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Author Topic: Basic income guarantee - opinions&criticism welcome  (Read 14132 times)
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September 20, 2012, 08:24:35 AM
 #141


Slavery is when you can't leave and you never agreed to stay. You are free to leave the US or wherever you are whenever you want. Your position is like the hippies who demand to be allowed to live in someone else's house without paying.
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September 20, 2012, 08:43:04 AM
 #142

Guys, slavery has very little to do with the amount of work you're being ripped of, when you are.  Theft is theft.  Slavery is slavery.  Don't mix up everything.

A slave is someone who belongs to another human being.  That's it, that's all, and that's totally off-topic in this thread.
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September 20, 2012, 08:44:51 AM
 #143

The question sneakily suggests that income tax is just theft, and therefore just modernised slavery.

Sorry. I'll just come out and say it, then: Taxation is theft. And slavery.

And if the "social safety net" is what causes the low crime rate in rural communities, why is crime so prevalent in inner city areas, where that selfsame social safety net is most utilized? How, exactly, do welfare and housing projects prevent crime in a farming community that has few recipients of the former, and none of the latter?

Slavery is when you can't leave and you never agreed to stay. You are free to leave the US or wherever you are whenever you want. Your position is like the hippies who demand to be allowed to live in someone else's house without paying.

No, more like the renter who'd like to stop paying for the other tenants...across the city.

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September 20, 2012, 08:59:02 AM
 #144

The question sneakily suggests that income tax is just theft,
Well, it is indeed.

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Taxation pays for all the extra services that people happily use but often don't realize how much they cost.
So let us find out how much they cost!  Just let the market handle those extra services.  Then we'll know their real price.  Why should those services be financed via taxation, anyway??
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September 20, 2012, 09:53:20 AM
 #145

No, more like the renter who'd like to stop paying for the other tenants...across the city.
Sure you would, but that decision is entirely up to the landowner. Your options are to pay up or leave.
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September 20, 2012, 10:02:40 AM
 #146

No, more like the renter who'd like to stop paying for the other tenants...across the city.
Sure you would, but that decision is entirely up to the landowner. Your options are to pay up or leave.

Read what myrkul is writing.  He's talking about how absurd it would be to pay the rent for OTHER tenants.
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September 20, 2012, 10:06:08 AM
 #147

No, more like the renter who'd like to stop paying for the other tenants...across the city.
Sure you would, but that decision is entirely up to the landowner. Your options are to pay up or leave.

Would you have told that to the man who penned this?
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When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another...

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September 20, 2012, 10:33:20 AM
 #148

Until someone can come up with a taxation system everyone can agree is fair then the points he's arguing on can never arrive at an agreement. Imho land tax is a reasonable solution and in that case it would be up to the landlord to pay the tax and recover it any way he can. If he's providing housing for rent I think he's contributing to the state so should get reduced taxes but that's adding complication, KISS.
The problem with a land tax is that it promotes highly inefficient land usage. For example, if 100% of taxation were in the form of land taxes, products that required very little land to produce would be much less expensive than products that require a lot of land. A race to use less and less land could result in higher and higher tax rates leading to a vast waste of resources. Funding a sizeable government 100% with a land tax is a very bad idea and would result in massive economic inefficiency and distortion.

Ask yourself this question: If you could pay only half as much in taxes as you pay now, would you be willing to live in half as much space? I think most people would say yes. But as people do that, the tax base would go down, forcing the rate up, making the problem even worse.

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September 20, 2012, 10:51:01 AM
 #149

As to the amount of space folks use, that's a rational and logical argument but folks aren't always rational and logical. Large houses cost more in the current system but there are still plenty of large houses. When folks are productive their wealth increases and they can afford to enjoy their wealth (except with the current system they don't necessarily have to be productive to be wealthy).
The point is that if government is funded primarily on land taxes, then land consumption will be distorted. So some rich guy will live on the land at a loss rather than a factory using it at a profit. That may be revenue neutral for the government, but it's definitely not neutral on its effect on the economy.

An ideal tax wouldn't significantly change how people live or how goods are manufactured. A tax on land alone would cause massive such changes. Huge amounts of innovation would senselessly go to minimizing land use just as it now goes to income tax avoidance strategies. Industrial processes that use less, or cheaper, land would be senselessly favored over superior processes that require more, or more expensive, land. Taxing one single good or type of good is pretty much the worst tax in terms of harm done to the economy per unit of revenue raised.

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September 20, 2012, 11:16:51 AM
 #150

I'm not suggesting land tax is the only solution, only that it's the one that makes sense to me. Looking back over history there have been all kinds of taxes and none of them seem to have worked, imho land tax was reduced when landlords ran government and I've always questioned their motives. What I am sure of is that income tax and sales tax are a huge burden on commerce and seriously restrict development at every level.

I may never understand the reasoning behind "Maybe my method for taking money by force isn't the best, but definitely, taking it by force is the way to go."

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September 20, 2012, 11:32:03 AM
 #151

Read what myrkul is writing.  He's talking about how absurd it would be to pay the rent for OTHER tenants.
Which is what I replied to. It's the country that *really* owns the land, and if you think the rules it has are absurd your only real alternative is to try to find a country that gives you a better deal. I'm not even going to bother with the "but I should to be allowed to take parts of other peoples land if they are not currently using it for something I think is useful enough"-argument internet libertarians always comes up with at this point. That's no better than the hippies.
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September 20, 2012, 11:50:56 AM
 #152

Read what myrkul is writing.  He's talking about how absurd it would be to pay the rent for OTHER tenants.
Which is what I replied to. It's the country that *really* owns the land, and if you think the rules it has are absurd your only real alternative is to try to find a country that gives you a better deal. I'm not even going to bother with the "but I should to be allowed to take parts of other peoples land if they are not currently using it for something I think is useful enough"-argument internet libertarians always comes up with at this point. That's no better than the hippies.

I don't think "libertarian" means what you think it means.

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September 20, 2012, 12:50:42 PM
 #153

No, more like the renter who'd like to stop paying for the other tenants...across the city.

Your metaphor is not complete. In fact, you would be a part-owner of a piece of real estate, along with some other people (the population of a country). Then if the majority of the owners decide to pay for some other tenants (social security approved through national elections), then you have to go with the majority. You are free of course, to try and convince people that all the rent should be kept for yourself. Maybe you will be successful. Until then, you have abide by the wish of the majority and help share the burden through taxation.

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September 20, 2012, 03:41:12 PM
 #154

No, more like the renter who'd like to stop paying for the other tenants...across the city.

Your metaphor is not complete. In fact, you would be a part-owner of a piece of real estate, along with some other people (the population of a country). Then if the majority of the owners decide to pay for some other tenants (social security approved through national elections), then you have to go with the majority. You are free of course, to try and convince people that all the rent should be kept for yourself. Maybe you will be successful. Until then, you have abide by the wish of the majority and help share the burden through taxation.

If the majority of people decided that slavery was OK again, would that make it OK to enslave the minority they picked?

Why does a government founded on a logical fallacy seem like a good idea to you?

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September 20, 2012, 04:01:56 PM
 #155

FWIW, VAT in Europe seems to work OK. It targets wasteful retail consumption. However, a downside is that a lot of people can claim tax returns by fraudulently passing off their private expenses as business costs. Therefore, it would seem that high net-worth individuals pay a much smaller proportion of their wealth towards VAT compared to poorer people, who spend everything on food and other essentials. This goes some way to explaining why income tax is widely used as well.
A VAT is the least economically disruptive tax scheme I know of. But it's still pretty awful as a sole means of financing a welfare state. One of the biggest problems is that it dumps the entire compliance cost of the tax system on a fairly narrow subset of people. This is truly hellish on small business owners and makes it very hard for them to compete with larger businesses that have lower tax compliance costs.

I used to own a small retail business and I can tell you sales tax collection horror stories. For example, one month our payment to the State of California just didn't go through. The State said they just didn't get the payment and we must have entered something wrong. Our bank said the State rejected the payment though they processed it correctly. The upshot was that the State charged us various fines, penalties, and interest for not making the sales tax payment on time. It effectively wiped out the profits for that month. Now imagine instead of one of the two taxes that fund State and local government, it was the *only* tax that funded Federal and State governments. Ouchies.

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September 20, 2012, 06:54:58 PM
 #156

If the majority of people decided that slavery was OK again, would that make it OK to enslave the minority they picked?

Why does a government founded on a logical fallacy seem like a good idea to you?

You have constitution, safeguarding basic rights. You could possibly try and change the constitution, but for that you need an overwhelming majority, which just doesn't happen in a democracy. Even landslide victories are like 60%.

Check the exceptions on the wikipedia page you linked to. Income redistribution falls withing the lines of social convention and safety, therefore the fallacy does not apply here.

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September 20, 2012, 08:16:47 PM
 #157

Check the exceptions on the wikipedia page you linked to. Income redistribution falls withing the lines of social convention and safety, therefore the fallacy does not apply here.

The section on social convention is about what is polite or proper.  The given example is about russian people kissing each other.  I read nothing about income redistribution.

You say it's a social convention.  It is obviously not as consensual as you suggest.  This very debate proves it.
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September 20, 2012, 09:32:26 PM
 #158

If the majority of people decided that slavery was OK again, would that make it OK to enslave the minority they picked?

Why does a government founded on a logical fallacy seem like a good idea to you?

You have constitution, safeguarding basic rights. You could possibly try and change the constitution, but for that you need an overwhelming majority, which just doesn't happen in a democracy. Even landslide victories are like 60%.

Check the exceptions on the wikipedia page you linked to. Income redistribution falls withing the lines of social convention and safety, therefore the fallacy does not apply here.

The constitution was in effect when slavery was happening.  Myrkul you have failed to address the point that was made.

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September 20, 2012, 10:31:51 PM
 #159

Check the exceptions on the wikipedia page you linked to. Income redistribution falls withing the lines of social convention and safety, therefore the fallacy does not apply here.

The section on social convention is about what is polite or proper.  The given example is about russian people kissing each other.  I read nothing about income redistribution.

You say it's a social convention.  It is obviously not as consensual as you suggest.  This very debate proves it.

Income distribution can be seen as a discussion on what is "proper" or "safe" in a society. You are absolutely right about it not being consensual, and I actually have no hope in seeing the system implemented in the near future. This forum topic is more of an intellectual debate rather than a call to arms. But people's ideas change over time. If and when a majority thinks that it would be right thing to do, then it becomes a social convention by definition and the Argumentum ad populum logical fallacy would not apply to it.

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September 20, 2012, 10:33:37 PM
 #160

But don't you know that there is not enough room for everyone to have a personal (even communal) orchard?
Or that there is not enough game in the woods to feed humanity for one week?
Or that people started settling in cities where there are no orchards thousands of years ago?
Or that there would be no computers or internet if everyone lived only off their land?
And the part that produces all these nice technology for you is driven by cities with workers.
And the socio economic environment in cities is completely different from 'living off the land' and people can realy be dependant on someone providing work or even welfare.

Show me your sources for these claims that there is not enough land for every community to have land to farm and raise livestock (with a communal orchard).

You are speaking about personal choice and personal responsibility. Go take a look at available land. Its plentiful.
Good land is pretty scarse.
It would barely be enough to give everyone a place to grow their own food, so no space for any other development.
According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arable_land) there is about 48,836,976 km² of land where you can grow food on.
That means that there is 48836976 km² / 7000000000 people which comes down to 0.007 km² per person.
That is a patch of about 83 by 83 meters per person.
That's barely enough to support that and it's getting less.
So if you know a way for everyone to live off of 83 by 83 meters then please enlight us.
And i bet your own yard is bigger than this.

Also, if everyone would have to live off the land then there would be noone to create the technology you use right now.
Or did you think that newton or einstein farmed their own food?
Or that the guys at intel go out sowing their crops in the afternoon?

So it seems you are a bit misguided as to the real situation in the world and just blabber away from your priviledged position...


TL;DR - Nice strawman. To bad its not accurate when viewed within the context of REALITY.



Dude, again, turn off your computer and go away because you're using the output of these people that you don't want.
You can't have it both ways and be serious about it.
Nothing you say will NOT make you look as an incredible hypocrite with double standards.
Go live in your farm with your orchad but stay the hell away from modern society because you have denounced thousands of years of development.
Show some character.

Ever wonder why fire departments exist and their equipment is so new and well kept? Yea, you pay for it in federal, state, and local taxes, plus their fees for fire fighting and rescue get to be paid by insurance companies whose premiums you have been paying all your life. Most are called volunteer fire companies, but never free fire companies. Some are indeed paid wages by cities and have unions, but they are all corporations and they all charge for their services.

Sewage and water are pretty important infrastructure-wise. I bet you think thats from taxes too, right? Try this. Take how much the average residential resident pays for water and sewer, then multiply that by the number of payments it would take for a years worth, then multiply that by the number of residential properties in your political subdivision. Repeat those steps for commercial, and then again for industrial, then agricultural properties as well. Add them all up. Thats only part how much per year your political subdivision makes off water and sewer, and if they are enterprising like my political subdivision, they would have all sorts of other services to make profits from, one being a commercial spring water supply and distribution network. Still think your taxes pay for your water and sewer?

The next would probably be electric. Taxes again? Hardly. Again, go add up the average electric bill, multiply by 12 months, multiply by the number of properties, then you have your answer.

Roads you say? Gas taxes I say. You get to choose when to improve roads and bridges by your consumption, becasue road funding coems from gas taxes. Go look it up in your state website.

And the same goes for absolutely every one of modern civilizations conveniences. You buy them.

We can certainly get into a semantic debate and split hairs on exceptions the the rules of reality, but I'd really rather not.

The government needs to start backing off and giving The People a whole lot of "leave-alone" or they may find themselves looking for work pretty soon.

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