Life Lessons from the Canberra School of Economics

Meet the Jones family from Canberra. They are university educated and work for the government (where else?).

Last week, family patriarch John Jones went to the local club and spent half his income on the pokies and beer.  Once intoxicated, John started buying beer for everyone he could see, regardless of whether he knew them or even if they drank beer. When John’s wife, Jane Jones, challenged John his profligate spending, John replied that it wasn’t spending; it was investing. There is no spending in Canberra, only investing.

Last week also, the Jones’ oldest son, Jack Jones got in trouble at school. Jack accosted another boy and forcibly took half of the other boys’ money. When the school challenged Jack about using force to take money from other people, Jack replied that he wasn’t taking other people’s money, but rather that he was achieving a “save” to his personal budget. Jack said that, in Canberra, taking money from other people is not theft, but rather a saving.

Tomorrow the Jones family matriarch, Jane plans to have a discussion with her boss; a discussion about her salary. She is unsatisfied with her salary and her 15% superannuation.  The Jones’ family spending has increased faster than their income, so by simple arithmetic, Jane Jones has determined that her salary has been cut. In Canberra, the lack of an (pay) increase is a cut.  Or otherwise, under investment in the future.

Welcome to the Canberra School of Economics.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Life Lessons from the Canberra School of Economics

  1. Karabar

    This parable from TAKFAS is not only hilarious, but TRUE.

  2. Fred

    This is where libertarians fall down and make themselves unelectable.

    Taxation is not theft or stealing. You may not like it, but it doesn’t make it theft.

    Its like the idiots who think that taxing people is unconstitutional.

    Get in the real world, make the case for lower taxes, and, who knows, people might even vote for you.

  3. Taxation is not theft or stealing. You may not like it, but it doesn’t make it theft.

    What are you talking about Fred. Where is there any mention of tax in this post?

    But if you wish to go there, please advise what you would call taking something from another by force? Do you give your “contributions” to government voluntarily or at the threat of jail/asset confiscation?

  4. Mark Fine

    Fred. You missed the point.
    Politicians need to correctly identify their tax increases and justify them. Instead of euphemising the terminology eg “we are increasing the tax on ….” , instead of “ we are reducing tax expenditure on….”

  5. Tim Neilson

    This is where libertarians fall down and make themselves unelectable.

    Taxation is not theft or stealing. You may not like it, but it doesn’t make it theft.

    I think TAKFAS’s main point was that taking money from someone else isn’t really “saving”.

    But to address your comment, so-called “tax” can get to the point where it’s practically the equivalent of theft.

    In the UK in the 70’s the top rate of tax was 98%. There would be negligible difference to the victims between having it stolen on the way to the bank or getting it safely to the bank and being taxed on it.

    And in Sweden in the 70’s or 80’s the author of the Pippi Longstocking books got a tax bill for 103% of her income. She would actually have been better off if her publishers had embezzled her so she never derived it.

  6. Mundi

    One party is about to issue a new “child equality” plan.
    Under this plan every parent will pay child support to the government, equal to the current child support rates. The money from all the parents will then be distributed among the parents so every child has the same amount of money to raise them. After all why should a child of two doctors gets unequal benefits in umbringing compared to a child of two janitors? The new global child support system will fix this inequity.

  7. hzhousewife

    After all why should a child of two doctors gets unequal benefits in umbringing compared to a child of two janitors?

    And all the chillun will be granted Doctorates at the end of their 20 years of schooling….

  8. RobK

    And you can get with the plan on a novated lease and salary sacrifice.

  9. Habib

    This is where libertarians fall down and make themselves unelectable.

    Taxation is not theft or stealing. You may not like it, but it doesn’t make it theft.

    How would you describe the taking of money without consent, under threat of violence then, Fred old mate? Either armed robbery, or demanding with menaces. The fact that it’s the state, rather than a dockie in a ski mask is irrelevant.

  10. sabena

    Adds a new dimension to “keeping up with the Jones’s”

  11. Tel

    How would you describe the taking of money without consent, under threat of violence then, Fred old mate?

    Armed robbery would be the standard description.

  12. Cementafriend

    Tim Neilson, I remember being told about that Swedish author when I was a volunteer with the Swedish Olympic team in 2000. I think it was something about royalties paid and promised. Further, I was told many Swedish business people liked to go and work at overseas subsideries so they could be paid outside the country and put their money in a Swiss savings account. Socialism has destroyed Sweden and open immigration has made it worse.

  13. Gerry

    If I save $200 on an item when I buy it (according to the sales pitch) and I earn $ 1000 per week, all I have to do is buy five of the items in a week and I will have saved $1000. I will not need to work for that week.

  14. Enoch Root

    @Fred
    #2988074, posted on April 15, 2019 at 11:11 am

    You are right. Taxation is the name for “state taking other people’s money by force”. Theft, on the other hand, is the name for “people taking other people’s money by force”.

    Anyway, taxation is immoral. The fact that we put up with it is no excuse.

    I feel Cats have been through this discussion a couple of times…

  15. Nato

    I think I’ve taken in love with Fred. The articles here are intelligent invitations for comment and you’ve attracted a diversely-read Hodge podge of humanity. But sometimes the tool wins.

    Boo yah, brother.

  16. Fred

    Theft is an offence under the Crimes Act.

    If you believe that taxation is theft, pay a visit to your local constabulary and see how you go.

  17. Theft is an offence under the Crimes Act.

    Fred

    Spam, invasion of privacy and misleading and deceptive advertising is also criminal …. except for the people who write the laws. Wonder why?

    Electoral allowances would/should also probably be treated as regular income for tax purposes …. except that the recipients write the tax codes. Wonder why?

    If you define a theft narrowly as something against statute, that’s fine and your perogative. But it does not mean it that something has not been taken by force.

  18. Squirrel

    “They are university educated and work for the government (where else?).”

    Just as we worry about kids being brought up in households of multi-generation welfare dependency, we should also, in all seriousness, be concerned about the proportion of Canberra-based officials who are children, grandchildren, and, presumably in some cases, great-grandchildren of public officials.

    Think about this phenomenon, and it helps to explain why we have a governing elite which is so obviously out of touch with the reality of many Australians.

  19. If you define a theft narrowly as something against statute, that’s fine and your perogative. But it does not mean it that something has not been taken by force.

    If it is no longer deemed illegal by the state, it is no longer immoral, isn’t that what Rev. Lovejoy once said?

  20. amortiser

    Habib
    #2988105, posted on April 15, 2019 at 11:49 am
    This is where libertarians fall down and make themselves unelectable.

    Taxation is not theft or stealing. You may not like it, but it doesn’t make it theft.

    How would you describe the taking of money without consent, under threat of violence then, Fred old mate? Either armed robbery, or demanding with menaces. The fact that it’s the state, rather than a dockie in a ski mask is irrelevant.

    Even if you subscribed to the view that it is ok to tax because they are legislatively and constitutionally entitled, that doesn’t really matter a jot to politicians even so called conservatives. The extent of taxation has become so pervasive that even who some might describe as “moral” find it a bit too hard to look up to.

    Back in the period of the Howard/Costello government a group of publicans took action in the High Court against the states who had imposed a tax of alcohol and cigarettes. State fuel taxes were also roped in.

    The High Court found that the taxes were exises which were only the preview of the Federal government and therefore unconstitutional. The states had no power to impose them and in effect had acted like highwaymen in collecting this revenue.

    Publicans in Queensland immediately took action against the government to recover the money illegally collected from them.

    What did the Howard government do? Acknowledge the decision of the High Court and criticise the high handed illegal actions of the states? Not in your nelly.

    Costello immediately advised that if the actions were not withdrawn the Commonwealth would enact retrospective legislation to recover the revenue lost on behalf of the states.

    If any citizen threatened a citizen who had won a case before a court he/she would be charged with serious contempt. But no, the actions were withdrawn and the Feds fixed the problem going forward by collecting the taxes as excise and forwarding it onto the states.

    As a result, Queensland motorists were accused of receiving a subsidy because a fuel tax was not imposed here for many years afterwards.

    The constitution is a mere administrative inconvenience and is treated as such. As a document to limit what a government can do to its citizens it’s not worth a crumpet. This example clearly shows how contemptuously the executive treats its citizens.

  21. Enoch Root

    The fact tht there is a legal definition of theft doesn’t preclude a moral definition. Narrowly taking “theft” as what is legally defined is assuming morals are relative, and no good conservative should subscribe to that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.