Tuesday, 23 July 2013

All Hail The Homey-In-Chief

From City AM:

That is an extraordinary thought, one that embodies the beauty and extreme stability of the [royal family]. Nobody else does succession planning and long-termism this brilliantly; one of the monarchy's least well-understood but most important side-effects is that its survival helps ensure the protection of private property and hence capitalism.

Nope.

The royal family has nothing to do with "capitalism" (in the sense of private enterprise, free markets etc), never has done, never will, they are merely the poster children for Home-Owner-Ism (or neo-feudalism).

[At this stage we could do a compare and contrast between North Korea, which has a fairly long-lived hereditary presidency and no capitalism, and China, which is nominally Communist and seems to be quite good at capitalism. Or mention countries like the USA, Switzerland or Iceland who have never had a monarch, let alone a hereditary one].

The Home-Owner-Ist system has very little respect for "private property" whatsoever, hence and why it is considered acceptable for The Powers That Be (politicians, landowners, bankers, royal family, quangocrats and other welfare leeches) to help themselves to half of your earned income in tax.

The Home-Owner-Ist system doesn't even respect "public property" (the rental value of land), so The Powers That Be help themselves to large chunks of that as well.

18 comments:

Lola said...

Well, going back to your bit about Magna Carta it would seem that originally the Crown was Georgist - in the sense that it collected rents for the nation - if you conflate the Crown with the Nation. Now, it is also apparently a factoid that those with dynastic ambitions make better governments since they are more long termist than democratically elected politicians and tend to do less to destroy wealth, excepting wars for expansionism.

Just a thought.

Kj said...

Heath speaks bollocks ofcourse, but I agree with Lola. In a liberal democracy, better to have a non-attainable seat as a little wedge against every politicians secret dream of not having any superiors.

The Stigler said...

Lola,

Come off it.

The monarchs were dictators. They did things like giving trade rights to their pals, started wars for little good reason to gain more power. And that was the good ones. The bad ones were crazy or religious fanatics.

Arguably, yes, they should be more long term, but that assumes intelligence and sanity.

One benefit of democracy is that kooks like Prince Charles don't get to the top. If that man was an absolute monarch, I'm convinced that his rule would resemble something close to the effect of Pol Pot on Cambodia.

Lola said...

TS - It was just a thought...

Kj said...

TS: but if/when he does, any damages are reasonably contained. With constitutional, monarchies, the potential downsides of monarchs being idiots are reduced, as well as slightly moderating democracy. Win-win...

Lola said...

TS - or:

The politcians were dictators. They did things like giving trade rights to their pals, started wars for little good reason to gain more power. And that was the good ones. The bad ones were crazy or religious fanatics.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Well, I'm perfectly happy with "constitutional monarchies", pay them a reasonable whack out of tax revenues, same as any other senior government official, job done.

What I am not happy with is them colleting a hundred million quid a year in lightly taxed land rents and being the acceptable face of neo-feudalism and propping up the whole bullshit.

Lola said...

MW, well, quite. But if 'The Crown' 'owns' all the land, and the taxes/rents from it are ploughed back...but then as you say our monarchy is constutional. The 'Crown Estates' are nothing of the kind - they are government or state estates. In any event it was always held that the 'King should live off his own', which included foreign wars of conquest. It was accepted that taxes/rents could be raised for defence....

Overall I also quite like it the way it is, except for the tax and rents bit.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, yes, "Crown Estates" means government-owned land. For some bizarre reason, the "civil list" is paid out as x% of CE profits, but there you go, that's purely a bookkeeping thing, they could just as well pay them y% of all income tax revenues or z% of all LVT revenues.

CE also illustrates that LVT works perfectly well in practice. If people really hated paying money to the government in exchange for the right to occupy land and buildings, then CE would have no tenants and Regent Street would be completely empty.

Mark Wadsworth said...

... returning to the article, how does the HIC explain Switzerland, Iceland, the USA or Ireland, who seem to have always muddled along quite happily without one single semi-hereditary monarch lording it over them?

Lola said...

MW - Switzerland - I was in Lucern for a holiday recently and got the full William Tell / First three cantons lesson. From what I could glean it was all about liberty and taxation by a foreign monarch.

Kj said...

MW: Because Heath and his ilk is wrong, you don't need monarchy to have a reasonably liberal state, free economy, "capitalism" etc., but if the historical/cultural conditions are in place, you can have achieve it through near-direct-democracy, constitutional monarchy, republicanism, whatever. Re your recent post about why/how "nation-states" work.

Kj said...

The Swiss model may not be appropriate for the UK, american federalism may not be right for Norway, etc.. In fact I'm not sure the american federalism is right for the US in the long-term. Small nation-states rock.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Kj, if you read a history book or just think about it, nation-states are a bizarre concept.

But warring tribes with tribal lands didn't work and empires didn't work, so nation-states are just the least-bad way of doing things.

And I don't think there is an optimum size either, it seems to work for Luxembourg or Iceland with a few hundred thousand, it works for the USA, China, India with hundreds of millions.

All that matters is that nearly all people in that country have some vague sense of "belonging" to that country or being a "national" of that country (or that sub-division of a federal state).

Which is also a bizarre concept in a world of migration and where so many people have mum and dad from different countries. But there you go.

DBC Reed said...

It is absolutely essential to have a constitutional monarch as Head of State rather than a politician president with a known political background. The Army will pledge allegiance to the Queen ,God Bless Her ,but not to a sadistic creep like President Blair .Require them to do so and the half tracks will be clattering into London in no time. I also hope that Crown Estates will one day take over some of the big London estates at present in the hands of the aristocracy and let their heritage housing out to teachers, lecturers, army officers, land taxers and other useful citizens at peppercorn rents. Stranger things have happened (generally worse though)

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, sounds good to me. Stick it in the manifesto.

The Stigler said...

DBC Reed,

That's exactly what US soldiers pledge to do: to defend their country and accept orders from the President. Seems to work for them.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, I'm a pacifist.

Which army is more likely to wage a pointless aggressive war? One commanded by a politician and swearing allegiance to that politician (whom they might not like) or one actually commanded by a politician but swearing allegiance to a nominal head of state whom they are culturally brainwashed into revering?