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Author Topic: The issues of the day  (Read 1946 times)
FirstAscent
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September 27, 2011, 02:22:33 AM
 #1

Whatever nation you live in, let's acknowledge the existence of issues that ultimately affect all of us, and discuss potential solutions to those issues, while assuming that the total tax revenue collected by the nations of the world (yours included) is not radically changed. Feel free to discuss changes in how taxes are spent, but let's not devolve this thread into an argument about the amount of taxes that should be collected, or whether taxes should be collected.

Even better, address issues themselves external to the subject of taxes. Real problems, real solutions, real governments, real people.
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September 27, 2011, 02:42:12 AM
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Feel free to discuss changes in how taxes are spent...

Here are my suggestions from most favorite to least favorite:

1. For each dollar you pay in taxes, you get to say what it's spent on.
2. Pay people an hourly wage to learn Austrian economics and read libertarian literature.
3. Build a giant theme park with hookers and black jack, on second thought, forget the park!
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September 27, 2011, 02:43:22 AM
 #3

>Solutions only through violence.

This can't be compromised with. I won't do it.

Anyways, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3aiKuzNeno
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September 27, 2011, 03:07:48 AM
 #4

I like the idea that each tax $ gives you a vote on what to spend it on.

The rich will naturally want to reduce their taxes, but then in doing so they will have less influence over government expenditure, so they won't want to reduce it too much.

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September 27, 2011, 03:13:30 AM
 #5

I like the idea that each tax $ gives you a vote on what to spend it on.

That's a start. Where would you direct those dollars? Make this thread less tax centric and more issue driven.
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September 27, 2011, 03:43:41 AM
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I like the idea that each tax $ gives you a vote on what to spend it on.

That's a start. Where would you direct those dollars? Make this thread less tax centric and more issue driven.

Well, personally I would spend more of it on public parks. I'd rather an area was 50% public parkland and 50% apartment-style housing, rather than 99% separate houses all spread out with no where to go except a tiny park bench with 1 duck to feed. The former would be actually less claustrophobic despite the higher density living arrangement.

Not to mention apartments are far more efficient for things like water, sewer, electric, etc.

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FirstAscent
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September 27, 2011, 04:04:35 AM
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I like the idea that each tax $ gives you a vote on what to spend it on.

That's a start. Where would you direct those dollars? Make this thread less tax centric and more issue driven.

Well, personally I would spend more of it on public parks. I'd rather an area was 50% public parkland and 50% apartment-style housing, rather than 99% separate houses all spread out with no where to go except a tiny park bench with 1 duck to feed. The former would be actually less claustrophobic despite the higher density living arrangement.

Not to mention apartments are far more efficient for things like water, sewer, electric, etc.

That's cool. I totally agree with this. What about suburban sprawl at the edge of town? Would you advocate a simple reduction in plot size plus the park, or simply set aside the wilderness that would normally be encroached upon?

I've often envisioned wilderness corridors through a town or city. Imagine developments comprised of sections that look sort of like Mont St Michel (see picture), where each section connects to its neighboring sections via a bridge. Now imagine a whole town like that, and flowing between those sections is wilderness, with hiking trails. The idea is, the natural native wildlife (coyotes, racoons, whatever), are not displaced, and may pass through the town without really being in the town.

It's sort of a miniature version of what is known as wildlife corridors - which are components of a plan to (in the case of North America) to rewild North America (see the book). It begins with the premise that connected natural preserves maintain and allow greater biodiversity if they are connected, rather than fragmented. The plan is ambitious.
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September 27, 2011, 04:35:44 AM
 #8

I like the idea that each tax $ gives you a vote on what to spend it on.

The rich will naturally want to reduce their taxes, but then in doing so they will have less influence over government expenditure, so they won't want to reduce it too much.


On the surface this sounds nice, but you're probably not comparing how much you earn to the rich. Unless you're on $1m/pa salary, I don't think you realize just how little you have to vote with.

If you give power to money like this, you're going to fight a losing battle, because you're probably in the bottom 80% of the population sharing 15% of the total wealth. http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

That means that 80% of the population will have 15% of the voting power. Do you believe that the people who manage to amass 85% of the wealth will vote for things that benefit you? or that benefit them?

Sorry if that's off topic...a different, future friendly education system would be nice.

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September 27, 2011, 04:43:01 AM
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you're probably in the bottom 80% of the population sharing 15% of the total wealth. http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

That means that 80% of the population will have 15% of the voting power.

i think that's a false conclusion.

that assumes everyone pays exactly the same total % in tax, however i think the wealthy pay far less in percentage terms because they form companies, get bigger breaks, etc.
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September 27, 2011, 04:44:21 AM
 #10

On the surface this sounds nice, but you're probably not comparing how much you earn to the rich. Unless you're on $1m/pa salary, I don't think you realize just how little you have to vote with.

If you give power to money like this, you're going to fight a losing battle, because you're probably in the bottom 80% of the population sharing 15% of the total wealth. http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

That means that 80% of the population will have 15% of the voting power. Do you believe that the people who manage to amass 85% of the wealth will vote for things that benefit you? or that benefit them?

That's an excellent point. It would be better if once a year, each voting tax payer designated what portion of 50 percent of all tax revenue collected went to which programs.
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September 27, 2011, 04:49:28 AM
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Sorry if that's off topic...a different, future friendly education system would be nice.

I'm of the opinion that high school education should be less topic oriented, and more project oriented. At the beginning of the semester, students choose a project which hits several topics (mathematics, science, language, history, etc.), and then, through meetings with counselors, work through their project, which requires team work and research along the way.
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September 27, 2011, 05:07:47 AM
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you're probably in the bottom 80% of the population sharing 15% of the total wealth. http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

That means that 80% of the population will have 15% of the voting power.

i think that's a false conclusion.

that assumes everyone pays exactly the same total % in tax, however i think the wealthy pay far less in percentage terms because they form companies, get bigger breaks, etc.


If it is, then I must have misunderstood the original point:
Here are my suggestions from most favorite to least favorite:

1. For each dollar you pay in taxes, you get to say what it's spent on.

No, I don't think I did. A high income person might pay a 10% tax rate on a $10m salary ($1,000,000 tax), which is still 40-50 times more than if the median wage paid 40% tax. They still pay a lot more in absolute tax, even though it's a far smaller % of their income.

On the surface this sounds nice, but you're probably not comparing how much you earn to the rich. Unless you're on $1m/pa salary, I don't think you realize just how little you have to vote with.

If you give power to money like this, you're going to fight a losing battle, because you're probably in the bottom 80% of the population sharing 15% of the total wealth. http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

That means that 80% of the population will have 15% of the voting power. Do you believe that the people who manage to amass 85% of the wealth will vote for things that benefit you? or that benefit them?

That's an excellent point. It would be better if once a year, each voting tax payer designated what portion of 50 percent of all tax revenue collected went to which programs.

This is a much better solution. It still assumes 1 vote per tax payer, and I would be very interested to see the true power of folk economics at work here Smiley.

Sorry if that's off topic...a different, future friendly education system would be nice.

I'm of the opinion that high school education should be less topic oriented, and more project oriented. At the beginning of the semester, students choose a project which hits several topics (mathematics, science, language, history, etc.), and then, through meetings with counselors, work through their project, which requires team work and research along the way.

Interesting. That would certainly make a lot more sense than the industrial age system we have now. We need a proper modern age update.
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September 27, 2011, 06:56:42 AM
 #13

I like the idea that each tax $ gives you a vote on what to spend it on.

The rich will naturally want to reduce their taxes, but then in doing so they will have less influence over government expenditure, so they won't want to reduce it too much.


On the surface this sounds nice, but you're probably not comparing how much you earn to the rich. Unless you're on $1m/pa salary, I don't think you realize just how little you have to vote with.

Oh it's true it would be bad for me while I'm poor, but I don't plan on staying poor forever, so I still like the idea.

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FirstAscent
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September 27, 2011, 04:30:10 PM
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Interesting. That would certainly make a lot more sense than the industrial age system we have now. We need a proper modern age update.

Oddly enough, this showed up on TED today: http://www.ted.com/talks/geoff_mulgan_a_short_intro_to_the_studio_school.html
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September 27, 2011, 04:45:08 PM
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I like the idea that each tax $ gives you a vote on what to spend it on.

The rich will naturally want to reduce their taxes, but then in doing so they will have less influence over government expenditure, so they won't want to reduce it too much.


On the surface this sounds nice, but you're probably not comparing how much you earn to the rich. Unless you're on $1m/pa salary, I don't think you realize just how little you have to vote with.

Oh it's true it would be bad for me while I'm poor, but I don't plan on staying poor forever, so I still like the idea.



That's a very bad outlook to have and the downfall of many conservative ideas.  The poor matter very much and ensure that the rich stay rich. You should abuse them or not give them a voice, because it leads to very bad outcomes.

Additionally, upward mobility in this country is dead. If you weren't born rich, you'll never be rich.

Enjoying the dose of reality or getting a laugh out of my posts? Feel free to toss me a penny or two, everyone else seems to be doing it! 1Kn8NqvbCC83zpvBsKMtu4sjso5PjrQEu1
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September 27, 2011, 04:54:02 PM
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My issue of the day is redundancy of labour.

Since containerisation, the cost of importing manufactured goods has fallen from 30% on average to less than 1%.  Its cheaper to get a TV from China to Felixtowe Dock than it is to get it from the dock to a house in Liverpool.  Since about 1970, this had been financed by debt.

The effect of this is that our societies have a permanent rate of unemployment as the unskilled manufacturing jobs are gone forever.

This has follow on effects on income equality, on health policies, on social security pensions.

In essence, we have to find a way to manage 2 things:
1. Our society has a significant percentage of people who will never pay their way.  Too many to imprison but enough that things like universal pensions and healthcare are made unaffordable for the entire society.
2. Our economy is sinking deeper and deeper into debt and all the old remedies will fail.  Stimulus?  It creates demand that gets spend on manufactured goods that are imported.  you borrow to pay for the stimulus so you are worse off.  Tax cuts?  Exact same as the stimulus.

so far, almost all governments in the West are relying on policies to boost the construction industry in order to get out of our economic travails.  My contention is that this simply deepens the hole we are in.  More construction means more people buying manufactured goods and thus more imports financed by debt.

And that's my issue of the day, year, decade.

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September 27, 2011, 10:04:10 PM
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Additionally, upward mobility in this country is dead. If you weren't born rich, you'll never be rich.

uh, which one?

the thread starts with:

Whatever nation you live in
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September 27, 2011, 10:14:01 PM
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Additionally, upward mobility in this country is dead. If you weren't born rich, you'll never be rich.

uh, which one?

I meant the US specifically, but it's basically true of any first-world country at this point in time.

Enjoying the dose of reality or getting a laugh out of my posts? Feel free to toss me a penny or two, everyone else seems to be doing it! 1Kn8NqvbCC83zpvBsKMtu4sjso5PjrQEu1
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September 27, 2011, 10:43:28 PM
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Additionally, upward mobility in this country is dead. If you weren't born rich, you'll never be rich.

uh, which one?

I meant the US specifically, but it's basically true of any first-world country at this point in time.

anyone poor bugger in any first-world country has enormous opportunity to be rich... you just have to jump on the internet to see the potential anyone with a few hundred dollars startup has these days.
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September 27, 2011, 10:48:17 PM
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My issue of the day is redundancy of labour.
...
in essence, we have to find a way to manage 2 things:
1. Our society has a significant percentage of people who will never pay their way.  Too many to imprison but enough that things like universal pensions and healthcare are made unaffordable for the entire society.
2. Our economy is sinking deeper and deeper into debt and all the old remedies will fail.  Stimulus?  It creates demand that gets spend on manufactured goods that are imported.  you borrow to pay for the stimulus so you are worse off.  Tax cuts?  Exact same as the stimulus.

Those are some solid points.

The way you describe them, though, does it seem that all you need are more exports?

From what I understand, all the goods are flowing into the US, Australia, etc (I'm from Aus, same thing here and we're only paying by ore + some farming stuff), but not as much is going back (in goods or services) - a trade imbalance, if you will, so debt in the US/Aus climbs, and the chinese grow their savings (and can build their economy). With the dropping $US, shouldn't the govts be using stimulus action to encourage innovation / exporting to pay for the imbalance? If you don't back goods or services, you'll be sending back your land and companies (China's already made it known they're going to start buying up the Intels and Apples etc), which will put you in an even worse position...almost like people want to be slaves...

Ideally countries not having huge trade deficits should mean better standards of living in both countries that trade, according to production increases in either...if there are no goods/services that the US/Aus can produce that china will spend money importing, then everyone is screwed.
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