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Author Topic: A Really Dumb Question
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2011 06:50      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ How do we as citizens of various republics get our countries back from multi-national companies? We just watched Egypt throw out a tyrant.

____ Right now the ultra rich have a strangle hold on the world and its resources. Do we need a variant of the French Revolution??

____ Why do the very rich pay little or no Taxes, while the working stiffs, that actually generate the wealth are taxed??

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2011 07:06      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
____ How do we as citizens of various republics get our countries back from multi-national companies? We just watched Egypt throw out a tyrant. It is easy, remove thier customer base by convinceing enough of the populace that these companies control the government ( if they really do)).

____ Right now the ultra rich have a strangle hold on the world and its resources. Do we need a variant of the French Revolution??no, the french revolution was too bloody, violence begets violnce.

____ Why do the very rich pay little or no Taxes, while the working stiffs, that actually generate the wealth are taxed?? Because it is cheaper to pay millions to help write teh tax laws upfront than to pay taxes . Implement Flat a flat tax rate.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2011 08:35      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Ans 1. There is logic in that, however how do you not need drugs and hospitals.

____ Ans 2. I agree, the Egyptians however did a fine job.

____ Ans 3. There in lies the problem how to get the fair tax past the money bags that influence congress.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2011 12:58      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think the problem with the government is that we allow these people who we elect to stay in office too long. They taste the power and then they become corrupt. We need term limits on all elected officials. As for taxes, I think we need to eliminate all income based taxes and switch to a strictly consumption based tax system. Therefore the more you spend the more taxes you pay. I would say that the tax not be a VAT though. It should be a national retail sales tax.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2011 16:10      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ This last election more money was spent than on a Presidential. So of the people elected how many feel that they have a debt to their sponsors? PACs

____ Now my position on taxes, Because we have social security lets do away with the upper limit on contributions, if you are earning money then pay the tax. Now on income starting at $50K 15%, $60K 16%, $70K 17%, until you reach 60% taxes. No corporate taxes as long as it is not a tax dodge like some lawyers and Drs. that have incorporated to avoid taxes. No exemptions NONE.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2011 18:47      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MoMan, re: #3 - Well, Obama is trying to enact tax reform and clean out tons of loopholes. Alas, the Republicans have a goal of opposing him at nearly every step, trying to make him a one-term president. As such, he'll have a damned hard time getting this stuff through, esp. since the big companies and very rich tend to have their ear. :/

Term limits for all sounds like a damned good idea. Some folks have been in the House for /way/ too long. One of my colleagues has a Rep. that's been in office for 26 years...and she only won by a few hundred votes this go around. (Alas, while I was in favor of her losing (she doesn't seem to do much anymore), the alternative would've been GOP. :/) I think 2 terms for senators, and perhaps ~4-5 for reps would be more than reasonable, and still allow them time to get into their 'groove.' (I'm sure it's easier to work things when you know how things work, and have more contacts.)

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted February 13, 2011 20:45      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's a basic principal that money buys votes, and thus money to pay for those votes buys influence. We need representatives who are above that influence - either because they are too rich or too crazy to care. Let's gut us a House of Lords!
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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 14, 2011 01:30      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DoctorWho:
I think the problem with the government is that we allow these people who we elect to stay in office too long. They taste the power and then they become corrupt. We need term limits on all elected officials.

Yes, if you add term limit you would get rid of the old fat cats and get new blood in, but I think an unintended consequence would be that running for office becomes a hobby of the ultra rich. There are a few good career politicians, that wouldn't be able to choose this career path if it meant they would have to totally switch careers after 10 or 12 years. This would mean for many politicians trying to witch careers in thier early 50s. it is just too difficult.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2011 08:09      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ So from what I have seen nothing has been done!!! So now what? Start a new party, "Fix the problem or we will" or "Fear US" ???

____ I for one think that all PACs should be outlawed, and Members of Congress must live only on their own Paycheck just like the rest of us.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2011 10:32      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Re: tax strategies... Consumption-based taxes are quite regressive if they are applied to everything. Everyone needs to buy basic necessities, like milk and bread. That gallon of milk costs a much higher proportion of a low income vs. a high income.

To avoid that you would have to exempt certain items or classes of items from the consumption tax, and then you're right back into the loophole game. If, for example, you exempt all food from the consumption tax a higher income person could buy name-brand items with no penalty other than the raw price difference.

That said, I regret that I don't have a brilliant answer for the optimum tax scheme. The current patchwork of taxes and loopholes sucks, but anything simplistic is going to hurt some group just as much.

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Ugh!

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2011 16:46      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Ugh! I kinda wanted to say just that about regressive vs. progressive, but I couldn't sum it up nearly as well.

I kinda want to know how Florida & other no-state-tax states get by, speaking as a resident of a state-whose-recipients-hate-their-taxes-but-which-is-almost-bankrupt-nonetheless. (I suppose they simply offer far fewer services to their residents?)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2011 17:20      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Well all, from here in The Great Lake State. MI. We have both a State Income Tax, and a State Sales Tax. Now Mi. does exempt food items, that are sold as groceries and Pharmaceuticals, now are you ready for this, GREENS FEES, and Barber and Hairdresser charges.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2011 17:49      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
dragonman97 wrote:
I kinda want to know how Florida & other no-state-tax states get by

Higher sales taxes, higher property taxes and less funding for government projects. Tourism helps a lot in conjunction with the sales tax, too, since tourists don't pay income tax and can only be taken for sales tax.

If you look into it, however, you'll find that the states that don't have income taxes have historically tended to also be the poorer states, so the real answer is "they don't."

Also, with respect to eliminating income tax and paying just sales tax...
 -
(source)

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2011 19:02      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ugh, MightyClub:
Re: tax strategies... Consumption-based taxes are quite regressive if they are applied to everything. Everyone needs to buy basic necessities, like milk and bread. That gallon of milk costs a much higher proportion of a low income vs. a high income.

To avoid that you would have to exempt certain items or classes of items from the consumption tax, and then you're right back into the loophole game. If, for example, you exempt all food from the consumption tax a higher income person could buy name-brand items with no penalty other than the raw price difference.

That said, I regret that I don't have a brilliant answer for the optimum tax scheme. The current patchwork of taxes and loopholes sucks, but anything simplistic is going to hurt some group just as much.

No you don't have to exempt certain goods from getting taxed. The solution is to calculate how much tax a person living at the poverty line would pay. Then the government cuts a monthly tax "prebate" check to everyone. This way no one pays taxes until they spend above the poverty line.

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2011 20:32      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's an interesting idea, but how do you prevent abuse? How do you deal with the "prebate" for children of separated parents who spend time in both households? And how do you reasonably calculate an amount of "basic necessity expendature"? Newborns have different needs vs. toddlers vs. teenagers vs adults, etc. How about clothing?

And what about the fact that the cost of the "basic necessities" varies widely from area to area. The cost of gasoline in a rural area where you have to drive 20 - 30 minutes to the nearest store is also a major factor. In that case gas is a necessity -- in an urban area you could argue transportation cost is not at all necessary.

It would be awesome if it were possible to calculate the exact cost of government services for a particular person and tax them accordingly, but I don't think the biggest brother in the world will be able to do that for a long time given all the variables.

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Ugh!

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2011 21:35      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Another problem with a consumption tax is that it gives people an incentive to 'consume' elsewhere.

I'm sure the retailers in Canada and Mexico would do well out of the USA replacing an income tax with a consumption tax.

And, of course, the rich could simply live elsewhere, and pay no American tax on the millions they make doing business in the USA.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 16, 2011 02:26      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Lets compare Apples and Oranges. If I want a one Hundred dollar item, A: I buy it locally and pay a 6% Michigan sales tax.
B: I buy it on line, according to Michigan law I still must pay a State Use Tax of 6% and the shipping costs, so did I avoid a tax? So unless the on-line discount is so deep as to offset the shipping cost, I am better off to buy locally.

____ Federal Income taxes, State Income Taxes, City Income Taxes, Local property Taxes, State Vehicle Taxes, Gasoline Taxes and State Sales Taxes. So where does it end? How do we take this mess and make it all fair?

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 16, 2011 14:20      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
____ Lets compare Apples and Oranges. If I want a one Hundred dollar item, A: I buy it locally and pay a 6% Michigan sales tax.

But if the Income Tax was abolished, and replaced by sales tax, the rate would be much higher than 6%. Total taxes in America (federal, state, local) are around 28% of GDP, so if you replaced them all with a single sales tax, that would be about the rate.

Say you live in Detroit, and you're looking to buy a $500 camera. A short drive across the bridge to Windsor can save you $140.

People generally have far more choice about where they spend their money than they have about where they earn it, so if you make spending money in America unappealing, they'll find ways to spend it in Canada, Mexico, or wherever else offers them the best deal.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 16, 2011 17:13      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ TFD, back in the mid 1990s the UAW did a study on the difference in taxes on an imported item and a domestically produced one. We are talking about a large ticket item, major appliance or automobile. When you factored in the property taxes on the factory, the taxes on the manufacturer, and the taxes on wages paid to the workers it came to one third of the wholesale price or one sixth of the retail price. I left out the sales tax because it was the same rate for home grown or imported. So the domestically produced item was paying for the infrastructure that the imported item was getting to use.

____ Now lets say that if there was a 35% national sales tax and I went to Ontario to purchase an item I could be slapped with a duty equal to the sales tax.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted February 16, 2011 18:00      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ugh, no system is perfect but a straight up retail sales tax is more conducive to a sound economy than government using all the various taxes to regulate behavior. This also should potentially drive costs of goods sold down for companies because they won't have to pay all the hidden taxes that add to the prices of the goods. After all there is the old saying "businesses don't pay taxes, they pass them on to their customers."

Without those taxes, business can either lower prices for their customers or invest more into their business by upgrading or employing more people or even a combination of all these things. This will allow expansion and even more profit and growth. Lowering costs of products would give people incentive to buy products locally again and they would still have more of their income because it would not be pulled out of their check. Also people might have potentially even more take home pay because businesses would not have to pay the payroll taxes.

With the tax prebate, the tax becomes quite progressive. A person living on the poverty line or below effectively pays no tax out of pocket. The more you spend the more you pay so the "rich" people effectively pay a higher percentage. But the most it would reach approaches about 23%. Which is quite a bit less than what most people pay now.

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Laughter is like changing a baby's diapers. It doesn't solve anything but it sure improves the situation. Leo F. Buscaglia

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 16, 2011 19:29      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
Now lets say that if there was a 35% national sales tax and I went to Ontario to purchase an item I could be slapped with a duty equal to the sales tax.

Or you could go live in Ontario, and still keep your job in Detroit. Your US-earned wage would buy a lot more there.

I'll admit, it's not so easy for the average wage-slave (unless work is really close to the border), but if your income derives from _owning_ rather than _doing_, well, you can still _own_ those assets while sipping a piña colada on a beach in Mexico, and you won't have paid 35% tax on it.

And therein lies the problem, the people who are twisting the current system to avoid taxes (Warren Buffet famously said he pays less tax than his secretary) will go from paying less than their fair share of US tax, to paying none at all.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 16, 2011 23:01      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dang...Ugh and I really are on a similar wavelength. [Razz]

My very first thought about 'prebate' was 'what about abuse?'
People are not always rational actors - give someone a wad of cash and s/he may not necessarily spend it on things s/he needs or existing bills (loans/rent). This is the same reason why I don't give money to people on the street, but support charities that provide quantifiable aid. It sucks in the moment, but I can far too readily see the downside.

This is why income takes are consider progressive & sales tax regressive (in particular, see GS' apt chart). Additionally, it's why basic staples are tax-free, and things considered frills are taxed, if not overly so. And...things considered outright harmful, but legal...are taxed highly. (i.e. cigarettes, and in NY, tanning salons) Personally, I'm not so sure why people are so up in arms about income taxes - they do return to you in real benefits to you and the community around you.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 17, 2011 02:35      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ If everyone paid an INCOME TAX, However the high rollers have huge ways of avoiding taxes.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged


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