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The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government[W:261:356]

Lakryte

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

How much first-hand experience do you have in third-world nations? The corruption is there because the governments are small enough to drown in a bathtub. When you pay policemen a mere pittance, how do you think they're going to find enough money to feed their families? When you pay low-level government functionaries a pittance, again, how do you think they're going to get the money to feed their families? And as these people slowly move up the ladder, they carry that tradition of corruption with them...and it spreads and perpetuates through the society as a whole.

If you want a nation with a low level of corruption, you MUST, repeat MUST pay your government workers well enough so that the naturally-more-honest ones won't be forced to engage in corruption just to feed their families. And that, sir, requires higher tax rates.
It is not relevant how much first-hand experience I have to know that free markets do not exist in Africa much at all. Those African nations don't have the money to pay their workers more money. You can raise the rates all you want, but raising rates on such a small monetary base wont do much. As such, there is so much more to economic freedom than tax rates. If you think tax rates alone are representative of the size of government, you are sorely mistaken. I suggest looking into the index of economic freedom here. You will notice that Africa is the lowest scoring region.

Have you even looked into African tax rates? I did a quick google search, and found this wiki article. I noticed that the tax rates actually seemed relatively high in some African nations. Regardless, taxation alone cannot indicate the extent to which an economy is free.
 

Lakryte

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

FYI, the economies of Australia, Switzerland, and Canada are quite regulated - try opening a business in any of them. What's different is that their governments are strong enough to ensure a level playing field, which enables the companies that function better to have a better chance to succeed.
Yet they are still more economically free than the United States. According to the Freedom Index, Australia is the 3rd freest economy in the world, Switzerland the 5th, and Canada the 6th. The US is 10th.

Compare Australia and the United States, it is apparent that Australia has significantly more rule of law, open markets, and limited government. The only place where Australia has less of an advantage is regulatory freedom, notably labor freedom and to a lesser extent business freedom. Yet even in that category its monetary system is closer to a free market.

It appears your argument is based on the assertion that wealthy countries are socialist and poor countries are free-market oriented. This assertion is not based in current reality, as the opposite is true. In addition, it is obvious by looking at history that companies that operated on free market principles generated far more wealth than those that did not. The United States was for a long time to most free-market oriented country in the world, and grew tremendously as a result. Your assertion is based on ideology with no basis in actual real-world realities.
 

Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

It is not relevant how much first-hand experience I have to know that free markets do not exist in Africa much at all. Those African nations don't have the money to pay their workers more money. You can raise the rates all you want, but raising rates on such a small monetary base wont do much. As such, there is so much more to economic freedom than tax rates. If you think tax rates alone are representative of the size of government, you are sorely mistaken. I suggest looking into the index of economic freedom here. You will notice that Africa is the lowest scoring region.

Have you even looked into African tax rates? I did a quick google search, and found this wiki article. I noticed that the tax rates actually seemed relatively high in some African nations. Regardless, taxation alone cannot indicate the extent to which an economy is free.

yeah, the taxes seem high, but when you go to third-world nations and spend some time there, you suddenly find out how incredibly difficult it is to COLLECT those taxes - there's often no way to track this or that person's identity, much less tax and income records. This is not something you'd expect, having grown up in America (assuming that you did), but in the poorer third world nations, a person carrying an identity card is the exception to the rule. Now if you're the local version of the IRS, how are you going to track down that person to make sure that they - or any business they may run, large or small - pay their taxes? Not so simple, is it?

And you'll find that markets in third-world nations are closer to the libertarian ideal than anything - there's no worker rights, no consumer rights, everything is caveat emptor - buyer beware. Most times, there's no receipts, no tracking of revenue, no requirements for worker safety, and don't even think of asking for your money back if you get poor service or a defective product. In the Philippines, workers are supposed to have health coverage if they work for at least six months...so it's normal there for all lower-level workers to get fired from their jobs after 5 months and 29 days - and a day or so later get hired back at jobs that might pay five dollars a day. Sure, the cost of living there is about half what it is here, but five dollars a day still isn't enough.

In other words, you can read all you want on the internet, but it's no substitute for actually spending time in such places and learning how things really are.
 

Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Yet they are still more economically free than the United States. According to the Freedom Index, Australia is the 3rd freest economy in the world, Switzerland the 5th, and Canada the 6th. The US is 10th.

Compare Australia and the United States, it is apparent that Australia has significantly more rule of law, open markets, and limited government. The only place where Australia has less of an advantage is regulatory freedom, notably labor freedom and to a lesser extent business freedom. Yet even in that category its monetary system is closer to a free market.

It appears your argument is based on the assertion that wealthy countries are socialist and poor countries are free-market oriented. This assertion is not based in current reality, as the opposite is true. In addition, it is obvious by looking at history that companies that operated on free market principles generated far more wealth than those that did not. The United States was for a long time to most free-market oriented country in the world, and grew tremendously as a result. Your assertion is based on ideology with no basis in actual real-world realities.

Really? You mean Australia - which has true universal health coverage (unlike the U.S.), mandatory pregnancy leave (unlike the U.S.), thirty days mandatory paid vacation (IIRC) (unlike the U.S.)...last I checked, to Republicans these are not much short of tyranny.

Look, guy, you're not proving anything against my OP. There are varying degrees of what you yourself term 'free-market' among all the socialized democracies...but ALL the economies of the socialized democracies are much more tightly regulated than the normal third-world economy where there's all too often no reliable systems to track revenue or personnel or income or even existence of small businesses.

And here's a question for you - in a nation that has a small, weak government, how do you propose to hold people - especially rich people - accountable? Yes, the rich get away with a lot in America...but they get away with a LOT more in third-world nations where they can buy all the law enforcement and judiciary they need. The lower-ranking police and other relatively low-level government workers are paid but little, and they have to feed their families.

In other words, you get what you pay for. If you want to live in a first-world nation, you have to pay the taxes required to do so. If you don't want to pay the taxes, then go live in a third-world nation where the local version of the IRS is toothless and emasculated.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Like I asked the other guy, how much first-hand experience do you have in third-world nations? If you go there, you find that in most (but not all) cases, business can do pretty much what they want because they own the government. The government is nowhere near powerful enough to enforce regulations throughout the nation, and often not even within the nation's capital. That's something else the small-government crowd doesn't get: a strong government is your ONLY - repeat, ONLY - protection against the vagaries of Big Business. When business screws you over big time, who do you turn to? The only thing you can turn to is to the government via the courts or the politicians. Even the press can't help you if the government isn't weak enough to hold Big Business to account for what it does wrong.

One of the key tenants of libertarian ideology is the strength and importance of property rights. What kills the enforcement of property rights? Poorly designed laws and corruption. "Big Business" as you put it is able to do what they want there as much BECAUSE of the government as despite it. Also, there is a huge difference between a place poorly enforcing or having a poorly designed property rights legal frame work or labor rights and someone being low regulation. By low regulation, I am refering to barriers to free trade and barriers to entrepreneurial activity. Take Nigeria for example: The requirements to get the permits required to open a business cost FOUR TIMES the average income. They have a 10.6% trade tariff. They have "One of the world’s least efficient property registration systems makes acquiring and maintaining rights to real property difficult". This is what allows the businesses to have their way there. They have no competition from start ups and less from importation DUE TO their legal framework, not in spite of it. See.. you and I are completely at odds on what it means to be economically free. No one has every asserted that we wanted laissez fare capitalism. We want less impedance to free trade and less impedance to start and maintain businesses. Regulation when it allows for the appropriate and efficient maintenance of property rights is THE central tenant to the libertarian economic identity. And I again will ask.. how on earth are you going to install a more powerful government and pay its officials more when your country is >50% impoverished?
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Yet they are still more economically free than the United States. According to the Freedom Index, Australia is the 3rd freest economy in the world, Switzerland the 5th, and Canada the 6th. The US is 10th.

"Economically free" does not mean "small government, low taxes".

Their economic "freedom" is the result of "big" government which can protect workers and small businesses.

And since there has never been a truly "free market" economy, no corporation has ever operated on free market principle. Corporations work within the system they find themselves in, not some mythical system that has never existed.
 

Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

One of the key tenants of libertarian ideology is the strength and importance of property rights. What kills the enforcement of property rights? Poorly designed laws and corruption. "Big Business" as you put it is able to do what they want there as much BECAUSE of the government as despite it. Also, there is a huge difference between a place poorly enforcing or having a poorly designed property rights legal frame work or labor rights and someone being low regulation. By low regulation, I am refering to barriers to free trade and barriers to entrepreneurial activity. Take Nigeria for example: The requirements to get the permits required to open a business cost FOUR TIMES the average income. They have a 10.6% trade tariff. They have "One of the world’s least efficient property registration systems makes acquiring and maintaining rights to real property difficult". This is what allows the businesses to have their way there. They have no competition from start ups and less from importation DUE TO their legal framework, not in spite of it. See.. you and I are completely at odds on what it means to be economically free. No one has every asserted that we wanted laissez fare capitalism. We want less impedance to free trade and less impedance to start and maintain businesses. Regulation when it allows for the appropriate and efficient maintenance of property rights is THE central tenant to the libertarian economic identity. And I again will ask.. how on earth are you going to install a more powerful government and pay its officials more when your country is >50% impoverished?

Nigeria? Never been there. Been to Kenya a couple times, and I suspect it's not that much different. You mention the requirements for business permits in Nigeria - as I stated elsewhere, in places where people carrying identification cards is often the exception to the rule, it's unusual for small businesses to be opened without any permit at all...and when they do get caught, generally speaking, all it takes is a substantial bribe directly to the local official's pocket to get him to not charge the full amount. I remember being pulled over one time in a car overseas, in a place where the traffic cops were legally paid by commission on the tickets they issued. He had a choice - he could wait three months to get the commission on the ticket he was about to issue me, or he could take half that amount immediately and without it being entered in as part of his income from the police department. Of course he chose the latter, because in a nation where public servants are paid so little, the bribes are what keep their families fed.

It's a whole different world over there, guy. The paradigms we have here, the idea that "if they only did this or that" simply doesn't work. What you read on the internet might sound like an antithesis to libertarian thought, but when you actually go and live there for a while, you find out that third world economies are in practice much closer to libertarianism than our own.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Their economic "freedom" is the result of "big" government which can protect workers and small businesses.

And since there has never been a truly "free market" economy, no corporation has ever operated on free market principle. Corporations work within the system they find themselves in, not some mythical system that has never existed.

Corporations are the opposite of a free market and only exist because of the corruption of government.
 

Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

One of the key tenants of libertarian ideology is the strength and importance of property rights. What kills the enforcement of property rights? Poorly designed laws and corruption. "Big Business" as you put it is able to do what they want there as much BECAUSE of the government as despite it. Also, there is a huge difference between a place poorly enforcing or having a poorly designed property rights legal frame work or labor rights and someone being low regulation. By low regulation, I am refering to barriers to free trade and barriers to entrepreneurial activity. Take Nigeria for example: The requirements to get the permits required to open a business cost FOUR TIMES the average income. They have a 10.6% trade tariff. They have "One of the world’s least efficient property registration systems makes acquiring and maintaining rights to real property difficult". This is what allows the businesses to have their way there. They have no competition from start ups and less from importation DUE TO their legal framework, not in spite of it. See.. you and I are completely at odds on what it means to be economically free. No one has every asserted that we wanted laissez fare capitalism. We want less impedance to free trade and less impedance to start and maintain businesses. Regulation when it allows for the appropriate and efficient maintenance of property rights is THE central tenant to the libertarian economic identity. And I again will ask.. how on earth are you going to install a more powerful government and pay its officials more when your country is >50% impoverished?

And as long as businesses are allowed to have unfettered influence in government, those businesses will ENSURE that the laws are designed to allow them to do what they will. They will pour money into federal, state, and judicial elections that the regular people cannot match. Do you really think Teddy Roosevelt could have taken on the robber barons of his day if America's government had been small or weak? It takes a government strong enough to stand up to Big Business in order to preserve those property rights - otherwise, Big Business will buy the government and get them to use things like "eminent domain" to ignore the property rights of the people.

Whatever you may think, most people (not all, of course, but most) who work in government actually believe they are there to serve the people - they actually believe it is their duty. Police, teachers, firefighters, the military, and all those who work with them - most who work in these areas believe in things like duty and service...and even honor. These words MEAN something to them. Those in business, however, are not there to serve or protect you - they're there to make money, and those who believe that the profit motive somehow results in less corruption really have a lot to learn about people.
 

blaxshep

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Whatever you may think, most people (not all, of course, but most) who work in government actually believe they are there to serve the people - they actually believe it is their duty. Police, teachers, firefighters, the military, and all those who work with them - most who work in these areas believe in things like duty and service...and even honor. These words MEAN something to them. Those in business, however, are not there to serve or protect you - they're there to make money, and those who believe that the profit motive somehow results in less corruption really have a lot to learn about people.

Those that "Run" the government however work solely for wealth and power. They serve their corporate masters in all affairs.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Corporations are the opposite of a free market and only exist because of the corruption of government.

Which would imply, then, that a free market can only exist in a nation where the people can hold the government accountable...which requires a strong and uncorrupted judiciary. In most of the first world, corporations cannot donate to the election of judges. Thanks to Citizens United, they now can do so here.

But in any case, can there ever be a strong and uncorrupted judiciary in a nation with a weak government?
 

Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Those that "Run" the government however work solely for wealth and power. They serve their corporate masters in all affairs.

Which would require that George Washington worked solely for wealth and power. So too, must have Lincoln and Jefferson and Adams and Hamilton. And Teddy Roosevelt must really have had something secret up his sleeve when he took on the robber barons, when if he'd only been their friend, they would have bankrolled his reelection.

In other words, guy, just because someone has ambition does not mean that they are devoid of the desire to do what is best for the people. Read up on the Gracchi brothers of ancient Rome sometime. They were wildly popular with the plebians because they were doing that which made the lives of the plebians better. In order to do so, they had to be elected to positions of power - and in order to do that, they had to have a high level of ambition...but again, the fact that they had ambition doesn't mean that they didn't care about the people. And they both paid for their support of the plebians with their lives.
 

head of joaquin

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Corporations are the opposite of a free market and only exist because of the corruption of government.

You're all over the map with your lumpen populism. Nothing wrong with corporations as long as they regulated for the public good. But conservative ideology has poisoned that well.
 

blaxshep

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Which would require that George Washington worked solely for wealth and power. So too, must have Lincoln and Jefferson and Adams and Hamilton. And Teddy Roosevelt must really have had something secret up his sleeve when he took on the robber barons, when if he'd only been their friend, they would have bankrolled his reelection.

In other words, guy, just because someone has ambition does not mean that they are devoid of the desire to do what is best for the people. Read up on the Gracchi brothers of ancient Rome sometime. They were wildly popular with the plebians because they were doing that which made the lives of the plebians better. In order to do so, they had to be elected to positions of power - and in order to do that, they had to have a high level of ambition...but again, the fact that they had ambition doesn't mean that they didn't care about the people. And they both paid for their support of the plebians with their lives.

Corruption of government did not start with Washington, nice strawman though.
 

blaxshep

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

You're all over the map with your lumpen populism. Nothing wrong with corporations as long as they regulated for the public good. But conservative ideology has poisoned that well.

Unfortunately you have your head so far .... that you lack the ability to comprehend the reality of the situation. The Wealth of super rich and their corporations have colluded with government to the point they are now inseparable. You still think Obamacare was a win for the people. It was a well constructed conspiracy to legislate the people's tax dollars into the banks of big corporate Insurance and Medical / Pharmaceutical industry. If the GOP had passed similar legislation whereby the people were forced by law to purchase goods and services from Big Oil you would have been furious.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Corruption of government did not start with Washington, nice strawman though.

Didn't say it did, did I? Just because problem 'A' didn't start with someone doesn't negate the issue with the problem. Nice try to build a strawman by accusing the other guy of building a strawman, though.

But to get back to the question, do you maintain that Washington and the Founding Fathers and Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt - and the assassinated Gracchi brothers of ancient Rome - were all ONLY after wealth and power? I'd really like to hear your answer.
 

head of joaquin

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Didn't say it did, did I? Just because problem 'A' didn't start with someone doesn't negate the issue with the problem. Nice try to build a strawman by accusing the other guy of building a strawman, though.

But to get back to the question, do you maintain that Washington and the Founding Fathers and Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt - and the assassinated Gracchi brothers of ancient Rome - were all ONLY after wealth and power? I'd really like to hear your answer.

You're asking questions that fall outside the parameters of his tea party memes. It won't compute for blax. Wait for the deflection, wait for it . . .
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Unfortunately you have your head so far .... that you lack the ability to comprehend the reality of the situation. The Wealth of super rich and their corporations have colluded with government to the point they are now inseparable. You still think Obamacare was a win for the people. It was a well constructed conspiracy to legislate the people's tax dollars into the banks of big corporate Insurance and Medical / Pharmaceutical industry. If the GOP had passed similar legislation whereby the people were forced by law to purchase goods and services from Big Oil you would have been furious.

If you'd do something different and ask progressives like him (and me), you'll likely find out that we progressives did NOT want that warmed-over Republican idea called 'Obamacare'. We wanted - and still want - universal health care like (UHC) that which gives the populations of almost all non-OPEC first-world nations longer average life expectancies at a FAR lower cost than what we have had before or after the advent of Obamacare.

But why did we support Obamacare? Because of "the art of the possible". Obamacare's the proverbial bird in the hand as opposed to the two birds in the bush that UHC is...so we got what was politically possible to get, rather than refusing it because we wanted something that was - no thanks to the nation's conservatives - politically impossible.
 

head of joaquin

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Unfortunately you have your head so far .... that you lack the ability to comprehend the reality of the situation. The Wealth of super rich and their corporations have colluded with government to the point they are now inseparable. You still think Obamacare was a win for the people. It was a well constructed conspiracy to legislate the people's tax dollars into the banks of big corporate Insurance and Medical / Pharmaceutical industry. If the GOP had passed similar legislation whereby the people were forced by law to purchase goods and services from Big Oil you would have been furious.

Yeah, because conservatives have blocked regulation of campaign funding and other measures that prevent the rich from influencing public discourse.

But you're FOR that, so your argument, such as it is, is totally disingenuous, as usual. It's all you got. But it is mildly amusing when tea partiers pretend not to be shilling for the rich.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Didn't say it did, did I? Just because problem 'A' didn't start with someone doesn't negate the issue with the problem. Nice try to build a strawman by accusing the other guy of building a strawman, though.

But to get back to the question, do you maintain that Washington and the Founding Fathers and Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt - and the assassinated Gracchi brothers of ancient Rome - were all ONLY after wealth and power? I'd really like to hear your answer.

No, they did it for reasons of self-less benevolence, just like all the caring humanitarians of the liberal Nanny State today.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

If you'd do something different and ask progressives like him (and me), you'll likely find out that we progressives did NOT want that warmed-over Republican idea called 'Obamacare'. We wanted - and still want - universal health care like (UHC) that which gives the populations of almost all non-OPEC first-world nations longer average life expectancies at a FAR lower cost than what we have had before or after the advent of Obamacare.

But why did we support Obamacare? Because of "the art of the possible". Obamacare's the proverbial bird in the hand as opposed to the two birds in the bush that UHC is...so we got what was politically possible to get, rather than refusing it because we wanted something that was - no thanks to the nation's conservatives - politically impossible.

Give it a rest you supported it because suddenly it was a liberal agenda, the was no other reason.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Yeah, because conservatives have blocked regulation of campaign funding and other measures that prevent the rich from influencing public discourse.

But you're FOR that, so your argument, such as it is, is totally disingenuous, as usual. It's all you got. But it is mildly amusing when tea partiers pretend not to be shilling for the rich.

You have no idea what I am for. All you do is post the same idiotic "tea party meme" over and over no matter what the topic.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Plenty of misleading generic left winv talking points in that mess.

I'll address one, the high marginal tax rates of the 50s era.

The author of the Op should do just a bit of research before posting misleading data.

A very small fraction of a fraction of Americans actually paid that.

Because only a very small fraction made a million $ or more a year. We need to bring back the million and up income bracket. CEO salaries are out of wack

epi_ceo_worker_pay_ratio.png
 

blaxshep

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Because only a very small fraction made a million $ or more a year. We need to bring back the million and up income bracket. CEO salaries are out of wack

I say we cap wealth and end this non-sense once and for all.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Give it a rest you supported it because suddenly it was a liberal agenda, the was no other reason.

FYI, guy, I supported Obamacare because that's the best we could get (since the conservatives wouldn't let us have UHC) and I want my sons - both of whom have pre-existing conditions - to be able to afford health insurance. Without Obamacare, my sons wouldn't have been able to afford quality health insurance.

In other words, it's not always about politics. I know it's hard for you to conceive this, but among liberals, it's about what's best for the PEOPLE. By giving people a hand up, we give them a better chance to stand on their own...whereas today's conservatives claim "by helping people you're only hurting them!" and seem to only give a d**n about human beings until they get out of the womb - after which, hey, you're on your own!

Here's an example, guy. My wife was an illegal immigrant at one time. Thanks to Reagan's amnesty, she's a citizen today, and she's a small business owner providing jobs for other people. And thanks to the socialized health care system that we call the military health care system, she's alive and able to run that business. If not for Reagan, she'd still be an illegal immigrant helping nobody. If not for our military's socialized health care system, she'd be dead (and so, in all likelihood, would I).
 
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