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In the mindless leftism department

In today’s edition of the mindless, knee-jerk leftism department, Reuters reports that Oxfam is upset that Singapore has low tax rates, apparently because this somehow creates “inequality”. Note that Singapore also has a notably low poverty rate, and that poor people in Singapore are better off than in almost all of the other countries on earth, and (given Oxfam’s purported original mission) poor people in Singapore eat pretty damn well, but as Singapore doesn’t mindlessly tax people for no reason, we are apparently to think of it as a terrible place.

30 comments to In the mindless leftism department

  • Cesare

    ‘Mindless Leftism’ is a redundancy.

  • John B

    Is it Leftism?

    If there were to be no poor, hungry people what would Oxfam be for? Its highly paid executives would have to try to get a job in productive activity in the competitive, private sector…. but do they have the marketable skills to make them employable?

  • Note that Singapore also has a notably low poverty rate

    Well that’s just more inequality, isn’t it! How dare the poor in filthy capitalist Singapore with its low tax rates be richer than those in virtuous socialist Venezuela with its high ones. Have they no class consciousness at all!

  • Tim the Coder

    Singapore also takes law and order quite seriously and takes a dim view of people abusing children.
    But there’s no connection between that and Oxfam’s interests, indeed not.

  • Rob

    Marxfam. Delist as a charity and disband it.

  • So what part of “it’s none of their business what a sovereign nation does within its borders” does Oxfam not understand?

  • James Strong

    Interesting point by Longrider.

    Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation, If a consulate is sovereign territory in the same way that an embassy is then I guess we should all STFU.

    Mmm. Not entirely sure that works.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    I don’t buy the “sovereign nation” business for the same reason I don’t buy the “it’s evil not to tax people” business. Rights are for individual humans, not for so-called “states”.

  • Chester Draws

    If a consulate is sovereign territory

    Yeah, if consulate’s were sovereign territory. It’s a well known “fact” that is untrue.

    Embassies and consulates are usually allowed immunity under the Vienna Convention. That prevents others from entering, searching etc the embassy/consulate. It says nothing about change in ownership of the land or buildings, and thus the whole “sovereign territory” thing is incorrect. (Similarly, diplomatic immunity does not mean any action undertaken is legal, it is merely that the person cannot be charged.)

    So if a Libyan were to shoot an English policeman from their embassy, the entire act would take place on British soil. If a person were to have a child on a US embassy then that child was not born in US soil and would not be entitled to US citizenship (this, sadly, is tried from time to time by those who don’t read the actual rules).

    Kashoggi was killed on Turkish soil. The perpetrators can be charged, provided they have no immunity, once they leave the consulate. Indeed the Saudis have allowed Turkish investigators access on precisely this basis. If it were Saudi soil, then it would be no business at all of the Turks.

  • ns

    “Mindless Leftism” indeed. A thinking response would be to urge Singapore’s neighbors to copy Singapore’s tax rates (and other actions and regulations, or hopefully, lack of regulations) so that their poor can be as rich as Singapore’s.

  • I don’t buy the “sovereign nation” business for the same reason I don’t buy the “it’s evil not to tax people” business. Rights are for individual humans, not for so-called “states”.

    Have the denizens of Singapore voted for Oxfam? Have they appointed Oxfam to decide their tax rates? Does Oxfam have any authority within the borders of that state? No. Then it’s none of their damned business what the tax arrangements of that state or any other state is.

    The Saudi issue is a non sequitur. Chester has covered it so I won’t waste time with repetition.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Have the denizens of Singapore voted for Oxfam?

    That’s the wrong question to ask for the same reason that it wouldn’t matter if they had voted for Oxfam. Voting for something doesn’t convey special privileges to violate the rights of those who do not consent. Oxfam is odious, but this is the wrong argument to make against their position.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well, isn’t Oxfam just stating its opinion? I don’t think they’re talking about undertaking any kind of actual action against the place.

    After all, I and lots of other people have no use at all for the government in Venezuela; and we complain about it loudly, and many subgroups of us publish their complaints. I don’t see any reason why we should shut up about it just because Venezuela is a “sovereign nation.”

    Oxfam has no authority, not of any kind, over what goes on within the State of Singapore. So just with any group, we don’t dispute its right to state its opinion, however much we disapprove of what it says.

    Now personally, I haven’t been a fan of Oxfam ever since I first heard of them. Bunch of silly leftists.

    As is his original postig.

  • bobby b

    If, when you read the original cited article, you substitute “confiscations” for “revenue”, it all makes much more sense.

    It’s as if Billy The Kid generated “revenue.”

  • Julie near Chicago

    Correcting the last part of my comment above, which I messed up in the Editing process:

    Just to state the obvious, Perry M. is merely stating his own opinion, which he is perfectly entitled to have. (Which is a convenient truth, since nobody has the power to remove it and substitute another. *g*)

    Also, the original posting begins,

    “In today’s edition of the mindless, knee-jerk leftism department, Reuters reports that Oxfam is upset that Singapore has low tax rates, apparently because this somehow creates “inequality”.’

    Works for me.

    And he’s quite right that it’s individuals and not States who have rights, properly speaking.

  • CaptDMO

    Are we to understand that the “Oxfam” complaint is that “Singapore” doesn’t take enough money from it’s people, to give to “Oxfam” that they might “administer” the condition of relatively poorer people of Singapore?
    No, I did NOT read the whole thing!

  • Paul Marks

    Yet another reason to never give money to Oxfam – the policies they push creates the poverty they say they deplore.

  • Sean

    OXFAM says it all to me (I’m not a supporter of child prostitution).

  • Bruce Abbott

    I worked for a month in Singapore, installing instruments on a power-plant on their north coast. I was amazed by how comfortable the various ethnic groups were with each other; joking and embracing was common among the staff at the plant. Don’t think, however, that Singapore doesn’t apply high taxes when it wants to manage certain aspects of society; a license plate for a car costs tens of thousands of dollars. I took taxis to work every day and all of them had over 500,000 Km on the odometer. One particular vehicle was on its second engine and third transmission. At least there are plenty of bus seats for the common folk. BTW, a 50 square-Meter apartment goes for around a third of a million dollars…

  • The Wobbly Guy

    They’re not wrong in saying we have high inequality.

    The question then becomes: so what?

    High inequality usually has certain consequences, such as high crime rate. For various reasons, we have escaped that particular consequence. Other supposed detrimental consequences of high inequality, such as starvation on the streets, throngs of homeless (but alas, not zero homeless), we have avoided as well.

    What’s their problem?

    Singapore still has many problems. High inequality, while true, is not really a problem for us.

    “Singapore’s harmful tax practices mean that they are eroding the revenue of other countries in the region and globally, revenues that those countries could be investing in schools and hospitals,” Lawson told Reuters.

    That was simply laughable.

    Here’re some local comments on the matter.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/singapore/comments/9mzio2/reuters_oxfam_rejects_singapore_defense_of_low/

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Paul Marks says:

    Yet another reason to never give money to Oxfam – the policies they push creates the poverty they say they deplore.

    Rem acu tetigisti.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    BTW, for a previous posting by me on a related topic, see: “Putting the Gini back in the bottle”, in which I discussed the general ill-conceived notion that “income inequality” is something we should care about.

  • A thinking response would be to urge Singapore’s neighbours to copy Singapore’s tax rates (and other actions and regulations, or hopefully, lack of regulations) so that their poor can be as rich as Singapore’s. (ns, October 19, 2018 at 8:07 pm)

    So what if that would make the poor richer? Only the poor care about that! Think of all the bureaucrats and crony capitalists who would be (relatively) impoverished by this proposal.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry Metzger – thank you Sir.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Seeing as Oxfam was at the largesse of the British taxpayer to the tune of at least £30 million a year up to the point we found out its operatives were using it to pay to f*ck little Haitian girls, you can see why they are keen on taxation.

  • staghounds

    Any Oxfammer is free to donate as much money as he likes to the government of Singapore.

  • chip

    Read through Oxfam’s website and note their dedication to food justice, gender justice, climate justice and silly socialism. The irony is that while purportedly working to reduce poverty, their policy positions create more poverty.

    Since capitalism is supposedly responsible for poverty, I suggest Oxfam commit to raising donations from non-capitalist countries. See how that goes.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Since capitalism is supposedly responsible for poverty, I suggest Oxfam commit to raising donations from non-capitalist countries. See how that goes.

    Kudos for that one.

  • Julie near Chicago

    A comment by “fitzerspaniel” in the Reddit stream to which Wobbly Guy links above:

    Not being on top is okay, not being on top because they don’t like how your economy works is not okay. First it’s inequality within a country, now it’s inequality between countries. What’s it gonna be tomorrow, inequality between the size of their member and their brain?

    😆

  • Eric

    …apparently because this somehow creates “inequality”

    I will never understand the leftist obsession with inequality. Baroness Thatcher was correct – these people would rather see the poor even poorer if it meant the rich had comparitively less.

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