Thursday, January 2, 2020

Frank Newman: Wealth destroying economists

What is it with some economists who are fixated with taxing wealth? Economist Shamubeel Eaqub has published an opinion piece, titled "Should New Zealand just tax land?" - view HERE.

In my view taxing wealth creators more is a certain way to demoralise a society's entrepreneurial spirit and decelerate an economy. Surely, economists like Shamubeel Eaqub would be of much more benefit if they turned their mind to the creation of wealth rather than its erosion.

Most economists are undoubtedly reasonably intelligent individuals, but they appear to suffer from a condition that affects most humans - being human.  Besides being professional they have personal views and biases that manifest themselves with every word uttered or penned. It's pretty clear that on an economic freedom scale between state control and free market capitalism his dial sits left of centre.

Our Prime Minister said there would be no capital gains taxes under her watch. Shamubeel Eaqub should take that to mean there will be no capital gains taxes under her watch. He can also reasonably assume that there would be no capital gains taxes under National's watch either, should it become the government later this year (despite National being so fundamentally lacking in principle when appeasing its political allies).

Perhaps its time for economists to move on from the promotion of capital gains taxes and turn their collective and professional minds to how we can grow the New Zealand economy to create new wealth that will benefit all.

Frank Newman, a writer and investment analyst, is a former local body councillor.

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