Creative Destruction

November 9, 2006

British Government Sure Is Smart

Filed under: Political Correctness,Race and Racism — Tuomas @ 4:28 pm

The British government is rising the Council Tax for some localities.

People who live in areas with good schools, clean streets and low crime rates face huge increases in their council tax bills.

Home owners and tenants will be charged hundreds, and possibly thousands, of pounds extra if they live in a “locality” deemed by ministers and officials to be more desirable than others. The rises could be as great as four times, sending some bills spiralling from £1,000 to £4,000.

In other words, if your kid does well in school, if you or your neighbors don’t throw garbage (or urinate, defecate or puke) in the streets, and if you don’t commit crimes nor does any of your neighbors, you pay more taxes.

Conversely, street-litterers, parents whose kids don’t get good grades, and criminals essentially get a tax cut.

Leaving aside the pure lunacy of that, what is really interesting about this:

For the first time, data provided by the national census, school exam results and crime statistics will be fed into the calculations. Householder income, cohabitation and, in what many MPs will regard as a highly contentious move, ethnicity will be taken into account. The information being used by the Government distinguishes between “farming communities”, for example, and “multi-ethnic, crowded flats”.

Notice what they are trying to do here (in vain): conflating “crowded flats” with multi-ethnic vs. euphemistically named “farming communities” (=non-urban houses inhabited with whites). Now, obviously anyone would live in a nice house vs. a crowded flat, but why must ethnicity still be taken into account separately?

Could it be that the leftist government of Britain is slipping from it’s typical Political Correctness and is forgetting to pretend that multiculturalism is good, immigrants are “an asset” (even, or especially, uneducated third-worlders), and multiethnicity “enriches” the society, and instead admitting something that I could have told them straight up: That multiculturalism/diversity destroys trust and further, that multiethnicity is socioeconomical pain in the ass that makes a neighborhood less desirable (let’s not forget: This is what the law says.)

Now, this isn’t bad in itself (truth is always good, because presumably it allows us to analyze problems and find solutions to correct them), but what is bad (and sadly, entirely predictable) is the solution: Because non-white neighborhoods are admitted to be worse places to live, white neighborhoods must pay more taxes. In other words, because non-whites are a problem, whites must pay.

The system of valuation is called “intelligent proximity analysis”, it is currently being tested in Northern Ireland, with householders saying that they are feeling “increasingly bewildered and angry”

H/T Jussi Halla-aho

16 Comments »

  1. It seems like a terribly ham handed way to achieve essentially the same result as a property tax with a modest exemption for each household, or an income tax.

    Comment by ohwilleke — November 9, 2006 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

  2. Oh, I see, it is a property tax. What ever happened to comparable sale analysis, the method used in almost every American county? We actually have an elected official in most parts of the country whose job is exclusively to run an office the values properties on that basis.

    Comment by ohwilleke — November 9, 2006 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  3. As far as I can tell, there is still a property tax based on value of property and this “locality” based tax is in addition.

    The present banding system would be scrapped and replaced by an annual bill levied at 0.78 per cent of the value of each property, which would push up the average bill in England from £1,056 to £1,492 under present calculations.
    Households in more affluent areas would, however, face substantially higher increases under the more sophisticated “locality” system.

    Ohwilleke:

    It seems like a terribly ham handed way to achieve essentially the same result as a property tax with a modest exemption for each household, or an income tax.

    But that wouldn’t be intelligent.
    In some Finnish blogs it has been speculated how the Free Market can respond to this measure:
    Sprayble vomit. Plasterable feces. Inflatable burnt cars.
    Sounds silly, but they would probably save money for residents of Chelsea and Kensington, so why not?

    Comment by Tuomas — November 9, 2006 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  4. ….and instead admitting something that I could have told them straight up: That multiculturalism/diversity destroys trust and further, that multiethnicity is socioeconomical pain in the ass that makes a neighborhood less desirable (let’s not forget: This is what the law says.)

    Now, this isn’t bad in itself (truth is always good, because presumably it allows us to analyze problems and find solutions to correct them), but what is bad (and sadly, entirely predictable) is the solution: Because non-white neighborhoods are admitted to be worse places to live, white neighborhoods must pay more taxes. In other words, because non-whites are a problem, whites must pay.

    It’s notable the way you slip from saying that multiculturalism is a problem to saying that non-whites are a problem.

    euphemistically named “farming communities” (=non-urban houses inhabited with whites)

    This is an utterly fantastic, and nonsensical, claim. If we are to take it seriously, we’d have to believe that, for instance, a multi-ethnic farming community would not be classified as a farming community, whereas a white suburban non-farming area would be classified as a farming community. Do you have any evidence to support that claim?

    In fact, the proposed system would only use these categories insofar as it incorporates data (and thus, categories) from the British Census; and the British Census’ neighborhood categories are mostly not based on ethnicity at all.

    Furthermore, your argument assumes that in the British classification system, multi-ethnic communities are automatically seen as less valuable than white communities. But that’s not true; in the British classification system, “Multi-ethnic young, converted flats” rank quite high in value, above many classifications that probably include many white neighborhoods (for example, a “blue-collar” neighborhood, regardless of its ethnic make-up, would be ranked as less valuable than a “multi-ethnic young, converted flats neighborhood”).

    “Multi-ethnic crowded flats” and its companion term, “multi-ethnic purpose built estates,” together form the “inner city adversity” group. It’s a euphemism for what in the US we would call “inner-city slums.” And yes, inner-city slums are less valuable real estate – but not all multi-ethnic areas are slums.

    Edited to add: Forgot to say, the system of classification used by the Brits is called “The ACORN System.” ACORN stands for “A Classification Of Residential Neighborhoods”; here’s a list of categories used by ACORN.

    Edited to cure a “word soup” sentence that made no sense.

    Comment by Ampersand — November 11, 2006 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  5. euphemistically named “farming communities” (=non-urban houses inhabited with whites)

    This is an utterly fantastic, and nonsensical, claim. If we are to take it seriously, we’d have to believe that, for instance, a multi-ethnic farming community would not be classified as a farming, whereas a white suburban non-farming area would be classified as a farming area. Do you have any evidence to support that claim?

    It’s utterly fantastical😀 how you clipped that out, and didn’t include the sentence that follows:

    Now, obviously anyone would live in a nice house vs. a crowded flat, but why must ethnicity still be taken into account separately?

    In this context, it is quite clear that I am saying that they are trying to hide the fact that they are taking ethnicity into account by including other qualifiers into the argument why ethnicity should be taken ito account.

    Furthermore, your argument assumes that in the British classification system, multi-ethnic communities are automatically seen as less valuable than white communities. But that’s not true; in the British classification system, “Multi-ethnic young, converted flats” rank quite high in value, above many classifications that probably include many white neighborhoods (for example, a “blue-collar” neighborhood, regardless of its ethnic make-up, would be ranked as less valuable than a “multi-ethnic young, converted flats neighborhood”).

    Strawman.

    “Multi-ethnic crowded flats” and its companion term, “multi-ethnic purpose built estates,” together form the “inner city adversity” group. It’s a euphemism for what in the US we would call “inner-city slums.” And yes, inner-city slums are less valuable real estate – but not all multi-ethnic areas are slums.

    Which is why ethnicity must be taken into account in the taxation separately?
    Did you really expect that your more long-winded reiteration of the same rhetorical trick that I already exposed would somehow confuse anyone, or do you not honestly see the point?
    I’m not sure about the British, but as far as I know, in many European societies inner cities are the expensive areas, whereas suburbs are where the poor go.
    Different city planning.

    It’s notable the way you slip from saying that multiculturalism is a problem to saying that non-whites are a problem.

    I beg your pardon. If multiculturalism is a problem, then adding non-Brits with different culture to a predominately British country is a problem.
    These usually happen to be non-whites which are discussed when the magic word ethnicity enters the discussion.

    Comment by Tuomas — November 11, 2006 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  6. whereas a white suburban non-farming area would be classified as a farming area. Do you have any evidence to support that claim?

    suburban =/= nonurban, that’s strawman number 2.

    The parenthetical referred to the fact that as AFAIK rural areas in Britain or Europe in general are overwhelmingly white, to the extent that “multi-ethnic farming community” is very nearly an oxymoron.

    Comment by Tuomas — November 11, 2006 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

  7. About ACORN

    ACORN is the leading geodemographic tool used to identify and understand the UK population and the demand for products and services. Businesses use this information to improve their understanding of customers, target markets and determine where to locate operations.

    Informed decisions can be made on where direct marketing and advertising campaigns will be most effective; where branches should be opened or closed; or where sites are located, including retail outlets, leisure facilities and public services.

    ACORN categorises all 1.9 million UK postcodes, which have been described using over 125 demographic statistics within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 287 lifestyle variables, making it the most powerful discriminator, giving a clearer understanding of clients and prospects.

    This has nothing to with taxation (it is a business/marketing tool) and isn’t what is discussed here.

    Comment by Tuomas — November 11, 2006 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

  8. I’ll cop to unclear prose, but I didn’t make a strawman argument.

    You claimed that “white neighborhoods must pay more taxes.”

    But if the British government does indeed base taxes on the ACORN classification system, as has been proposed, then your claim simply isn’t true. Some white neighborhoods will pay more taxes than some multi-ethnic neighborhoods, but some will pay less.

    I beg your pardon. If multiculturalism is a problem, then adding non-Brits with different culture to a predominately British country is a problem.

    I assume you intended to type “predominately white country.” British =/= white, despite what some racists have argued.

    Which is why ethnicity must be taken into account in the taxation separately?

    It’s simply not true that ethnicity is included “separately.” For ethnicity to be included “separately” would mean that if we had two neighbors, next door to each other, alike in all ways but ethnicity, one would be charged higher taxes than the other based on ethnicity. That’s what taking ethnicity into account separately would entail, and that would not happen under this proposed system.

    However, I assume what you really meant to ask is, why is ethnicity included as part of the neighborhood classification system?

    1) The British Census takes account of ethnicity in its classification of neighborhoods. I don’t know why it was designed that way, but I presume it’s because whoever designed the ACORN system felt that ethnicity is part of what defines some British neighborhood types, and is therefore a legitimate interest of a census.

    2) The new tax proposal proposes that already-existing Census data about neighborhoods (among other factors) be used to evaluate residence taxation.

    3) The alternative to using the Census data, with its handful of ethnic neighborhood classifications, is to set up a new system for tax purposes, which would gather its own nationwide neighborhood-level data. That would cost millions if not billions of pounds.

    So that is why ethnicity is part of the neighborhood data.

    Comment by Ampersand — November 11, 2006 @ 6:56 pm | Reply

  9. This has nothing to with taxation (it is a business/marketing tool) and isn’t what is discussed here.

    From what I’ve read, the new tax system proposed would use the ACORN classification system. That’s why it uses ACORN terminology, like “multi-ethnic, crowded flats.”

    I’m now a little confused over if ACORN originated in the private sector and is now used by the government, or vice-versa. But in either case, the same argument remains: It’s much cheaper for them to use already-existing data than to do new data-gathering in order to avoid the already-existing classifications.

    The idea that the purpose or effect of this data would be “white neighborhoods must pay more taxes” is nonsense.

    Comment by Ampersand — November 11, 2006 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  10. A correction:

    ACORN is built from a base of Census data. In effect, ACORN is the British census, with a lot of data “added on” by the private sector.

    The neighborhood classification scheme that Tuomos is objecting to is used by both the Census and by ACORN.

    Comment by Ampersand — November 11, 2006 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

  11. It’s simply not true that ethnicity is included “separately.” For ethnicity to be included “separately” would mean that if we had two neighbors, next door to each other, alike in all ways but ethnicity, one would be charged higher taxes than the other based on ethnicity. That’s what taking ethnicity into account separately would entail, and that would not happen under this proposed system.

    No, you can simply have a neighborhood that suffers from inner city hardship (both under this category are “multi-ethnic” [I have to wonder, do they build estates to purposedly house multi-ethnic people), and a neighborhood that is, say

    * 50 – Council flats, single elderly people
    * 51 – Council terraces, unemployment, many singles
    * 52 – Council flats, single parents, unemployment

    under category “Struggling families”, decide that struggling families is less “less fortunate” and have to pay more taxes.
    It is true that these areas probably aren’t similar in criminality etc. but then, what else is new?

    You claimed that “white neighborhoods must pay more taxes.”
    But if the British government does indeed base taxes on the ACORN classification system, as has been proposed, then your claim simply isn’t true. Some white neighborhoods will pay more taxes than some multi-ethnic neighborhoods, but some will pay less.

    A claim that men earn more money than women is simply not true…
    Oh, fill the rest.
    But I should say that whites vs. non-whites is slightly misleading, as several categories, such as “Multi-ethnic young, converted flats”,
    “Home owning Asian family areas”, and ” Crowded Asian terraces”, “Low income Asian families”, are higher than some categories that don’t contain an ethnic modifier (i.e. are predominately white) are rather high in the ACORN hierarchy (=have to pay more taxes under this law).
    I do wonder, where are the Blacks, if Asians have gotten their own category?

    I assume you intended to type “predominately white country.” British =/= white, despite what some racists have argued.

    Did I?

    Comment by Tuomas — November 11, 2006 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

  12. A claim that men earn more money than women is simply not true…
    Oh, fill the rest.

    You’re right – a blanket claim that men earn more money than women is simply not true. To be true, we’d have to say “the median pay of full-time, year-round female workers is less than that of their male counterparts,” or something like that.

    Similarly, if I claimed that a particular tax law singled out women to pay higher taxes than men; and if looking at the actual classifications used in the specific tax law showed that in fact, that’s not the policy; then my claim would be simply not true.

    Let’s look at your claim again: You said “Because non-white neighborhoods are admitted to be worse places to live, white neighborhoods must pay more taxes.”

    But for your statement to be true, it would have to be the case that: 1) there were no ethnic neighborhoods listed other than the two types of slums, or that 2) none of the non-slum ethnic neighborhoods were ranked higher than other classes of neighborhoods which would be, in some or most cases, white neighborhoods.

    But neither of those things are true. And, therefore, your statement was not merely “slightly misleading”; it was flat-out wrong.

    * * *

    I don’t know why the Census chose those particular neighborhood divisions – I’m simply not that up on the British Census system. My guess is that the divisions represent the actual neighborhoods in the real world the last time they conducted the census, and the reason they didn’t include a category for (say) “black working class flats” is because there weren’t enough such neighborhoods to justify making them a category of their own. Similarly, perhaps when measured by objective rulers such as wealth and income, virtually all the worse slums in England are in fact multi-ethnic.

    That’s just a guess on my part. But it seems more likely to me than thinking they just picked their categories out of thin air.

    Finally, regarding “Did I?” If you were asking if you typed “predominately British country,” you did. If you were asking if you argued “British = white,” you did not make such an argument (and I didn’t say nor imply that you had); if you had, I would have called you on it.

    * * *

    Just to be clear, I’m not saying that I think this proposed tax policy is a good idea. I’m disagreeing with some of the specific claims made, but I do agree that this tax policy, from what’s described in the article, isn’t wise.

    Comment by Ampersand — November 12, 2006 @ 12:23 am | Reply

  13. Shouldn’t you be busy trying to get your site back up?

    Comment by Robert — November 12, 2006 @ 12:40 am | Reply

  14. He’s probably using this as a stress reliever. So it’s either comment here or go back to pounding his head into a wall.

    Drywall doesn’t hurt quite that much, admittedly, but it can really put the crunch on when you accidentally find a wall stud.

    Amp, take one naproxen sodium for the big pain, and chase it with an ibuprofen or two for the minor stuff. Alleve tends to shut down major pain issues much better than it handles the little aches.

    Comment by Off Colfax — November 12, 2006 @ 3:02 am | Reply

  15. Or gin. Gin always works.

    Comment by Robert — November 12, 2006 @ 4:53 am | Reply

  16. Ah, damn it. I knew I was getting a bit too tired to argue last night (hindsight bias?). I had not actually analyzed the ACORN in detail, and got stubborn.
    Considering the arguments presented, and the ACORN system, I must admit that it is disingenous to claim that this is a tax against whiteness, as I have implied (altough I do suspect that on a literal sense, whites, on the average, will pay more taxes than non-whites, but that is true of progressive taxation too that does not take ethnicity into account).
    Everything else I have said about it I will stand by, and retain my position that it is stupid, discriminatory:

    ACORN categorises all 1.9 million UK postcodes, which have been described using over 125 demographic statistics within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 287 lifestyle variables, making it the most powerful discriminator, giving a clearer understanding of clients and prospects.

    (hah, from the horses mouth…)
    And ultimately ends up rewarding absolutely the behaviour that ought not to be rewarded. It also (IMO) is overly intrusive towards privacy.

    Finally, regarding “Did I?” If you were asking if you typed “predominately British country,” you did. If you were asking if you argued “British = white,” you did not make such an argument (and I didn’t say nor imply that you had); if you had, I would have called you on it.

    I meant to write “people of British descent” or whatever the hell they use these days. Of course, they happen to be white.
    Because obviously, in a multicultural society, for it to be by the very definition of multicultural, one has to define group/ethnicity x from y.

    [edited for redundancy]

    Comment by Tuomas — November 12, 2006 @ 11:53 am | Reply


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