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Fixing America

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Fixing America

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 06:13:40

A thread dedicated to identifying ideas for change. If some one idea generates a lot of traffic we can split it off to its own thread.

Starter post.

IDEA 1 - REPLACE INCOME TAX WITH A PRODUCTIVITY TAX
PROBLEM: A taxi driver pays income tax, a self driving taxi will not. A cashier pays income tax, self check out does not. Increased robotics, which lay no income tax displace workers who do. With the lost job government revenue goes down, and it assumes a burden to assist the unemployed. It incentivizes business to make people redundant. Income tax is often used for social engineering.

SOLUTION: Tax production; the act of driving or hiring a car, the act of accounting the bill, the assembly of a value added product. This will provide a more stable tax base, incentivize government to increase productivity, encourage hiring more people.

What are your ideas?
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 09:11:47

Newfie wrote:A thread dedicated to identifying ideas for change. If some one idea generates a lot of traffic we can split it off to its own thread.

Starter post.

IDEA 1 - REPLACE INCOME TAX WITH A PRODUCTIVITY TAX
PROBLEM: A taxi driver pays income tax, a self driving taxi will not. A cashier pays income tax, self check out does not. Increased robotics, which lay no income tax displace workers who do. With the lost job government revenue goes down, and it assumes a burden to assist the unemployed. It incentivizes business to make people redundant. Income tax is often used for social engineering.

SOLUTION: Tax production; the act of driving or hiring a car, the act of accounting the bill, the assembly of a value added product. This will provide a more stable tax base, incentivize government to increase productivity, encourage hiring more people.

What are your ideas?


It is considerably worse than the case you make above because you not only lose the formal income tax of the employee, you lose both the employee and employer portions of the Medicare tax, both the Employer/Employee portions of the Social Insurance tax, and on top of all that money you lose the social benefits of face to face employee/Customer interaction. Ole Retired Widow MacGreedy didn't buy her groceries for the week, instead she would buy her groceries every day as going to the store gave her interaction with other human beings. Heck not that long ago there was a kind of 'coffee club' at the MacDonald's near where I was working where a half dozen senior citizens would gather to drink a morning pint of coffee and chat. It wasn't because the coffee was the best in the world, it was because the restaurant made a point of providing a clean easy to access space at a low price point for entry.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 09:47:22

Here in Atlantic Canada it’s Tims. More than once I’ve waltzed into Tims at 7am and asked to be included in the coffee clutch because I had a problem and needed local knowledge. “Who’s the best diesel mechanic around?”
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 12:28:06

I think the best way to fix America is to make it a lot more like Europe.

Keep the best parts of American political philosophy but borrow ideas from Europe that work and will fix some of our problems.

1. We can learn a lot from Europe when it comes to taxes. They use a Value Added Tax which taxes each step of a product's manufacture and sale. This is a little like the Productivity tax being discussed above. We can just copy Europe and learn from how they do it.

2. Make gas taxes much higher so gasoline is much more expensive. This is effectively a "carbon tax." This will tend to push people out of cars and into mass transit.

3. Make mass transit cheap and modern and efficient. In Europe they have high speed rail and city trams and very effectively local bus transport that can get you just about anywhere.

4. Put the public housing out in the suburbs. Rather then allow beautiful cities to crumble into decay, preserve and modernize the cities, centralize them around High speed rail and mass transit. Where public housing is necessary put it in the suburbs away from the vibrant city centers.

5. Use some of that VAT tax revenue to nationalize health care.

6. Use the rest of the VAT tax revenue to support pensions and social services.

7. Downsize the defense budget and avoid getting entangled in foreign wars.

IMO, it's simple to "fix" America. All we have to do is copy the good things from Europe.

Cheers!
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 13:26:05

Newfie wrote:Here in Atlantic Canada it’s Tims. More than once I’ve waltzed into Tims at 7am and asked to be included in the coffee clutch because I had a problem and needed local knowledge. “Who’s the best diesel mechanic around?”

Um. Speaking of knowledge, that's coffee klatch. (I just looked it up to verify).

Sorry - the irony of the internet and the vast deterioration of languages skills re using the wrong word for things frequently, including in formal articles by "professional" writers (given the ability to look things up) is a pet peeve of mine.

But definitely yes -- as the world gets more complex, the ability to gain knowledge from peers is ever more important. To me, the ability to view a number of Youtube videos on various how-to's is invaluable. (Of course, you need to see more than one, to ensure the presenter has a clue what they're doing).
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 13:33:30

Newfie wrote:IDEA 1 - REPLACE INCOME TAX WITH A PRODUCTIVITY TAX
PROBLEM: A taxi driver pays income tax, a self driving taxi will not. A cashier pays income tax, self check out does not. Increased robotics, which lay no income tax displace workers who do. With the lost job government revenue goes down, and it assumes a burden to assist the unemployed. It incentivizes business to make people redundant. Income tax is often used for social engineering.

SOLUTION: Tax production; the act of driving or hiring a car, the act of accounting the bill, the assembly of a value added product. This will provide a more stable tax base, incentivize government to increase productivity, encourage hiring more people.

So just for clarity, are we talking about what I'd call a "robot tax" here? Because, to the extent automation is going to replace jobs, it will be an autonomous system, which I'm loosely referring to as robots, which will be doing the work.

I think this makes a lot of sense, and whoever owns the robots or the means of production and is garnering the profits, will be paying the tax.

And I presume the productivity tax for people who still work will still strongly resemble an income tax in its effect, if I understand your proposal -- since work for pay will presumably be "productivity', whether it's art or plumbing, for example.
Last edited by Outcast_Searcher on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 13:46:41, edited 1 time in total.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 13:44:50

Plantagenet wrote:1. We can learn a lot from Europe when it comes to taxes. They use a Value Added Tax which taxes each step of a product's manufacture and sale. This is a little like the Productivity tax being discussed above. We can just copy Europe and learn from how they do it.

I'm mostly down with that. But Americans need to realize two things:

1). A VAT tends to be highly regressive. They end up expensive (see my second point), and so they take up a lot of the income of the lower middle class and below.

Given the strong progressivity of the European income tax, I'm fine with that -- but it seems to be the kind of thing that makes the left in the US go bonkers, so I wouldn't expect it to get passed without a HUGE fight.

2). At least in Europe, the VAT tends to be rather a large tax over time. Is the income tax going to be reduced any if that happens, or do we just let government grow to be much bigger (and still hugely grow the debt -- given the proclivities of the politicians and the voters who elect them?). Looking around, I'm seeing a lot of numbers hovering in the 20% area -- on top of the income taxes, that's a hell of a lot of taxing.

I think if we're going to make government much bigger, then forcing them to live within their means AND pay off ALL the government debt over time should be iron clad -- or we shouldn't let that happen. Else, I think we risk making debt related things MUCH WORSE, including the ability to pay all the government debt.

...

Overall, I like the sense of your ideas on this. However, given how spread out and relatively rural much of the US is, the workability of mass transit outside the cities is going to be a big challenge re cost, including cost of maintenance. So that one might require some negotiation / tuning as it evolves.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 17:49:39

Something about government needs to be revamped. Term limits would be a good start. I have a separate idea about how to revamp the Presidential selection process. I think the two party political system needs to go but don’t have a good idea how to effect that.

PS: Coffee KLATCH! Got it, thanks.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 18:05:23

Outcast_Searcher wrote:1). A VAT tends to be highly regressive. They end up expensive (see my second point), and so they take up a lot of the income of the lower middle class and below.


Thats why a VAT is doable. The left wants more taxes and the right is more like to go along with a consumption tax then an income tax. Its a compromise that could be done.

Outcast_Searcher wrote: At least in Europe, the VAT tends to be rather a large tax over time. Is the income tax going to be reduced any if that happens, or do we just let government grow to be much bigger (and still hugely grow the debt -- given the proclivities of the politicians and the voters who elect them?). Looking around, I'm seeing a lot of numbers hovering in the 20% area -- on top of the income taxes, that's a hell of a lot of taxing.


Nationalized health care and generous social programs are expensive. The Ds like to pretend they can wave a magic wand and we'll have "medicare for all" but Medicare right now is close to bankruptcy. It takes a lot of money to do it now and it will take hugely more if we pack millions more people into Medicare.

Outcast_Searcher wrote:Overall, I like the sense of your ideas on this. However, given how spread out and relatively rural much of the US is, the workability of mass transit outside the cities is going to be a big challenge re cost, including cost of maintenance. So that one might require some negotiation / tuning as it evolves.


Europe does it so there is no reason the USA can't do it. We just have to copy how they do it. One thing I've noticed is that they don't have dedicated school bus systems---the kids go to school on the regular buses. I was on a bus in a very remote alpine area of Switzerland and there were a group of kids, all in safety vests, waiting at the roadside for the regular bus. This saves a huge amount of money because in the EU they don't build out two separate bus systems. They just build one, and everyone uses it. They also coordinate their buses with the intercity trains. You get off a train just about anywhere in Europe, big city or small village, and walk outside and there will be multiple buses waiting for you. You go straight from the train to the appropriate bus and then you're off to your local destination. It works great! (but you have to move fast because the buses don't wait around for Americans to translate the French or German or whatever transit signs and figure out how the bus system works).
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 20:30:23

Newfie wrote:Something about government needs to be revamped. Term limits would be a good start. I have a separate idea about how to revamp the Presidential selection process. I think the two party political system needs to go but don’t have a good idea how to effect that.


Along with congressional term limits and say, an age limit for judges, I would love to see an at large system for congressional representatives. Instead of New York having X number of districts drawn by the state government to lock in seats for the two major parties I propose a constitutional amendment that all congressional candidates are listed in random order and without party affiliation attached. Then if 100 people run for congress and your state has 19 seats the top 19 vote getters are your congressional representatives. By making the list fully random and removing the party affiliation the candidates have to actually campaign and convince enough voters to pick them to be in the selected list. By the same token the Senate candidates would likewise be listed in random order and no party affiliation attached. I would also do away with 'party line vote', if you don;t know the names of your own party officials they do not deserve your vote. Make out a list of who you support and take it with you, that is what I do in every election cycle regardless of party affiliation.

Sure one or two famous names will get reelected time and again, but the bulk of the seats in any state will actually be up for grabs and I believe a number of third party candidates would be much more likely to get a seat under this system opening things up quite a bit. Presidential candidates are predominantly drawn from the people who have lower level elected office experience so this gives many alternative candidate the chance to have more successful Presidential campaigns.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 16 Jul 2019, 05:33:58

Tanada,

That idea has a lot of merit. Gut the party system. It’s not considered in the constitution it’s just a corruption that has grown.

The problem, if it is one, is that individual districts would no longer have a particular representative. I imagine NYC would be far over represented within NYS.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby gollum » Tue 16 Jul 2019, 08:13:18

Restore the tenth amendment, barring that there is no fix except dismemberment of the country in to several socially and politically coherent nations.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 17 Jul 2019, 01:37:37

Gollum actually mentions what i was going to suggest. The splitting of cells is how organisms grow. I see the problems in the US, this mitosis of polarity, as a healthy attempt to split into separate entities.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 17 Jul 2019, 06:58:59

The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791.[1] It expresses the principle of federalism and states' rights, which strictly supports the entire plan of the original Constitution for the United States of America, by stating that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution. All remaining powers are reserved for the states or the people.

The amendment was proposed by the 1st United States Congress in 1789 during its first term following the adoption of the Constitution. It was considered by many members as a prerequisite to many state ratifications of the Constitution[2] and particularly to satisfy demands of Anti-Federalists who opposed the creation of a stronger federal government.



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_A ... nstitution

It was repealed? I’m a little lost.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Cog » Wed 17 Jul 2019, 07:14:08

The 10th Amendment is in the US Constitution but the Supreme Court has, over the decades, continued to erode its protections and intent. The Supreme Court was never awarded this power but took it on anyway with Marbury V Madison. Although the Founders intended that that the US Constitution would be the supreme law of the land in all the various states, they never intended that the Federal government would control all aspects of our lives.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 17 Jul 2019, 08:05:18

Cog,

Thanks for clarification.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 17 Jul 2019, 09:28:53

Newfie wrote:Tanada,

That idea has a lot of merit. Gut the party system. It’s not considered in the constitution it’s just a corruption that has grown.

The problem, if it is one, is that individual districts would no longer have a particular representative. I imagine NYC would be far over represented within NYS.


I wouldn't be so sure of that, if there are say 20 total slots open you only get to vote for your top 20 choices. Parties as parties will not want to run more than say 25 candidates for fear of dividing up their own voting base and having all of their own candidates only get a small part of the vote allowing parties that concentrate on say 5 candidates getting 2-3 of their candidates elected by diligent advertising causing name recognition.

In Newfoundland don't they use 'first past the post' system like this where for any seat the first person who gets the plurality required number of votes for a majority wins? Say you have 5 candidates for one seat and they get 40-30-20-5-5 percent of the vote. The one who took 40% wins while the ones who took 30-20 have hope for winning in the future because their message reached a solid percentage of the voting base. The two 5% candidates are clearly either selling a message that is unpopular or just bad candidates.

Now project that into a large population state like New York. The party leaders have a choice of two strategies, play it safe and run enough candidates to take every seat, but focus spending on the best of the pack, or try flooding the polls with so many candidates that 5% is a winning vote because many of the candidates only got 1%. The second strategy might work for local election within the city and is routine in say Toledo where they run an 'open primary' and then the two top vote candidates face off even if they are both Democrats. In a small tight setting this can be used to squeeze out the other political parties completely and in many cities it is routinely done this way. But the voters in Upstate New York know none of the candidates who live in NYC are going to represent their interests in Congress, so in that setting they are gong to focus their attention on the few names that are candidates from upstate that they think will do a better job for them. This gives the 'upstate slate' an advantage if they have just 10 candidates and make sure those names are all known to the voters outside the big city. Then when the vote gets tallied the focused upstate attention means 5-8 of their slate get enough votes to be in the 'at large pool' of representatives.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby asg70 » Wed 17 Jul 2019, 11:29:23

Newfie wrote:Gut the party system.


Overturning Citizen's United would help.

HALL OF SHAME:
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-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 17 Jul 2019, 12:51:01

asg70 wrote:
Newfie wrote:Gut the party system.


Overturning Citizen's United would help.


:o :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Yes, because returning to the days when public employee unions were the ones who could buy politicians without reservation would be SUCH and improvement!

You can't just discard the latest change as if that would cure everything because what existed before the latest change was the cause of the latest change. You have to come up with an actually replacement system that works for the majority of people.
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Re: Fixing America

Unread postby asg70 » Wed 17 Jul 2019, 14:17:24

Tanada wrote:Yes, because returning to the days when public employee unions


Huh? Last time I checked, unions are dead and we're living in a corporatocracy.

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