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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Money and Currency

Money is a store of wealth that may be possible to use as a means of exchange and currency is a means of exchange that may be possible to use as a store of wealth.  Definitions are important.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Offshore Tax Avoidance & Cameron's Panama Hat

Another stage-managed 'leak' of documents enamours the world as this time the mainstream media tell tails against the ready made usual suspects of most wicked who have been off-shoring their wealth in tax-havens.  Naughty naughty.

Strange it is that amongst this cast of pantomime villains David Cameron, Britain's own beloved leader, is probably 'at it' too as it is evident his deceased father was an expert in the tax avoidance industry and operated companies to manage his wealth outside of the reach of the UK tax-man's grasp.

Strange it also is that David Cameron makes oblique statements about if he and his family derive benefit, or will someday derive benefit, from something that in all probability, near certainty, beyond reasonable doubt, exists: a substantial pot of gold buried on a treasure island with a pirate's map only they have possession of.  Why else would his father have formed off-shore companies with board meetings in Switzerland and all if there was no more than the £2.5 million declared in the UK at his death.  That is not enough ever for a decent London house these days.  We can see; David's wearing a Panama, we can see.

The retching hypocrisy is only illustrative of the quality of the material that survives the political system to rise to the top.

But in the wider scale of things, outside of the blatant perfidy, I am happy the wealthy work so hard to conceal and protect their lucre from taxation and death duties.  It is a war of attrition.  The higher taxes are the harder more wealthy folk will work to find the loopholes.  But the harder it is to find the loopholes the higher taxes will become.  If taxes were very low avoiding them would only need to be a little bit complicated.  As taxes rise most taxpayers would take prudent steps to avoid incurring them if it is simple and economical to do so.  High wealth tax payer's desire to invest in tax avoidance mechanisms helps keeps tax levels low.

If it is to be believed; JK Rowling famously admits to paying UK taxes without taking advantage of avoidance strategies and yet she is still one of the richest people in Britain.  How can this be?  She is a world wide best selling author and clearly has won substantial royalties all round but it is not like she owns and controls a giant global petro-chemical industry or media and aviation empire.  Her publisher's should be earning a few bob too and on other writer's works also.  Could it be she is showing that almost all the truly well-off do not have their money as visible as she does.

Apparently most multi-millionaires are self-made.  Is that because they fritter their spoils away in later life or is that because their eventual beneficiaries have trust-funds and off-shore investments made ready for when the time comes to pass it on.

The various means of tax planning for the wealthy are not the exception they are the norm.  You do not get to earn a fortune to let half of it vaporise in death duties, you do not have that mentality.  You do not pay more in tax than you can legal avoid either.  And the more that is at stake the more time and fees you will invest to hold-on to it. That is just good business.

None of this simple commercial reality for the taxation of the prime yielding human-herd tax-livestock is not known to the policy setters.  They understand.  And more; they understand that the ultimate tax-avoidance includes exiting the nation with all your wealth.  People would rather be rich overseas than taxed into poverty.  People would rather live on their wealth than slave away to earn nothing after the tax-man has took it all.

There is a competitive market in the provision of a national tax-efficient environment and top of that game has been for years the United Kingdom - not for the residents, the domiciles, but for the non-domiciles it is treasure island incarnate, with shops and shows and glamour.  The UK is the biggest off-shore provider, especially in combination with its extra little tax havens dotted here and there about the world.  For the international money/power super-rich there has been nothing else like it.  Until now!

It is becoming apparent that for the globe-trotting ultra money clique the USA is sharpening its offer of hush-hush trust facilitation and with good reason.  Having their money in your banks keeps your 'printed' money in demand and, in the event of a global central banking funny 'money' over-issue crises there is nothing better than to have the rich of the world all keeping their eggs in your basket to focus their attention on keeping the USD then durable for a while longer still no doubt.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Guidance for the Brexit Undecided - Go Back to Sleep

Great Britain, for tens of hundreds of years, has had an ever developing political, cultural, social and legal stability. So why do we need to tether our successful independence and sovereignty to the for-ever variable hotchpotch member states of the EU?

People who do not wish for this nation to be just a part of the EU still wish for the EU to be successful, strong, united and enduring.  We just do not want to be, or believe we need to be, a part of it.

If you are not sure already - not already 100% clear in your thinking - I strongly advocate you simply abstain from voting. Leave the matter to those with a clarity of conviction. If you are not already up to speed you are sleeping and a danger to our nation.

This matter has been progressing for fifty years, it is not about current issues, talking points, short term outcomes. It is about the sovereignty, prosperity and security of our nation. It is about who rules us. It is about the freedom of the British people long into the future.

Why I will vote in the Brexit Referendum

I shall not be voting to beg our political masters: please sir, can we leave this nest of vipers.

I will cast a 'vote' and by doing so I will be, simply and only, signalling the fact (putting on notice) that I no longer consider the political relationship between the UK and the EU to be a valid one or one that is applicable to me.

If the outcome is remain I shall be a dissident.

Remain a United Kingdom - Kiss EU Goodbye

What are you worried about, Dear Remmenents, what? Economic predictions, guesses, assumptions, estimates, opinions for the effect our nation's exit will somehow cause. Well my prediction, my guess, my assumption, my estimate, my opinion is that it will be all for the better and in the long term I am truly confident of that. But such matters not are the primary to me.

I want freedom, independence, autonomy, I want the established balance of the political and legislative system, that has been developed, tuned and worked so well in this country for so very long, to REMAIN. I am not voting to EXIT I am voting for this nation, to my mind the greatest mix of people and social system in the history of the world, to remain, remain a sovereign entity.

Even the language is false. Remain is the language of security, safety, ease. Exit is the language of fear, risk, the unknown. These are the choice of words that a Kafkaesque government would want to frame the question to err the minds of the gullible and pliant towards their version of 'truth'.

And such petty fears, of the remmenents, are just as simplistically formed by others too. Remmenents busy themselves with questions of business, finance and commercial interests when what should be foremost in their minds is enduring freedom. What poses the greatest risk? Being a part of a new, still forming state comprised from a hotchpotch of countries who have seen more shifting of boarders and powers in a hundred years than Britain has seen in ten thousand. If they want safety they are misguided as to the real nature of the real threat. The real risk.

It is not about short term prosperity it is about long term freedom.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Quotations: What Rulers Believe

Joseph Stalin
  • Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.
  • Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?
  • Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs.
Mao Zedong
  • The cult of xenophobia is the cheapest and surest method of obtaining from the masses the ignorant and savage patriotism, which puts the blame for every political folly or social misfortune upon the foreigner.
Adolf Hitler
  • Terrorism is the best political weapon, for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.
  • I have not come into this world to make men better, but to make use of their weaknesses.
  • What good fortune for those in power that people do not think.
  • I have sympathy for Mr. Roosevelt, because he marches straight toward his objectives over Congress, lobbies and bureaucracy.
  • [I]n the simplicity of their minds, [people] more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie… It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have such impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and continue to think that there may be some other explanation.
Hermann Göring
  • Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece… But… the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
Winston Churchill
  • What a man! I have lost my heart! (referring to Benito Mussolini, 1927)
  • One may dislike Hitler’s system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.
Franklin Roosevelt
  • There seems to be no question that [Mussolini] is really interested in what we are doing and I am much interested and deeply impressed by what he has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy.
  • The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson. (to Colonel Edward House)
Vladimir Lenin
  • Our power does not know liberty or justice. It is established on the destruction of the individual will.
  • The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.
Leon Trotsky
  • The real criminals hide under the cloak of the accusers.
Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Of all our institutions public education is the most important… we must be able to cast a whole generation in the same mould.
  • A man becomes a creature of his uniform.
  • The life of a citizen is the property of his country.
Charles Maurice Talleyrand
  • We were given speech to hide our thoughts.
  • An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public.
Henry Kissinger
  • The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.
Cardinal Richelieu
  • Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I’ll find an excuse in them to hang him.
Joseph Goebbels
  • Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.
  • The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
Edgar Hoover
  • Justice is incidental to law and order.
William H. Woodin (US Treasury secretary)
  • The Federal Reserve Act lets us print all we’ll need. And it won’t frighten the people. It won’t look like stage money. It’ll be money that looks like real money. (1933)
Benito Mussolini
  • The Truth Apparent, apparent to everyone's eyes who are not blinded by dogmatism, is that men are perhaps weary of Liberty. They have a surfeit of it… we have buried the putrid corpse of liberty … the Italian people are a race of sheep.
Roman Emperor Caracalla
  • As long as we have this [pointing to his sword], we shall not run short of money.
Prince Phillip, duke of Edinburgh
  • I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.
Charles de Gaulle
  • In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.
Collated by Paul Rosenberg of

Friday, 22 January 2016

Quotes About School and Schooling

Albert Einstein
  • It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
  • School failed me, and I failed the school. It bored me. The teachers behaved like sergeants. I wanted to learn what I wanted to know, but they wanted me to learn for the exam... I felt that my thirst for knowledge was being strangled by my teachers; grades were their only measurement.
  • I learned mostly at home, first from my uncle and then from a student who came to eat with us once a week. He would give me books on physics and astronomy.
  • Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
Baruch Spinoza
  • Academies that are founded at public expense are instituted not so much to cultivate men’s natural abilities as to restrain them.
Marshall McLuhan
  • Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either.
Ivan Illich
  • School is the advertising agency which makes you believe you need the society as it is.
Bertrand Russell
  • Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
Mary Wollstonecraft
  • There is not, perhaps, in the kingdom, a more dogmatical, or luxurious set of men, than the pedantic tyrants who reside in colleges and preside at public schools.
Agatha Christie
  • I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays, and have things arranged for them, that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side.
  • A teacher who can arouse a feeling for one single good action, for one single good poem, accomplishes more than he who fills our memory with rows on rows of natural objects, classified with name and form.
Celia Green
  • Education by the State is a contradiction in terms. Intellectual development is only possible to those who have seen through society.
  • It is easier to make people appear equally stupid than to make them equally clever, so teaching methods are adopted which make it practically impossible for anyone to learn anything.
John Stuart Mill
  • A general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another: and the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government or the majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body.
Ludwig von Mises
  • Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought. The mark of the creative mind is that it defies a part of what it has learned or, at least, adds something new to it.
H.L. Mencken
Sigrid Undset
  • I hated school so intensely. It interfered with my freedom. I avoided the discipline by an elaborate technique of being absent-minded during classes.
Abraham Mazlow
  • We know that children are capable of peak experiences and that they happen frequently during childhood. We also know that the present school system is an extremely effective instrument for crushing peak experiences and forbidding their possibility. The natural child-respecting teacher who is not frightened by the sight of children enjoying themselves is a rare sight in classrooms.
Isaac Asimov
  • Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.
Boris Sidis
  • Our young generation is trained by fear into discipline and obedience. We thus suppress the natural genius and originality of the child, we favor and raise mediocrity, and cultivate the philistine, the product of education, ruled by rod, not by thought.
  • It is time that the medical and teaching profession should realize that functional neurosis is not congenital, not inborn, not hereditary, but is the result of a defective, fear-inspiring education in early child life.
Aldous Huxley
  • Children are nowhere taught, in any systematic way, to distinguish true from false, or meaningful from meaningless, statements. Why is this so? Because their elders, even in the democratic countries, do not want them to be given this kind of education.
Buckminster Fuller
  • Education by choice, with its marvelous motivating psychology of desire for truth and the exercise of this desire for truth, will make life ever cleaner and happier, more rhythmical and artistic.
  • Our greatest vulnerability lies in the amount of misinformation and misconditioning of humanity. I’ve found the educations [sic] systems are full of it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing.

Collated by:  Paul Rosenberg of