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Taxation


swansont
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1 hour ago, swansont said:

We have a Pavlovian response to the words from decades of propaganda.

In fact, Capitalism in the US, at least, is efficient at making money for stockholders. However, its inefficiency in delivering goods and services is often atrociously bad because of crony capitalism. For example, health care. Drug companies, insurance companies, and corporate hospitals maximize profits and force people to become bankrupt.

It is now possible for sensors with USB or radio communications to a smartphone to monitor a person's health with ultrasound, otoscope, spectroscope, camera, microphone, and perhaps an odor sensor. An AI can process the collected data and diagnose many illnesses. Existing AI medical applications can already diagnose some things, including cancer, better than doctors. Thus, a medically enhanced smartphone and corresponding AI could, I believe, eliminate periodic visits to a doctor to learn you are healthy. Moreover, such a system can call an  ambulance in an emergency and tell you to see a doctor if it finds you are not well. Of course, the things being developed rapidly are intended to reduce corporate costs, not personal costs. Eventually reduced corporate costs are passed on to consumers, but patents and trade secrets sometimes allow them to charge high prices for years, before competition reduces costs to customers.

Another obvious inefficiency of capitalism is the distribution of food. There is enough for everyone to be fed, yet people go hungry.

Capitalism encourages Scrooge MacDucks to do horrible things to people in the name of profit. Thus, capitalists need to be controlled. However, I don't target capitalism specifically. Some people will game any kind of -ism for their own selfish benefit. Anti socialist, communist, capitalist, ... propaganda is nonsense. It is the people running a government that decide how it interacts with people and countries. Empathetic people do not like dealing with Machiavellians, but it is necessary.

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Too often, we shutdown and close our eyes entirely to approaches and ideas by simply applying labels... liberal/conservative... socialist/capitalist... right/left... Keynesian/Randian... instead of focusing more simply and intelligently on what works and what is efficient relative to what we actually need and would do the most good.

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

Too often, we shutdown and close our eyes entirely to approaches and ideas by simply applying labels... liberal/conservative... socialist/capitalist... right/left... Keynesian/Randian... instead of focusing more simply and intelligently on what works and what is efficient relative to what we actually need and would do the most good.

Indeed, despite what we consider correct the opposite is often equally true.

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3 hours ago, EdEarl said:

In fact, Capitalism in the US, at least, is efficient at making money for stockholders. However, its inefficiency in delivering goods and services is often atrociously bad because of crony capitalism. For example, health care. Drug companies, insurance companies, and corporate hospitals maximize profits and force people to become bankrupt.

It is now possible for sensors with USB or radio communications to a smartphone to monitor a person's health with ultrasound, otoscope, spectroscope, camera, microphone, and perhaps an odor sensor. An AI can process the collected data and diagnose many illnesses. Existing AI medical applications can already diagnose some things, including cancer, better than doctors. Thus, a medically enhanced smartphone and corresponding AI could, I believe, eliminate periodic visits to a doctor to learn you are healthy. Moreover, such a system can call an  ambulance in an emergency and tell you to see a doctor if it finds you are not well. Of course, the things being developed rapidly are intended to reduce corporate costs, not personal costs. Eventually reduced corporate costs are passed on to consumers, but patents and trade secrets sometimes allow them to charge high prices for years, before competition reduces costs to customers.

Another obvious inefficiency of capitalism is the distribution of food. There is enough for everyone to be fed, yet people go hungry.

Capitalism encourages Scrooge MacDucks to do horrible things to people in the name of profit. Thus, capitalists need to be controlled. However, I don't target capitalism specifically. Some people will game any kind of -ism for their own selfish benefit. Anti socialist, communist, capitalist, ... propaganda is nonsense. It is the people running a government that decide how it interacts with people and countries. Empathetic people do not like dealing with Machiavellians, but it is necessary.

People who are good at making money are valuable to a society, but they shouldn't be valued more than people who are good at teaching, or building houses, or organizing large groups, or fixing machinery, or working with computers, or advancing science. Unfortunately, we've allowed extremist capitalism to set the standard, and the standard is how much money you're worth. It's a STUPID way to judge the worth of a member of society.  

Where capitalism fails us lately is in areas where the profits are small but long-term. Although a long-term problem, food distribution has little profit in it, and doesn't attract investors. It's probably an area that should be handled on a non-profit basis, as part of a social program or a government run distribution chain. 

For the rest, we just have to remember that capitalism is all about unrestrained growth. It will do everything in its power to grow, and if it isn't tightly regulated, it's going to grow into areas where it harms more people than it helps. Capitalism isn't better at anything except growth. Apply it to durable goods, you'll sell a LOT of cars and furniture. Apply it to prisons, you'll end up with 25% of the world's prisoners. 

2 hours ago, iNow said:

Too often, we shutdown and close our eyes entirely to approaches and ideas by simply applying labels... liberal/conservative... socialist/capitalist... right/left... Keynesian/Randian... instead of focusing more simply and intelligently on what works and what is efficient relative to what we actually need and would do the most good.

And we get no actual information from the media, just more attempts to make everything seem equally controversial and deserving of our time. And much of the labeling is perpetuated by the media, since it makes writing the "news" so much easier. 

We really do need a national dialogue about our definitions, don't we? My frustrations center on a certainty that most of us are on the same page about many things, but are holding on to outdated or misapplied definitions for our stances. I really believe there are some areas where people assume the differences between opposing labels are insurmountable, and I think this naturally skews the way they think of tax dollars supporting us. 

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14 hours ago, Phi for All said:

People who are good at making money are valuable to a society, but they shouldn't be valued more than people who are good at teaching, or building houses, or organizing large groups, or fixing machinery, or working with computers, or advancing science. Unfortunately, we've allowed extremist capitalism to set the standard, and the standard is how much money you're worth. It's a STUPID way to judge the worth of a member of society.  

Where capitalism fails us lately is in areas where the profits are small but long-term. Although a long-term problem, food distribution has little profit in it, and doesn't attract investors. It's probably an area that should be handled on a non-profit basis, as part of a social program or a government run distribution chain. 

For the rest, we just have to remember that capitalism is all about unrestrained growth. It will do everything in its power to grow, and if it isn't tightly regulated, it's going to grow into areas where it harms more people than it helps. Capitalism isn't better at anything except growth. Apply it to durable goods, you'll sell a LOT of cars and furniture. Apply it to prisons, you'll end up with 25% of the world's prisoners. 

Upton Sinclair identified this in his 1906 work The Jungle. Rather than society responding by demanding the social supports Upton advocated society instead turned to pay as you go legal acts where industries simply gets away with what they can till caught. Regulating industry without doing anything to replace or reduce purely capitalistic drives ensures the reward nearly always is be worth the risk. We see a micro version of this with performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sports. The risk of being caught is missing a couple of events/games and an apology tour in the media. The reward can be hundreds of millions of dollars and huge fandom. For many athletes being an ultra wealthy superstar of a sport who had to apologize once or twice is perferred to being average in their sport even though average pro athletes make good money.

14 hours ago, Phi for All said:

We really do need a national dialogue about our definitions, don't we? My frustrations center on a certainty that most of us are on the same page about many things, but are holding on to outdated or misapplied definitions for our stances. I really believe there are some areas where people assume the differences between opposing labels are insurmountable, and I think this naturally skews the way they think of tax dollars supporting us. 

End of the day there simply isn't always middle ground which can be reached and often times positions are purposely taken extremes to ensure middle ground is more favorable to one side than the others. The fossil industry knows climate change is  man made and real but they don't want to give up the trillions they can still make so they promote controversy in an attempt to influence where the middle ground is. The public at large demand our politicians reach compromises between real ideals and fake ideals. That isn't good. Politicians should be finding compromises between competing real ideals and not compromising purely to placate those who threaten to hold their breath till they pass out. There is no honest discussion to be had with liars and I think it is fair to say they liars do currently have a modicum of control over national dialogue. I agree with iNow's post but also think it is redundant. Throughout history there has always been segments of all societies which put selfish desires over the greater good regardless how obvious the error. That hasn't changed and isn't about to change in the near future.

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