tor

Tax Hamster Wheel

112 posts in this topic

[MOD: Tor I've used your post from elsewhere as a template to start this, if its not OK just rant and we'll kill it]

So land tax has been a popular thing for many people to propose. Before arguing over whether it would work or not we probably ought to decide on what the guidelines are and the goals are. This thread is for that. I humbly request moderators to delete any response which is not in that vein, i.e. a land will make houses cheaper / blow up the sun or whatever. Just goals and guidelines. As an example a few I have thought of:

Land Tax Guidelines (GU):

1. Don't punish under earners

2. Punish tax evaders

3. Don't replace current land hoarders with someone else

3. Be effectively tax neutral

4. Don't make complete tax evasion possible

Land Tax Goals (GO):

1. Reduce speculative gains made by denying housing (i.e. honest hard working families can OWN a home but won't get rich doing it)

2. Being a land lord without adding value (increased usage via renovations, subdividing etc) becomes a handyman, rent collector etc job (i.e. landlords make money through work not assets)

3. Councils receive extra money to provide amenities but must provide them

it is of course completely valid to post saying "I disagree with tor_GU3" or "I support tor_GO2" but discussion of the various GU and GO should be in a separate thread. For example

"I agree with tor_GU1, see here: http://www.simplesustainable.com/topic/796-tor-gu1/"

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Deep enough for you?

I am still waiting for the cuts in preferential tax treatment of the high-income earners and wealthy.

I had the usual conversation on Friday...

Co-worker: The soccer players are overpaid.

Me: They are not overpaid. They are undertaxed.

Co-worker: I never thought about it that way. You are right. They should be taxed 50%.

Me: Why stop at 50%?

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I am still waiting for the cuts in preferential tax treatment of the high-income earners and wealthy.

I had the usual conversation on Friday...

Co-worker: The soccer players are overpaid.

Me: They are not overpaid. They are undertaxed.

Co-worker: I never thought about it that way. You are right. They should be taxed 50%.

Me: Why stop at 50%?

There is a slight difference between a soccer player and someone earning a high income by running a business or being good at their productive job though don't you think?

Where would you put your cut-off for the extreme taxation you propose? Incomes above 200K? How many of them are there and how much can you get out of them extra (when you consider they are already in the 45% bracket (or whatever it is now?).

You come up with this "tax the rich" idea fairly often but have never shown any numbers which would make it a believable proposition, I would be interested to see even a rough sketch of your plan.

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There is a slight difference between a soccer player and someone earning a high income by running a business or being good at their productive job though don't you think?

Nope.

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Nope.

Is that because you think that sports people generate consumerism and thereby generate cash flow through society or because you don't think anyone running a business / being good at a profitable job adds value to society.

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Is that because you think that sports people generate consumerism and thereby generate cash flow through society or because you don't think anyone running a business / being good at a profitable job adds value to society.

I think it's because the value that is added shouldn't be judged by an individual (or group of individuals). If people enjoy watching elite footballers more than they enjoy using their laptop, listening to music on their ipod, wearing new clothes, using a new microwave, living in a nicer house, that's their choice. They can express that choice with the way they spend their money. Let them pay obscene amounts to watch sport.

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Is that because you think that sports people generate consumerism and thereby generate cash flow through society or because you don't think anyone running a business / being good at a profitable job adds value to society.

Its Eurosocialism, take a bucket of water from the shallow end of the pool walk to the other end and throw it in the deep end and proclaim that the water level is rising in the deep end whilst jounos photograph and record your musings during the symbolic pour.

Common thoughts amongst folk in the deep end who can't be arsed doing what it takes to get to the shallow end. Views that get more popular based on the public profile of a minority few basking in the shallows that got there through good genes, luck, guile, lies or cheating. Views that totally ignore those that got there through risk, hard work or are rewarded for demanding and/or critical duties in the pool.

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Let them pay obscene amounts to watch sport.

$169 to get a half decent seat at a tri-nations Rugby Test, thats $2.11 per minute of play. :censored:

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I think it's because the value that is added shouldn't be judged by an individual (or group of individuals). If people enjoy watching elite footballers more than they enjoy using their laptop, listening to music on their ipod, wearing new clothes, using a new microwave, living in a nicer house, that's their choice. They can express that choice with the way they spend their money. Let them pay obscene amounts to watch sport.

Oh maybe I wasn't clear, I wasn't suggesting taxing people based on their perceived worth to society.

I was attempting to point out that "tax the rich because football players get paid too much" is a slightly odd statement to make and I would consider it akin to straw man argument techniques. The number of high paid sports people is small compared to the number of high paid productive people.

Of course a lot of people will dispute the productivity of those people, to which I simply point out that if they are so useless someone with more skills is competitively chasing that exact same role. Maybe the job is harder than people not doing it think.

Personally the idea that someone can be paid a bucket load for providing entertainment to society a little bit weird but I assume that is because I provide little in the way of entertainment and so have a bit of a personal thing going on there :)

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Oh maybe I wasn't clear, I wasn't suggesting taxing people based on their perceived worth to society.

Ah yes, I got it wrong.... I thought you were arguing this. Now I see what you mean.

Personally the idea that someone can be paid a bucket load for providing entertainment to society a little bit weird but I assume that is because I provide little in the way of entertainment and so have a bit of a personal thing going on there :)

Personally, I find it weird that you find it weird smile.gif Culture is the most important thing of all. Far more important to most humans that productivity. However, it is high productivity that enables culture and leisure.

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As an ex cricketer and rugby player who likes most form of sport (and I travel by air to watch tournaments and matches and stay in hotels etc) I find paying sportsman 7 figure salaries obscene.

Many (Rugby and Soccer particularly have examples) are grossly overpaid primadonnas who fail to live up to their hype.

By attending and spending I support the notion so from this year, no live matches except my annual members cricket test.

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Trillions of dollars of public debt is being added to the ledger.

Tax the sport stars all you want. Won't make a difference.

It will be interesting to see how governments try to cobble a payment plan together. In the end they may need to simply tax everyone as much as they can bear.

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...Tax the sport stars all you want. Won't make a difference...

Which is my point really, anyone that says "tax the rich" is being somewhat flippant.

There are not enough rich people to tax that can't just walk. If those people also happen to employ people you lose the tax revenue you used to get as well as the jobs.

Taxing the rich when things are going well you can get away with. When there is a downturn it makes more sense to tax them less (as the UK has just done) in the hope that the people in your society that actually deliver jobs and productivity do it more (there is no need to encourage them when things are going well).

It is a complex topic of course and simply reducing taxes for the rich is not the solution, it has to be targeted tax reductions. However it is the exact opposite of what S3K recommends and is nowhere near as simplistic as he makes out in my opinion.

Which is why I would like to see his numbers if he actually believes this idea enough to go around telling people it is the solution and feeling he is an awesomely insightful person.

Because mostly if someone has what appears to be a blatantly stupid idea I would like to hear their reasoning to see if it may not be as stupid as it seems on the face of things.

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As an ex cricketer and rugby player who likes most form of sport (and I travel by air to watch tournaments and matches and stay in hotels etc) I find paying sportsman 7 figure salaries obscene.

Many (Rugby and Soccer particularly have examples) are grossly overpaid primadonnas who fail to live up to their hype.

By attending and spending I support the notion so from this year, no live matches except my annual members cricket test.

I used to lived in Liverpool (UK). Dad and I used to go to the football most weeks. Ticket prices got more and more expensive every year, and eventually, I just decided to stop going. I think they ended up as 38 quid for the cheapest ticket. I couldn't believe the amount people would pay to travel just to watch the team. I had a ticket for Istanbul (you know, THE champion's league final in 2005). The ticket was sweet FA (15 quid or so), but the flight was 500 quid just to fly there in the morning and fly back straight after the game. I gave my ticket to a friend. I still don't regret it to this day, even given that game.

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some state in america decided to raise taxes on millionaires, next year they lost half their population of millionaires. taxing poor works better , they cant affords to leave, or complain,.

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some state in america decided to raise taxes on millionaires, next year they lost half their population of millionaires

...and nobody missed them because they weren't paying any taxes in the first place. The wealth pyramid shrunk and the people that remained created a more just and equal society.

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...and nobody missed them because they weren't paying any taxes in the first place. The wealth pyramid shrunk and the people that remained created a more just and equal society.

Um If the rich aren't paying their taxes how would your proposed tax increase for the rich make any difference?

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...and nobody missed them because they weren't paying any taxes in the first place.

They were, however, bringing large amounts of income into the state, and spending it.

The wealth pyramid shrunk and the people that remained created a more just and equal society.

What is a just and equal society? One in which you don't get to keep the fruits of your labour?

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...and nobody missed them because they weren't paying any taxes in the first place. The wealth pyramid shrunk and the people that remained created a more just and equal society.

Yeah the poor just filled the gap in spending, saving and investing. :rolleyes:

Agrarian subsistent peasant utopia.

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They were, however, bringing large amounts of income into the state, and spending it.

Sol Truillo comes. Sol Truillo collects. Sol Truillo leaves.

If you had to raise tax revenue by $1B and you had the choice of taking it from one billion persons owning $1 each or one person owning $100B it would be simpler and fairer to take the $1B from the richest person. Why would you even attempt to bankrupt one billion people and cause hardship and war if alternatively you can slightly inconvenience one person by 1% net worth to achieve the same revenue result?

People forget how "Monopoly" ends. The winner gives up all the gains.

Edited by sydney3000

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Of course a lot of people will dispute the productivity of those people, to which I simply point out that if they are so useless someone with more skills is competitively chasing that exact same role. Maybe the job is harder than people not doing it think.

I think sportsman are a bit like lawyers. The elite get very well paid and the mediocre get paid poorly or are unemployed. You have to be highly skilled and when the difference between success and failure is valued in the millions you will pay the best a lot and pay mediocrity nothing as you don't even want them involved.

Engineers and the like because it is just a decent level of compatence required to fulfill their role are not in the same legue at the top end but are still paid OK at the low end as their are roles for them. While f*ckups are still measured in the millions you should not be making any at all, i.e. their is an expectation that most engineers can drop in and do the same job. For an engineer you have to work in remote or harsh conditions or as a manager to make the good coin. Management; again where the difference between mediocrity and the elite makes a big difference.

I think this is where the coin is, where your level of skill actually makes a difference. Clearly you might be the best road sweeper operator in town but if this leads to only 20% more productivity than only expect to be paid 20% more than the pack.

Edit: in response to sydneys post above: again CEO's can make the difference between getting the next lot of finance to grow or not etc. I must abmit though I am equally irked at what CEOs get paid these days. There should be a CEO salary cap! (Kidding, I don't know what the answer is but clearly they have the pay deals made internally between themselves and super fund boards it is a ridiculous state of affairs at the moment.)

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If you had to raise tax revenue by $1B and you had the choice of taking it from one billion persons owning $1 each or one person owning $100B it would be simpler and fairer to take the $1B from the richest person.

Why is it "fairer"? Define "fair".

Let's talk about "fairness". Imagine a parent that has 2 children. On the holidays, one goes to the beach every day, while the other goes out and mows the neighbours lawns, earning a few bucks. At the end of the holidays, the second child has a cool $200 to spend. As a parent, do you force this child to give over say $50 to his/her sibling to make it "fair"? I would say you probably wouldn't, because that is blatantly unfair. In fact, I would say it's quite irresponsible. Why then, when we grow up, should fairness be about spreading the wealth around? I can see social advantage to helping those who are down and out, but to use fairness to justify this just doesn't make sense to me.

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Why is it "fairer"? Define "fair".

Let's talk about "fairness". Imagine a parent that has 2 children. On the holidays, one goes to the beach every day, while the other goes out and mows the neighbours lawns, earning a few bucks. At the end of the holidays, the second child has a cool $200 to spend. As a parent, do you force this child to give over say $50 to his/her sibling to make it "fair"? I would say you probably wouldn't, because that is blatantly unfair. In fact, I would say it's quite irresponsible. Why then, when we grow up, should fairness be about spreading the wealth around? I can see social advantage to helping those who are down and out, but to use fairness to justify this just doesn't make sense to me.

I consider reducing the net worth of one person by 1% instead of reducing the net worth of 1 billion persons by 100% fairer.

The child earned this money under the protection of police that stops other children stealing his earnings and healthcare that is provided in case he has an accident during his work. People's earnings are not entirely based on their own aptitude but also the society they live in.

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If you had to raise tax revenue by $1B and you had the choice of taking it from one billion persons owning $1 each or one person owning $100B it would be simpler and fairer to take the $1B from the richest person. Why would you even attempt to bankrupt one billion people and cause hardship and war if alternatively you can slightly inconvenience one person by 1% net worth to achieve the same revenue result?

What a ludicrous argument. You offer the choice of bankrupting imaginary people against a 1% reduction in wealth from a different imaginary person.

I am so smrt! STRWMN!

Can I make up one of these too?

Would you choose to execute three million puppies or give a cat a saucer of milk to resolve the current deficit?

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Why is it "fairer"? Define "fair".

Let's talk about "fairness". Imagine a parent that has 2 children. On the holidays, one goes to the beach every day, while the other goes out and mows the neighbours lawns, earning a few bucks. At the end of the holidays, the second child has a cool $200 to spend. As a parent, do you force this child to give over say $50 to his/her sibling to make it "fair"? I would say you probably wouldn't, because that is blatantly unfair. In fact, I would say it's quite irresponsible. Why then, when we grow up, should fairness be about spreading the wealth around? I can see social advantage to helping those who are down and out, but to use fairness to justify this just doesn't make sense to me.

From an economic perspective it is better to have progressive taxation anyway. Same with strong welfare. The lower paid people tend to spend most of what they earn, this means it all ends up back out in the economy. We are far from a paradox of thrift in this country so the argument could be run the other way maybe for Australia but certainly in general a regressive taxation system tends to have wealth concentrated amoung the few and this is not even good for business or anyone really.

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