Vince Cable, destroyer of prosperity

May 29th, 2010

Simon Heffer sounds like a member of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, with his recent piece on the completely mad, anti growth, anti freedom, anti prosperity antics of Vince Cable, LibDem fail artiste extraordinare:

One of the worst features of Leftists – such as Vince Cable, the Business Secretary and inventor of the idiotic proposal to raise capital gains tax (CGT) – is that they believe people with assets exist purely to be taxed. Furthermore, they seem to believe that the so-called rich (in other words, anyone who has been putting money away regularly for his or her retirement) will not only not mind this happening, but will be in some way grateful to have their guilt at being “rich” assuaged by being kicked in this way. They could not be more wrong.

The whole principle of CGT – even at the existing level of 18 per cent – is unacceptable. Most people who make a capital gain these days do so using money they have earned, and which has already been taxed. They have often made capital gains by investing in the stock market, and therefore putting their money to the service of helping another enterprise to grow, and to create prosperity. Unless we create prosperity, other people won’t have jobs, but will instead have to throw themselves on the mercy of the state; and if they don’t have jobs, they don’t pay income tax, which means a shrinking pool of those in work must fund everything society deems it needs: hospitals, schools, pensions and the rest. More to the point, encouraging people to save for their long-term future is entirely sensible because of the burdens it removes from the state. So why decide to punish such positive behaviour?

Excessively taxing people’s thrift, enterprise and hard work is not only morally offensive: it is also bad for the financial health of our country, and for our ability to raise our standards of living for the future. When Labour introduced its 50 per cent tax band, it barely went through the motions of pretending that it was for any reason other than spite, and to appeal to those who enjoy the politics of envy. Dave, I hope, has recognised this, in his remarks to this newspaper last weekend about scrapping the rate if it raised no money. But would the Lib Dems let him do that? Indeed, given his obsession with the sentiments of focus groups comprising largely Labour voters, would he really want to do it himself?

I know we have a hideous deficit that we have to reduce, and shocking levels of debt that must be repaid. There are ways to do that, however, other than by yet again picking the pockets of middle-class people whose only aim in life has been to provide for themselves and their families, and to avoid asking for help from the state. The £6 billion cut in spending this week doesn’t even make a dent in it. The Tories never wanted to sack the socially unproductive members of Gordon Brown’s client state, who cost billions to employ and have jobs purely to encourage them to vote Labour. With the Lib Dems now holding the whip hand, the chance of rebalancing our economy by shifting resources from the public to the private sector appears to be a non-starter.

Yet it is, however much the coalition refuses to admit it, the only way to get us back on track.


Now go and read this absolutely wonderful essay by Lew Rockwell, which lays out beautifully why Vince Cable and his thieving bedfellows Ed Milliband and all the New Labour prosperity destroyers have got it all wrong:

I’m sure that you have had this experience before, or something similar to it. You are sitting at lunch in a nice restaurant or perhaps a hotel. Waiters are coming and going. The food is fantastic. The conversation about all things is going well. You talk about the weather, music, movies, health, trivialities in the news, kids, and so on. But then the topic turns to economics, and things change.

You are not the aggressive type so you don’t proclaim the merits of the free market immediately. You wait and let the others talk. Their biases against business appear right away in the repetition of the media’s latest calumny against the market, such as that gas station owners are causing inflation by jacking up prices to pad their pockets at our expense, or that Wal-Mart is, of course, the worst possible thing that can ever happen to a community.

You begin to offer a corrective, pointing out the other side. Then the truth emerges in the form of a naïve if definitive announcement from one person: “Well, I suppose I’m really a socialist at heart.” Others nod in agreement.

On one hand there is nothing to say, really. You are surrounded by the blessings of capitalism. The buffet table, which you and your lunch partners only had to walk in a building to find, has a greater variety of food at a cheaper price than that which was available to any living person – king, lord, duke, plutocrat, or pope – in almost all of the history of the world. Not even fifty years ago would this have been imaginable.

All of history has been defined by the struggle for food. And yet that struggle has been abolished, not just for the rich but for everyone living in developed economies. The ancients, peering into this scene, might have assumed it to be Elysium. Medieval man conjured up such scenes only in visions of Utopia. Even in the late 19th century, the most gilded palace of the richest industrialist required a vast staff and immense trouble to come anywhere near approximating it.

We owe this scene to capitalism. To put it differently, we owe this scene to centuries of capital accumulation at the hands of free people who have put capital to work on behalf of economic innovations, at once competing with others for profit and cooperating with millions upon millions of people in an ever-expanding global network of the division of labor. The savings, investments, risks, and work of hundreds of years and uncountable numbers of free people have gone into making this scene possible, thanks to the ever-remarkable capacity for a society developing under conditions of liberty to achieve the highest aspirations of the society’s members.

And yet, sitting on the other side of the table are well-educated people who imagine that the way to end the world’s woes is through socialism. Now, people’s definitions of socialism differ, and these persons would probably be quick to say that they do not mean the Soviet Union or anything like that. That was socialism in name only, I would be told. And yet, if socialism does mean anything at all today, it imagines that there can be some social improvement resulting from the political movement to take capital out of private hands and put it into the hands of the state. Other tendencies of socialism include the desire to see labor organized along class lines and given some sort of coercive power over how their employers’ property is used. It might be as simple as the desire to put a cap on the salaries of CEOs, or it could be as extreme as the desire to abolish all private property, money, and even marriage.

Whatever the specifics of the case in question, socialism always means overriding the free decisions of individuals and replacing that capacity for decision making with an overarching plan by the state. Taken far enough, this mode of thought won’t just spell an end to opulent lunches. It will mean the end of what we all know as civilization itself. It would plunge us back to a primitive state of existence, living off hunting and gathering in a world with little art, music, leisure, or charity. Nor is any form of socialism capable of providing for the needs of the world’s six billion people, so the population would shrink dramatically and quickly and in a manner that would make every human horror ever known seem mild by comparison. Nor is it possible to divorce socialism from totalitarianism, because if you are serious about ending private ownership of the means of production, you have to be serious about ending freedom and creativity too. You will have to make the whole of society, or what is left of it, into a prison.

In short, the wish for socialism is a wish for unparalleled human evil. If we really understood this, no one would express casual support for it in polite company. It would be like saying, you know, there is really something to be said for malaria and typhoid and dropping atom bombs on millions of innocents.

Do the people sitting across the table really wish for this? Certainly not. So what has gone wrong here? Why can these people not see what is obvious? Why can’t people sitting amidst market-created plenty, enjoying all the fruits of capitalism every minute of life, not see the merit of the market but rather wish for something that is a proven disaster?


Jealousy politics is a very ugly, anti human impulse that has ravaged Britain. You see it everywhere, in the towns where slit eyed, shorn headed, shell suited ‘yoofs’ wander around looking for violence. Where young girls with dirty, oily hair slicked back into a single pony tail, sporting tattoos and multiple piercings push prams around with cigarettes in their hands arguing at the top of their lungs with hoarse voices . You see it in the streets ruined by foul architecture, CCTV everywhere… if you live in the UK, you know exactly what it looks and feels like. Its all completely wrong, hideous and sad at the same time, and the older you are, the more you have to mourn.

Lew Rockwell is right; everything you love comes from capitalism, and in particular, everything you love in the UK came from capitalism. The super abundant wealth, unprecedented in the history of the world is what made everything in Britain possible, and she has been living off of the momentum of the market for over half a century. It is only now that the momentum is finally running out. People are leaving the sinking ship as fast as they possibly can, and even the political class understands on some gut level that the engine is about to grind to a halt; hence the ‘triage team’ mentality of this coalition government.

Britain is not going anywhere unless this government gets out of the way. Already people are taking evasive manoeuvres to avoid having their money stolen. This will distort the housing market, and every other market where this foul, loathsome and entirely illegitimate ‘Capital Gains’ tax touches.

The most sickening thing about this is that the British already know how to run a successful economy. They did it in Hong Kong. The form of a successful economy is well understood. The architects of it are the British. The question now is, why will they not just implement it and be done with this insanity?

And for all of you who stumble across BLOGDIAL for the first time and who reflexively bristle at the idea that capitalism is actually good thanks to efficient brainwashing, here is a reading list for you:

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?

Irwin Schiff – How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn’t

Those two books, the latter one being free to read online, will properly define for you what capitalism is, so that when that word is used you will understand exactly what it is referring to. It will also reveal to you wether or not the writer who is using that word understands what the word means; so many people misuse it out of either brainwashing or ignorance its meaning is badly distorted in the majority of pieces where it is printed.

2 Responses to “Vince Cable, destroyer of prosperity”

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