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-   -   A question of fairness. (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=208090)

Totenkopf 08-05-2011 12:49 PM

A question of fairness.
 
In light of the recent budgetary "crisis" and all the rhetoric surrounding it, what constitutes someone's "fair share" when it comes to taxation and contributing to society in general and what limit if any do you see on the govt taking $$ to address the needs of its citizens? This isn't US specific and is thus open to all. Just one caveat, skip rhetoric or talking points and answer in your own words.

mimartin 08-05-2011 03:16 PM

Zero is the fair share. It isn't like we use anything the government allocates. We can do without all infrastructure, the military, the FBI, the CIA, FDIC, SEC, FDA… Just think of all they jobs that we would create. About the same as the Bush tax cuts, I’d bet.

The biggest thing I’ve learned from the budget crisis, neither party knows anything about the economy. Uncertainty kills the economy and a short term plan does nothing to relive Wall Street’s anxieties.

The buget crisis also proved that if Obama were for cutting everyone's taxes to zero and pulling the health-care reform, most of the Republicans in Congress would be against that too then.

mur'phon 08-08-2011 11:42 AM

As much as is neccesary to actually achieve the liberal utopia of equal opportunity, while adressing negative externalities as much as possible (yes I'm well aware that this will never happen, but shoot for the moon and all that). This will probably mean more taxes, but just as importantly is how we pay tax, and how and what we spend the money on. As an example, innheritance tax should in this case be higher, and so could a tax on greenhous gasses. What to spend it on is harder, but a simple way to spend would be an equal sized cash handout for every citzen (this could also potentially allow cuts to welfare programmes if the summs are large enough).

The reason I won't put an upper limit is simply because that limit will depend on which taxes we have and what it's spent on.

urluckyday 08-11-2011 12:24 AM

http://youtu.be/6AgL-I3PxHE

^This video explains the budget crisis pretty clearly. It also explains the point of the US government at its roots. It was never meant to be the engine for social programs, but rather, it was simply designed for protection of our basic rights.

mimartin 08-11-2011 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urluckyday (Post 2787921)
^This video explains the budget crisis pretty clearly.

Not really, it does explain the "politically made" crisis in a pretty bias way.

Salzella 08-11-2011 11:06 AM

If we're talking about the fair share in the current system, then we need to do an awful lot of shaving off the top. I don't believe any one person is worth millions, let alone billions, whilst people who are just as capable and probably more in touch with actual life struggle along on a low-five figure wage, if that. A top-heavy graded taxation system that doesn't stop at 100,000 pounds like our ludicrous British system does. Let's say that someone earning, or 'worth' (whatever this strange, unquanitifiable mechanism is), 1 million dollars/pounds/euros/whatever gets taxed 90% for starters, and 60% for 100,000, which for me is still pretty bleedin' generous.

The logistics and mechanisms for such a system would be complex, and the idea of actually implementing it is a pipe-dream, but hey a guy can wish.

jonathan7 08-12-2011 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urluckyday (Post 2787921)
^This video explains the budget crisis pretty clearly. It also explains the point of the US government at its roots. It was never meant to be the engine for social programs, but rather, it was simply designed for protection of our basic rights.

Surely the most basic right is the right to food and/or health? After all freedom of speech doesn't do much good if your to sick to exercise it. As such it would seem the claim that it protects your "basic rights" seems somewhat strange, at least to me.

As a general observation of American politics, both Republicans and Democrats seem to try to use the constitution in different ways and then claim their way is the original way it was intended, where upon actual fact it would seem to me the founding fathers never envisioned it being used in either way.

@Topic, Taxes are a necessary evil IMO, how much you are taxed would depend on the type of society you wish to see. What a fair percentage is, is a rather had thing to say, although it does seem logical that the more you earn the more you pay in tax, although the increases in that always seem entirely arbitrary. I don't agree with VAT tax in the UK, which puts tax on all sorts of things, from clothes, to cars to food. My reason for disagreement is that it taxes the poor far more than the rich, an income based tax seems a more fair way forward IMO.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Salzella (Post 2787946)
If we're talking about the fair share in the current system, then we need to do an awful lot of shaving off the top. I don't believe any one person is worth millions, let alone billions, whilst people who are just as capable and probably more in touch with actual life struggle along on a low-five figure wage, if that. A top-heavy graded taxation system that doesn't stop at 100,000 pounds like our ludicrous British system does. Let's say that someone earning, or 'worth' (whatever this strange, unquanitifiable mechanism is), 1 million dollars/pounds/euros/whatever gets taxed 90% for starters, and 60% for 100,000, which for me is still pretty bleedin' generous.

So why bother trying to make lots of money if the government is going to take it all away from you? While I maybe a "liberal", I do think the Conservative assertion that the more you tax rich businessmen the less jobs they are able to provide does hold some reflection in reality.

mimartin 08-12-2011 11:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jonathan7 (Post 2788050)
I do think the Conservative assertion that the more you tax rich businessmen the less jobs they are able to provide does hold some reflection in reality.

To a point, I agree. However, if the economy is really great or really bad it does not matter what the government does with the tax rate. A business person is not going to hire someone if there is no demand and they are going to hire someone no matter what if the demand is high enough. Tax rate is a factor, but it is not the end all answer that many believe it to be.

Astor 08-12-2011 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jonathan7 (Post 2788050)
So why bother trying to make lots of money if the government is going to take it all away from you? While I maybe a "liberal", I do think the Conservative assertion that the more you tax rich businessmen the less jobs they are able to provide does hold some reflection in reality.

That, and a tax as high as 90% would either lead to an even bigger increase in tax evasion, or would simply encourage them to leave the country for a tax haven.

I agree something needs to be done across the Western World to make things fairer, but I don't believe these so-called 'Robin Hood' taxes are the way to go about it.

Salzella 08-12-2011 01:05 PM

In one country the system i mentioned wouldn't work, yes, because all the rich bastards would move abroad - heaven forbid they are able to buy a few less yachts. But this would ideally be implemented internationally, once the world government that will probably emerge, does.

Totenkopf 08-12-2011 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Salzella (Post 2788062)
In one country the system i mentioned wouldn't work, yes, because all the rich bastards would move abroad - heaven forbid they are able to buy a few less yachts. But this would ideally be implemented internationally, once the world government that will probably emerge, does.

Not sure why so much hate for the "rich" (which seems to be an elastic term that covers people even making less than $US250K/yr in our country). Part of the problem is that if you are in the group that makes 20% of the wealth in a country, but pay 40+% of the income taxes (never mind the money you also pay in consumption taxes, be it local/state sales tax, VAT or other) collected by your govt, you're not shirking your "fair share" of the burden. What responsibility do the "poor" (again, an elastic term) have in return for the money they take in any form of subsidy from the govt?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astor
That, and a tax as high as 90% would either lead to an even bigger increase in tax evasion, or would simply encourage them to leave the country for a tax haven.

I agree something needs to be done across the Western World to make things fairer, but I don't believe these so-called 'Robin Hood' taxes are the way to go about it.

Or become part of the fabled underground economy/black market. It's ridiculous to give over large chuncks of income to your govt and then watch them waste it and largely not be concerned about any real accountability (the prevailing sentiment seeming to be that it's "no-ones" money, so who really cares...). The world is full of people who probably make "way too much money" (sports and entertainment being prominent among them), but forcing them to give it over to pols who then squander it to buy their re-elections is no solution either. The "war on poverty" in America, despite the $trillions spent, seems to have been about as successful as the war on drugs.

mur'phon 08-13-2011 04:25 AM

@J7: most of the empirical data I have seen support the idea that tax more=less investment, however, if it is investment you want, surley it's more efficient to either A: provide an incentive scheme to push the rich into investing or B: use the tax money to invest. Profits can be used for all sorts of things, investment is only one thing, and like mim said, in a downturn few want to invest.

Also, my reason for supporting consumption taxes is simply to internalize externalities.As an example, if you tax carbon at a flat (preferably high) rate pr tonn, this will make consumers pay for the damage the production of what they consume. You could always use the tax revenue thus earned for programs for the poor, or simply give everyone an equall share in cash.


@Astor: The threat of companies moving to tax havens is weaker than most think, those who stood much to gain have allready moved, and most studies I have seen show only a small corelation betwen increased tax rates and companies skipping country.

Quote:

What responsibility do the "poor" (again, an elastic term) have in return for the money they take in any form of subsidy from the govt?
From my perspective, taxing the rich is not really something you do in return for the poor doing something for you. It's more a recognition that most people don't get the same opportunities to get rich, thus redistribution is simply a way to give everyone (more) equall opportunities. If the poor choce to take advantage of that by getting rich themselves, great, but if not, that's their choice.

Quote:

but forcing them to give it over to pols who then squander it to buy their re-elections is no solution either.
I partly agree with you, sure a lot is spent "wrongly", however, assuming it's done in tha name of getting re-elected, it seems to me that they are simply implementing what people want. Thus, you could see giving the state more money as a way to give it the opportunity to help the poor, if it doesen't then I guess we have no one to blame but ourselves.


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