An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby ronpaul » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:46 pm UTC

Hi everyone,
my first post :-)

But to the point:
You guys are really smart bunch, and it's hard to follow your arguments on the lunch break, and probably wouldn't be much easier if I could focus.
However I see that with all your intelligence you are looking at the issue from the wrong point of view. I believe that, although we form groups, and you can categorise people into groups based on anything, we are first and foremost individuals. And as individuals we should be treated equally by law.

It's unjust to treat any individual different form another.

In that light: no state that is redistributing wealth can be called just, cause you have to take to give.

Very important note: There is no single individual or group of such that is wise, intelligent, informed enough to make any decision about society. I'm not an Anarchist (cause anarchy always leads to despotism) I do believe in limited government, and government for the people, and I can see only one role for it in prosperous society: defend individual liberties and rights.

and if you care about all that suffer, go and help them, do not force others to pay for it thou.

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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Indon » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:01 pm UTC

ronpaul wrote:However I see that with all your intelligence you are looking at the issue from the wrong point of view. I believe that, although we form groups, and you can categorise people into groups based on anything, we are first and foremost individuals. And as individuals we should be treated equally by law.

It's unjust to treat any individual different form another.

Let's say that we have two individuals, one who has 10,000 dollars, and another who has 100,000 dollars. Our two-person nation gets into a war that costs 10,000 dollars.

Which of the following scenarios treats both people the same? And which is just?

1.Tax each individual 5,000 dollars, constituting 50% of one person's wealth and 5% of the other.
2.Tax each individual 10% of their wealth, drawing 1,000 dollars from one and 10,000 dollars from the other.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:15 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
ronpaul wrote:However I see that with all your intelligence you are looking at the issue from the wrong point of view. I believe that, although we form groups, and you can categorise people into groups based on anything, we are first and foremost individuals. And as individuals we should be treated equally by law.

It's unjust to treat any individual different form another.

Let's say that we have two individuals, one who has 10,000 dollars, and another who has 100,000 dollars. Our two-person nation gets into a war that costs 10,000 dollars.

Which of the following scenarios treats both people the same? And which is just?

1.Tax each individual 5,000 dollars, constituting 50% of one person's wealth and 5% of the other.
2.Tax each individual 10% of their wealth, drawing 1,000 dollars from one and 10,000 dollars from the other.


Option 1 treats both people the same. As for which is just..... if you really believe in treating absolute equality its also 1. Granted, there are a great many theories of justice and certainly you could find number 2 or other options as more just.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby ronpaul » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:01 pm UTC

Let's say that we have two individuals, one who has 10,000 dollars, and another who has 100,000 dollars. Our two-person nation gets into a war that costs 10,000 dollars.

Which of the following scenarios treats both people the same? And which is just?

1.Tax each individual 5,000 dollars, constituting 50% of one person's wealth and 5% of the other.
2.Tax each individual 10% of their wealth, drawing 1,000 dollars from one and 10,000 dollars from the other.



Option 1 of-course, but that example is very extreme, and obviously both of them would do everything to protect their two-person nation if it were attacked, and I'm sure both would give up 100% of their wealth and fight side by side if need be.

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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Indon » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Option 1 treats both people the same.


Why isn't option 2 treating both people the same? Is it, for example, unequal treatment for me to say, "I will hire anyone who can do this job"? After all, while I'm holding people to the same standard, I'm doing different things for different people conditionally - just like option 2 takes more wealth from the wealthy because the common standard calls for a proportion of wealth.

ronpaul wrote:Option 1 of-course, but that example is very extreme, and obviously both of them would do everything to protect their two-person nation if it were attacked, and I'm sure both would give up 100% of their wealth and fight side by side if need be.


Why is the first one the just treatment, and not the second? If one man must give up his food, shelter, or safety while another gives up only luxury to accomplish the same communal need, how is this equal treatment?

To take your expansion further, is it just to expect both to risk their lives, if the life of one is worth more than the life of the other? Wouldn't that be treating them differently, and thus unjustly?
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:40 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Dark567 wrote:Option 1 treats both people the same.


Why isn't option 2 treating both people the same? Is it, for example, unequal treatment for me to say, "I will hire anyone who can do this job"? After all, while I'm holding people to the same standard, I'm doing different things for different people conditionally - just like option 2 takes more wealth from the wealthy because the common standard calls for a proportion of wealth.



Its like going to the store. As a store owner I don't charge someone ten times as much for milk because someone makes ten times as much. This is the same thing, two people being charged the exact same price for defense regardless of how much they make. It's really that simple. The government doesn't even need to collect income or wealth information. It treats everyone the same. In order to charge different amounts for defense it needs to figure out these peoples income, so that it can differentiate them(and by differentiating them, treating them unequally).


EDIT:
I think also there is a difference of applying a standard equally and a standard that is equal. For example, I make a standard that I only hire blue people and not orange people. I can apply that standard to everyone equally, but the standard it self is prejudiced against orange people. This is exactly the same thing you do with only "hiring anyone who can do this job". You apply the standard equally, but the standard it self is prejudiced against people that are not capable of doing the job. The flat percentage income tax is a unequal standard, although it can be applied to everyone equally. The flat price for contribution is a standard that is a equal standard.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:09 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Its like going to the store. As a store owner I don't charge someone ten times as much for milk because someone makes ten times as much.
The thing though is that, if you could, you would charge someone who liked milk ten times as much ten times as much, since that captures more consumer surplus. Arguably, safety scales in value with your wealth, such that if you had ten times as much to protect you would be willing to pay roughly ten times as much to protect it.

Likewise, would it be sensible to tax the trucker and the Amish farmer the same amount for an interstate highway system?
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:19 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Dark567 wrote:Its like going to the store. As a store owner I don't charge someone ten times as much for milk because someone makes ten times as much.
The thing though is that, if you could, you would charge someone who liked milk ten times as much ten times as much, since that captures more consumer surplus. Arguably, safety scales in value with your wealth, such that if you had ten times as much to protect you would be willing to pay roughly ten times as much to protect it.

Likewise, would it be sensible to tax the trucker and the Amish farmer the same amount for an interstate highway system?


You couldn't charge someone who liked milk ten times as much though. In most systems they wouldn't be willing to pay ten times as much. They also wouldn't have to divulge that information to you. Besides that would still be treating two people unequally. The best way to treat everyone equally would be to treat them the same way based off as little information about them as possible. A different take on veil of ignorance if you will.

No you charge the Amish and the truck driver based on their usage, probably by a toll.(i.e. this is someone buying 1 gallon of milk versus someone buying 100 gallons of milk) This is different then the defense case where although one person benefits more from defense, the cost to provide the defense to either person is the same.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Charlie! » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:The best way to treat everyone equally would be to treat them the same way based off as little information about them as possible. A different take on veil of ignorance if you will.

That sounds problematic. Once you've made treating people the same an inherently good thing, how do you know when to stop? Do you be equally polite to someone who is mean to you and someone who gives you a present? I'd advocate keeping your eye on the ball - i.e. human happiness/dignity/stuff that's the primary goal for most peoples' morals.

On toll roads vs. wars, all you're doing is moving your assumption from one place to another. "Why should people pay for wars equally? Because it costs the same amount to protect them." "But why does it cost the same amount to protect a child versus someone with a gun and survival training? Because I'm secretly assuming that everyone should always be treated equally, including in figuring costs." :P
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:The best way to treat everyone equally would be to treat them the same way based off as little information about them as possible.
More information, up until a point, leads to more efficiency. It might be fairer in some sense to not know anyone from Adam, but oftentimes it's counterproductive.

I understand the logic behind using head taxes, but I think flat income taxes are a far better plan (and are also a better plan than progressive income taxes).

Dark567 wrote:No you charge the Amish and the truck driver based on their usage, probably by a toll.(i.e. this is someone buying 1 gallon of milk versus someone buying 100 gallons of milk) This is different then the defense case where although one person benefits more from defense, the cost to provide the defense to either person is the same.
Roads are similar though- while the variable cost is higher than the case for defense (generally private individuals don't get rich enough to invite invasion by neighboring countries, though they can get rich enough to increase thefts), the fixed cost of making roads dominates the maintenance cost of upkeep.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:10 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Dark567 wrote:The best way to treat everyone equally would be to treat them the same way based off as little information about them as possible.
More information, up until a point, leads to more efficiency. It might be fairer in some sense to not know anyone from Adam, but oftentimes it's counterproductive.

I understand the logic behind using head taxes, but I think flat income taxes are a far better plan (and are also a better plan than progressive income taxes).

I am not saying we should use fixed head taxes, I am saying they are the form of taxation that treats everyone the most equally, which is what Indon was asking. Clearly as far as efficiency goes there could many better options. (The same goes for tolls, which also involve too much overhead to be considered efficient)
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby fixcomputers0077 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:40 pm UTC

I don't have a fancy smancy lengthy explanation with really big words and complicated sentence structure but I do have a really good idea of what helps with acquiring wealth. It is not redistributing it. It is in changing the thought patterns of the ones without wealth. You could dump tons of money on poor people and they would be without money again in due time. Change the thought patterns to those of abundance. There is more than enough to go around. Those that have the right mindset find wealth and keep wealth. Even if it all disappeared, they would know how to create it again. Your most valuable asset is your head.

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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Indon » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:I am not saying we should use fixed head taxes, I am saying they are the form of taxation that treats everyone the most equally, which is what Indon was asking. Clearly as far as efficiency goes there could many better options. (The same goes for tolls, which also involve too much overhead to be considered efficient)


Well, what I was getting at specifically was questioning ronpaul's belief that the standard that is most equal is the standard that is most just (and thus, presumably, desirable).

It's entirely reasonably to state that "I will hire only people who can do this job" is less equal to "I will hire anyone", but who would claim that it is less just?

In practice, I feel that progressive income taxation is the form of taxation that best balances feasibility of implementation and accuracy of taxation - the kind of 'pay for what you get' approach that Vaniver touches upon.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Dark567 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:21 pm UTC

Indon wrote:Well, what I was getting at specifically was questioning ronpaul's belief that the standard that is most equal is the standard that is most just (and thus, presumably, desirable).

It's entirely reasonably to state that "I will hire only people who can do this job" is less equal to "I will hire anyone", but who would claim that it is less just?

In practice, I feel that progressive income taxation is the form of taxation that best balances feasibility of implementation and accuracy of taxation - the kind of 'pay for what you get' approach that Vaniver touches upon.


But the pay for what you get approach isn't all what progressive taxation is going for. Something like a flat percent probably achieves it much more efficiently. To me when combined with the welfare state, the intent of progressive taxation seems to be income redistribution, where some people clearly are getting much more than they pay for(i.e. anyone who pays no taxes but is on welfare). I am not saying that it is a bad thing, I just have a problem when people try to sell progressive taxation as 'pay for what you get' when it seems like that is neither what it is or its goal.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Indon » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:34 pm UTC

Custom Dog Tags wrote:It's not the responsibility of the rest of the country, or even the upper class for that matter, to make sure the poor are better off. Now I'm not trying to sound cold or heartless, but in so many cases the poor are keeping themselves poor. Not to say that starving college kids fit into this category, I don't even see that as the lower class, it's a stage we all have to go through to better ourselves.


I'd at least agree to some small degree, if poor people didn't work harder than we did, for less compensation, which they frequently can't even get in the first place, all the while existing in a society filled with actors dedicated to exploiting their lack of time to research consumer products in order to essentially scam them.

Dark567 wrote:But the pay for what you get approach isn't all what progressive taxation is going for. Something like a flat percent probably achieves it much more efficiently.

Maybe a flat percent of wealth. But income does not correlate 1:1 with wealth. In fact, as income increases, wealth tends to increase much faster - which makes sense, because people who make over a certain amount of income stop consuming with that income and start building their wealth instead.

And benefits from most government services* scale not with income, but with wealth.

Even the benefits of welfare state measures scale with wealth to a degree - a worker benefits from one public education, but an employer benefits from many public educations - those of all his workers (and possibly also his own). Welfare state measures, implemented effectively, facilitate the human infrastructure our economy relies on to survive.

*-There is, admittedly, woefully little hard research in this field, but there are many obvious examples, such as Vaniver's example of defense.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby phonon266737 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:38 pm UTC

As a related aside, the roman empire switched from a progressive % tax, to a flat % tax, and this seems to have worked out well for them.

The imperial system of flat levies instituted by Augustus shifted the system into being far less progressive, however. Growth in the provincial taxable basis under the Publicani led to higher collections in time, while under Augustus, fixed payments reduced this potential. Tax paying citizens were aware of the exact amounts they needed to pay and any excess income remained with the communities. While there could obviously be reassessments that would adjust the taxable base it was a slow process that left a lot of room for the earning of untaxed incomes. While seemingly less effective to the state than that of the Publicani system, the new practice allowed for considerable economic growth and expansion.


http://www.unrv.com/economy/roman-taxes.php


This brings up a separate point - why should the "windfall profit" be taxed? It's not a reliable source of income for the state.

As for treating people equally, it seems that the flat percentage tax on property accomplishes this most effectively. It's well known that property taxes have no deadweight loss. It would drive rent up, but the end result would be that the increase in rent is less than the decrease in income tax. This also rewards those who are most efficient (use the same amount of property to maximum result), versus taxation of profits (the better you do, the higher your tax). At the same time, you can't "escape" the system by not working (those who don't work still gain the benefits of the government). It's also far steadier (the value of property is not too volatile, especially if you have to pay for a re-assesment before the value changes, and would greatly benefit government budgeting.

Edit for Indon: Do you think that the government does not already know who owns land and securities / investments? Other wealth (cars, etc) does not seem too important for taxation.
Last edited by phonon266737 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:54 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Indon » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:50 pm UTC

phonon266737 wrote:As a related aside, the roman empire switched from a progressive % tax, to a flat % tax, and this seems to have worked out well for them.


What you're describing is an issue of tax implementation, as the romans switched from a wealth taxation system to an effective income taxation system.

Income taxation systems, despite being less fair, are far easier to implement than wealth-based taxation systems are (because for a wealth-based taxation system, the government needs to know everything you own and its' value).

Progressive income taxation, assuming appropriately set brackets, has the ease of implementation of income taxation while approximating the appropriate levels of taxation per a flat wealth tax.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Patashu » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:43 pm UTC

I think you need to be careful, when arguing economics, about whether you're referring to an idealized economic system or the way things are currently implemented. The US isn't a true capitalistic society, or a true anything society for that matter. For instance (this is off the top of my head) most of the big banks were still around after the housing bubble collapsed, and in fact they were forced to pay much, much less than what they skimmed off as profit by fooling everyone in the first place - you can call it a failure of capitalism or of socialism or of whatever you like, but first and foremost it is a failing of the particular system at that point in time. In particular, it was only possible because of the repeal of the...sorry, it's been a while since I went into this, but the Steagle-Glassman regulations.

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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Vaniver » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:27 pm UTC

Indon wrote:Maybe a flat percent of wealth. But income does not correlate 1:1 with wealth. In fact, as income increases, wealth tends to increase much faster - which makes sense, because people who make over a certain amount of income stop consuming with that income and start building their wealth instead.
Hm. This is an interesting argument, but I'm not sure it's enough to counteract the problems with a progressive tax system. I suspect percentage of income saved is somewhat durable over one's lifetime and income ranges- and I think it's a mistake to categorize high incomes as savers and low incomes as spenders, though there is probably some link there.

If you want to tax wealth, then the way to do that seems to be taxing wealth- which is a problem because the incentives associated with taxing wealth are very poisonous. A progressive income tax hits wage earners with passive income more than equal wage earners without it- but is also seems to incentivize saving earlier rather than later. The strongest argument for a progressive income tax, I think, is that it makes more voters happier than the other systems- which is hardly pleasing to someone focused on economic efficiency or the accumulation of wealth / productive power.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Dark567 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:14 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
If you want to tax wealth, then the way to do that seems to be taxing wealth- which is a problem because the incentives associated with taxing wealth are very poisonous. A progressive income tax hits wage earners with passive income more than equal wage earners without it- but is also seems to incentivize saving earlier rather than later. The strongest argument for a progressive income tax, I think, is that it makes more voters happier than the other systems- which is hardly pleasing to someone focused on economic efficiency or the accumulation of wealth / productive power.


Isn't that exactly what inflation is, a tax on wealth. We already do that considerably and its pretty easy to see the results of it.

If the strongest argument for a progressive income tax is that it makes voters happier, we should at least do it in a more efficient way like the negative income tax. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_income_tax)

I don't really think there is a strong argument at all for the current progressive tax system.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Indon » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:53 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Hm. This is an interesting argument, but I'm not sure it's enough to counteract the problems with a progressive tax system. I suspect percentage of income saved is somewhat durable over one's lifetime and income ranges- and I think it's a mistake to categorize high incomes as savers and low incomes as spenders, though there is probably some link there.

It is indeed not perfect, thus why it's an approximation, and a compromise between the difficulty of implementation for wealth-based taxation, and accuracy with wealth taxation.

There are further measures that can be taken, such as real property taxes (it's hard to hide real property, though it's not entirely clean of the incentives you mention), that would complement such a model, allowing for income taxation to be less progressive while maintaining ease of taxation, but each has its' own associated overhead costs, and over time a large number of such measures could build up to a highly complex tax code that would work against its' own aims.

One good example of where this model does poorly would be with unreliable income. If I make nothing for four years and then a million dollars the fifth, I pay more taxes than if I make 200K per year.

Nonetheless, our taxation system is pretty much going to be imperfect in some way - it's just a matter of picking which way we want it to be imperfect, and then trying to minimize the way in which that system is imperfect.

Dark567 wrote:Isn't that exactly what inflation is, a tax on wealth. We already do that considerably and its pretty easy to see the results of it.

Not quite. Inflation is a tax on saved money - which most wealth isn't. In fact, since generally poor people have more saved money and wealthy people have less, it works out to a regressive wealth tax.

The negative income tax, while technically progressive, does not do well to model the wealth-income correlation. A progressive tax system needs to be much more progressive than any NIT would be in order to best approximate that model and thus approximate benefits from government services.

Specifically, income correlates least with wealth at the very high end, where NIT taxation is the flattest, because the correlation is that wealth increases exponentially as income increases linearly. Income correlates more strongly with wealth at the end where NIT taxation is most progressive, however, so it does do well on that end. An NIT might thus serve to simplify taxes for a large portion of the population, even if some would still need to pay progressive taxation rates.

That is to say: NIT's not a bad idea, but it alone can not create a tax system that is progressive in the way that would make a progressive income tax system most... 'just', I suppose.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Dark567 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:14 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Not quite. Inflation is a tax on saved money - which most wealth isn't. In fact, since generally poor people have more saved money and wealthy people have less, it works out to a regressive wealth tax.



Poor people have more saved money than wealthy people? I was under the assumption that much of the poor had large amounts of debts cancelling any amount of savings they had.
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Indon » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:24 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Poor people have more saved money than wealthy people? I was under the assumption that much of the poor had large amounts of debts cancelling any amount of savings they had.


If 100% of my wealth is in money, and 10% of Uncle Moneybags' wealth is in money, and magical hyperinflation halves the value of all our cash instantly, then I have paid a 50% effective wealth tax, and Uncle Moneybags' has paid 5% effective wealth tax.

People who are literally in negative monetary wealth, as you describe, would be advantaged by inflation, yes. They're a fairly special case.

Edit: Er, I should add a proviso on that. They're advantaged by increases in inflation rate on debt they have already established under a lower inflation rate. Similarly, a reduction in inflation rate disadvantages people who have incurred debt under higher inflation rates.
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Bartender Wade
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Bartender Wade » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:53 am UTC

Haven't read all of this post, but this is primarily targeted at all progressives who are pro-heavy regulation and pro-redistribution of wealth. I can't sum up The Philosophy of Liberty better than this. Note 5:40 and above.

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Vaniver
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Vaniver » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:46 pm UTC

Indon wrote:There are further measures that can be taken, such as real property taxes (it's hard to hide real property, though it's not entirely clean of the incentives you mention), that would complement such a model, allowing for income taxation to be less progressive while maintaining ease of taxation, but each has its' own associated overhead costs, and over time a large number of such measures could build up to a highly complex tax code that would work against its' own aims.
There's actually a field built around the taxation of nothing but the value of undeveloped land. Combined with a strong system of federalism (so that the New York City property taxes are higher than the Podunk County property taxes, but the New York City services / protections are understandably better), it seems to be the best when you look at incentives but possibly politically unpalatable.

Indon wrote:Inflation is a tax on saved money - which most wealth isn't. In fact, since generally poor people have more saved money and wealthy people have less, it works out to a regressive wealth tax.
Inflation is a reduction in dollar-denominated holdings, which means it hits bank accounts (like you mention) but also loans, bonds, and other instruments, while not hitting shares, commodities, property, or other objects.

And, like you point out, what matters is the change in inflation rates- which is why I prefer a managed fiat currency to a commodity currency, since it tends to keep inflation rates more predictable (though often with other negative side effects, especially when the Fed decides employment is one of its concerns).
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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phonon266737
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby phonon266737 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:49 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:There's actually a field built around the taxation of nothing but the value of undeveloped land. Combined with a strong system of federalism (so that the New York City property taxes are higher than the Podunk County property taxes, but the New York City services / protections are understandably better), it seems to be the best when you look at incentives but possibly politically unpalatable.


Politically unpalatable?
No taxes for all non landowners! That's got to be big. And landowners currently pay property tax on the buildings etc, so landowners with lots invested in their property make out.

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Vaniver
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Re: An alternative to progressive redistribution of wealth

Postby Vaniver » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:03 am UTC

phonon266737 wrote:Politically unpalatable?
No taxes for all non landowners! That's got to be big. And landowners currently pay property tax on the buildings etc, so landowners with lots invested in their property make out.
The worst losers will be farmers and open land owners on the outsides of suburbs, where land values are high due to the desire to develop but (local) support tends to be for keeping the land undeveloped. Assessing lot values in a reliable way will be difficult, to say the least, and tax rates may fluctuate wildly with changes in land value. If the system works as intended it will cause a number of disruptions that increase efficiency but make politically powerful people (like, say, retirees with fixed income and significant amounts of owned land) very unhappy.

Going from subsidizing and worshiping ownership and sprawl to taxing it exclusively and rewarding building up over building out will be a difficult transition, I think.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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