live in.

    The rate is more like 50-70%, and even over 40% for a low income earner. Let’s be honest and include more than income tax. The all up effective tax rate is well over 60% for a high income earner.

    The prosperity of these countries means that people do not have to expend a lot of effort to live a comfortable life. It then becomes a choice of leisure rather than continuing to produce goods and services that others require. This means that these societies are much less wealthy than they would otherwise be, and are smugly satisfied with their level of wealth. This possibly explains the level of economic stagnation in the Eurozone. It is the younger generation that really suffers from the lack of economic opportunity and dynamism. Singapore now has GDP 50% higher per capita than Australia, yet most Australian appear unaware of this, or consider that space and sunshine makes up for it.

  63. Mr Rusty

    Countries that have taxes higher than 45% – Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and the USA – kind of like most of the countries people would like to live in.

    Bullshit you fucking liar.
    Top rate in Japan is 40%. Plus; EVERYONE pays tax (min 5%) and the majority are paying 10-20% with other rates of 23% and 33%. There are less than 15 taxes in Japan, we have 120 in Australia.
    I could take apart the rest of your lies, distortions, cherry picking and other general fuckwittery but I’ve got better things to be doing today. Your postings herein on sit in the bullshit box unless proven otherwise.

    Onto Atlas Shrugged – great book, could have done with being about half the length though. Francisco’s speech gets a lot of attention but my favourite part is the description of what happened to the 20th Century Motor Company by the tramp Dagny meets on the train. That is seriously prophetic and the description of the Starnes’ children is an amazing allegory of the types of Socialist that exist and their motives;

    “Eric Starnes, the youngest—he was a jellyfish that didn’t have the guts to be after anything in particular…He spent his time hanging around among us, showing how chummy he was and democratic. He wanted to be loved, it seems… We couldn’t stand him.”

    Remind you of anyone?

    “Gerald Starnes was our Director of Production. We never learned just what the size of his
    rake-off—his alms—had been. It would have taken a staff of accountants to figure that out, and a staff of engineers to trace the way it was piped, directly or indirectly, into his office.
    None of it was supposed to be for him—it was all for company expenses. Gerald had three cars, four secretaries, five telephones, and he used to throw champagne and caviar parties that no tax-paying tycoon in the country could have afforded. He spent more money in one year than his father had earned in profits in the last two years of his life. We saw a hundred-pound stack—a hundred pounds, we weighed them—of magazines in Gerald’s office, full of stories about our factory and our noble plan, with big pictures of Gerald Starnes, calling him a great social crusader…But when a bastard like Gerald Starnes puts on an act and keeps spouting that he doesn’t care for material wealth, that he’s only serving ‘the family,’ that all the lushness is not for himself, but for our sake and for the common good, because it’s necessary to keep up the prestige of the company and of the noble plan in the eyes of the public—then that’s when you learn to hate the creature as you’ve never hated anything human.”

    A bit more Rudd, but mostly any Union leader. And finally…

    “But his sister Ivy was worse. She really did not care for material wealth. The alms she got was no bigger than ours, and she went about in scuffed, flat-heeled shoes and shirtwaists—just to show how selfless she was. She was our Director of Distribution. She was the lady in charge of our needs. She was the one who held us by the throat. Her gauge was bootlicking. Selfless? In her father’s time, all of his money wouldn’t have given him a chance to speak to his lousiest wiper and get away with it, as she spoke to our best skilled workers and their wives. She had pale eyes that looked fishy, cold and dead. And if you ever want to see pure evil, you should have seen the way her eyes glinted when she watched some man who’d talked back to her once and who’d just heard his name on the list of those getting nothing above basic pittance.”

    Seriously? Did Ayn Rand have a time machine and based Ivy Starnes character on Australia’s first female PM???

  64. .

    Mr Rusty
    #1300963, posted on May 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm
    Countries that have taxes higher than 45% – Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and the USA – kind of like most of the countries people would like to live in.

    Bullshit you fucking liar.
    Top rate in Japan is 40%. Plus; EVERYONE pays tax (min 5%) and the majority are paying 10-20% with other rates of 23% and 33%. There are less than 15 taxes in Japan, we have 120 in Australia.
    I could take apart the rest of your lies, distortions, cherry picking and other general fuckwittery but I’ve got better things to be doing today. Your postings herein on sit in the bullshit box unless proven otherwise.

    I would really like that you did, because Joe puts himself as a true Liberal, too pure for the LDP, yet he consistently argues for economic socialism and social conservatism.

  65. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    They minimise the hell out of their taxes. They become ex patriots. They become perpetual travelers. They set up trust structures.

    It happened to us with Murdoch.

    Agreed, yet they still sell their products here, which is precisely what people want from the productive. The whole point of Atlas Shrugged was that the productive ceased trading with the moochers. My point is that it’s a fantasy for people who want their cake and to eat it to as demonstrated by reality. Murdoch’s example supports that. He’s left Oz yet his productive efforts are still provided to Oz.

    They have 1000 who have moved and 2000 in NH who support it.

    NH has a population of 1.32 million – the word inconsequential comes to mind. My point is that deep down, everyone honest with themselves knows that they have it good – that’s why projects like the free state project have little to no momentum.

    If you believe that wealth isn’t simply confiscated in North Korea, you’re a bloody imbecile.

    Precisely my point – a 20% top rate of taxation is crap if the society is not market based (so your opportunities are limited) and if you do make serious money it will be taken anyway. That’s why people are prepared to pay such a high premium for being able to trade in a stable, predominantly market based society.

    The rate is more like 50-70%, and even over 40% for a low income earner. Let’s be honest and include more than income tax. The all up effective tax rate is well over 60% for a high income earner.

    Possibly true and supports the point further.

    No, they retire, sell up and some of them do give up their businesses. Some of them move offshore. I’ve seen it happen.

    Exactly – those that don’t like it leave or cease being productive hence the point that it’s a choice to stay or offer the extent of productive capacity to the market that we do.

    They don’t get my money by choice. I minimise the hell out of my taxes.

    Yes they do – you could retire tomorrow and live like a hermit in a potato sack but you probably won’t – ergo you’ve made your choice to pay tax. The rest is just your attempts to hide that reality.

    What you are forgetting is that beyond the incidence and burden of taxes, each tax raises the cost of resources for everyone within that jurisdiction.

    Agreed – this is a separate issue. I think that a low tax/Christian morality system is better for everyone within it. The way to sell this to other people though is not to say that we’re exploited and it’s immoral being a high tax system when people plainly choose this system as the best of our available options. Rather it’s to say that less people will maximise their potential (which is a shame for them) and family and community bonds are weaker which is a shame for everyone. This talk of theft, immorality and the exploitation of the productive is just moral posturing comparable to Michelle Obama and her #bring back our girls. In the same way the right gets a gutful of MB’s dislocated reality, the left (correctly in my view) gets sick of individuals making out that they are living on anything else than a gravy train (which applies to certain libertarians on here).

    You seem to be pushing the idea that prosperity comes through high taxes.

    I don’t believe that. There may be a greater level of prosperity possible with less taxation. I suspect that is true based on my life experiences. So what – that option is only on the table to the extent that the democratic majority agree with it. In the absence of Christian values, they need to be logically convinced. Books like Atlas Shrugged are a terrible way of doing this because it is premised on choice (leaving society) that most people are never going to make and actually demonstrates the counter to the Libertarian ‘exploited’ claim – the exploited decide to stay.

    The 2nd world is rapidly catching up to the 1st world, not by engaging in Scandinavian scelerosis, but in free enterprise, low taxes and generally low debt.

    And they will probably hit the same hurdles we did when their population gets to a certain level of wealth (environmental regulation, welfare, government restrictions for special interest groups). The fact that there are few if any countries that escape the curse of big government suggests that once the majority reaches a level of comfort they head towards fulfilling good intentions and miss the good outcomes that were achieved with free enterprise. There’s a long way to go before the 2nd world catches up to the countries like the US, and the imminent decline of the US seems remarkably similar to those who proclaimed peak oil or that we’ve past the point of no return with global warming. Steve Kates is a case in point. Makes plenty of good points but history would suggest he’s a little alarmist about their decline.

    DOT POINT PLAN

    I like many aspects of this plan.

  66. Joe Goodacre

    will,

    The prosperity of these countries means that people do not have to expend a lot of effort to live a comfortable life. It then becomes a choice of leisure rather than continuing to produce goods and services that others require. This means that these societies are much less wealthy than they would otherwise be, and are smugly satisfied with their level of wealth

    Isn’t that a good thing – that people only work as much as they want to?

    Singapore now has GDP 50% higher per capita than Australia, yet most Australian appear unaware of this, or consider that space and sunshine makes up for it.

    Singapore would appear to be a good practical example of how a low tax, less regulation jurisdiction allows people to maximise their potential (GDP being one way of measuring this).

  67. Joe Goodacre

    Mr Rusty,

    Top rate in Japan is 40%. Plus; EVERYONE pays tax (min 5%) and the majority are paying 10-20% with other rates of 23% and 33%. There are less than 15 taxes in Japan, we have 120 in Australia.

    That’s the national rates. You haven’t included the local rates as well. When measuring the tax burden does it matter whether it goes to a local or federal agency? Does it matter if you make it out in 15 cheques or 122? Japan has a higher taxation revenue to GDP measure than Australia and with a government debt of 227% to GDP, it would be a bold person to argue that it’s a society with minimal government intervention.

    Regardless how does it change the point that low tax countries aren’t necessarily correlated with places you’d like to live and most places you’d like to live aren’t correlated with low tax burdens. Yes there are some exceptions (Hong Kong, Singapore), but they either have other reasons why people wouldn’t want to live there and taxation becomes a tool to discount as an incentive to counteract these things or they are exactly that – an exception.

    Seems like you’ve cherry picked one example yourself (arguably incorrectly) to bluster some hot air and not actually say anything of substance.

  68. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    I would really like that you did, because Joe puts himself as a true Liberal, too pure for the LDP, yet he consistently argues for economic socialism and social conservatism.

    There’s nothing clean about the Liberals or the LDP. The difference is that the LDP will have to go through a lot of dodgy deals, compromises to get anywhere near the same acceptance as Liberals. Who knows what a larger LDP party would look like or advocate. Better the devil you know with the imperfect Liberals (my view anyway).

  69. Crossie

    Money equals energy expended (effort).

    How about we redistribute effort.

    What they want to redistribute are the fruits of your labour, you can keep the effort.

  70. Anne

    There is no fruit without effort Crossie.

  71. .

    You have a strange way of agreeing with people, Joe.

  72. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    My disagreements with Libertarians can be summarised in four points:

    1) the order of how things are de-regulated matters – i.e weed legalisation to me is not a higher priority than removing welfare and may result in a greater decrease in freedom if the order of deregulation is backwards;
    2) whinging about how tough we’ve got it and how unfair/exploitative the system is, is silly compared to the real evils and suffering in this world;
    3) we live in a society where the majority has the power to dictate our freedoms – they’re only going to agree to wider freedoms if they think it’s in their interests to do so. Framing the debate in any other way is pointless and often counter-productive (i.e. arguing a right to be bigot appeals to a tiny fraction of the community); and
    4) placing unrealistic expectations as to what Liberal politicans can do and undermining the good that they are trying to do because they aren’t perfect is silly when the only viable alternatives are much worse.

    Otherwise I’m for a small government that protects liberty and property which means I agree with much if not most of what other libertarians say on here. The difficulty in getting agreement earlier on these issues is that if I raise any of the four items above, I’m automatically called a socialist.

  73. .

    You’re saying it is unrealistic to return to pre Whitlam era levels of spending.

    This is why you are being harangued by libertarians!

    We just have had monumental waste since 1972, the government in 1963 had a huge military, CSPs at uni and social benefits schemes – not doctrinaire conservative or libertarian to say the least.

    1. Legalising weed before removing welfare – don’t get your point. We had social welfare, philanthropy and charity before weed was prohibited.
    2. This means no one can complain in Australia, ever (unless they are basically abducted and tortured and raped or have an utterly horrific childhood).
    3. Most people aren’t bigots but they say things which are not PC. They don’t want to be treated as bigots by some idiot judge when they are clearly not. Quite frankly I think you’re in a bubble about this. Do you think Eddie Maguire is a bigot or said something dumb? Right, we shouldn’t be belted around in the courts for saying something dumb.
    4. It is not unrealistic at all. The greens represent next to no one and the complaints of the far left are meaningless. A lot of greens voters (young professionals) vote for them simply because they dislike social conservatism. They’ll like cuts and the government being reticent in making society socially conservative – they have little to no interest in socialism.

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