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How to fix the world's economy: a guide for politicians

WardWard Member Posts: 1,305
edited November 2012 in Off-Topic
Taxes are meant used to fund the public system to maintain health, education, infrastructure and services. In order to fund what is required for the basic existance and continuation of civilization, taxes must be issued.

The problem has been, when a small number of people hoard great wealth through:
1. Tying it up in purposefully stalled investments in order to indefinitely hold money.
2. Abusing the biased tax code to hide cash.
3. Getting manipulative accountants to signifcantly lower taxes.
4. Suing people.
5. Creating new companies to avoid obligatory payments and allowing old ones to expire.
6. Taking out life insurance on employees.

Why does it matter if the wealthy don't pay taxes? Because the less money that is being circulated through the economy, the less money can be spent on basic services that RUN THE COUNTRY. The American infrastructure is bullshit right now because nobody spends any money on it.

1. The consequences of taxing the rich

Now those Republicans like to discuss at length that taxing the wealthy will destroy jobs. I assume they're indirectly confessing that if you tax the rich, they will give retribution through lowering the pay of their employees, charging more for business, service and product and perhaps even firing people.

Such is the Carbon Tax in Australia, designed to encourage large businesses to produce less greenhouse emissions. They simply funnel the cost onto their clients.

Now the solution of the rich is to lower taxes for the wealthy, which will create jobs (that won't fix the economy, people working will never fix the economy unless the wealthy PAY THEIR PART)

2. Does it make a moral America to tax people? YES!

Fox News argued that taxing is like taking candy out of one child's basket and putting it in another, to make it fair. Why should you tax the wealthy? They earned their money, they have the right to their own wealth and nobody should be able to tell them to give it away.

However, there are really several problems with this ideology:
1. The social obligation you make by participating in society is that you will do your own individual part, as you're able, to fund the public services YOU USE. Even if you choose a private sector healthcare, that is your own choice and it does not exempt you from participating in paying for the services of the country's people.
2. Taxing the wealthy more than the poorer people means that money is appropiately and fairly circulated throughout the economy which means that everything that needs to be funded will get paid for.
3. Your wealth comes only by indirectly or directly taking it from other people. By sustaining your wealth without giving anything back, you furthur dominate people's ability to pay the taxes which sustain the country as well as people's ability to pay for their own food, beds and shelters.
4. Taxing is very different to removing personal items from you. Money is not a personal item under the circumstances of taxing and therefore being made to pay tax is not an infringement on your property.
5. Candy is a personal item. Giving a child's candy to other children so they all have the same portion is not a social obligation. The kid has every right to their own candy because it does not reflect the state of anybody else like taxes do.

2. The private sector and the Government's duty

The wealthy propose that basic services like healthcare should be privately owned. This creates motivation, however, to gain profit. When a basic service is publicly owned by the people and operated by the Government, unless it is corrupt, there is 0% motivation to turn over a profit. Even if these public services don't turn over a profit, they must exist.

In Australia we invested in a desalination plant used to recycle water and harness the ocean. The idea was that instead of it being a public entity, owned by the people and Government, a deal was struck in which private business agrees to build and operate it, using taxpayer's money.

So now it's owned by private sector ruffians and is paid for by the people, while in it's own right turning over a profit for the parent company.

Similarly, our train system was bought out by Metro which is a private, non Australian firm using taxpayer money to fund itself, however, the profits go overseas both from taxpayer money and from ticket sales.

It's not only the people's obligation to pay taxes for the public services they use, but it's the Government's obligation to use the taxpayer money in their best interests.

3. Privately owning basic rights destroys the poor

If basic rights such as water, electricity, gas, train/bus, telecommunication, infrastructure (public buildings, bridges, roads, train routes, subways, power lines are privately owned, what is our obligation to pay taxes?

If public services are privately owned, it is in their best interests to generate a profit and, because they are public services, they will make a profit. Therefore why is it our responsibility to fund the upkeep of public services of which the extortionate profits go back to a private owner, possibly overseas.

What you create by privatizing public services is a dystopian world where only the rich can afford to exist and the poor will be destroyed.

4. Healthcare in the hands of rich old white American men

Healthcare which is not owned and funded by the people will seek to make a profit and, in order to make the money they want, they are forced to cut corners. This corner cutting compromises the integrity of their service and is potentially fatal for their patrons who may be denied asking for insurance depending on their health, claiming their insurance or a hospital room when they're ill.

If you privatize our healthcare, you back leave the sick out in the cold.

Now you discuss the state of the economy, why it is like this and what may repair them.

MedullaOblongataSon_of_ImoenAristillius
«1

Comments

  • GriegGrieg Member Posts: 507
    Are you really sure it is right place to discuss this kind of things. In the beginning you say big words about world's economy and than you speak only about local problems of some countries (I don't care if it is USA or Burkina Faso). If I understand correctly, this thread is mainly about your politics's idea: less/no taxes paid by rich people? (also in my opinion pretty ridiculous, but this is not the point)
    I don't see any proper idea of how it should be cured, only some talk that is about possible changes in law of USA. I very don't like this kind of altitude when you try to exaggerate your local problems into international affairs.

    Few words about my point:
    1. Healthcare is mainly public
    2. "Basic rights" as you try to say are public (imho some mentioned by you aren't basic at all)
    3. Rich pay about 32-40% taxes
    All those things are actually managed in that way in my country and it doesn't change anything and I repeat it is not solution for as you say "how to fix world's economy".

    Everything is much more complicated and span wider than simply taxes and privatization, I should mention banking as the basic example but it is not so simple.

    Ask yourself honestly do you really believe that those few steps would change anything?

    TJ_HookerBrude
  • WardWard Member Posts: 1,305
    @Grieg The local examples I mention are to illustrate the state of things. If you do not see how they're applicable to the rest of the world then you're on your own.

    It is not a political idea it's a fact. I'm not a politician and I don't know much about politics, but what I do know is that if 2% of the people own 80% or more of the wealth, there WILL be economic problems.

    That's not a political opinion, that is basic maths. If you own 80% of the wealth, there is only 20 left to pay for everything.

    I listed those 'basic rights' not because they ARE privately owned (I'm sure some of them are, but that all depends on state/country), but as things which should not be.

    I didn't even scratch the surface with this thread, my point is to show you people that lowering taxes for the wealthy make things worse.

  • vorticanvortican Member Posts: 206
    Never read a more comprehensively statist argument on this website before, but I'm not sure I'm in the mood to take the amount of time it would require to respond adequately to these... ideas.

    I will point out that in the last 50 or so years of the USA, the tax rate of rich people hasn't affected the amount of revenue the federal government has collected at all. It didn't matter if it was upwards of 70% or down to 25%, the federal government collected the same, about 18% of GDP. We're collecting more now, and it's still not enough? Of course not. If you assume that education, healthcare, etc. are basic rights (they're not), then there will never be enough revenue.

    booinyoureyes
  • GriegGrieg Member Posts: 507
    Basic maths also says that less you spend money means less you need money or less you need to borrow Do you actually know how much money you exactly need, how much money is needed for basic needs? that as you say 20% is sometimes more than enough it only depends on how much do you need to spend.
    What you say is simple populism like "2% of the people..." and it is oversimplification.

    Next thing: I see how they CAN be applicable and how they ARE applicable, also I am aware that maybe in some way it helps but in any way it can't be named as a solution.

    I never stated that it is about politics... But about politics's idea it is quite different.

    So here is my point you exaggerated and you admitted in some way and you said what I said before, that this thread is mainly about your politics's idea:
    Ward said:

    I didn't even scratch the surface with this thread, my point is to show you people that lowering taxes for the wealthy make things worse.

    And now you should read your topic again:
    Ward said:

    How to fix the world's economy: a guide for politicians

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,980
    Give an example of what you mean by a "stalled investment" and name an example of a rich person who invests in one.

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    This thread is kinda ridiculous. I mean not only is it pretentious (claiming that you have all the answers to such a monumental problem, effectively saying that you know more than economists the world over who have spent decades studying it and yet fail to come to a solution), but the title is overly grandiose (what you wrote seems to be mostly focused on the present situation in the US, not the global economy), and your argument itself is facile.

    elminsterGriegBrudebooinyoureyes
  • ajwzajwz Member Posts: 4,122
    From the nature of OP's post it seems obvious you live in America.
    To the rest of the world, American politics tend to look like a battle between the right and the far right.

    GriegBrude
  • triclops41triclops41 Member Posts: 202
    edited November 2012
    ajwz said:

    From the nature of OP's post it seems obvious you live in America.
    To the rest of the world, American politics tend to look like a battle between the right and the far right.

    what is really funny is that our mixed economy is not much different from the mixed economies of european countries, only our rhetoric is different. one gets a very poor idea about the truth of our system from the fanciful rhetoric our political parties indoctrinate us with.
    our right can still pretend that markets like healthcare are free, and our left can blame evul korporashuns and selfish, rich, old, white men. (and make easily disproven logically inconsistent claims about causes and effects of wealth inequality)

    even before obamacare, somewhere between 60-70% of healthcare in the us is paid for by government. we just put a free market facade on top it (choose your own provider, except gov has restricted it to a handful of local monopolies, and the plans you are allowed to buy have been dictated to the smallest detail by gov regulation). the health insurance cartels love it.

    i am a libertarian who doesn't like reflexive nationalism or the reflexive anti-nationalism that blinds our right and left to the reality of the situation. since most people want security and less stuff to think about a lot more than they want freedom, i know my beliefs will always be marginal. but i can certainly appreciate and be envious of the decentralized decision making of sweden and denmark, the economic freedom of singapore and hong kong, and the effective educational systems that allow a significant private school system to compete with and get the best out of the public school systems in south korea and japan.

    vortican
  • AristilliusAristillius Member Posts: 873
    @Ward

    I agree with your assertion on progressive tax as being important. However, I disagree alot with you stating that it isn't "politics" but "facts". I believe this is exactly what politics is about: putting forward your interpretation of reality (or facts). Society is too complex for anyone to simply point out something as fact, but you can state it as probable and something you believe strongly in... But ok, Im derailing the point of this thread.

    A strong argument, which is often missed, is that privatization of important services as education and power creates beuraucracy (sp?). 20 competing hospitals and schools often have to use a lot of money on advertising, managing different customers and so on. Private beuraucracy is normally just as expensive, or even more so, than democratic/public beuraucracy. That is besides the fact that private enterpises exist to make money, their motivation is only quality by some exceptions. And therefore have to cut worker's waes, pensions, and so on.

    And in some countires businesses have to pay for health insurance, not business or innovation-friendly to me?

    Final point I just remembered: Read "the Spirit Level" a comparative critical book of inequality, which shows that large economic differences create dysfunctional societies. Both crime, health-care, obesity, disease, everything is worse the more inequality you get.

    Sorry for spelling mistakes. I am Norwegian.

    TJ_Hooker
  • triclops41triclops41 Member Posts: 202
    edited November 2012

    @Ward

    I agree with your assertion on progressive tax as being important. However, I disagree alot with you stating that it isn't "politics" but "facts". I believe this is exactly what politics is about: putting forward your interpretation of reality (or facts). Society is too complex for anyone to simply point out something as fact, but you can state it as probable and something you believe strongly in... But ok, Im derailing the point of this thread.

    A strong argument, which is often missed, is that privatization of important services as education and power creates beuraucracy (sp?). 20 competing hospitals and schools often have to use a lot of money on advertising, managing different customers and so on. Private beuraucracy is normally just as expensive, or even more so, than democratic/public beuraucracy. That is besides the fact that private enterpises exist to make money, their motivation is only quality by some exceptions. And therefore have to cut worker's waes, pensions, and so on.

    And in some countires businesses have to pay for health insurance, not business or innovation-friendly to me?

    Final point I just remembered: Read "the Spirit Level" a comparative critical book of inequality, which shows that large economic differences create dysfunctional societies. Both crime, health-care, obesity, disease, everything is worse the more inequality you get.

    Sorry for spelling mistakes. I am Norwegian.



    The correlation between dysfunctional societies and wealth inequality is interesting (it is important to note it is a correlation, that something else could be causing inequality and all the other problems together), but the problem here is that the inequality in the US is greatest in the places where the proffered "solutions" are most strongly present (more progressive taxation, large welfare services, strong labor unions, etc.)
    And I find the argument about the causes of inequality offered by progressives to be unconvincing since, when you look at total tax burden for individuals (state and federal income, sales, etc), the us system is quite progressive, higher even than most western european socialist democracies. (see OECD report) It is important to note that the overall tax burden is lower for americans, but that those taxes are paid in a higher proportion by american wealthy than in other industrialized nations.

    vortican
  • WardWard Member Posts: 1,305
    @Grieg Are you serious man? Money spent on taxes, which is then spent on public service, goes back to the economy. Do you think spending money on America takes money away from America? No, it all gets dumped back into somebody's pocket one way or another.

    As long as they then use a little of that money on taxes instead of hoarding it, everything can be repaid in the end and the upkeep can thrive.

    It's not a political idea that allowing rich people to pay less taxes is bad, that is a fact. The post is called 'a guide for politicians' only because politicians don't seem to understand that rich people shouldn't have it so good compared to little people. That is what makes economies poor.

    @elminister If I don't give you an example does that mean my entire post is irrelevant? I can't give you an example, but I'm confident you could find one in a few Google searches.

    By stalled investment I meant people who purposely spend money in fake transactions with a friend to have their money sit idle in a computer. Here is a link which might help:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Securities_fraud

    @TJ_Hooker Do you think that most people in positions of great power and political influence are sincere and benevolent and have YOUR best interests at heart? You're a fool if you actually believe that anyone with pockets lined with cash want to fix a global economic problem which thrives on allowing the rich to stay rich and never give anything out.

    My thread does apply to the world, because the same basic principle: that the rich should not be disproportionately rich to everybody else, stands worldwide, as well as internationally (that's not my joke). Sure there are people trying to do good by us, but the people in control of real hard cash (or alternatively figurative cash in a stock computer) determine how the economy is.

    It's not pretentious to offer my two cents and you're a little man to be so offended that I try to voice my opinions after watching the presidential election and relating it to our situation here overseas.

    @ajwz I'm Australian. When I watch our house of representitives debate it's like watching teenagers in a schoolyard. They obnoxiously smirk and laugh and mock the opposite side, JUST to be contrary. They don't have our best interests, the opposing party only opposes because they're on opposite sides of the bench.

    I don't believe left or right exists. They are just platforms to enact their own individual particular kind of venture. If laws can't be passed in the house without a majority, then that's not a democracy, that is a group of people overpowering another group of people without asking the country what they want.

    Moomintroll
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,264
    edited November 2012
    Personally, I'd love to see a flat tax that truly eliminates all the loopholes at the top, both personally and for corporations. Everyone above a certain income level pays 17%, or whatever it is. We'd have about a ten page tax code and a one page form.

    But because the wealthiest so powerfully influence the tax laws to begin, and their lawyers basically write the tax laws for our lawmakers anyway, this is very unlikely to ever come to pass.

    Wardvortican
  • WardWard Member Posts: 1,305
    edited November 2012
    @TJ_Hooker I should point out that you make it sound like my idea is unique, original and somehow my tiny pee-brain invented a brand new way to fix the economy. It's not a new idea, taxing the rich isn't a new idea, it's a great idea that rich people don't want for themselves.

    On the Colbert Report, 10/22/12, Stephen Colbert showed that David Siegel had sent an email to his employees before the election saying:

    "If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company... This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/david-siegel-westgate-letter-layoffs-firings-obama-win-victory-raises_n_2092582.html

    He blackmailed his employees to vote Mitt Romney. He was bluffing. That is mean.

  • PhælinPhælin Member Posts: 316
    Economy this, Economy that. Give *me* 2000 years and a pointy hat and I'll kick it's arse!

    Brude
  • Stargazer5781Stargazer5781 Member Posts: 182
    edited November 2012
    I think "creating jobs" is a bit of a fallacious goal. Who wants jobs? If I didn't have to work I wouldn't. If jobs were the root of economic prosperity then we could fix that problem by getting rid of all trucks. Hire people to carry goods from place to place on their backs instead. Do you think our society would be better off if we did that?

    We don't want jobs persay, we want useful, valuable jobs that fulfill the desires of the population, in other words, increase everyone's wealth (no, not just the wealth of the rich). As such, the people should be choosing what these jobs are by buying what they want to buy. It shouldn't be dictated on high by technocrats. Politicians know what they want, but they can't possibly know what everyone wants (if there were a vote for whether to remake BG or not, do you think it'd be getting remade?).

    As such, demand decides what goods and services are desired, but it's the workers and entrepreneurs who provide the materials to create these things, and hence "jobs." I don't really see how it can be any other way. Economic prosperity comes from the union of both. If you have only supply, you have a lot of useless crap. If you have only demand, you have a lot of unfulfilled needs. Third world countries have tons of demand, but they aren't exactly enjoying economic prosperity.

    In short, I don't see any particular difference between politicians taking money and spending it and having a rich aristocratic class taking money and spending it. Rather than concentrating wealth in yet another privileged powerful class I'd favor de-monopolization - abolish explicit monopolies such as the one granted to the AMA, abolish "regulations" that don't actually protect the people but rather favor large corporations over small ones, and if you're so worried about jobs then we should definitely get rid of taxes companies have to pay for hiring people.

    One last thing since it came up - this has always been completely bizarre to me so maybe someone can explain it. You guys know that our government murders and imprisons poor people by the tens of thousands, right? With drone strikes, in the drug war, etc. And that includes children. Why on Earth do you want a genocidal murderous institution like the US government in charge of something like health care? I mean economic arguments aside, it just creeps me the hell out.

    vortican
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,264
    edited November 2012
    You know, for the joblessness problem... while I am in no way inclined to be a supporter of large public works projects, the fact is that the U.S. infrastructure is basically disintegrating. The electrical power grid is more or less held together with paper clips right now. (Crikey, what a mess that is too, in several critical dimensions--not the least of which is homeland security.) A vast number of roads, bridges, dams, levies, drainage culverts, etc., all are on their way out. If a fiscally responsible way could actually be figured out to get all this stuff rebuilt, there are a lot of jobs there that can provide training to newcomers into those sectors. Point being that it has to get done one way or the other. Hopefully government at every level has learned some hard lessons about how not to do that from the "stimulus (aka 'porkulus') bill" of 2008-ish.

    The other thing that could create jobs in the near future is if we can ever transition over to a replacement for gasoline engines. That would almost be akin to cars replacing steam engines, trollies, and horse drawn buggies. But I'm not optimistic about it in my lifetime, as I expect government to remain cozily in bed with the oil industry to squeeze every last penny out of oil.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
  • vorticanvortican Member Posts: 206
    @Stargaxer5781, most people miss your point completely so I applaud you for pointing it out. Many are far too easily convinced to let the government manage certain sectors of the economy while pointing out the terrible job it does managing itself and other areas of the economy. Despite being a group of bloodthirsty tyrants hell-bent on remaking the world according to their vision, our leaders have waged war on the American people and been ignored for decades. The evidence is all around us as the surveillance state grows yet American citizens turn a blind eye, don't believe the facts in front of their face, or assume it will never happen to them.

    Besides that, it's just plain silly to assume that a small group of economically uneducated people can make any better decisions for anyone (other than themselves, and that is questionable) than the millions of people who participate in the economy could make for themselves. In fact, it's rather counter-intuitive to assume that they should or would considering they're being paid with money sucked out of the private sector. I do not see any logic in why we would ever need a government to manage the economy for us, except the bogeymen of the evil rich corporations which enrich themselves at our expense thanks to the largesse government "management" provides. Ironically, it is the very thing that many support which causes the problem against which they claim we need a solution. There can't be huge monolithic monopolistic leech corporations and CEOs WITHOUT big government.

    As for infrastructure, etc. I have the line ringing in my head daily as armchair economists ask the question, "But... who will build the roads?!" As if roads never existed before government... it's a silly convention considering that only 60 years ago, people built roads when they needed them and the vast government infrastructure regulatory body didn't exist in regards to roads. The same is historically true for bridges, water distribution, electrification, communications, and just about every other infrastructure project. Unfortunately, we Americans have now been conditioned to depend on government for so much that only our (hopefully still living and lucid) ancestors could possibly remember a world where it was not so. Perhaps a conversation with a relative who was alive during the Great Depression would shed some light on historical reality for those caught up in this fantastic notion that only the benevolent and wise government leaders can possibly solve our problems.

    Shout out to @Lemernis for using the word, "Crikey"... reminded me of Dangermouse.

  • AristilliusAristillius Member Posts: 873
    edited November 2012
    Ward said:



    It's not a political idea that allowing rich people to pay less taxes is bad, that is a fact. The post is called 'a guide for politicians' only because politicians don't seem to understand that rich people shouldn't have it so good compared to little people. That is what makes economies poor.

    [...]

    I don't believe left or right exists. They are just platforms to enact their own individual particular kind of venture. If laws can't be passed in the house without a majority, then that's not a democracy, that is a group of people overpowering another group of people without asking the country what they want.

    Okay, we have a fundementally different idea about what politics is. Which is fine I guess. To me, having an opinion makes you political - all people are political to some exstent because they have opinions about something in their environs IMHO. Politics is about driving your state in a direction (And laws passing without majority just sounds like broken, not functional democracy.)

    @Vortican, @Stargaxer5781
    I agree that private eneterpises makes better decisions if you live in a facist dictatorship. But you dont seem to realize what drives differnt ways to govern, capitalists are driven by profit. And when the enterprise is big enough it simply does not care about individual's fate: Life destroyed = profit. Do it.

    Democracy isnt trouble-free, correct me if Im wrong, but you seem to favor some sort of privatization-anarchy? In a *functioning* democracy the decision makers stand accountable to their voters, and the goal should be to appease them, which is a hell of a lot better than having profit as a goal. I believe it is a fundamental problem that the economy is privatized because it entintles individuals who owns alot to govern other people's life. Such as dropping wages, laying people off, destroying the envirmoent people live in et cetra. The economy should be much more democratic.

    And why can big enterpsises only occur when there is big government? Did not understand that one.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,980
    edited November 2012
    Ward said:



    @elminister If I don't give you an example does that mean my entire post is irrelevant? I can't give you an example, but I'm confident you could find one in a few Google searches.

    By stalled investment I meant people who purposely spend money in fake transactions with a friend to have their money sit idle in a computer. Here is a link which might help:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Securities_fraud

    When you list something as being your first point in any statement I'd say there has to be a high level of validity in the argument. The least you could have is an example other than giving wikipedia, a link which actually doesn't describe in the slightest what you are talking about.

    How do you spend money in a fake transaction? Either you give money, you give a promise to pay money (or something else), or you don't give money. Even if I assume you mean there is a case of people handing over money to other people in order for them to hold onto it under the guise of it being part of some kind of investment, it doesn't make financial sense for anyone to do so unless they are drug dealers looking to hide away cash. Investors are taxed in part of course from dividend and other sorts of incomes, and in part from capital gains, so from a tax perspective it doesn't make sense to come up with some elaborate means of hiding the fact that you are going into cash (thats not to say being in cash is a bad thing). Compared to coming up with some kind of elaborate money holding system you are better off financially investing that money in something that gets you more money. The cash someone puts in to any kind of fake investment is not making them any money. Its actually losing money each year because of inflation and there is a big opportunity cost in not using that cash in investments that would make you money. The whole point of securities fraud is to make money, not gradually lose it overtime.

    booinyoureyes
  • GriegGrieg Member Posts: 507
    Are you trying to say:
    1. socialism in the world, everybody will have equal amount of cash, also state ownership of the "basic rights";
    2. establishing one most important law, that everybody has to spend all his salary each month;
    What do you think?

    I will give you another (pretty hilarious when you read general idea) idea of why crisis appear in countries: because they build skyscrapers! Maybe there is easy solution: "don't build skyscrapers". But when you read the article and understand what exactly author of the article is aiming at, you will realize that maybe he has got some point there.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jan/11/skyscrapers-china-india-recession
    I have read tonnes of different speculations why there is a crisis. It was written usually by economists. Do you think that every economist is so much evil and so much selfish and you are only crusader that brings justice.

    Off topic from our main subject (because the topic is about how to save the world): Yes in my country is exactly the same:
    Ward said:

    When I watch our house of representatives debate it's like watching teenagers in a schoolyard. They obnoxiously smirk and laugh and mock the opposite side, JUST to be contrary. They don't have our best interests, the opposing party only opposes because they're on opposite sides of the bench.


    And now some heavier stuff and getting more serious: What do you think about M0, M1, M2, and M3?
    You should read this: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html
    also this: http://money.howstuffworks.com/how-much-money-is-in-the-world.htm (I didn't read that one but I believe that I know what is in this particular article)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M0_(economics)#M0

    From factbook you should get to know how much money there actually is in the world (Stock of narrow money [M1]), also about taxes: expenditure & revenue, and most importantly: GDP, "broad money" and "Market value of publicly traded shares".

    If you read it carefully enough you will understand that:
    1. There is more than 75% of all money takes part in the market
    2. Rich people want earn money too, they invest just like others
    3. About 70% of all money physically doesn't exist at all
    4. I believe current most important problem is global debt
    5. Also there is too small amount of money-deposit that is needed when bank loans money
    I will appreciate more comments about it.

    PS. I need to thank you because I checked it and much widened my knowledge only thanks of you.

  • vorticanvortican Member Posts: 206


    Okay, we have a fundementally different idea about what politics is. Which is fine I guess. To me, having an opinion makes you political - all people are political to some exstent because they have opinions about something in their environs IMHO. Politics is about driving your state in a direction (And laws passing without majority just sounds like broken, not functional democracy.)

    @Vortican, @Stargaxer5781
    I agree that private eneterpises makes better decisions if you live in a facist dictatorship. But you dont seem to realize what drives differnt ways to govern, capitalists are driven by profit. And when the enterprise is big enough it simply does not care about individual's fate: Life destroyed = profit. Do it.

    Democracy isnt trouble-free, correct me if Im wrong, but you seem to favor some sort of privatization-anarchy? In a *functioning* democracy the decision makers stand accountable to their voters, and the goal should be to appease them, which is a hell of a lot better than having profit as a goal. I believe it is a fundamental problem that the economy is privatized because it entintles individuals who owns alot to govern other people's life. Such as dropping wages, laying people off, destroying the envirmoent people live in et cetra. The economy should be much more democratic.

    And why can big enterpsises only occur when there is big government? Did not understand that one.

    Personally, I believe democracy to be perhaps the worst system of government in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. It is essentially, the majority trampling all over everyone else. Getting a majority together is a difficult enough task, but when the majority makes decisions by virtue of extremely slim numbers in their favor, it almost becomes comical to represent it as "the will of the country." It's explicitly not. Furthermore, there's no advantage to having a greater number of people make an incorrect decision and it's much harder to hold such large numbers of them accountable. In the end, your voice as an individual is obscured even further, one voice in a large group which drowns out everyone in favor of an agenda which is merely the few items upon which the entire group can agree. In a nation of hundreds of millions of people, let alone those with billions of people, this is entirely unrepresentative of the desires of each of those individual citizens and wholly ineffective in terms of a method of governing. Getting stuff done just becomes too difficult and it's all too frequently the wrong thing for a while bunch of people. Although dictatorships are too often oppressive and repressive, they are extremely efficient and there's only one guy to get rid of, which is why they are frequently overthrown. Is it better than democracy? In some ways, I'd say yes, but I wouldn't say preferable to other forms of government.

    As for privatization equaling anarchy, I think you're making an incorrect assumption. Having profit as a goal does not automatically give license to try and govern other people. A person is only entitled to what they legally own or create, such as their life and the fruits of their labor. A profit motive isn't a license to steal or defraud and as such a capitalist economy is not automatically a violent or crime-ridden one. Even anarchy can be peaceful, but for those few who choose to violate the spirit of self-government and try to take what doesn't belong to them, one could say we need a government, but not to make decisions for us and certainly not to run our lives. A government ought to simply protect our rights and punish those who steal our property. Hence, if you ask for an economy which should be much more democratic, you're asking for others to control how the economy works for you. If you make shoes and those decision makers decide that shoes are essential and thus must be given away for free, you lose your livelihood and they've stolen your property and given it to someone else. If they decide to help you and mandate that the price of shoes must be at least $100 (sometimes I think there is such a law, judging by the price of shoes these days), then they've conferred on you a special benefit. Hence, I don't believe need for government to manage the economy.

    Consider that it does not benefit a business to drop wages, lay people off, and destroy the environment for their own sake. Lowering wages makes workers seek work elsewhere and laying them off outright, while sometimes necessary, deprives the business of experienced workers. Destroying the environment not only consumes perishable and non-renewable resources, but also creates pollution and makes it harder to buy, sell, and transport goods that all businesses need to survive. I don't believe that there are evil rich barons who want to dump their sludge in every river or pond just because they can and don't give a crap if it kills people, but I'm well aware that there are always some who will take shortcuts to maximize their own profits, even at the expense of their workers' safety and our own environment. The best defense against this is strong property rights protection so that if those things happen, the individual (not a government agency) can take those people to court, sue the pants off them, enforce a verdict, and bankrupt the bad-behaving business. On the contrary, as to your last question, government agencies which do act to police these corporations and protect the environment, or workers' rights, or individual safety, have historically become agents of the corporations and their lobbyists themselves. The businesses band together to come to agreements with the agencies which benefit big businesses as opposed to small ones, erect regulatory barriers that prevent smaller competitors from entering the market by raising prices, compliance costs, or legal hoops. Smaller entrants can't compete due to rising costs, so we are left with huge businesses operating under the protective envelope of being "regulated" but they've rigged the game in a way they can live with, but we all pay the price as they pass their costs onto consumers. I think if you ask most big businesses how they feel about the agencies that regulate them, they'll acknowledge a cordial and well-functioning relationship with them, but ask the smaller ones and they'll tell you how much they hate those agencies for making their businesses hard to run and profit. By shutting out competitors and insulating them from market pressures, monopolies only form under government supervision.

    Actually, competitive markets do more to protect individual liberty than any form of government. The goal of businesses producing stuff is to sell as much stuff as possible, so they have to satisfy the demands of consumers who hold the resources to buy their stuff. If they don't do that (absent government intervention), they go out of business. Furthermore, the constant competition forces prices downward to where consumers can afford to buy their products and the innovation required to remain competitive results in an ever-increasing quality of life. Plus, the marvelous synergy of a functioning free economy maximizes the talents and resources of all the participants so that we all have an outlet for what we do best, and the market helps direct those resources to where they're needed or desired most. All of our choices best determine the optimal outcome of free decisions made by free people, as opposed to decisions made for us by some board in a government bureaucracy which purports to have some special knowledge upon which they rely to direct the marketplace. There's no reason at all why we need anyone to control the economy any more than we need them to control our lives. Consider that all the horrible things that big business has done but compare that to the horrors that our own government have perpetrated on the American people an the record is clear as to who is the worst abuser.

    I'd say to anyone who believes the rich are evil and the source of all our problems, look no further to your own government which made it all possible. Then, it makes sense why attacking the rich won't solve the problem at all.

    Ilphalar
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,264
    edited November 2012
    The rich certainly do not deserve to be demonized as a class of people. And a lot of the points made by Ayn Rand are true, imho. Capitalist innovators/risktakers are the ones that make things happen in our world, and create most of the jobs for society. They should not be overtaxed. Nor should their enterprises be over-regulated.

    But they should pay their fair share of taxes. The corporation itself certainly should not pay no taxes, as sometimes happens for large corporations. Corporations and the people who run them should not be allowed to essentially do as they will with no other concern than profit as the bottom line.

    The saying "to those who much is given, much is expected," to me, really means that if you have a strong influence and impact on society, or upon many people's lives, you also have a moral and ethical responsibility to at least do no harm. That at a minimum! And ideally you should want make the world a better place in some tangible ways for others. Not behave selfishly and greedily. Not that there should be a law to ever enforce the latter. But there's plenty of people sitting on boards of directors for major corporations or other institutions who are singularly driven by the profit margins and cost. It is their right, and I do not challenge that. But I guess as society evolves we can only hope to change what motivates people and why.

    TJ_Hooker
  • allhailsteveallhailsteve Member Posts: 210
    In the UK the top 1% of earners pay a third of all income tax to the HMRC, the top 5% pay almost half so they already pay way more than the majority of people. Super-taxing the rich is not some magical solution to economic problems

    vortican
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,264
    Taxing the hell out of the rich is not the answer, agreed.

    vorticanbooinyoureyes
  • WardWard Member Posts: 1,305
    edited November 2012
    @Grieg I didn't suggest socialism, I suggested why the rich paying higher taxes could theoretically fix the economy.

    I think based on the little I know about socialism, that would be a great system for us. However, what you must understand is that any system, no matter what the law is, can be manipulated. Didn't the Russians have socialism at some point, then the communists came and corrupted the system by choosing who had access to various resources and such? I've no idea.

    As long as people strive to get more than everyone else at whatever cost necessary, democracy, socialism and communism will ALL be corrupt and biased systems which aim to support a small amount of people's own selfish ventures. Also that capitalism thing, which gives people the excuse to seek disproportionately unfair amounts of money compared to other people under the justification of 'free enterprise'.

    Let me say once more, the only way to be disproportionately rich is to exploit and to actively remove money from other people's pockets. We use enough food to feed the world 4 times over. There isn't a food crisis, there's a food distribution problem. There are thousands of acres of land being used PURELY for GM corn to make biofuel and high fructose syrup. There's enough in the world for us all, they would have you believe there isn't.

    @allhailsteve You're correct man, it's not just as simple as taxing the rich. Not only does money have to circulate freely and without computers at Wall Street determining the figurative value of something, but the taxpayer's money also has to be used wisely.

    If the rich pay so much tax in the UK, clearly that money is not being used the way it should be. I don't see any reason why money going into taxes shouldn't circulate back into the economy as long as it's spent on local things like service and infrastructure.

    They must be shipping tax money overseas.

  • AristilliusAristillius Member Posts: 873
    edited November 2012
    @Vortican

    Hmmm. We are obviously on different continents (figuratively) in economical policy, but you have several interesting points. I'll respond to some of what you said.
    vortican said:


    Personally, I believe democracy to be perhaps the worst system of government in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. It is essentially, the majority trampling all over everyone else. Getting a majority together is a difficult enough task, but when the majority makes decisions by virtue of extremely slim numbers in their favor, it almost becomes comical to represent it as "the will of the country."

    Yeah, the dicatorship of the majority is often oppressive, I agree. First, I'd like to say that I was talking about the 'here-and-now' policies which can be enacted in the near future. I associate with marxism and hence the ultimate goal is very little state interferance substituted for worker-driven enterprises, and society evolving to such an extent that government interferance (a neccessary evil) is no longer needed: The exact functionings of such a society I dont have, but I believe democarcy is a way towards that target.

    But anyway, to the here-and-now: I get the impression that you are talking about a american reality - or at least a big country. What if democratc processes/government was more local? Small countries such as Iceland, Switzerland and Sweden are pretty well run, no?

    And what constitutes efficent governing? Yes, non-democracies may be more able to make big decisions but I would say that these decisions often are wrong, and fail to take into account all the details, which may destroy people's lives. China is a capitalist dicatorship IMO and they continously disregard it's inhabitants, at least those who arent "ming-chinese". Horrible inequality. But impressive economic growth. I believe democratic decisions are better beacuse they have undergone alot of scrutiny. I think people are alienated to the state becasue the majority is *not* running the show, but the wealthy and influential. Societies needs to implement systems that makes sure that money doesnt buy too much power - for instance strong unions.

    And I did not mean to vilify business owners and others. I am talking about the system here. Capitalism IS governed by profits. The way I see it, in a more market-driven society capitalists will have more power, which equals lower wages to working class -> profits. The working class and much of the middle class will have to compete with each other for jobs by working for bearly livable wages.

    This is not because capitalists are evil, but because they want to make money. I do not think individuals are able to make decisions that are better for society when their own wealth is at risk.

  • WardWard Member Posts: 1,305
    I hate Wikipedia, but it says that the Free Market is: "A free market is a market where the price of a good or service is, in theory, determined by supply and demand, rather than by governmental regulation."

    What a great system for artifically determining what everything costs.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,980
    edited November 2012
    Ward said:

    I hate Wikipedia, but it says that the Free Market is: "A free market is a market where the price of a good or service is, in theory, determined by supply and demand, rather than by governmental regulation."

    What a great system for artifically determining what everything costs.

    Its a far an more organic system than it is an artificial system.

    TJ_Hookervorticanbooinyoureyes
  • WardWard Member Posts: 1,305
    @elminster I disagree man. When the system is built to decide what stuff costs depending on the people's demand, it's open to basic price manipulations.

    Let me give you an example. Runescape (a game I used to play on the internet) took out the ability to freely trade items between you and other people and forced you to participate in the 'Grand Exchange'.

    Now the Grand Exchange was a system where items were set at a 'market value' and gave you the ability to purchase items slightly above or below market value as long as somebody else is selling it for the price you want it.

    This system was manipulated by people in clans who purposely bought out very popular items, causing the price to skyrocket, hoarding them as demand increases, then DUMPING them back into the market for huge money.

    Can the real economy not be manipulated in the same way by creating FAKE demand for things people want to buy?

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