Jesus Wept: KiwiSaver

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Wed, 2007-09-05 02:15

This Press Release from the TaxPolicy Unit just in my in-box:

From next year KiwiSaver schemes must disclose whether their
investment policies and procedures take into account responsible
investment criteria, including environmental, social and
governance considerations, the government announced today. The
requirement is being included in the taxation bill currently
before Parliament by means of a Supplementary Order Paper.

For more information see the media statement and Supplementary
Order Paper at:
http://www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/

After fulfilling all of the paperwork, I guess the KiwiSaver Providers might make a buck if they charge about 10% fees Smiling And if they have to take in environmental factors when investing, I guess AIA is out: they're a big cause of global warming, those planes, afterall (oh no, wait a minute, the NZ Government is one of the biggest investors in that company). Plus for social factors?. Can of worms that one: all companies are about the accumulation of wealth/capital aren't they, hell, that's pretty evil. I guess all KiwiSaver funds are going to be limited to investing in TradeAid or something.

Seriously though, what have been SOLO participants actions in relation to KiwiSaver? For myself, (and my wife), I'll put my hand up and say I have treacherously signed up to the self employed KiwiSaver scheme (Gareth Morgan's KiwiSaver Fund), putting, very cynically, the minimum amount in, each year, to get the maximum back from the government, that is, $1,040. I consider this the only way I'm ever going to get any of my tax back under the current tyranny and I've had a gutsful of the amount of tax I pay. But as I said, an action against my principles otherwise, so probably damning (it's just that I don't care anymore).


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Oh

Elijah Lineberry's picture

shooting seems so benign Sticking out tongue ...what about electrocution? or testing a new recipe by my cook? Sticking out tongue

Any last requests?

Lance's picture

Any last requests? Eye

Well the judgement is now

Mark Hubbard's picture

Well the judgement is now unavoidable: I've made an utter dog's breakfast of it by signing up for this (with only the short term thought of getting some of my tax money back any way I can.)

I hope in the next election the worm turns on this pragmatist police statist Peter - where are my jackboots - Dunne.

Quote: KiwiSaver is likely to become compulsory if the sign-up rate so far is anything to go by, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne indicated yesterday. ... "If take-up continues at this rate it might be easier to make the scheme compulsory, thereby removing the employer compliance costs associated with people opting out."

They are not so much knowingly evil as clueless (which is the same thing, I guess), and in this instance I've aided and abetted. Shoot me now please.

Reed

Mark Hubbard's picture

That is a nice distinction between the two Reed, to which I agree.

 Appears I'm okay on one front, a damned toady on the other - if I'd thought of it in quite that light, not blinded by my hatred (that being truly what it is) of the Socialists, and thus myopic attempt to get some of my stolen booty back come what may, I probably would not have  gone in.

 Probably. Not definitely.

Mark - I am not going to be

reed's picture

Mark -
I am not going to be involved in the kiwisaver scheme for the following reasons
1. It should not be.
2. Joining would show I support the scheme - at election time labour will say "Kiwisaver is benefiting X number of people". Also national may think they will piss off X number of people if they close the scheme.
3. Not joining shows that I don't support it.
4. I am not employed so I would have to do the admin myself, I hate admin work, and time is better spent productively making money (or better wasted on the internet).

ACC is different... using the only available, and compulsory, accident insurance doesn't indicate that you approve of it.
Not using your ACC also won't indicate that you disapprove of ACC either.

I'm guessing you oppose publicly owned roads - but you don't refuse to use them.

Yes, improving fine

Mark Hubbard's picture

Yes, improving fine Smiling

 On the other matter we shall agree to disagree.

 

Ha

Elijah Lineberry's picture

just pulling ya pisser Sticking out tongue

Yes, was playing Devil's Advocate Sticking out tongue ...but you asked for my opinion on the ACC claim and I gave it, which is not to accept money from a State organisation.

(Is her leg improving?)

Oh Elijah, that is

Mark Hubbard's picture

Oh Elijah, that is hopelessly naive.

 

am not sure why it automatically follows you need to work within a socialist system just because the system says so?

 

I LIVE in a socialist county, how can I not live 'within' it?

 

As for your retirement, had you not "sat up straight, fold your arms and be a good boy", not filed tax returns, not paid them any money you would have around twice as much money in retirement than will be the case.

 

No, I would not have twice as much money: I would have been, at best, bankrupted by IRD for tax evasion, at worst, in jail. There are no if's or maybe's about it; that would have categorically happened; my regular contact with IRD auditors assures me of the utter accuracy of this statement, that is, it is something I say from concrete experience.

But I'm sure you play the devil's advocate with me Smiling You have said on another post that you are buying into companies that trade on the NZX unlisted exchange: well, if you are, then you ARE IN, and living within, the Socialist system. You cannot buy shares in those companies through a broker unless you have provided your IRD number. When the companies that you have invested in pay you dividends, or interest, then, however structured, they must have your IRD number on file, or they must (MUST) be deducting tax at the no declaration rate, so quite possibly you would be paying more tax than those of us 'within' the system?

 

As stated, in a country like NZ (or UK, USA) etc, unless you want to live with no quality of life as a half starved survivalist, you cannot live outside of the system (at least, not if you want to invest and grow capital); it is absolutely impossible. To deny that, for me, negates completely your argument, as you are not working from real premises.

I

Elijah Lineberry's picture

am not sure why it automatically follows you need to work within a socialist system just because the system says so?

You are voluntarily choosing to do things for no better reason than you are 'told to' (or else!)

If 'the system' had a law requiring devil worship, or that everyone needed to own a specific breed of tropical fish would you obey that, too, without question or thinking?

As for your retirement, had you not "sat up straight, fold your arms and be a good boy", not filed tax returns, not paid them any money you would have around twice as much money in retirement than will be the case.

You have chosen this course of your life....just as you could have chosen not to do so.

(A point entirely lost on the obedient libertarian/objectivist population in New Zealand)

But the 'system' is all

Mark Hubbard's picture

Smiling But the 'system' is all en-compassing Elijah, one has to work in it, to varying degrees, to live. Otherwise, given there is no Libertarian country to which to go, no Galt's Gulch, then what is a Libertarian to do?

Again, not file tax returns, so not pay tax on my earnings? Doesn't lead to a pleasant old age though, always worried about the IRD/police on my door waiting to cart me off for tax evasion: it's a very small country, not possible to be under the radar unless only earning some sort of subsistence living. Worse,to stay out of the system to that extent also means no ability to invest capital to create wealth. I want to buy lovely things, I want to pursue my dreams, I do not want to live like some red-neck survivalist with a machine gun nest at my gate, eating worm eaten veges from my garden.

A dilemma, you see Smiling

It

Elijah Lineberry's picture

is just my opinion.

There is a case to say that had you never filled out the first tax return, let alone the subsequent ones, they would never have known about you or your business and you would never have paid them a cent, and so there was an element of voluntary payments in your ACC levy paying.

I just think it is wrong to accept money from the State in this way.

On the other hand Eye we seem surrounded by people on Solopassion who enjoy varying degrees of 'State Tit Sucking'...at State Schools, State Universities, State Hospitals, State Salaries...whilst lamenting the encroaching State in our lives Sticking out tongue and screaming the loudest at how Libertarian and Objectivist they are Eye

Mmm - Elijah

Mark Hubbard's picture

Have to say I don't quite understand the applicability of the trade deficit analogy, but am I right in interpreting your opinion as I should indeed have to 'suck it up', the plundering of my money, and on a principle that is against my wife and my own economic self interest, not take the ACC claim?

Further, ACC might be a loathsome state run monopoly, but they are also Pauline's insurer to whom, by paying premiums, she has a contract with. We can't get a private policy other than what will pay out over and above an ACC payout in these circumstances. So is your opinion that, in a mixed economy, to be prinicipled we have to be also uninsured for such accidents, and hence vulnerable to the care of the State when not able to pay for a living because we're too principled to take our entitlement under our insurance contract with ACC?

Surely, you are expecting the Libertarian to be, per the subject of this blog, Jesus himself, who is not a good example of a Libertarian at all Smiling

Or is my logic twisted somewhere in there?

 

[Must have been typing this the same time as Reed; yes, that is my point above, Reed. You said it a bit more concisely, however.]

I do not think she should

reed's picture

I do not think she should make a claim, and for the reason it is a handout from the State and therefore wrong.

I thought ACC was an insurance that has been paid into either by you or your employer and making a claim was like making an insurance claim ie. not a hand out but compulsory insurance.

I

Elijah Lineberry's picture

do not think she should make a claim, and for the reason it is a handout from the State and therefore wrong. Smiling

You may like to look at it in terms of a 'Trade Deficit'.

New Zealand imports more products than we export regarding our trade with Equador, and it would be a bit like saying "We import bananas from Equador but few Equadorians visit New Zealand as tourists" ...and impose some sort of tweaking of banana imports until it equates with the money spent by the (presumably) handful of Equadorians who spend their holidays here.

What we instead do is have a trade deficit with Equador but we fleeced Iran of $130 Million last year, Sticking out tongue whilst only purchasing $50 million from them, and this makes up for the Equador imbalance.

You have a 'Trade Deficit' (so to speak) with the ACC.
After years of paying premiums you have nothing in return but that does not mean you hold your hand out.

You mention 'clients' who are paying money to your business, presumably in sufficient amounts to tide your lady Wife over until her leg heals...(which makes up for the 'Trade Deficit' with the ACC).

Good point Reed

Mark Hubbard's picture

I agree Reed. A very good point. Socialist systems, such as ours, will always fail as they end up biting off the hand (productive sector) that feeds them. One way to subvert such a system is to use it to it's maximum, as that must hasten the drain it makes on the productive sector, and hence its demise.

Doesn't help the sense of moral squeamishness in the meantime though, as ultimately, vis a vis my approach to KiwiSaver and to ACC, I am simply taking back what is 'mine', with no real thought to such a noble higher purpose :)  I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the system just so enrages me, I've ended up losing all perspective on philosophical issues (and perhaps what should be troubling, but isn't, I find I can live with myself quite nicely regardless of this).

Mark - You could always take

reed's picture

Mark -
You could always take the opposite approach and extract as much money from the government as possible when entitled. If everyone did this then the costs might cause the government to rethink these policies, plus you get the benefit of having the money.

Elijah

Mark Hubbard's picture

Another one for you Elijah, although I would be interested in all (especially NZ) forum members opinions. Because I know I've taken the 'cynical' approach to KiwiSaver, although I would still say rational, this topic is much on my mind. Just to prove I don't think this is a clear cut issue, what is you opinion on this?

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Abhorrent state monopoly. I could publish here sometimes vitriolic correspondence between myself and minister/s of ACC over choice being taken from me when ACC was nationalised by Labour after the brief fling with a move to a free market approach legislated by National. Also correspondence with the current, in my opinion, lazy incumbent, Ruth Dyson (although I normally applaud laziness in Socialist ministers, as they're not destroying the economy, or personal freedom, quite so quickly), over cases where my self employed clients have been treated in a most unjust fashion by ACC: indeed, in at least one, if a private sector insurance firm had been operating as ACC had it would have been fraudulent in my opinion. But, for now, all of this to simply establish the fact that ACC is an affront to a free society, and often acts callously, as most government bureaucracies will.

Thus, if I were a principled Libertarian, I should by no means (at all), act in such a way as to support ACC either directly or indirectly: right?

But consider this. As stated in another post, my wife, Pauline, who is a full, 50/50 partner in our practice, currently has a broken leg. Now, for up to two decades we have, by force, been having ACC premiums taken from us, and over that time we have never made a single claim. So now that she has a broken leg, and can't get down to her office (we live on a hill), and she is thus entitled to an ACC payment for loss of earnings until she can work again, do you believe it 'rational' that she, on principle, does not make a claim?

Are we supposed to simply 'suck it up', keep getting plundered and plundered, and on principle, when we are legally able to, within the confines of a corrupt, freedom hating system, not take back what is ours?

As stated, these issues trouble me; indeed, in many ways strike at the nub of what I do for a living, so would be interested in opinions, both on this, plus what other NZ forum members have done in relation to KiwiSaver?

Hah! Yes, but that is where

Mark Hubbard's picture

Hah! Yes, but that is where we each draw a line in the sand, surely. For me, all your questions are easy: no. Of course I wouldn't do that.

But I have $xx tax forcibly taken from me year on year, so if offered a chance to get $xx back, am I going to?

Hell yes. Couldn't it even be argued as prudent from point of view of rational self interest? Look at the situation if I don't join KiwiSaver, is it going to stop the program? Obviously not. Anyway, in this instance, on the point of money being taken from my bank, I'm prepared to be unprincipled. Call me a ...

 

Although one place I contradict myself again is that I would never bank with KiwiBank, even if they gave a good investment rate. Looking like my premises are pretty shabby (like my dress sense Smiling ) all up. Back to work for now, I guess. 

I

Elijah Lineberry's picture

hear what you are saying, Mark, but on the "buying into a scheme that in principle I ahhor" front, does that mean you will suggest Solo gets some 'Death to the American Satan' t-shirts printed and sell them at the local Mosque to raise funds?

Or what about "Socialism Forever" t-shirts to sell at the University?

Great market for it and we would raise quite a bit...and it is only a 'little' principle we would be breaking. Eye

But government contribution

Mark Hubbard's picture

Yes, but forget the fund return Elijah. So long as you put in the minimum contributions to get the maximum benefits ($1,040 for self employed), or including the compulsory employer contributions for employees, then you're on a 100% return before you even consider the fund return. I run my own investment portfolio, also, but will never get close to that, even by taking on board huge levels of risk.

Although, that said, we're only talking trifling amounts: really this is a matter of morality, isn't it.

I know I'm being cynical by 'buying' into a scheme that in principle I ahhor, but I'm so furious at the income tax that I pay every year, to support a socialist ethos that is anathema to me, that I am making it some kind of distorted principle in return, that would not stand up to the fire of a purist's scrutiny, to get money back from the Government where ever I can, legally.

I

Elijah Lineberry's picture

have not taken part in Kiwisaver.

It will not surprise anyone to learn I am a big fan of people making their own investments, and not relying upon others. Sticking out tongue

I am worried that a lot of people, incorrectly thinking they are being prudent, will be greatly disappointed in years to come when they find out how little profit has been made from their Kiwisaver scheme.

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