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Old 02-23-2013, 12:33 PM
 
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All I ever see is how, who and how much. I always become bored, confused and apprehensive when I don't know what problem I am trying to solve. It seems to me taxes fall under these possibilities:

* contribution
* charity
* tribute
* obligation
* compensation

Have I missed any?

Now for example would a flat tax for a tribute be satisfying for a vassal state? does that solve their problem? If King George issued a simple form to fill out that would have satisfied the American colony?

What are we paying? What do we claim to pay? And who is really getting it? If the police are paid tax revenue for example and the police apprehended a car thief who received the tax payment? The police, car owners or insurance companies ?

Also what is a tax? It used to be when the government came and took your stuff. Now its spending. Who is a tax collector? When the government used to tax it took your stuff. Now they give you IOUs and call it spending which essentially makes you a tax collector once removed. A government contractor for example gets taxing rights in exchange for their stuff do they not? It says give me this stuff and here is this green paper; so go get someone else's stuff.

I can't even begin to debate how we tax without going through this huge pile of assumptions which seem rather flawed.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Default I vote for obligation.

As citizens, we live in a society in which government provides certain services which are (arguably) better provided by government than left to the citizens as individuals to provide for themselves. I won't try to make an exhaustive list of the services, which range from the military and the police which allow us to sleep soundly in our beds at night, to the paving of roads and the maintenance of traffic lights, to public education, and on and on. Therefore, we are "obligated" by majority vote to pay taxes to fund those services, even if we as individuals do not agree with the amount and scope of service X, Y, or Z.

And yes, the amount of taxes collected is not sufficient to pay for everything, at least in the United States. So a portion of the services are funded by the creation of debt (deficit spending). Does that mean that we could do away with taxes altogether and just have the government print money in order to pay the total bill for the services it provides? While it would take a Ph.D. economist to give an authoritative answer to that question, it seems to me that would result in a rapid collapse of the house of cards. Many people are worried about eventual collapse under the existing circumstances as debt levels spiral out of control.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
As citizens, we live in a society in which government provides certain services which are (arguably) better provided by government than left to the citizens as individuals to provide for themselves. I won't try to make an exhaustive list of the services, which range from the military and the police which allow us to sleep soundly in our beds at night, to the paving of roads and the maintenance of traffic lights, to public education, and on and on. Therefore, we are "obligated" by majority vote to pay taxes to fund those services, even if we as individuals do not agree with the amount and scope of service X, Y, or Z.

And yes, the amount of taxes collected is not sufficient to pay for everything, at least in the United States. So a portion of the services are funded by the creation of debt (deficit spending). Does that mean that we could do away with taxes altogether and just have the government print money in order to pay the total bill for the services it provides? While it would take a Ph.D. economist to give an authoritative answer to that question, it seems to me that would result in a rapid collapse of the house of cards. Many people are worried about eventual collapse under the existing circumstances as debt levels spiral out of control.
I suppose the point I am musing about when I see the left and the right debate taxes they do so without really going into the fundamental nature of their arguments. Its like a penguin and a polar bear meeting at the equator with each of them quite certain in which direction the hot and cold climates are. Of course each of them think the other is a lunatic. What problem is a flat tax trying to solve for example? Fairness ? Simplicity? Efficiency? Do flat tax advocates realize how they are utterly destroyed by the excise tax position on the notion of what a user fee does so well? That is not to say the ladder is completely right, but the former does not address it at all. Do they know that this is their weakness while trying to their strength? Do those with the VAT tax position know those who hold the position that hidden taxes are evil will despise it? First try and define the principle of a just tax. Then speaking of sales taxes those in so much love of it seem to have never heard of a black market. That is probably where VAT wins against excise/sales.

For example I would list the principles behind it before designing a tax. If at all they only seem to focus on one. A flat tax is simple and understood, but ignores that there is no relation to income and use. Its also a dead weight tax. After promoting the strengths they are often shocked to even know the counter arguments and don't even know why and based upon what principle.

* simple
* consistent
* least impact on industry
* not hidden
* discourages over exploitation of fixed resources
* ease of enforcement
* benefits balanced with tax liability.

If I don't like a tax plan , its probably because it does one of these, and to convince me you would have to minimize what ever aspect I see as violated. That goes for everyone else who likely have a standard they see violated.

Of course my favorite tax system never even seems to make the list, it just happens to have none of any of those problems. Its big weakness is it gets little press.

Last edited by gwynedd1; 02-24-2013 at 07:00 PM..
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:59 PM
 
Location: ATX-HOU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynedd1 View Post
Of course my favorite tax system never even seems to make the list, it just happens to have none of any of those problems.
Which is...?
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dv1033 View Post
Which is...?
Land value taxes is one example. However its not limited to that. Any value created by government should be the main target of revenue. The government created it, therefore you pay it.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:36 PM
 
Location: ATX-HOU
10,218 posts, read 6,496,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynedd1 View Post
Land value taxes is one example. However its not limited to that. Any value created by government should be the main target of revenue. The government created it, therefore you pay it.
And how would land value taxes be implemented? Are we talking property taxes? Forgive my ignorance.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dv1033 View Post
And how would land value taxes be implemented? Are we talking property taxes? Forgive my ignorance.

Property falls under two different categories. One is a product of human effort while the other is more like windfall. Natural windfalls are one thing, but government created windfalls are quite another. A good view of Central Park should be part of the tax base. Government does not build houses so that "property" is out of scope based upon the principle. However they do draw lines and thus the ground value is purely the creation of the state. So ground rent taxes fit. However large houses do require more fire and police protection so there is also a user fee argument for the building.

You can find people from the right and the left who think its the best tax or "least bad tax" . I have been called a socialist for agreeing with William F Buckley and Milton Friedman. This is how utterly brain dead the tax debate is.


Incidentally the tax system uses the same method that enterprises with some monopoly utilize, price discrimination. Its tax value discrimination but only on values that have no cost of labor or capital. It maximizes unit sales, meaning it recoups even the slightest margins of profit without sacrificing the profits from the more well to do.


A favorite example of mine that tickles humor and cynicism is sex dot com.

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Cohen's Appeal in Sex.Com Case; Sex.Com Case Sees... -- re> SAN FRANCISCO, June 12 /PRNewswire/ --
Sex.Com (Stats about all US cities - real estate, relocation info, crime, house prices, cost of living, races, home value estimator, recent sales, income, photos, schools, maps, weather, neighborhoods, and more. com), wholly owned and operated by Grant Media, LLC, is the premium adult Internet search engine, receiving on average 150,000- 200,000 unique users and 400,000+ page-views daily. A majority of the traffic is type-in adult traffic; many are first time surfers looking for specific adult content.

eriSign transferred the domain name to Cohen. Kremen, chief executive officer of Sex.Com, was later awarded a $65 million judgment against Cohen for fraudulently stealing the domain name.

Does anyone actually believe the value for this site was not largely due to the monopolistic character of the domain name? There can only be one name like it and its enforced by the government. Why is this, purely a product of the nature of language and enforced by government, not the tax base? What will be lost when taxing this down to a modest value of say 50k ? That is to say its still an advantage , but only a nominal one compared to millions. Any and all monopolies like this can be taxed with no dead weight on capital or labor.

Last edited by gwynedd1; 02-25-2013 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:26 AM
 
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Valuate.com - Free domain name appraisals


We DON'T valuate businesses, we DON'T valuate sites. We ONLY valuate DOMAINS!
Traffic is only given as a courtesy and doesn't enter into the appraisal calculation.



Book.com$1,000,000100,000,000

Boook.com$4,100375,0002,0000low$0.83All Taken


Anyone selling books on book dot come is collecting a free ride rent, just because of the name monopoly.


$1,000,000 vs $4,100 because someone planted their flag in the name of England.
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