Jump to content

Taxation


swansont
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

It is generally not commented on, but no one knowingly elects governments that want to go to war or destabilise other countries, governments are generally elected on domestic issues. If politicians were to ask for more tax money to be raised to police or destabilise a region to grab a countries resources the average person including professors and drug addicts would most likely not vote for those politicians

 

Tony Blair is still under investigation for the Iraq war, he is guilty of treason, ie waging a war not in the interests of his electorate. Hopefully the next attempt to prosecute him will result in him doing time in prison.

 

For a country on the opposite side of the world to alienate a country on the opposite side, and to try and dictate another countries policies is treason, ie it is not in the interests of any electorate to go to war or change a political or religious situation in a country.

 

For Governments to raise taxes to wage illegal wars has to be treason. Many of the worlds governments or religious groups mess about with other countries policies to gain control of resources. Would it be of interest to anyone to be able in a democratic country to indicate what percentage of taxes is allocated for domestic issues and what should be allocated for external issues.

I disagree that no one would vote for a politician on a platform of going to war and/or interfering with other countries. Many a political figure has risen to prominence on just such promises throughout history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree that no one would vote for a politician on a platform of going to war and/or interfering with other countries. Many a political figure has risen to prominence on just such promises throughout history.

 

Do you know anyone that would pay taxes to police the world, when public services cant be funded and innocent people who could have lived there lives die as collateral damage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Do you know anyone that would pay taxes to police the world, when public services cant be funded and innocent people who could have lived there lives die as collateral damage.

Pretty sure I've encountered at least a few, yes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are there any real life examples of countries thriving in the absence of taxation? There are 196 countries in the world. That provides 196 real world examples we can use to shape our perspective. To my knowledge countries which enjoy basic freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom to pursue employment/education of their choice all have standardized taxation both nationally and locally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suggest looking up the meaning of treason, H Andy, none of the scenarios you suggested amount to treason, which is possibly why the charges won't stick to T Blair.

 

Most European countries ( and Canada ) belong to a mutual protection treaty called NATO. That means an attack on any one country is an attack on all of them. I would assume that makes Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Hungarians, Romanians and Slovakians sleep better at night; And would have helped keep Ukraine whole. I would gladly pay more taxes for my armed forces to keep V Putin out of Eastern Europe, Sensei. Haven't you noticed that Komrade Vladimir likes wearing his Bear suit lately ?

 

And finally to the OP...

Taxes are like government and democracy.

Not a good system by any means, but much better than the alternatives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think most of the problems with taxation stem from mixing private and public structures of ownership. If something is privately owned, it should live and die by market standards, with subsidization by public funds only in the case of emerging technologies. If something is publicly owned, the public should own it and all the parts of it.

 

Remember when the Bell System owned all the phones? When you leased into the system and paid your monthly fees and long-distance charges, they issued you a phone that was practically indestructible, because Bell owned it and had to fix it if you couldn't make a call on it. As soon as they changed their business model after divestiture, they started selling the phones as well, only they were no longer the indestructible marvels they were when we were leasing them. They broke and you had to buy a new one.

 

Right now we have an infrastructure problem that needs tax monies to fix, but we've mixed private businesses into our public works programs, and now we pay more for roads and bridges and buildings than any other country in the world. We waste public funds on asphalt roads laid down by private companies who donate to both political parties, and they've slowly changed the way public roads are built. Now they have conned us into believing that driving on asphalt the day it's put down is a good idea, raising the cost of maintenance and preventing expansion of the system. Roads in the US are the most expensive they've ever been, and they have more potholes and lousy patches than ever before. Public roads are being built with profit as the priority, and high-quality, durable, smooth roads aren't the point anymore.

 

So it isn't the taxes that are a problem. The problem has always been the way they're spent, and I think it's mainly because our capitalism is allowed to choke our socialism. If we can't trust the private sector to fulfill public contracts, maybe we need to bring back public workers whose aim is to build great things instead of help drive profit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking of less control from Government and let the market live naturally. The market prices will control themselves.

 

True, the market will control the prices via competition, provided we were all machines and not humans.

 

In practice, corporations will amass as much power, and wield it to create monopolies that preserve, protect, and expand that power. Human greed knows no bound.

 

Well especially because you are a US citizen, you should know that tax money is not being used at high efficiency.

 

You think USA isn't spending a bit too much on military?

 

In the chart below most tax money is spent on Social Security, Unemployment and Health. No offense but Canada spends less on Healthcare and have much better results.

 

1% science. Ok I am drifting off but my point is that you either enforce a Tax "police" of remove tax altogether and come up with a new system.

 

total_spending_pie%2C__2015_enacted.png

 

The US and Canada both spend different dollar amounts for the same service. The problem here isn't with taxation, the problem is with cost.

 

Your proposal would most likely exacerbate this problem, rather than solve it.

 

 

I really cannot speak about your country but I really pay 15$ a month for this "private healthcare". It sounds way more pretentious for you probably.

 

Exactly, people don't like paying tax. That's why the system isn't working.

 

 

about this... DrP, I live in Poland...people who are able to are working here. They don't just get social benefit for being lazy.

Of course we should take care of the sick and the poor. Just through a different method. Why do you guys see Taxation as the angel of poor people?

Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland have huge taxes and all over 24% VAT. But they use this tax money very efficiently, education, healthcare. Not many murders, obesity, drug problems, emigration etc etc there...

 

Taxation can work but the current model applied in most countries is not encouraging progress. Tell me Swansont, how many generations ago did your family move to USA?

 

People don't like paying taxes, yet they want the same services. That is common knowledge, and it is the job of legislators to find a balance they feel comfortable with.

 

It seems from the above that the problem is not taxation, or who manages them; rather, it is how taxes are managed.

 

Spending less is not a solution, especially when coupled with public policy that rewards ever-increasing costs (like GOP policies).

 

Read my post again. Where did I say to just drop all these services? Where did I say that only people who can afford them can get them?

 

The reason they can't afford them is because they don't have a job most of the times. They don't have a job very often because they lack education. No education because the system is lousy.

 

I met a simple diner cook from Finland once. He knew more history about my country than me. He had comprehensive knowledge about geography, science etc. He all got that from school not by his own passion. Lets go together to Finland and count the Homeless Finnish people. We wont find too many I will tell you that. If you are well educated you will always find a job.

 

Higher education is not funded through taxes in the United States, so how can you blame educational system on "lousy" system of taxation?

 

If you're calling public K-12 education "lousy" for not helping people get a job, then I am not sure what kind of skills you expect a high school graduate to possess that would enable him/her to find a job.

 

It seems what you are advocating for works to the contrary of what you want. In the instance of education, in effect you are calling for more taxes that would be used to pay for higher education, which would make finding a job easier (and which, in turn, would produce more tax payers). In other words, if you are well-educated you will always find a job, but you won't be well-educated without taxes to fund said education (if you cannot afford it).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Some people cheat on their taxes, too. Plenty of them are already US citizens. That some people cheat the system does not mean you do away with the system, and scapegoating some groups adds nothing to the discussion.

Yea, sorry, I wasn't necessarily trying to point it specifically on immigrants. I should rephrase it to not make it look like it is just them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think most of the problems with taxation stem from mixing private and public structures of ownership.

If something is privately owned, it should live and die by market standards, with subsidization by public funds only in the case of emerging technologies. If something is publicly owned, the public should own it and all the parts of it.

 

Banks can be/are private owned (typically owned by investment/insurance/retirement funds), but money they collected are citizen money, corporate money, government money..

If such bank will collapse all people/institutions who had accounts could bankrupt as well.

Here there is bank insurance just to 100k euros.

So if corporate had account with f.e. 100m, they will lost 99.9m, and collapse would be almost inevitable..

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Silvestru is not advocating spending less money for services. He is suggesting it be spent more wisely and transparently.

And, to be honest, he has a point, but whether his system of payments to service providers would work as he expects is doubtful.

 

There are plenty of cases of Governments bringing in a new tax for some specific purpose, which then gets dumped into a 'slush fund', and re-purposed for some partisan pet project. In my home town of St. Catharines a sewer surcharge was added to the water bill, essentially doubling it since you pay for water coming into the house as well as going out, because our municipal government said the sewer system was in disrepair and hadn't been worked on since the 50s. Well, other than general repairs for immediate problems, no work has been done to improve/expand the sewer system in the 30 yrs since the 'tax' was introduced. All money collected went into general revenue and was used for other things. Not very transparent is it ?

There are gas taxes specifically to improve roads and mass transit.

There are tire taxes to dispose of old tires.

There are vehicle emission tests, which don't check emissions anymore.

Etc.,etc.

All these moneys are repurposed as the government deems appropriate.

Yet no one gets to vote on these decisions.

 

Like I said, not a good system.

But not sure any of the alternatives would be any better, and may be much worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Banks can be/are private owned (typically owned by investment/insurance/retirement funds), but money they collected are citizen money, corporate money, government money..

If such bank will collapse all people/institutions who had accounts could bankrupt as well.

Here there is bank insurance just to 100k euros.

So if corporate had account with f.e. 100m, they will lost 99.9m, and collapse would be almost inevitable..

 

 

Personally, I use a not-for-profit credit union instead of a bank. They're still federally insured, but I get better interest rates and cheaper services because their boards are voluntary and profit is adjusted back to the members (not customers, members). I consider this a great use of socialism with regard to effective ownership. We should do this with utilities and education.

 

Silvestru is not advocating spending less money for services. He is suggesting it be spent more wisely and transparently.

And, to be honest, he has a point, but whether his system of payments to service providers would work as he expects is doubtful.

 

I would LOVE to see how anyone could come up with numbers that make privatisation more compelling than public funding for anyone but the private contractor. Businesses are going to want profit first and foremost, so how can they use our taxes more wisely? Privatisation has to cost at least 15-30% more just for the profit that makes it worthwhile for investors.

 

We should be setting up our taxes so the programs they pay for are the priority. Germany tells private road contractors what criteria they have to meet, and how much will be paid if they're met. It's then up to the road companies to figure out how to do it. In Germany's case, they don't let people drive on asphalt for 90 days. No potholes for 10 years. They have gorgeous roads at a fraction of the cost we pay. That's how you spend taxes wisely, not by constantly calling for tax reductions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yet no one gets to vote on these decisions.

 

 

You vote for the people who make the decisions. And occasionally there are voter referendums (in some regions) to enact or repeal laws.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Silvestru is not advocating spending less money for services. He is suggesting it be spent more wisely and transparently.

And, to be honest, he has a point, but whether his system of payments to service providers would work as he expects is doubtful.

 

 

Like I said, not a good system.

But not sure any of the alternatives would be any better, and may be much worse.

 

One might also consider that the perception of the relationship between citizens and government is not the same everywhere. After all, Poland established itself as an independent democracy only after the end of the cold war and the experience of government efficiency, corruption, nepotism and so on during the cold war may, unfairly or not, might still affect current perception.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

One might also consider that the perception of the relationship between citizens and government is not the same everywhere. After all, Poland established itself as an independent democracy only after the end of the cold war and the experience of government efficiency, corruption, nepotism and so on during the cold war may, unfairly or not, might still affect current perception.

Most likely. It went too far the other way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Silvestru is not advocating spending less money for services. He is suggesting it be spent more wisely and transparently.

And, to be honest, he has a point, but whether his system of payments to service providers would work as he expects is doubtful.

 

There are plenty of cases of Governments bringing in a new tax for some specific purpose, which then gets dumped into a 'slush fund', and re-purposed for some partisan pet project. In my home town of St. Catharines a sewer surcharge was added to the water bill, essentially doubling it since you pay for water coming into the house as well as going out, because our municipal government said the sewer system was in disrepair and hadn't been worked on since the 50s. Well, other than general repairs for immediate problems, no work has been done to improve/expand the sewer system in the 30 yrs since the 'tax' was introduced. All money collected went into general revenue and was used for other things. Not very transparent is it ?

There are gas taxes specifically to improve roads and mass transit.

There are tire taxes to dispose of old tires.

There are vehicle emission tests, which don't check emissions anymore.

Etc.,etc.

All these moneys are repurposed as the government deems appropriate.

Yet no one gets to vote on these decisions.

 

Like I said, not a good system.

But not sure any of the alternatives would be any better, and may be much worse.

Such is life. Even within a persons own family budget there is disatification and charges of waste and or not enough transparency. My wife regularly complains that I waste money by buying cheap shoes which don't last very long which causes me to need shoes more often. Meanwhile I complain she wastes money by buying shoes she never wears. There simply isn't a system for sharing or resource management which is ideal for everyone all the time. End of the day though money is nearly always better utilized when pooled together. Despite our disagreements my wife and I are much better off financially sharing our incomes and assets than we'd be if we attempted to separate them. Likewise a country, provence, state, county, etc is better off when their people pay taxes. It allows for infastructure, education, and security.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Likewise a country, provence, state, county, etc is better off when their people pay taxes. It allows for infastructure, education, and security.

 

When taxes are used for programs funded strictly publicly, I think taxpayers get a better price and more focus on the specific aims of the program. Infrastructure programs almost always involve private companies and cost us more than anywhere else in the world because of it. Education is still mostly publicly funded, but we see how they've privatized school lunch programs so profit is maximized rather than nutrition guidelines. As for security, we've all heard the stories of privatization in the military, where contractors are paid ludicrous sums so soldiers don't have to peel potatoes or work in the motor pool, the $75 disposable meal trays, and other examples where our publicly funded "security" is making money for private companies whose priority is making money. Armies run on a business model have no choice but to grow, and justify their need to ALWAYS get bigger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From point of view shareholders of private prisons, the more people will commit crime, the better for their business (exactly reverse to what is good for entire community). It's ridiculous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

When taxes are used for programs funded strictly publicly, I think taxpayers get a better price and more focus on the specific aims of the program. Infrastructure programs almost always involve private companies and cost us more than anywhere else in the world because of it. Education is still mostly publicly funded, but we see how they've privatized school lunch programs so profit is maximized rather than nutrition guidelines. As for security, we've all heard the stories of privatization in the military, where contractors are paid ludicrous sums so soldiers don't have to peel potatoes or work in the motor pool, the $75 disposable meal trays, and other examples where our publicly funded "security" is making money for private companies whose priority is making money. Armies run on a business model have no choice but to grow, and justify their need to ALWAYS get bigger.

Public money is nearly the only way public infastructure gets done. Yes, some politicians give the public's money to private companies to do the work and get over billed but the work still gets done. So whether the govt over pays our under pays for an interstate highway or national park is sort of relevant to expectations because no way would any private organization pony up the money for them. The public is the only purchaser in the market to build a variety of infastructure. Same goes for public vs private education. Take public money out of the equation and we'd have nearly no schools private or otherwise. Majority of private schools relay on public money. Only wealthy people would be able to afford even minimum levels of formal education without public money. Just look at daycare costs in the U.S. public money isn't involved and families are coughing up $10,000 a year on average just to have people watch their kids. Not educate them or etc but just to provide the minimum service on ensure they don't run off and get hurt. As for security I wasn't really referencing the military specifically. Security is a large spectrum of things from local fire fighters or food and drug inspectors.

 

Yes, costs can always be better managed and there will always be debate over whether or not private companies should be awarded contracts and how. People broadly don't see eye to eye on a plethora of issues and that creates a modicum of choas and disorder. However many things only can exist thru taxation and public spending. Even a poorly contracted, slow constructed, and over priced interstate is better than none at all if that interstate is used by millions. The value to a locality, over time, of infastructure is nearly always enormous. From home property values to logistical advantages for business the public costs for infastructure, education, and security are just about always worth it. Even when managed in less than ideal fashion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From point of view shareholders of private prisons, the more people will commit crime, the better for their business (exactly reverse to what is good for entire community). It's ridiculous.

 

Exactly my point regarding mixing capitalism with socialism in what should be strictly a socially funded strategy. If you want to grow the prison system, use a business model. If you want to address crime effectively, use models that try to reduce it.

 

The same is true with roads. Do we want good roads, or do we want to help a private company make as much profit from our publicly funded road system as possible?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gotta keep the shareholders happy and also attract new money.

 

 

From point of view shareholders of private prisons, the more people will commit crime, the better for their business (exactly reverse to what is good for entire community). It's ridiculous.

Aren't these problems a result of voters and taxation? I dislike private prison and bloated military spending too but candidates win elections celebrating those things so we get stuck with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Public money is nearly the only way public infastructure gets done. Yes, some politicians give the public's money to private companies to do the work and get over billed but the work still gets done. So whether the govt over pays our under pays for an interstate highway or national park is sort of relevant to expectations because no way would any private organization pony up the money for them. The public is the only purchaser in the market to build a variety of infastructure. Same goes for public vs private education. Take public money out of the equation and we'd have nearly no schools private or otherwise. Majority of private schools relay on public money. Only wealthy people would be able to afford even minimum levels of formal education without public money. Just look at daycare costs in the U.S. public money isn't involved and families are coughing up $10,000 a year on average just to have people watch their kids. Not educate them or etc but just to provide the minimum service on ensure they don't run off and get hurt. As for security I wasn't really referencing the military specifically. Security is a large spectrum of things from local fire fighters or food and drug inspectors.

 

Yes, costs can always be better managed and there will always be debate over whether or not private companies should be awarded contracts and how. People broadly don't see eye to eye on a plethora of issues and that creates a modicum of choas and disorder. However many things only can exist thru taxation and public spending. Even a poorly contracted, slow constructed, and over priced interstate is better than none at all if that interstate is used by millions. The value to a locality, over time, of infastructure is nearly always enormous. From home property values to logistical advantages for business the public costs for infastructure, education, and security are just about always worth it. Even when managed in less than ideal fashion.

 

This is why taxation and public funding is a good idea. Perpetuating its current applications will continue to keep it only good, better than nothing certainly, but never great. If we want our taxes spent wisely, which in turn should make them more popular, then we need to have a different attitude about how We the People, as preferred customers, should be treated by these companies. We pay too much to contractors, we're regularly ripped off, and this is a big reason why People hate paying taxes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Aren't these problems a result of voters and taxation? I dislike private prison and bloated military spending too but candidates win elections celebrating those things so we get stuck with them.

America is unique, I think, in thinking the way it does, in having a majority electorate that is so individualistic and capitalistic. It''s politically to the right of ugly. :)

Edited by StringJunky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aren't these problems a result of voters and taxation?

 

 

I think they are mainly a problem of the influence of donor money on the election system. You've privatized the institution, so it's no longer taxation involved. But there's still incentive to make the justice system feed the private prison system, independent of taxes.

Same goes for public vs private education. Take public money out of the equation and we'd have nearly no schools private or otherwise. Majority of private schools relay on public money. Only wealthy people would be able to afford even minimum levels of formal education without public money.

 

I saw a great rebuttal to the argument that "I don't benefit from public education". It went like this: I drove over a bridge and it didn't collapse, because it was designed by someone who had the proper education.

 

Indirect benefits are often overlooked when people are arguing about where their tax money goes, and what they should be paying for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

America is unique, I think, in thinking the way it does, in having a majority electorate that is so individualistic and capitalistic. It''s politically to the right of ugly. :)

 

Other than NPR, we have no news sources that aren't based on profit. We have no laws guaranteeing that our free press has to actually inform us. We lack accurate information, and so we're easily misled by emotional political pleas.

 

In a situation like we have here, many choose not to rock the boat for fear it's going to tip worse. We really should be demanding to know why it takes so much more of our tax revenue to get things done here compared to everywhere else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.