Right Thinking: its only 1436


New Zealand’s most beloved authoritarian libertarian returns with a new column

I’m sure we can all agree that government policy should be based on sound information and solid evidence. We must not permit our politicians to waste money dealing with problems that don’t exist.

So I was delighted to hear that plans are afoot to slash the funding of family counselling service providers. These people are at the very coalface when it comes to family breakdowns and domestic violence.

These funding cuts may make it more difficult for people in abusive relationships to get help. If help isn’t available, people may be more reluctant to report abuse and domestic violence.

The end result of these cuts could well be a drop in the instances of reported family violence.

But isn’t that a good thing? If people aren’t reporting a problem, then that must mean the problem doesn’t exist.

Evidence-based policy requires solid and reliable data. In this case I’m willing to bet that the data will show a direct link between the withdrawal of support and reductions in reported family violence. So the more we cut, the better the figures should look.

I have no doubt that some clever earnest liberal type will point out that data exists showing that a lot of family violence goes unreported. But we cannot make policy based on problems that people don’t report. These problems may as well not exist. In fact, let’s just agree for the sake of argument that they don’t. Doesn’t it make things much simpler? Look, rates of family violence have gone down!

We can all agree that family violence is a blight on our society. But all evidence, that is all evidence I’m prepared to acknowledge the existence of, shows that by helping people with their problems, we actually make their problems worse.

So what’s to be done? Well, we could start by abolishing the Department of Statistics, as well as the Census. In the absence of reliable data, we would no longer be able to say we had a poverty problem, or an unemployment problem, or any sort of problem at all. Imagine the billions of dollars we could save the taxpayer, simply by putting a few number-crunching nuisances out of work.

But don’t expect any of this to happen without a fight. Our media are controlled by a cabal of liberals, do-gooders and scientists, and no politician would ever have the guts to go up against them. These people think they can lecture us on issues such as climate change, just because they have a PhD in climate science. But climate change only exists because we have data showing that climate change exists. Destroying the data would destroy the problem, but how many of these climate scientists have volunteered to obliterate all of their research? Not a single one, and do you know why? Because there’s money to be made! It sickens me when I see all these scientists about the town in their expensive late model European cars, frequenting the society pages, and dining in the most exclusive restaurants.

The answer is to not have any answers. The absence of any data would mean no societal problems existed, which would in turn render any form of government, or regulation, or taxation, completely unnecessary. We would finally have the freedom we so richly deserved. We could get on with our lives, free from state interference, free to give in to our darkest and most base instincts, all the while knowing that nobody could stop us.


I’m not a fan of taxation generally. In fact, I am a serial tax avoider. It disgusts me to think that people want to take away from me the money I work so hard to earn from the suffering of others.

I’m certainly no fan of capital gains taxes on property. We ought to be encouraging speculation on the property market, not dampening it down. Shouldn’t we be celebrating the fact that one sector of the economy is booming? Yes, more and more people are sleeping in tents and garages, but all that means is that it’s a wonderful time to be a tentmaker or garage company.

John Key has repeatedly promised that National would not introduce a capital gains tax on real estate. But despite what the left may have you believe, he’s kept his word. It’s true that National plans to tax the capital gains made by people from selling real estate, but this is not a capital gains tax.

Just because there are capital gains involved, and this is a tax on those capital gains, that does not mean that what we have here is a capital gains tax. It’s entirely possible to make a capital gain and then be taxed on that gain, without that tax being a capital gains tax. No sensible person would regard this tax on capital gains as a capital gains tax.


Just as the left would have us believe John Key has broken his pledge over capital gains taxes, so they are now claiming National has broken its promise of a budget surplus.

As far as I am concerned there has been no broken promise. Yes, Bill English said there would be a budget surplus in 2014/15, but who’s to say he was using the Gregorian calendar? It’s only the year 1436 in the Islamic calendar. Shouldn’t we give this government another five or six hundred years before judging their performance?