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The Proactive Moral Denial Of Rentiers

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What was it the CEO of Goldman Sachs said - "we are doing the work of God"

I remember a mid level NHS paper-pushing manager on a mental salary in the great Gordo public sector boom years, who had a personal crisis every time ANYTHING happened to question her perfect morals.

I remember a member of the Halifax bank abjectly denying to me at the counter that they were ever insolvent.

Hitler (OK so it's pushing moral equivalence a bit far) considered himself on a moral crusade for Germany and the human race.

We regular HPCrs probably moralise away the fact we're, in global terms, very lucky and well off, and don't concede that our complaints against high house prices are extremely relative, and possibly our comforts come at the expense of comforts of many foreigners. I'm thinking of our thirst for Middle East oil and how that has propped up immoral regimes for decades, for starters. Why are we so morally better then?

And in recent arguments with Property118rs on these fora - well one in particular - his first argument was why are we so offended by his existence and we pushed him far enough that he signed off by saying screw you you're paying my mortgages (the mask slipped, besides the fact he's wrong at current market yields)

I suppose you can say they're only human beings, WE'RE only human beings, we take responsibility and that's that. And if we don't do so then we may well be forced to do so. And that could hurt. Suck it up, all of us.

On the final example - what's worse than a rentier? Answer - a sh*t rentier who bankrupts himself. There but for the grace of God. (I'm not religious by the way)

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What scares me about rentiers is that they genuinely feel hard done by. They feel wronged.

The morals that rentiers have are not triggered because they are the ones who feel wronged.

How do they choose to deal with this? They threaten the most vulnerable in society: the homeless. The recent behaviour of Property116 people and threatening to evict people is scary.

From their point of view, they deserve tax relief.

It boggles the mind. Everyone else, including property business such as house builders and owner occupiers have to pay tax. They were temporarily relieved of paying tax. The natural state of things is to pay tax. Now the government is making it fairer and they are getting angry.

They are literally throwing the toys out of the pram rather than thinking about what has happened. If you either challenge them on this, they resort to denigration like you mentioned. They will laugh at you and say you are jealous and that you are paying their mortgage.

Metaphors:

Like a thief who thinks it is unfair for other thieves to steal from him.

Like someone with an expensive car and thinks anyone who criticizes the car is jealous.

Like a slaveowner who feels it is wrong that his livelihood should be taken away from him.

Like someone who likes a particular brand of music and thinks anyone who does not like that music is an idiot.

Like a neighbour who thinks if he cannot have his way, nor can you.

Like a working class family who when criticized about going on holiday all the time just thinks everyone else is jealous and boring.

Like someone who has an elderly relative and a house who thinks it is unfair that the home should be used to pay for care rather than inheritance money.

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What scares me about rentiers is that they genuinely feel hard done by. They feel wronged.

The morals that rentiers have are not triggered because they are the ones who feel wronged.

How do they choose to deal with this? They threaten the most vulnerable in society: the homeless. The recent behaviour of Property116 people and threatening to evict people is scary.

From their point of view, they deserve tax relief.

The problem is that paying tax-any tax- is out of sync with the prevailing ethos of our times. If we accept the core proposition of the Neo Liberal 'ethic' which is the claim that all human action is solely driven by self interest then paying tax seems an anachronism- taxation is essentially about the idea of a 'common good' in which societal wealth is pooled and deployed to enhance the well being of all- but in the Neo Liberal world view there is no such thing as society- only a collection of separate individuals pursuing their selfish desires.

So the very notion of taxation is at odds with this view. The result is that tax evasion/avoidance is a stigma free activity, since if self interest is the highest moral principle then taxation really is a form of theft- and to avoid being robbed is not morally wrong- it might even be seen as praiseworthy.

The elites who have propagated the Neo liberal model have-perhaps unintentionally- undermined the moral imperatives that in the past did provide at least a degree of 'self policing' when it came to paying one's taxes.

It was not that long ago that many people took the view that paying tax was a moral obligation as well as a legal one- but today this idea looks foolish.

The question that was never put to Thatcher was this- If there is no such thing as society then why is there any need to pay taxes?

Taxation is at root an evocation of a social solidarity that is completely incongruent with the Neo liberal world view that now dominates our institutional thinking- thus these institutions are entangled in an ambivalence that effectively undermines their ability to deal with the reality of large scale tax avoidance and evasion on the part of corporate entities that draw their legitimacy from their (claimed) allegiance to the Neo Liberal ideal of free markets as the ultimate arbiter of all human values.

After all- if greed is good then tax evasion is a morally virtuous activity. And it's only a short step from this to the view that taxation is itself immoral.

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It`s simple the tide has turned they either move their deck chairs or get of the beach the chose is theirs



When their special pleading gets to the point of threatening evictions and comparing their plight to the plight of the Jewish population under Nazi rule (yes that's you Ros from http://www.property118.com/ ) these desever to be seen in the same light as the SS



The fact that post was on that thread for so long/is still on that thread says all you need to know about the mentality/views of the owner (s) and contributors of that site



I would never tarr all LL with the same brush,as there are good ones out there and there`s a genuine need for a PRS ,but i find it a bit rich for the over leveraged ones who leveraged their tenants wages to the max in a very favorable tax environment at a point in time when interest rates are at 300year lows now to start moaning because they have to pay an amount of tax that will bring them inline with other investments/businesses , they have been given five years to adapt to the change


If they find themselves being made insolvent by these changes that's just bad business on their own part suck it up and move on as the bet you made with borrowed money has just been lost



As for accidental LL`s that's utter ******** ,it` s nothing but greed they took a punt on HPI and skimming from rental return ,nobody accidentally looks for a tenant and then accidentally takes the rent, they made a decision if that decision is now financially unviable they will just need to make another decision.


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After all- if greed is good then tax evasion is a morally virtuous activity. And it's only a short step from this to the view that taxation is itself immoral.

A well played point sir, you are not inaccurate but this is a deflection from the topic of BTL morality rather than tax morality. I think this direction misses the line of BTL morality.

Unfortunately, the moral implications of tax does not wash away the problems of BTL because:

  • BTL causes direct harm regardless of whether or not you pay tax on it
  • BTL pays less tax than equal value economic activities. Essentially, BTL is taxed so as to be unfair to other activities

If I pay an immoral tax and you can get away without paying it, then I still want you to pay the immoral tax because that makes it fair.

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Woops, that should say topic of rentier morality.

Being a rentier is equivalent to taxation, so maybe they are ultimately the same discussion, wonderpup.

I assume what the OP is interested in understanding is the difference between the moral thought processes of non-rentiering and rentiering people.

What makes rentiering acceptable to some people but not others?

From a rational perspective, people would rather do nothing at all and get paid for it which seems a prime motivation for rentiering. But I sometimes feel it is more than that and includes power tripping etc.

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Woops, that should say topic of rentier morality.

Being a rentier is equivalent to taxation, so maybe they are ultimately the same discussion, wonderpup.

I assume what the OP is interested in understanding is the difference between the moral thought processes of non-rentiering and rentiering people.

What makes rentiering acceptable to some people but not others?

From a rational perspective, people would rather do nothing at all and get paid for it which seems a prime motivation for rentiering. But I sometimes feel it is more than that and includes power tripping etc.

I suppose that if we view the Rentier as someone who is seeking a 'free ride' at other people's expense then the same could be said of the corporate tax avoider/evader in the sense that while they certainly wish to avoid paying tax they most definitely do not want to forgo the benefits that taxation brings.

For example I am absolutely certain that if I walked into a Starbucks and began to empty out the tills the police would be called- even if it were true that Starbucks had never paid a penny in taxation in the UK- so they would wish to make full use of a legal and policing service for which they would also wish to avoid paying for via taxation.

So the BTL investor and the Corporate sector seem to share a common thought, which is the notion that because they are providers of things that people want or need they should be exempt from the need to pay tax on their profits.

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Gorging on programmes like Homes Under the Hammer, and MSM propaganda that you-can't-go-wrong-with-property, BTLers fell into a stupor of complacency. Even hubris. The summer budget was a very rude awakening for them. The timing was shocking too. I don't doubt that 90%+ of LLs who voted, voted Tory. Because you-can't-go-wrong-with-property, and they critically confused home-ownership-loving Tories with ANY kind of home ownership. A simple error. Tories want owner occupiers, not renters. I bet they wish Milliband was in power now - instead of ripping up the BTL model, he'd be consolidating it with flimsy rent controls.

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The fact remains that for a resale business to work at all, there has to be a discount from the market place for the reseller to make a profit.

Any tax relief on the purchase of product makes no difference to the profitability at all.

In other words, the cost of materials is not about the tax.

However, in BTL, its all about the tax releif. there is no discount. Indeed, they pay MORE for their materials than the people who want to buy for themselves.

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Yes, fully converted. Possibly one of the most upsetting comparisons I have seen. They 'had me at the holocaust'.

I was spoiled - that my mentor and my friends have been exceptional moral examples of both business and treating people how you would yourself expect to be treated. I assumed this is what everyone does.

I also understood risk.

My intentions were not honourable when I decide to let my developed properties - but as you meet a tenant, their family, their children and realise just how much you all depend on each other....it created honorable actions. But that's because of who you are - it is not built into the model. And I realise now it is not everyone acts with integrity (yes, I was that naive).

It's fine if someone is a nasty piece of work who always feels like a victim or always thinks they are right - but give them the 'power of residence' over a family and that's a recipe for disaster.

118 converted me to this site. Not leveraged, 4 properties and selling when tenants decide its right for them to leave.

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For example I am absolutely certain that if I walked into a Starbucks and began to empty out the tills the police would be called- even if it were true that Starbucks had never paid a penny in taxation in the UK- so they would wish to make full use of a legal and policing service for which they would also wish to avoid paying for via taxation.

Starbucks still pay rates for the shops, they just skimp on the corporation taxes. So I believe the police are payed for, it is just their workforce you are probably subsidising...

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Yes, fully converted. Possibly one of the most upsetting comparisons I have seen. They 'had me at the holocaust'.

I was spoiled - that my mentor and my friends have been exceptional moral examples of both business and treating people how you would yourself expect to be treated. I assumed this is what everyone does.

I also understood risk.

My intentions were not honourable when I decide to let my developed properties - but as you meet a tenant, their family, their children and realise just how much you all depend on each other....it created honorable actions. But that's because of who you are - it is not built into the model. And I realise now it is not everyone acts with integrity (yes, I was that naive).

It's fine if someone is a nasty piece of work who always feels like a victim or always thinks they are right - but give them the 'power of residence' over a family and that's a recipe for disaster.

118 converted me to this site. Not leveraged, 4 properties and selling when tenants decide its right for them to leave.

Welcome back to humanity.

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Starbucks still pay rates for the shops, they just skimp on the corporation taxes. So I believe the police are payed for, it is just their workforce you are probably subsidising...

It's not just business rates that pay for the police, it's general taxation, too. Damned if I can find the proportions at the moment, though.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-finance

The fact remains that Starbucks are only paying for, say, the upper half of PC Plod.

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A well played point sir, you are not inaccurate but this is a deflection from the topic of BTL morality rather than tax morality. I think this direction misses the line of BTL morality.

Unfortunately, the moral implications of tax does not wash away the problems of BTL because:

  • BTL causes direct harm regardless of whether or not you pay tax on it
  • BTL pays less tax than equal value economic activities. Essentially, BTL is taxed so as to be unfair to other activities

If I pay an immoral tax and you can get away without paying it, then I still want you to pay the immoral tax because that makes it fair.

They are the same question, because landlords are miniature governments and rents are their taxes.

And just as some taxes are spent on the nhs, some are spent on upkeep of the house. An insignificant fraction, but enough for justification.

Taxes are also spent on smart bombs, and rents pay for your landlord's hookers, or whatever.

The morality is the same regardless of how the money is spent. Taxation is rent is theft.

BUT, there is a get out for taxes. Democracy.

If rents and taxes are inevitable, then the only reasonable way to control that is democracy. If the government reflects the views of its constituents, then you could argue that taxation is reasonable and fair.

That's a difficult argument I don't want to engage in, except to say that rents are the worst kind of taxation - taxation without representation.

Edited by BuyToLeech

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