Once upon a time in a parallel universe not far away

Labour’s steam-driven, fairer tax collection mechanism


In a parallel universe located down the bottom of New Zealand’s North Island there is a group of utterly confused individuals unexpectedly responsible for running an economy. Caught completely off-guard by someone who promised them the earth, they eagerly shoved their snouts in the trough only to pull them out and find that they were actually expected to deliver policy.

Not having had an original thought in the previous nine years of neglecting to do their policy homework, they rapidly co-opted 200 or so groups of other troughers to work out some policies for them.

One of these groups was given a suggestion from Dear Leader about a tax she had heard mentioned in the past by one of her comrades in the International Union of Socialist Youth. Since the phrase used the words ‘tax’, ‘gain’; and part of ‘capitalist’ all in the same phrase, it seemed to Dear Leader, (who does not really understand all this stuff), to be a great idea.

While Dear Leader was out getting pictures of herself with various groups of children and posing for NEXT covers, the working group beavered away, led by someone who had actually put some thought into this a few years before. He had decided back in 2000, when he had some real power, that such a scheme was “extreme, socially unacceptable and economically unnecessary” and that, at that point, his “Government is not interested in a capital gains tax, either in the short or the long term,” because “basically it is political suicide in New Zealand.”

Whether or not this coloured his thinking in 2019 is unknown, but the working group reported back to Dear Leader that her beloved tax on capitalists’ gains was a non-starter. This made Dear Leader very upset.

Her mate, The Chief Bean Counter, got wind of this and although he is mathematically challenged when it comes to awkward fractions like 1/3, he was also very upset about not having all this extra money to mismanage.

So the two of them, ignoring the wishes of most of the rest of their team, told the working group to go back and try again and not to return until their impartial and independent thinking was fully aligned with Dear Leader’s wishes to tax the capitalists’ gains.

Since they were all getting very generous daily allowances, the group was very happy to oblige and, lo and behold, they presented a report that suggested that the capitalists should, indeed, be taxed on their gains.

This was declared ‘fairer’ by Dear Leader.

But the prototype mechanism for collecting this fairer tax, illustrated above, had some obvious flaws and when these began to be pointed out, Dear Leader and the sycophants simply chanted, “Fairer.”

Since their team proudly claimed that they had done no calculations on the impact of this new tax, they had nothing to counter the arguments of those who had done the maths. So they simply shouted, “Fairer” even louder than before.

Ultimately, they decided to outsource yet another decision on this new tax and launched two online petitions so that the proletariat could think that they had a voice.

Why two online petitions? The proponents of the tax have simultaneously, at the same time, concurrently, and together, launched petitions both for and against their own brave new idea, just in case spending all that money on the working group had been a waste of cash. Smart operators would have asked the affected people first and saved all this hassle.

The page says, “A Capital Gains Tax is not currently Labour Party or Coalition Government policy” and yet Dear Leader has clearly stated that it is her policy as have The Chief Bean Counter and others in her team.

Their senior support partners have already said that such a tax was not their policy, but they say a lot of things and then go back on their word so no help there.

Their junior support partner in their NZ First led coalition has also said clearly that a tax on the capitalists’ gains is their policy as it will save the environment.

How will this new tax save the environment? The writer has no idea. But since that is what the Greens say that they care about and that is what they were elected to fix and that is why people vote for them, there must be a way.

Observant readers will have noted that the tax collection mechanism, illustrated above, is indeed very green as it uses a steam-driven wind turbine for motive power and saves electricity by using a candle.

What could possibly go wrong?