U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Happy Easter!
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-25-2008, 09:00 PM
 
5,092 posts, read 4,360,489 times
Reputation: 4337

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
It probably helps to be a little nutty to complete a proper series of rants, I suppose.
There it is! The old reliable ad-hominen attack from MikeJaquish! Can't refute them, so might as well smear them! I knew I could count on you to once again stoop to mud-slinging!

And speaking of rants...you ever gonna give us an English translation for this little "non-rant" that you laid on us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
It seems that the fixation on contempt of others' wealth often renders the covetous enslaved by Money more than the wealthy target of that scorn is bothered. See, the "rich" will always be with us, too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-25-2008, 09:05 PM
 
5,092 posts, read 4,360,489 times
Reputation: 4337
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
I see your contention that you would pull me to safety. I worry about what that safety may be, recognizing that you never said you wouldn't throw me an anchor.
Wow.

I offer to save you from drowning, and you immediately worry whether it was just so that I could harm you? Isn't that...a form of paranoia?

Jesus gets it....you never will.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2008, 09:36 PM
 
5,092 posts, read 4,360,489 times
Reputation: 4337
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
I agree. If you don't like a sales tax, you have the option to buy things secondhand and learn to do things for yourself so you don't have to pay it. In that regard, the tax is very fair.
If the proposed sales tax doesn't tax secondhand things, then might ALL people choose to purchase secondhand things in order to avoid paying the sales tax?

What happens to the price of secondhand things when the number of items stays the same and demand goes up? Wouldn't that raise the price of secondhand goods, possibly out of the reach of those people of lesser financial means?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
A poll tax makes everyone pay, and if you read back through the thread you won't find a mention of providing children a franchise to vote in exchange for their tax duty. Is that fair?
When the Twenty-Fourth Amendment was ratified in 1964, it prohibited any taxation (poll tax or otherwise) as a requirement for voting in a federal election.

Foreign nationals in this country who earn incomes here are required to pay taxes on that income. They aren't given the right to vote.

The right to vote is not linked to the obligation to pay taxes. In fact, it's expressly prohibited.

And, one more time, I don't believe that any regressive tax, whether a poll tax or a sales tax, is a fair tax; I don't believe that children, or their parents, should be taxed merely because they exist.

Sterlinggirl, do you believe that children should subject to a poll tax? Do you believe that children should also have the right to vote?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2008, 11:19 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,791,423 times
Reputation: 6677
Quote:
What happens to the price of secondhand things when the number of items stays the same and demand goes up? Wouldn't that raise the price of secondhand goods, possibly out of the reach of those people of lesser financial means?
The raised secondhand prices would be offset by the raised thirdhand prices. I see higher prices for secondhand goods as a good thing, because it will encourage us to buy durable items and recycle them instead of buying disposable items and throwing them away.


Quote:
Sterlinggirl, do you believe that children should subject to a poll tax? Do you believe that children should also have the right to vote?
I'll be happy to answer that question in a thread debating the merits of a poll tax. This thread is about a national sales tax.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-26-2008, 10:16 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,939,282 times
Reputation: 3848
There are several reasons why encouraging people to reuse old stuff is not always a good idea. And it all comes back to my earlier comment to the effect that for most people, tax policies boil down to encouraging "virtues" and penalizing "vices". Being frugal is certainly considered a virtue -- but extreme frugality on a societal scale has its own costs as well.

Old appliances, even if they are well-maintained, are less energy-efficient than new ones. They are more likely to contain substances that are environmentally harmful. Old washing machines use more water than new ones. Old cars pollute more than newer cars. They may pollute within the legal limit, but our goal should still be to keep emissions as low as we possibly can -- by, among other things, introducing new, low-emission models. I'm no "tree-hugger", but I do realize that the planet does not give a flying rat's tukhos about our legal limits. Many disposable items used in medicine or personal hygiene are safer than "durable" ones because they decrease the likelihood of infection and as waste, have less environmental impact than constantly cleaning and sanitizing "durable" things. If you exempt second-hand stuff from taxes, people are not going to like the idea of old stuff being subject to the same environmental and technical standards as new stuff -- and you'll have people clamoring for exceptions, exemptions, different standards, etc. In many situations, the best way to recycle an old appliance, car, etc., is to break it apart for parts and scrap metal, rather than continue to use it.

I really don't care if some family living in the backwoods of Montana still uses a 1957 refrigerator and drives a 1970 Buick. But I think it's not a good idea to use taxes to encourange everyone to do the same.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-26-2008, 11:06 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,791,423 times
Reputation: 6677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
I really don't care if some family living in the backwoods of Montana still uses a 1957 refrigerator and drives a 1970 Buick. But I think it's not a good idea to use taxes to encourange everyone to do the same.
You've hit on a couple of the bad points, but there are good ones as well. Encouraging small appliance manufacturers (blenders, etc) to put out products with a big enough motor that they don't burn up the 2nd time you use them would be good, as would making coats with zippers that will last more than half a season.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-26-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,939,282 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
You've hit on a couple of the bad points, but there are good ones as well. Encouraging small appliance manufacturers (blenders, etc) to put out products with a big enough motor that they don't burn up the 2nd time you use them would be good, as would making coats with zippers that will last more than half a season.
And how would sales taxes fix that? A second-hand blender that doesn't work is overpriced even if it costs a penny. Fixing it, as a labor-intensive activity, would still be more expensive than mass-producing cheap, though shoddy goods. The manufacturer will not necessarily supply replacement parts. I suppose some other company could manufacture them, but then there would be a tax on the new motor, no? That would raise the costs of fixing the blender even further.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-26-2008, 11:45 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,791,423 times
Reputation: 6677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
And how would sales taxes fix that?
A high sales tax on new items would create a market for used items trying to avoid the tax. The existence of that secondary market affects buying decisions for new goods by making the purchaser consider the resale value of the item they are purchasing.

Right now if I were purchasing a blender, I'd probably go for the cheap Chinese one that may burn out after a couple years because I know that if I ever want to get one a different color or style, there won't be anybody willing to buy my used one. If there was a strong secondary market, I'd be a lot more likely to buy a Kitchen-Aid that is built to last a lifetime.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-26-2008, 12:13 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,939,282 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
A high sales tax on new items would create a market for used items trying to avoid the tax. The existence of that secondary market affects buying decisions for new goods by making the purchaser consider the resale value of the item they are purchasing.

Right now if I were purchasing a blender, I'd probably go for the cheap Chinese one that may burn out after a couple years because I know that if I ever want to get one a different color or style, there won't be anybody willing to buy my used one. If there was a strong secondary market, I'd be a lot more likely to buy a Kitchen-Aid that is built to last a lifetime.
Other than a wire whisk, no blender lasts a lifetime, Sterlinggirl. I mean, it's not impossible, but they are not designed that way. The main difference between variously priced consumer products is in the performance before they break, less so in how long they last; generally, manufacturers have a strong disincentive to make things that will last forever. Imagine you are a maker of blenders. There is a certain level of demand for blenders on the market, and, in view of the fact that the US population reproduces only slightly above replacement, that level of demand will stay fairly constant over the next several decades. Once you've saturated the market with your blenders -- then what? What is the manufacturer to do then? Go out of business? Most consumer products are in fact designed to fail at some point, sooner rather than later -- or to become obsolete. With a tax system that exponentially raises the cost of new products, the manufacturer will have an even stronger incentive to make things that don't, in fact, last.

There is something else that I forgot to mention in my previous post. I believe it would also be detrimental to us to use taxes to inhibit technological progress -- by, say, encouraging people to use old computers, televisions, cell phones, etc. This will slow down the development of superior, more efficient products and force manufacturers and developers to shift their focus towards creating endless patches to prop up obsolete technologies instead of improving them. Realize that a home computer is more than just that: the development and design efforts that give us better consumer technologies ultimately power military technologies as well, and also major public projects (such as space exploration, that holds incalculable economic gains in the future). A tax system that puts the brakes on technological development would ultimately make this country less technologically competitive with other societies, where developers are not saddled with similar handicaps.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-26-2008, 01:18 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,791,423 times
Reputation: 6677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
Other than a wire whisk, no blender lasts a lifetime, Sterlinggirl. I mean, it's not impossible, but they are not designed that way. The main difference between variously priced consumer products is in the performance before they break, less so in how long they last; generally, manufacturers have a strong disincentive to make things that will last forever.
I take it you're a man, so I'll put this in terms you'll understand. Manufacturers can be very successful building things to last a lifetime. Snap-On tools are a good example of the type of quality that is rewarded with a premium price, and people will pay a small fortune for that quality. Cummins is another company who can charge a significant premium for their products, and people will line up to pay it.

Your argument that a short life cycle enhances innovation doesn't hold much water. A prime example would be the complete lack of innovation that you see out of the big 3 with their cars good for 100K miles compared to the technology advancements of Honda and Toyota who build cars that will easily run a quarter million miles.

America isn't going to be prosperous competing in the field of cheap knock-offs, and to make manufacturing jobs we need to base that manufacturing on quality, which in turn pays for innovation.

Last edited by sterlinggirl; 11-26-2008 at 01:27 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top