Taxes and political economy


Caine

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This thread was split from here: http://boards.openpandora.org/topic/15724-how-to-calculate-a-price-for-the-pyra/page-9#entry320277

Do you guys pay income and property tax as well? Social security? Anything like that based off your income?
Yes. Approx. 37% on the first 20.000, 42% on the next 35.000 and 52% on the rest. Social security tax is deducted from our income by our employers (e.g. for health-care which also needs to be (obligatory) insured).
Property you own is also taxed as is the interest you gain on your savings (30% of an assumed 4% interest, which is higher than the actual interest on a typical savings account).

And to add insult to injury, whenever you pass away and your money goes to your relatives the state claims another 30% (or more depending on how close the relatives are).

It's bloody legalized theft under the threat of imprisonment.
 
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notaz

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Besides income tax (~35%+ and rising as you income rises) and healthcare insurance, here were also have local VAT of 21% for everything, basically you go out to buy bread and have to pay 21% to the government. There is also fixed excise tax for all the gas, alcohol and tobacco, so the gas prices are much larger than they could be (with current prices it consists ~45% of total gas price).

So larger part of what you make here is taken away by the government. It's not much different from middle ages where King's envoy would regularly come and take away all your crops.
 
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slaeshjag

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^ Although I would personally be happy to pay those kinds of taxes if the system worked, and wasn't corrupted.

It feels like they are in the process of taking that whole welfare system down here, so I am considering moving...
 

Granitehead

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^ Although I would personally be happy to pay those kinds of taxes if the system worked, and wasn't corrupted.

It feels like they are in the process of taking that whole welfare system down here, so I am considering moving...
Where to?
 

_wb_

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Paying taxes for public services like health care, education, roads, railways etc. is a very good idea and I don't mind doing that at all. Paying taxes for the personal wealth of a king (this was proportionally a bigger issue in the middle ages, but we still have a king here today so not that much has changed) or to subsidize the rich, big business and wars, that sucks.

Taxes in themselves are not the problem, it's what the collected taxes are used for. I would gladly pay much more taxes than I already do if they were used for better purposes, and I live in a country with one of the highest tax rates of the world.
 

klapse

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Taxes in themselves are not the problem, it's what the collected taxes are used for. I would gladly pay much more taxes than I already do if they were used for better purposes, and I live in a country with one of the highest tax rates of the world.
Unfortunately, government has few incentives to provide services EFFICIENTLY. Whenever possible, I would prefer a competitive market for services (e.g. Private schooling vs State Schooling.
 
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slaeshjag

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I have seen way, way, way too many cases of private enterprises doing a way worse job than the state owned effort.

I don't trust privately owned compaies anymore, and I avoid them if I can.
 

Caine

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Taxes in themselves are not the problem, it's what the collected taxes are used for. I would gladly pay much more taxes than I already do if they were used for better purposes, and I live in a country with one of the highest tax rates of the world.
Problem is that the government thinks they can decide what is better for me than I can.For instance, our government spends tax money on charities of their choosing, not mine (and believe me, mine would be (and are) quite a bit different). It is not their decision to make.

If I mug someone, I am clearly a criminal performing an unethical act.

If I ask you to mug someone for me (and you do), you and I are clearly criminals.

If we get together with a bunch a friends and we decide together to mug one of our "friends" and that friend is the only one who disagrees, then we are still all criminals.

If we scale "a bunch of friends" to the population of our country it suddenly is all fine and dandy.

Sorry, but I disagree with that. It is just as wrong as in the one-on-one case.

The fruit of my labor is mine and of none other. I am free to choose someone to represent me, but I cannot give him rights that I do not have myself.

<edit>By the way, I love this discussion but I think it warrants a thread of its own instead of being a massive side-track of Pyra price calculations.

Perhaps a moderator should split it off.

</edit>
 
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_wb_

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The fruit of my labor is mine and of none other.
OK. No public services it is, then. Let's put toll booths at every street corner to pay for road building/maintenance. Better hire your own private bodyguard to ensure your safety, because there is no police and there are no prisons. When you get severely ill, you're as good as dead because there are only private hospitals you cannot possibly afford. Education and especially higher education only exists for the rich. When you become chronically ill, lose your job or retire, you better have saved enough money to live from.

Have fun!
 

Caine

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OK. No public services it is, then. Let's put toll booths at every street corner to pay for road building/maintenance. Better hire your own private bodyguard to ensure your safety, because there is no police and there are no prisons. When you get severely ill, you're as good as dead because there are only private hospitals you cannot possibly afford. Education and especially higher education only exists for the rich. When you become chronically ill, lose your job or retire, you better have saved enough money to live from.

Have fun!
Sounds like a massive improvement to me. By the way, justice and defense are about the only tasks that the government should handle.I would gladly pay a voluntary contribution to get the benefits of those.
 

_wb_

Microbe
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OK. No public services it is, then. Let's put toll booths at every street corner to pay for road building/maintenance. Better hire your own private bodyguard to ensure your safety, because there is no police and there are no prisons. When you get severely ill, you're as good as dead because there are only private hospitals you cannot possibly afford. Education and especially higher education only exists for the rich. When you become chronically ill, lose your job or retire, you better have saved enough money to live from.


Have fun!
Sounds like a massive improvement to me. By the way, justice and defense are about the only tasks that the government should handle.
I would gladly pay a voluntary contribution to get the benefits of those.
A voluntary contribution for justice. How interesting. So if you commit a crime, you only get arrested if you have paid your taxes, or how does it work?
 

Granitehead

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I think having a government and paying taxes to finance it can very well be justified by the need for more freedom, not less. What is the problem with Anarchism? That a lot of people would actually be less free than now. A governments job, in my opinion, is to regulate stuff so that as many people as possible reach a certain minimum of freedom (freedom of movement, speech, opinion, freedom to do with their lives whatever they want, etc.). If they have to restrict the freedom of people who are already way above that minimum of freedom in order to raise the level of freedom for the rest of the population, then that is justified.

One such restriction of freedom is taxes.

But this doesn't mean I like the way we are taxed at the moment. The tax system at the moment is pretty unfair and bad. The way tax money is spent, too.

But taxes shouldn't be lower, all in all. All in all most governments don't have enough money to operate efficiently (not necessary that they would do it if they could, but that's another problem).

Private companies only work with competition.

School? Probably, would like to try this. The government should just give all parents an amount of money which is large enough to pay an average private school and be done with it.

Railways? No way this works with private companies. Competition doesn't work well here, you can't just build a competing network in the same location and you need huge investments upfront to even try and become a competitor.

Streets? Oh well. We can't have competing networks of streets either. We have some private elements involved here, but it doesn't really work well (same for the train system too). There isn't enough competition among companies who build streets.

Cops? No way, would hate this. And I already have a dislike for anything wearing an uniform (already thinking about what I'll do when I'll be forced to go present myself at the military so they can judge whether I'm able to serve. I'm thinking along the lines of shaving my head {but not the beard, and maybe I could let a pentagram of my hair stand}, denying to eat {no meat anyway} and saying some crass things about what I think about soldiers in general {though without insulting anyone} and compulsory military service in particular).

And so on.
 

Caine

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A voluntary contribution for justice. How interesting. So if you commit a crime, you only get arrested if you have paid your taxes, or how does it work?
Hah, no. If you want to enforce a contract, you only get legal protection if you have paid a fee. A sort of optional VAT to pay for legal costs.

Alternatively you could insure yourself against legal costs or pay them directly if a legal issue occurs.

If they have to restrict the freedom of people who are already way above that minimum of freedom in order to raise the level of freedom for the rest of the population, then that is justified.
This is where we fundamentally disagree. This is rewarding laziness and mediocrity and punishing success.
<edit>To put it in other words, you have the right of pursuit of happiness, not the right to happiness itself.</edit>
 
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Klumpen

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@T4b: All those discussions are bollocks for me, as long as governments do not even care for their constitution.

If my government would never break a law itself, life could be pretty grand here in G.
 
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Granitehead

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@T4b: All these discussions are bollocks for me, as long as governments do not even care for their constitution.

If my government would never break a law itself, life could be pretty grand here in G.
I'm aware. But I honestly don't know what one would do in a country such as Germany, here I would try to find like minded people and then go collecting signatures for stuff. If you have some, I don't know, 100 volunteers (1000 signatures each... maybe a bit much), better 200 (500 signatures) or 300 (334 signatures each), then it's pretty doable to get a nation wide vote. I guess groups like the GSoA (Gruppe für eine Schweiz ohne Armee) or the Juso (Jungsozialisten) don't have much more people and are still able to get a vote now and again (not that they tend to win, but people have to talk about it and the opponents need to pay some millions in propaganda, so it's something already). We don't really have people who think like me (freedom oriented, but not only economical freedom). Maybe I should try to found a party. :) But sadly our system isn't too nice to small parties either, they mostly just collect signatures if they really want something.
 

rohezal

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I would like to know which people would choose how base on their location. USA vs Europe people. Market vs State health insurrance, retirement, education etc...
 
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klapse

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OK. No public services it is, then. Let's put toll booths at every street corner to pay for road building/maintenance. Better hire your own private bodyguard to ensure your safety, because there is no police and there are no prisons. When you get severely ill, you're as good as dead because there are only private hospitals you cannot possibly afford. Education and especially higher education only exists for the rich. When you become chronically ill, lose your job or retire, you better have saved enough money to live from.


Have fun!
Sounds like a massive improvement to me. By the way, justice and defense are about the only tasks that the government should handle.
I would gladly pay a voluntary contribution to get the benefits of those.
A voluntary contribution for justice. How interesting. So if you commit a crime, you only get arrested if you have paid your taxes, or how does it work?
"Hans Hoppe takes on the most difficult subject in economic and political theory: the provision of security. He argues that the service is better provided by free markets than government, while addressing a hundred counter-arguments."

http://mises.org/document/1893/The-Private-Production-of-Defense

An interesting read! Sorry for the offtopic. Back to the senseless price speculation.
 

Granitehead

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"Hans Hoppe takes on the most difficult subject in economic and political theory: the provision of security. He argues that the service is better provided by free markets than government, while addressing a hundred counter-arguments."

http://mises.org/document/1893/The-Private-Production-of-Defense

An interesting read! Sorry for the offtopic. Back to the senseless price speculation.
I read the first paragraph or so and he already had some false premises in there, so I guessed it wouldn't be worth the time.
 
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Granitehead

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If they have to restrict the freedom of people who are already way above that minimum of freedom in order to raise the level of freedom for the rest of the population, then that is justified.
This is where we fundamentally disagree. This is rewarding laziness and mediocrity and punishing success.
To put it in other words, you have the right of pursuit of happiness, not the right to happiness itself.
Pretty sure I didn't see this when you posted it, did you edit in more than you marked?

And to be able to pursuit happiness you don't need freedom? So slavery is completely okay, they aren't free but in principle no one keeps them from trying to pursuit happiness - they might just not reach it. Or they might just need to accept their situation and become happy with it.

I think we probably agree a slave isn't free enough for your reasoning to apply.

This is why I used the words 'minimum of freedom'. After everyone has that minimum, leave them be.

Edit: Personally I probably set the minimum of freedom higher than you because I add an additional premise, but even based on a purely capitalistic, economically liberal position, there needs to be a minimum of freedom, unless you want something like the early industrialisation to happen again (two classes and almost no way to get from the lower to the upper, but with ways to get from the upper to the lower if you make a mistake).

Edit: When I say "restricting freedom" I think of stuff like the freedom to kill, the freedom to keep slaves, the freedom to steal, the freedom to exploit others in any way you want, etc., generally spoken, all freedoms people can possess which reduce the freedom of other people when used.

You really think restricting those freedoms is "punishing success"?

Edit:

I would like to know which people would choose how base on their location. USA vs Europe people. Market vs State health insurrance, retirement, education etc...
Swiss, private but mandatory health insurance (insanely expensive, btw, I pay more than $300 a month), public schools dominate (but I hesitate to call them "good"), higher education is free and of better quality than the schools for younger kids, if you are employed you and your employer have to pay into a social (i.e. people with high salaries help pay for the retirement of people with low salaries) retirement system for you (you are pretty poor if you have to live exclusively off it).
 
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