Tax is love?

Insights Newsletter
31 July, 2020

In a predictable statement earlier this week, the Green Party co-leader declared her party’s undying love for taxation.

A rather Orwellian take on the libertarian war cry of “tax is theft,” Marama Davidson said those who fork out money to the state are world-saving humanitarians since “tax is love.”

In the spirit of this wonderful reframing of charity, I propose a few more ideas so Kiwis can help spread the “love.”

A good place to start is property rights. It really is silly to still have a pre-conceived notion that ownership means a person will work harder to maintain a plot of land. That’s not love! It’s high time to open all doors, remove all locks, and give everybody access to all property. The guy across the road from me has an excellent backyard.

But let’s not stop there. What if a fellow loving citizen really needs your laptop? It really is selfish not to hand it over. So, do the kind thing and just let them take it from you. Think of it as an “unplanned donation.”

And while on the topic of kind actions, New Zealand’s speech laws need updating. After all, insults are never loving, so we should ban all types of language that could possibly lead to an insult. The aroha would flow down the streets.

You know what else isn’t loving? Getting a stitch at a sports game. We should ban athletes from drinking anything but water. But let’s not stop there, why not get rid of sugary drinks altogether?

Now, you may laugh, but I have heard strikingly similar ideas from Green Party supporters.

Yet of course people should not be applauded for paying tax. It would not be loving for a charity to demand donations at gun point and then pat the donor on the head after having done so.

Charity is virtuous, and more importantly, charity is voluntary. There is nothing virtuous or voluntary about paying tax, and to suggest it is more than a necessary evil is ludicrous.

Taxation is not charity and should not be treated as such. A part of living as a society is an acknowledgement that citizens pay a portion of their income to help run the system. But raising the tax level by force and pretending like it is charity?

No, that doesn’t spark love.

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