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Container Ship Youtuber

Youtuber JeffHK works on container ships and his channel is very useful when one’s children ask questions about how stuff gets moved around the world, not to mention just fascinating in general.

One of his videos lists the advantages of working at sea. Paying less tax is among them. He expresses amazement that the income tax rate in the UK can be as high as 45%.

I heard in the UK if you earn more than 151 thousand pounds a year you get taxed 45%. That’s crazy! That’s half of what you earned; your blood, sweat and tears going into someone else’s pocket.

Another video lists disadvantages. Among them: regulations.

Every year new regulations come into force and sailors, we have to fetch out money for endorsements on new certificates, new licenses, more paperwork, more checklists, new codes, new safety procedures, new environmental laws […] We are paying to get certified for what we have been doing for hundreds of years. It’s almost like the government or marine schools are milking us for money. There’s no end to that.

But never mind the politics. Don’t miss the Suez Canal timelapse, the container loading explanation, or the ship tour. The production is of a high quality with good editing and judicious use of drone footage.

18 comments to Container Ship Youtuber

  • David Bishop

    A very astute young man.
    As you say, very high-quality video production skills and a very pleasant, matter-of-fact narrative voice.

  • Penseivat

    Paying tax at 45%? My income is based on state and employment pensions. For every £2 over a certain limit, currently £27,000 pa, the taxman takes £1 away. That means that on an income of less than £30,000pa gross, I am paying 50% tax on a proportion of it.

  • Runcie Balspune

    A query for my fellow travellers …

    I am always perplexed how to approach the issue of taxation towards those who don’t quite share a libertarian ideology, there is a definite attitude amongst the masses of the electorate that taking someone’s money by force, which in normal society is known as mugging or theft, is somehow acceptable under certain circumstances, which in turn relate to some kind of moralistic code.

    My argument tends to start with making clear just what that “force” is, whereupon if I neglect to hand over some money, some people will come round, chain me up and physically transport me to a place where I will be imprisoned, so it is kind of serious that we should be concerned with what happens to that money.

    So, if that is allowed, because the acquisition of said money is for “better” things, my argument would now concentrate on what those “better” things actually are, perhaps some MP’s country home requires a new duck house, or a stuffed snake needs re-stuffing, or someones want to get from London to York a bit quicker, etc.

    So, rather than concentrate on the obviously appalling amount of cash sequestered from the pockets of the innocent, one needs to also consider what that stolen loot is actually spent on.

    To be honest, if the erstwhile government muggers actually did some good with my appropriated earnings, then perhaps I would not care so much.

    But they don’t – do they? And if they do, they don’t do it very well.

    The query is, would it be better to point out the ludicrous and often laughable things that government spends tax on, or just keep banging on about how unjust it is to take someones just reward for their time? bear in mind the former approach would appeal to both the libertarian-lite wing and the typical tax-and-spend-for-more-votes of the left?

  • Alisa

    Runcie, unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that the tax issue cannot be argued on principle, which means that the answer to your question is ‘the former’. IOW, ‘taxation is theft’ is not going to convince most people who live in the real world, plus it is not always true anyway.

  • Lee Moore

    I think the answer to Runcie’s puzzle, and the reason why it is a puzzle, is quite simple.

    1. Most people don’t pay tax. “Other people” pay tax – which is OK.
    2. Those people that do pay tax usually have very little difficulty in spotting the philosophical connection between taxation and mugging
    3. The solution is simple – ensure that most people actually pay tax. (Though of course that’s not actually simple.)

    When I say most people don’t pay tax, what I mean of course is that most people don’t have to get out a cheque, or go to their internet banking and actually transfer a large lump of their own money to the government. Most people don’t pay income tax. It’s deducted by their employer before they ever see it, so the money never becomes “mine” and so losing it doesn’t hurt. You don’t pay VAT. You buy stuff. You pay twenty quid and you get a wotsit. The fact that the government gets some of the twenty quid doesn’t affect you. Hence the only kind of tax that people resent paying is rates / council tax, where you actually have to shell out. And even then the pain is reduced by spreading it out as a direct debit rather than smacking you in the face with an immediate demand for the whole lot.

    In short, with VAT (concealed in the price) and PAYE and the wonders of banking, the dark side has done very well at plucking the goose without it noticing. They generally avoid letting you get a lump of money that you know is yours and then coming and demanding a big lump of it right away so you can think “Hey ! That’s mine ! Clear off !”

    The only people who notice tax are the self employed and nerds who are interested in tax. Mr hoi polloi may see a piece of paper occasionally with some numbers on it but his eyes glaze over. The only thing that counts is fivers flowing out of the door in bundles. And that doesn’t happen. It’s a variant on old von Mises and the difference between saying and doing. Reading about how much you’re paying is not the same thing as actually getting the chequebook out. Not even slightly.

    So the solution is obvious. Mr hoi polloi does pay lots of tax, but he doesn’t feel any pain. The way to get him to realise how much he’s paying is to reintroduce the pain. Get rid of the anaesthesia. Make him send a cheque. Don’t collect it at source.

    Sadly, a government which reacquaints Mr hoi polloi with the pain of paying tax will not last very long. Because pain. And then the other side will get straight back in and reintroduce the anaesthetics and be thanked for it. I don’t know the answer to that i’m afraid.

  • Lee Moore

    He expresses amazement that the income tax rate in the UK can be as high as 45%.

    I recall, with a smile, a conversation I had with a chap in Hong Kong a few years ago. He was a middling sort of businessman, HK Chinese, intelligent, spoke English well, had been to plenty of places in the West but had never lived anywhere but Hong Kong. For some reason, following some thread in the conversation, I found myself explaining the remittance basis of taxation which used to apply in the UK for non UK domiciled folk. I saw a blank look on his face. He had seemed (and indeed was) eager to understand this mysterious Western behaviour so I didn’t just shrug and move on. I explained again. And again. And again. He still didn’t get it.

    Eventually the penny dropped (my penny that is.) He was not aware of the basic premise that I had assumed did not even need to be stated. Westerners have to pay tax on their savings income – dividends, interest and so on. The reason that he hadn’t understood any of my explanations about the remittance basis was that it had never occurred to him that any government would demand that you pay tax on income from savings in the first place. When at last I realised that I hadn’t started my explanation far enough back, he did at last get the mathematics. But on his face there was still the look of a man who suspects that his plonker may be being pulled. Was the gweilo trying to make a fool of him ? Could tax on interest and dividends actually be a thing ?

  • Paul Marks

    The level of taxation in the United Kingdom is crushing – as is the level of regulation.

    Actually the same is true in the United States – the difference is that in the United States there is some resistance to the level of taxation and regulation, some effort to REDUCE it. Broadly speaking the Republicans (bar establishment RINOs – the people who believed what they were taught in school and university and see in the “mainstream” media) are in favour of less taxation and less regulations – and the Democrats are in favour of more taxation and more regulation.

    In the United Kingdom no major party stands for cutting the 45% income tax rate or reducing the burden of regulation – the Chancellor, Mr Remainer Hammond, and the Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, Mrs Remainer May, are quite clear that they do NOT want the United Kingdom to be a low taxation, low GOVERNMENT SPENDING, and low regulations country. Ironically the policy that Comrade Jeremy Corbyn FALSELY accuses the government of following (lower taxation, less government, less regulations) is the policy the government should be following. But with “Remainers” as both Chancellor and First Lord of the Treasury there is no hope (none) that the United Kingdom will follow such a policy.

  • Paul Marks

    Note to American and other readers “Remainer” means supporter of the European Union (the United Kingdom is in the bizarre position of having its fiances controlled by people who support another power, the European Union, against their own country – as Chancellor Hammond made clear when he let slip that he would support giving the European Union another 50 BILLION Pounds in return for NOTHING AT ALL). But more broadly “Remainer” in internal Conservative Party slang means the same as “RINO” does in the United States – i.e. it means someone calls themselves a Conservative but does not really want a smaller government. For Prime Minister May’s view of government one should, as Michael Jennings has pointed out, listen to her speeches.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I heard in the UK if you earn more than 151 thousand pounds a year you get taxed 45%. That’s crazy! That’s half of what you earned; your blood, sweat and tears going into someone else’s pocket.

    Sorry to be pedantic, but 45% is the marginal tax rate (i presume), so on the bulk of the 151K pounds, people pay a lower rate … except for VAT, of course. In any case, he is right that it is crazy.

    By far the greatest outrage, however, is taxation of interest, dividends, pension funds, pensions, and capital gains. That could lead to a discussion of the LVT, however, so i won’t go into it.

  • Snorri Godhi

    About Runcie’s (broadly correct) claim that taxation is theft: i believe that a historical perspective is in order. I am not at all sure that my perspective is correct, however, so i invite corrections.

    My understanding is that, in the “””Dark””” Ages, the notion emerged that the sovereign could not extract taxes without the consent of the taxpayers. (Leading to “no taxation without representation”.) That notion probably originated both from the Judeo-Christian precept that “Thou shalt not steal”, and from Germanic traditions of freemen jealously defending their property rights. In fact, it was in the Visigothic Kingdom of Leon that the first Parliament was instituted, so that the King could get the consent of the governed all at once, without having to go from one taxpayer to the next, asking each of them for his consent.

    The trouble started when Parliaments, instead of representing the interests of taxpayers vis-a-vis the government, began to align their interests with the interests of the government.

  • Alisa

    began to align their interests with the interests of the government

    Or, more correctly, became the government.

  • djc

    My favourite:

    ROUGH SEAS! Bad Weather in Atlantic Ocean

    fascinating view of the ship flexing…

  • That is such a great channel, Rob! Cheers!

  • Paul Marks

    As Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke (Dr Bonham’s case – there is no such crime in Common Law as following a trade or profession without a piece of paper called a “license” or a permit), and Chief Justice Sir John Holt (and indeed later Chief Justices) pointed out – when Act of Parliament violates the fundamental liberties of the subject that Act is void – the High Court of the Monarch in Parliament does NOT “make law” in the sense of being able to change the fundamental natural laws.

    But then came the “Blackstone Heresy” that Parliament could do anything it liked – the very thing that the American Founding Fathers rebelled against.

    Now it is not even Parliament – most “law” comes from officials and is not read, let alone voted upon, by Parliament. See Chief Justice Hewart (1929).

    The American Supreme Court ruled against this abomination (that officials could make law) in 1935 (striking down the Fascist National Recovery Administration of the New Dealers) and the vote was nine votes to zero.

    However also in 1935 the Supreme Court ruled (five votes to four) that the government could rip up contracts and steal monetary gold. And in 1937 the Supreme Court ruled that the “common defence and general welfare” was not the PURPOSE of the specific spending powers granted to the Congress in Article One, Section Eight, but was a catch-all “general welfare spending power.

    Finally, during World War II, the Supreme Court ruled that “interstate commerce” covered even the growing of good for personal consumption (without any crossing of a State line).

    Thus the American Republic died.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Paul, Paul, Paul! The American Republic is still there! The ideals died, but the body is still around, like a zombie, feeding just for the sake of feeding.

  • Paul Marks

    Nicholas Gray – I accept your correction.

    Of course if there is a “general welfare spending power” then the Tenth Amendment is meaningless, and there was no need to list specific spending powers in Article One, Section Eight.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul has the Gaul *snicker* to bring up the Tenth Admendment, which does touch glancingly on the rights of (“the”) people, and of the “general welfare spending power” of our government.

    Strangely enough, Randy Barnett did an interesting podcast on this very topic for Cato: “Social Justice v. Individual Sovereignty.” AUDIO, 35 min, at


    The reason for the *snicker* above is that our Mr. Marks himself recently gave a fascinating talk at a Libertarian Home event (I guess it was) on “Two Revolutionary Philosophies.” He compared and contrasted the meanings that two revolutionary groups, the American and the French took from the same writings, e.g. of Locke, and how these different meanings implied nearly opposite views of the human individual person, and of his position in the body of “the People”; and how and why, as a result, the practical political situations of individual persons differed and still do today. Excellent for the analysis, and also an excellent, effective style. ~ 25 min.

    Paul may be seen and downloaded at https://hooktube.com/watch?v=sdNr3_r1K9s ; or, of course, just watch at “UT.com”, instead of “hooktube.com” ; URL otherwise the same.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    A great show. I note one segment referred to the “central planner”, but that was the action of a private corporation not a government, and driven by a desire for profit, not power. It proves that planning and markets are not in opposition. Rather, it is who is doing the planning, and whether with consent of others, or not.

    Very nice piece; I am going to show this to my Maltese nephew, as he lives in an island famous for its harbours, including a very modern one on the south.