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Author Topic: The taxpayers' oligarchy - A way to organize large societies  (Read 1616 times)
blogospheroid
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June 23, 2011, 05:08:20 AM
 #1

This idea is primarily directed at statists, not anarchists.

Imagine a society that is populated by people who have more or less converged on a standard of value, whether that be Bitcoin, Bitcoin 2.0, or gold.

This is a large society which is much greater than the dunbar number, where our ancestors typically had a feel for the politics of the whole thing.

Monarchy is insane in this era, no one knows enough about this complex society to take decisions.
Direct democracy is generally a pain since most voters are not informed.
Democracy is also subject to the chance that a majority may want to tax others to pay themselves.

Since some unpopular ideas need to be enforced and the enforcers need money to survive, taxes of some kind are still being collected. So, how might this be sustained in the long run?

The idea is simple -to establish a negative feedback loop wrt taxes in a democracy, allocate power on the basis of tax collected.

The taxpayers oligarchy idea is this - The main deliberative body in terms of laws has votes allocated on basis of tax collected. If there is corporate tax, the corporate gets votes. If there are individual taxes, the individuals get the votes. If there is foreign aid, the foreign ambassador gets the votes.

The cool part comes in when a group seeks to reduce taxes on itself - It automatically lowers its political power in the next assembly. If someone seeks to tax another group, they can't do that without increasing the power of the others they seek to tax.

So, if you're a statist and are more or less reconciled to the rule of powerful people, how do you like this idea? Critique(s) invited.

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smellyBobby
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June 23, 2011, 05:10:38 AM
 #2

So you just buy votes?

I need a job!!!!

Justice Dragons: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=16351.msg267881#msg267881

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blogospheroid
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June 23, 2011, 05:13:50 AM
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well yes, if you have the money..

and your contribution is checked and tallied against the rest of the society and the taxes they paid.

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June 23, 2011, 05:16:43 AM
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Well I would buy majority votes, pass a heap of laws that favor me, therefore maintaining my dominate position within Society.

I need a job!!!!

Justice Dragons: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=16351.msg267881#msg267881

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June 23, 2011, 05:17:35 AM
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Yeah I think the goal of formulating a system of government is to make it so that it spirals into fascist dictatorship slowly, not as quickly as possible.

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blogospheroid
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June 23, 2011, 05:20:20 AM
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Any money transfers to you will get deducted from the taxes you pay and next year your net tax contribution will be very less and your dominant position overthrown.

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June 23, 2011, 05:26:51 AM
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That does not quite make sense. Votes = Tax Payed - Profits.  Therefore the vote-cash will have to come from some supply of money before the existence of this society. There is also no incentive to pay tax.

I need a job!!!!

Justice Dragons: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=16351.msg267881#msg267881

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blogospheroid
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June 23, 2011, 05:32:36 AM
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Yeah I think the goal of formulating a system of government is to make it so that it spirals into fascist dictatorship slowly, not as quickly as possible.

The critique is to do with the poverty and the smallness of that society where one person has the resources to repeatedly pay 51% of the taxes. I don't envisage this happening in any moderately sized society.

Infact, it is similar to the bitcoin network, where if the 51% barrier is exceeded, bad things can happen. But for how long can it be sustained, that is the question, isn't it? The people here interested in power have to give up money to achieve the same. Giving up money means either giving up an inheritance or giving up something you've earned yourself. The negative feedback loop is the real idea here.

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June 23, 2011, 05:45:18 AM
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That does not quite make sense. Votes = Tax Payed - Profits.  Therefore the vote-cash will have to come from some supply of money before the existence of this society. There is also no incentive to pay tax.

I agree that the money standard has to come into existence before this "society" is established.

I didn't understand votes = tax paid - profits.
Votes = tax paid. period.

The incentive to pay tax will be the political power associated with the same.

Assume some rich bitcoiners setting up a seastead into which they seek to attract people. They can setup a tax payer's oligarchy with voluntary taxes, for example. or a constitutional tax payer's oligarchy with amendments requiring 95% votes - the possible variations are many.

There you have a society with an already established monetary standard and the political system coming in after that. Infact that will be true of all seasteads and charter cities. They will end up using international currencies.

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June 23, 2011, 06:01:11 AM
 #10

You said money transfers to me will be deducted from my tax contribution, therefore reducing the number of votes I get?

I need a job!!!!

Justice Dragons: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=16351.msg267881#msg267881

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epi 1:10,000
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June 23, 2011, 06:04:34 AM
 #11

Do the experiment.  Get groups of volunteers of 100 to 230 people together and start your societies.  Observe, document, and report.
blogospheroid
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June 23, 2011, 06:36:53 AM
 #12

You said money transfers to me will be deducted from my tax contribution, therefore reducing the number of votes I get?

Yes, that is correct. Votes = Net Tax paid.

And as i'd mentioned, the money supply will have to be in existence before the government, because the very first meeting of the assembly will require to total the tax paid.

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June 23, 2011, 06:43:58 AM
 #13

So how would a companies profits be treated? Given that profits is (incoming cash - outgoing cash) therefore the "vote-deduction" will always be equal to the companies profits, because "vote-deduction" is based upon the net inflow of cash to an entity. In the case of a business (and everyone else) net inflow of cash is the same as profit. Therefore every business will have a "vote-deduction" equal to their profit for the period.

I need a job!!!!

Justice Dragons: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=16351.msg267881#msg267881

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blogospheroid
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June 23, 2011, 07:43:37 AM
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So how would a companies profits be treated? Given that profits is (incoming cash - outgoing cash) therefore the "vote-deduction" will always be equal to the companies profits, because "vote-deduction" is based upon the net inflow of cash to an entity. In the case of a business (and everyone else) net inflow of cash is the same as profit. Therefore every business will have a "vote-deduction" equal to their profit for the period.

What do you mean by vote deduction?

Lets say a company makes a profit of 10 BTC on a revenue of 100 BTC. Corporate tax rate is 15%. They pay 1.5 BTC to the government in tax.
They get 1.5 votes. Does this make it clear?

blogospheroid
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March 31, 2013, 10:06:28 AM
 #15

Bumping up this thread from a long time ago, since there are new users in this forum.

Any comments on the idea?

Is the tax payer's oligarchy idea a good one? Do you think that the negative feedback loop it establishes will resolve some of today's issues?

I thought of a few more riders I need to add.

Government employees' salary may have to be taxfree, to make sure that they don't come into a position of high salaries, paying high taxes and retaining power among themselves.

For infrastructure spending, there may need to be a land value tax.

I also found an analogy from a long time ago, that native american tribes used to have feasts in which they shared a lot of what they hunted. So, political power was, in a sense, proportional to the amount you gave to others.


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April 06, 2013, 10:25:58 AM
 #16

Tbh, your idea makes me cringe. And it's already what is done, so no change needed.

What I mean is, the rich rule and control the politics/laws regardless of the rest of society. They then shape those politics/laws to further enrich themselves and keep the rest of society (that would try to get a vote in) in such a way that their money is spent on fines/heating/food/low wages, etc, etc, whilst the rich continue to milk the system (because they were first in power and have thus shaped the politics/laws to their favour).

Sound familiar?

I don't mean to bash your idea.. But it's result would be pretty identical to the world we live in atm, and would lead to the same inevitable collapse as the masses get fed up of the abuse.
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April 07, 2013, 04:02:14 AM
 #17

Jobe7,

Thanks for you honest opinion.

The difference really boils down to formalism and informalism. Or the difference between a price to be paid for a service and a bribe to be paid for the same.

In situation 1, the price for a good is very clearly laid out and printed in the open. The good is available for anyone who can pay the price.
In situation 2, the price is nominally very low, but the good is often in shortage and somehow, it is only those politically well connected  or those who bribe the keeper, who seem to get access to it.

Situation 1 is the free market and Situation 2 is every socialist license permit raj that has existed.

The situation in contemporary democracies is similar. Nominally everyone is the same. Politicians are guided by the popular appeal and secretly, whatever the lobbyists tell them to do. The policies that result are complicated, filled with exceptions for the lobbyists.

I am not saying that the taxpayers oligarchy is foolproof. But the greatest political power will be with the highest taxpayers and that is a good thing, those who provide the money that the governments works with. The taxpayers ar bthe honest rich. We want to encourage the honest rich and discourage the dishonest rich.

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April 07, 2013, 04:13:34 AM
 #18

This idea is primarily directed at statists, not anarchists.

Imagine a society that is populated by people who have more or less converged on a standard of value, whether that be Bitcoin, Bitcoin 2.0, or gold.

This is a large society which is much greater than the dunbar number, where our ancestors typically had a feel for the politics of the whole thing.

Monarchy is insane in this era, no one knows enough about this complex society to take decisions.
Direct democracy is generally a pain since most voters are not informed.
Democracy is also subject to the chance that a majority may want to tax others to pay themselves.

Since some unpopular ideas need to be enforced and the enforcers need money to survive, taxes of some kind are still being collected. So, how might this be sustained in the long run?

The idea is simple -to establish a negative feedback loop wrt taxes in a democracy, allocate power on the basis of tax collected.

The taxpayers oligarchy idea is this - The main deliberative body in terms of laws has votes allocated on basis of tax collected. If there is corporate tax, the corporate gets votes. If there are individual taxes, the individuals get the votes. If there is foreign aid, the foreign ambassador gets the votes.

The cool part comes in when a group seeks to reduce taxes on itself - It automatically lowers its political power in the next assembly. If someone seeks to tax another group, they can't do that without increasing the power of the others they seek to tax.

So, if you're a statist and are more or less reconciled to the rule of powerful people, how do you like this idea? Critique(s) invited.

I'm an anarchist...and I really like this idea.  Smiley
Jobe7
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April 07, 2013, 12:10:44 PM
 #19

I am not saying that the taxpayers oligarchy is foolproof. But the greatest political power will be with the highest taxpayers and that is a good thing, those who provide the money that the governments works with. The taxpayers ar bthe honest rich. We want to encourage the honest rich and discourage the dishonest rich.

But the greatest political power will be with the highest taxpayers and that is a good thing, those who provide the money that the governments works with.

How is this different from today? If you take away 'taxpayers' and put in 'donations'. It putting the power of control over the many in the hands of the few (elite) that have the money.

How would you filter the honest rich with the dishonest rich? If both pay high taxes, then both have high influence. Many (honest) people have been fooled by the dishonest rich who have used their subterfuge to design policy and law to best benefit themselves whilst at the same time submitting the rest to a slow but steady dis empowerment.

And unfortunately considering with how our world is, if such a strategy was put in play, straight away the corrupt rich would hold all the playing cards with only a very few honest rich holding a very few cards (Richard Branson for instance).

If I were very rich and so inclined, I'd pay my high taxes, then use my political power to undermine all my opponents and get policy and law to favour my businesses, forcing out all other competition so I have the monopoly on my particular business, then I would proceed to make sure that government and the society I lived in relied 110% on my particular business and that no other competition could ever gain ground. Then my wealth and power grows, it won't matter on the taxes I paid anymore, as government and society would not be able to run without my business and I could control vast influence by changing my prices up/down to those I favoured, thus controlling other business elements and politicians.

My thoughts on this are most definitely not original .. look at big pharma (vs natural medicine) the 'drug war' , the oil and energy industries (vs free energy) .. Competition is made illegal, competitors killed or locked up.

I'd still be paying my high taxes, and as my wealth and power grew I'd continue to pay even higher taxes to assure my dominance. The difference being from this scenario to our world is that in the 'tax scenario' I would be completely legit.

It's a very scary thought..
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April 07, 2013, 04:13:33 PM
 #20

Put your "money"/actions where your mouth is/you believe in.. or submit!
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