If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The Register)   Only corporations should pay taxes   (theregister.co.uk) divider line 53
    More: Obvious, eBay, Google, consumption tax  
•       •       •

3574 clicks; posted to Business » on 25 Nov 2012 at 1:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



53 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-11-25 11:07:34 AM  
Corporations really don't pay taxes because they pass the cost of the taxes down to their customers.

Rich people really don't pay taxes because they pass the cost of the taxes over to their companies.
 
2012-11-25 11:22:22 AM  

Arthur Jumbles: Corporations really don't pay taxes because they pass the cost of the taxes down to their customers.

Rich people really don't pay taxes because they pass the cost of the taxes over to their companies.


I am not sure this was ever true, but in a global company environment you may not be able to 'pass on' the cost of a tax hike because your competitor is from over-seas and does not pay that tax. And you still need to price your items near their selling price.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-11-25 12:48:19 PM  
I don't really pay taxes because I get my money from my job, so everyone except for me should pay taxes.
 
2012-11-25 12:50:07 PM  

minoridiot: I'd like to see them drop the tax rates on dividends. It might bring put some pressure on corporations to bring executive pay under control, but maybe not.


Couple that with a cap on salary deductions.

Ultimately, it would be nice to find a way to reward CEO's who are building successful companies and creating jobs in the USA.... something like executive comp is deductible up to a percentage of total domestic employee comp.

/I'd also like a Unicorn
 
2012-11-25 01:43:06 PM  
Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling...and heavily mitigatable by tax-deductible salaries for American employees, but not for CEO salaries, and deductable infrastructure.

It encourages hiring Americans, since they're selling to Americans anyway.
 
2012-11-25 02:02:18 PM  

Steve Zodiac: Arthur Jumbles: Corporations really don't pay taxes because they pass the cost of the taxes down to their customers.

Rich people really don't pay taxes because they pass the cost of the taxes over to their companies.

I am not sure this was ever true, but in a global company environment you may not be able to 'pass on' the cost of a tax hike because your competitor is from over-seas and does not pay that tax. And you still need to price your items near their selling price.


So we the tax hike puts the company out of business. Brilliant!
 
2012-11-25 02:04:30 PM  
Whenever someone says that corporations do not pay taxes, they only collect them, I can tell that this person has no concept of the price elasticity of demand. You cannot simply jack the price up to any number to compensate for the fact that you have to pay taxes. Some amount of corporate taxes does come out of corporate profit.
 
2012-11-25 02:33:04 PM  
Firstly, companies do not pay tax. No, not ever

People who say that are stupid.
 
2012-11-25 02:49:50 PM  

GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling


um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.
 
2012-11-25 03:14:53 PM  

diaphoresis: GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling

um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.


Hmmm... Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman... or some anonymous guy posting on Fark... who to believe, who to believe.
 
2012-11-25 03:19:43 PM  

Tommy Moo: Whenever someone says that corporations do not pay taxes, they only collect them, I can tell that this person has no concept of the price elasticity of demand. You cannot simply jack the price up to any number to compensate for the fact that you have to pay taxes. Some amount of corporate taxes does come out of corporate profit.


And that is exactly not what TFA says: it says workers and shareholders take most of the hit. Customers take some of the hit, and less than workers and shareholders, but the hit customers take is NOT zero.

So the tax on businesses amounts to a hidden sales tax on every good and service you buy. And what that percentage might be? Good luck figuring that out (which is just how Washington wants it), but the educated estimates I've seen range from 3 to 30%. Even at the lowball number, 3% of everything a family buys in a year easily hits a thousand bucks, even for a low-income family. They still get a straight-up farking, even if they have no investments taking a hit and no job from which they'd be paid less.

Zero out taxes (and subsidies) on businesses and it levels the playing field for all businesses. Yeah, they can try and massage regulations in their favor - but they do that now, along with massaging the corporate tax code and subsidy legislation. It's astoundingly confusing to follow (which is just how Washington AND big businesses want it). Ending the corporate tax and subsidies takes away two out of their three anti-capitalist games.
 
2012-11-25 03:20:24 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: diaphoresis: GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling

um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.

Hmmm... Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman... or some anonymous guy posting on Fark... who to believe, who to believe.


Me
 
2012-11-25 03:27:19 PM  
According to some almond flavored people you already are a corporation and wouldn't be subject to income taxes if you were to disincorporate yourself.

This argument hasn't proven useful in staying out of prison, from what I've heard.
 
2012-11-25 03:33:01 PM  
Since the corporation is owned by the shareholders, does it make sense to say that corporations don't pay taxes, it's just that the shareholders take home less profit?

Pies are not fattening, it's the people who eat pies that get fat.
 
2012-11-25 03:33:36 PM  

diaphoresis: GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling

um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.


Which is why I'm saying it should be restructured so it doesn't promote that.
 
2012-11-25 03:34:48 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: diaphoresis: GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling

um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.

Hmmm... Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman... or some anonymous guy posting on Fark... who to believe, who to believe.


Where did Paul Krugman come into this?

He's like a god to me, but I don't catch the connection here.
 
2012-11-25 03:35:36 PM  

diaphoresis: GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling

um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.


False. Companies did not go overseas with jobs until tariffs were practically eliminated via "free trade agreements". We've had high corporate taxes for a long time, in fact in 1960, corporate tax receipts as a total of federal government income were double what they are today.
 
2012-11-25 03:39:32 PM  

Gulper Eel: Tommy Moo: Whenever someone says that corporations do not pay taxes, they only collect them, I can tell that this person has no concept of the price elasticity of demand. You cannot simply jack the price up to any number to compensate for the fact that you have to pay taxes. Some amount of corporate taxes does come out of corporate profit.

And that is exactly not what TFA says: it says workers and shareholders take most of the hit. Customers take some of the hit, and less than workers and shareholders, but the hit customers take is NOT zero.


How is that at odds with what Tommy Moo said? He said "some amount," so if anything you're in agreement.

And I'm not clear on what the difference between "the corporation" and "shareholders" is. If "corporate profits" take a hit, isn't that the shareholders? Yes, they're people, but I think the leftist position is that corporate shareholders are disproportionately wealthy, at least in terms of dollars.
 
2012-11-25 03:45:22 PM  

Tommy Moo: Whenever someone says that corporations do not pay taxes, they only collect them, I can tell that this person has no concept of the price elasticity of demand. You cannot simply jack the price up to any number to compensate for the fact that you have to pay taxes. Some amount of corporate taxes does come out of corporate profit.


You say that like business people are rational. I worked for a guy with an MBA who decided, because sales were not meeting targets (because lost-sales surveyed reported uncompetetive prices (20% high on average), the thing to do was to jack the standard markup from 200% to 300% to increase revenue. HE assured me that, because I was just an Engineer, not an MBA, I didn't understand economics.

Guess how that worked out.
 
2012-11-25 04:00:47 PM  
"Yes, they're people, but I think the leftist position is that corporate shareholders are disproportionately wealthy, at least in terms of dollars."

A lot of major shareholders are large investment schemes; pension, insurance, mutual funds, etc.
 
2012-11-25 04:07:04 PM  
Not sure if poorly written or just presuming the reader is already familiar with EU tax law
 
2012-11-25 04:15:59 PM  

Gulper Eel: Tommy Moo: Whenever someone says that corporations do not pay taxes, they only collect them, I can tell that this person has no concept of the price elasticity of demand. You cannot simply jack the price up to any number to compensate for the fact that you have to pay taxes. Some amount of corporate taxes does come out of corporate profit.

And that is exactly not what TFA says: it says workers and shareholders take most of the hit. Customers take some of the hit, and less than workers and shareholders, but the hit customers take is NOT zero.

So the tax on businesses amounts to a hidden sales tax on every good and service you buy. And what that percentage might be? Good luck figuring that out (which is just how Washington wants it), but the educated estimates I've seen range from 3 to 30%. Even at the lowball number, 3% of everything a family buys in a year easily hits a thousand bucks, even for a low-income family. They still get a straight-up farking, even if they have no investments taking a hit and no job from which they'd be paid less.

Zero out taxes (and subsidies) on businesses and it levels the playing field for all businesses. Yeah, they can try and massage regulations in their favor - but they do that now, along with massaging the corporate tax code and subsidy legislation. It's astoundingly confusing to follow (which is just how Washington AND big businesses want it). Ending the corporate tax and subsidies takes away two out of their three anti-capitalist games.


Yes, some amount is passed onto consumers, but for every $0.03 to $0.30 (let's call it the center and go with $0.17) that consumers pay, $1 of revenue is generated for the government that can go into providing services to those consumers. I have no problem paying $1700/year in added cost due to corporate sales tax knowing that I'm getting a six fold return on that, and the government can thus provide $10,000 worth of road paving and police protection.
 
2012-11-25 04:17:52 PM  
They can just go pull $100's off of the money trees that they keep behind the office building.
 
2012-11-25 04:25:03 PM  

GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling...and heavily mitigatable by tax-deductible salaries for American employees, but not for CEO salaries, and deductable infrastructure.

It encourages hiring Americans, since they're selling to Americans anyway.


Interesting concept, but I still don't see any feasible way to salvage this Republic. The folks in charge are beholden to the money people. The more of the pie they have, the more control they have. The more control, the bigger the slice of the pie they get. Vicious circle.

Like not wanting to puke when you have the flu, I think we're going to have to puke and get it over with before we'll get better. What will the actual puking be like, that's the question.

/ glass half empty dude
 
2012-11-25 04:44:28 PM  
I'm good with this idea, as long as the rates don't hamper businesses from opening in America. Otherwise, we will see all those companies pack up and move elsewhere.

The tax code is too laden with crap. I'd love to chuck it altogether so NO lobbying group or big donor gets his special tax break. Also, no more pitting lower classes, middle classes, and upper classes against each other.
 
2012-11-25 04:45:40 PM  

xane: A lot of major shareholders are large investment schemes; pension, insurance, mutual funds, etc.


Yeah, I'd love to see a breakdown of where corporate profits actually go. I'm not just being facetious, I'm seriously wondering. I'm open to the possibility that while they don't seem to help the middle class in terms of employment, wages, and purchasing power (i.e., trickle-down is bullshiat), they may at least help bolster retirement security to some extent.

Still, my guess is that it's more akin to a class-action lawsuit, where a lot of the money does go to the "people," but distributed so thinly that it amounts to chump change per person, and a few fund managers and wealthy investors get a disproportionate amount per capita.

Funny how when corporate profits soar, it's never "Good news middle class, look for your share in the mail!" It's only when corporate profits are down, or there's talk of taxing them, that the middle class is impacted, and always for the worse.
 
2012-11-25 05:02:26 PM  
Only those that choose to pay taxes should pay. Under the Fair Tax you don't actually have to pay a penny in tax. Not one. You will because you want to live at a higher standard of living than the minimum but it is your choice. Not the man with the gun.
 
2012-11-25 05:18:06 PM  

diaphoresis: um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.


What part of effective tax rate do you not understand?
Total corporate federal taxes paid fell to 12.1% of profits earned from activities within the U.S. in fiscal 2011, which ended Sept. 30, according to the Congressional Budget Office
 
2012-11-25 05:38:28 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: diaphoresis: GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling

um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.

False. Companies did not go overseas with jobs until tariffs were practically eliminated via "free trade agreements". We've had high corporate taxes for a long time, in fact in 1960, corporate tax receipts as a total of federal government income were double what they are today.


Thanks Marcus. Now, for further information, let's go to the chart...

dl.dropbox.com

As you can see, America's corporations have been paying a smaller and smaller portion of the total tax burden for quite some time now. All the while pretending they pay too much.

Meanwhile, take a look at how much of the overall tax burden has been shifted onto the working class. Those people need to get some lobbyists!
 
2012-11-25 05:51:48 PM  

diaphoresis: Vegan Meat Popsicle: diaphoresis: GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling

um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.

Hmmm... Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman... or some anonymous guy posting on Fark... who to believe, who to believe.

Me


Marginal tax rates are meaningless. Try again with the effective rates.
 
2012-11-25 06:32:41 PM  

dionysusaur: HE assured me that, because I was just an Engineer, not an MBA, I didn't understand economics.


Engineering is an actual degree. An MBA is bullshiat.
 
2012-11-25 06:38:47 PM  

RoyBatty: He's like a god to me, but I don't catch the connection here.


The only way the bullshiat claim of the U.S. having the highest corporate tax rate is if you willfully ignore what corporations actually pay in favor of looking strictly at what they would theoretically pay if they didn't have a shiatload of deducations available to them.

Krugman has repeatedly pointed this out to destroy that retarded talking point. Not to mention that multiple studies have repeatedly determined that raising the corporate tax rate even higher would have a negligible impact on job migration at worst. Another fact he's pointed out.
 
2012-11-25 07:06:57 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: RoyBatty: He's like a god to me, but I don't catch the connection here.

The only way the bullshiat claim of the U.S. having the highest corporate tax rate is if you willfully ignore what corporations actually pay in favor of looking strictly at what they would theoretically pay if they didn't have a shiatload of deducations available to them.

Krugman has repeatedly pointed this out to destroy that retarded talking point. Not to mention that multiple studies have repeatedly determined that raising the corporate tax rate even higher would have a negligible impact on job migration at worst. Another fact he's pointed out.


Ah! Thank you.

That goes nicely with BullBearMS's graph.
 
2012-11-25 07:50:02 PM  
Mitt Romney: "Corporations are people."

And if you don't have an accountant good enough to turn you into a corporation, you're a sucker.
 
2012-11-25 08:15:33 PM  

TofuTheAlmighty: diaphoresis: um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.

What part of effective tax rate do you not understand?Total corporate federal taxes paid fell to 12.1% of profits earned from activities within the U.S. in fiscal 2011, which ended Sept. 30, according to the Congressional Budget Office


I moved to Europe. I can't even count the number of times I've tried to explain the difference between a particular tax bracket and the effective income tax rate.

Them: Whoa, so wait, aren't taxes there like 50%
Me: Well, sorta, but not really. You get a fairly large amount without any tax, then you pay ~20% on each euro you earn after that, until you hit some cut-off. Everything after that cut-off is taxed at 52%.
Them: Wow man, that sucks! 52% YIKES. I'm glad I don't live there. Socialists!
Me: I actually paid less in taxes this year than I would have in the US.
Them: What? You said 52% man. In the US it's like 25% right?
Me: The total amount of income related taxes I paid was about 18% of my income. Yes, some small amount of the euros I earned were taxed at 52% - but the vast majority of them were taxed much lower, for a total of only 18%. The previous year, working in the US, I was just over 20%. So my effective tax rate was lower.
Them: Blank stares.....
 
2012-11-25 08:42:44 PM  

Tommy Moo: Yes, some amount is passed onto consumers, but for every $0.03 to $0.30 (let's call it the center and go with $0.17) that consumers pay, $1 of revenue is generated for the government that can go into providing services to those consumers. I have no problem paying $1700/year in added cost due to corporate sales tax knowing that I'm getting a six fold return on that, and the government can thus provide $10,000 worth of road paving and police protection.


Sixfold return? Wow, is that ever a leap of faith.

And if your household is spending just 30 grand a year on goods and services, at a 17% hidden tax rate you're paying $5100 a year. Before your other taxes. Not deductible. But you didn't need that money for mortgage payments or food or anything.

On the other hand, the higher the hidden tax the more Mitt Romney looks like more of a fool for that 47% comment.
 
2012-11-25 08:54:39 PM  

BullBearMS: As you can see, America's corporations have been paying a smaller and smaller portion of the total tax burden for quite some time now. All the while pretending they pay too much.

Meanwhile, take a look at how much of the overall tax burden has been shifted onto the working class. Those people need to get some lobbyists!


The tax burden didn't shift anywhere - it's been on the working class all along. I'd rather see all of what I'm paying in taxes, so as to make an informed decision as to whether I'm getting good value out of my government. I can see how much I pay in income tax and in property tax every year. Sales taxes are tougher to add up but it can be done if you're fanatical about keeping reciepts, and even without that you can ballpark the number.

But how much of the three-dollar loaf of bread you bought is the baker's tax - 10 cents? 50 cents? a dollar? If you work for the baker, how much less are you being paid because the baker had to pay Uncle Sam first? How much less are you getting because the baker has to keep his prices down to compete with federally-subsidized MegaAgriStarchCo? Good luck finding out.

Close the loopholes? A sucker's game. You get one loophole closed, ten others opened while you were busy.

The only way to win this game is to kick over the chessboard.
 
2012-11-26 12:49:45 AM  
If your solution to taxes is a one-liner, it probably won't fix anything.
 
2012-11-26 01:24:02 AM  
My God the head in the sand attitude of the FARK liberals never ceases to amaze. Corporations do not pay taxes, that you can be assured of. What they do is COLLECT revenue for the government. Higher costs are ALWAYS passed on to the end consumer. If the raising of prices can't cover it alone the consumer will still pay in less value for the dollar (not getting as much product as they used to) or by seeing quality of the product decline as a company finds ways to maximize it's profit.

Sadly if neither of these things work then it is the employee who will bear the ultimate cost in the form of layoffs or they will watch as their jobs are outsourced overseas. There is nothing in the world wrong with corporations being taxed, but it had to be a reasonable amount or the company had two choices, do one of the above or close the doors.

Believe it or not, companies do not exist to give people jobs or to fund the government. They exist to make either the owners out the shareholders a profit. Jobs and government income are a by product of the profit making. Go ahead and tell me how wrong I am, but take a moment to consider what YOU would do if you owned a company. I am not talking about one of your liberal wet dreams, but seriously consider how you would run a company. Go through the scenarios and see how long it takes you to realize that operating your company at zero profit because every penny was given either as salary/hourly wage or taxes isn't going to work. How are you ever going to expand your company? How are you ever going to get investors to give you capital? How are you going to fund R&D without profits?

Let me put it into something you can relate to. Without profits there would have been no iPhone, no iPad and no iPod, period. Those products exist because Apple made money, reinvested those profits into research and product development and the hiring of the talent necessary to produce these marvels. No profit, no technology.
 
2012-11-26 02:59:00 AM  
Wow, an actual reasonable article about economics and taxation, on fark? Now I've seen everything.

Admins, please greenlight at least 20 bullshiat links from huffpo or daily kos or think progress about corporations "not paying their fair share" or some other lie ASAP to restore fark to its natural state.
 
2012-11-26 07:17:48 AM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: diaphoresis: GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling

um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.

Hmmm... Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman... or some anonymous guy posting on Fark... who to believe, who to believe.


That's easy: never believe Krugman.
 
2012-11-26 07:44:13 AM  

diaphoresis: GAT_00: Corporate taxes on US profits should be crippling

um... highest rate in the world already. That's one of the reasons why corporations go overseas with jobs.


No.

Most corporations don't pay anything like the 35% baseline rate. Additionally, most of them only pay taxes on profit, not income. That's like you paying taxes after deducting your car, house and a modest food allowance. The idea that companies "Don't pay taxes" is a foolish nonsense.

Companies go overseas because in foreign labor markets they can pay less, exploit workers, avoid environmental regulations (read : pollute) and throw up a cheap fabrication plant and get it running in a week. They can extort and bribe their way through the local legal system and collude with 'competitors' and bully 'subcontractors' (yes, it's illegal, but they can still do it)
 
2012-11-26 07:55:23 AM  
It would be nice to have my whole paycheck. Since I am employed and one of the 53%, I use no government services, I should not have to pay for the 47% to live high off the hog. You know, the ones who bop about town in their tricked out SUV's on the way to the grocery to buy steaks with their EBT cards, while texting on their iPhone 5's in their $175 designer jeans.
 
2012-11-26 09:49:32 AM  

Pick: It would be nice to have my whole paycheck. Since I am employed and one of the 53%, I use no government services, I should not have to pay for the 47% to live high off the hog. You know, the ones who bop about town in their tricked out SUV's on the way to the grocery to buy steaks with their EBT cards, while texting on their iPhone 5's in their $175 designer jeans.


I hate those blah people!

The ones around here don't like the EBT card. They prefer paper food stamps, because the design was changed by the Department of Welfare to resemble real money, so as to preserve the dignity of the poor. The street name for them is Obamabucks, because the bills are adorned with the smiling visage of you-know-who. They like to ostentatiously fan them out in the checkout line and count them out individually. One hunnerd! Two hunnerd! Tree hunnerd Obamabucks for my filet mignon, gourmet ribs, panko-crusted fried chicken, organic watermelon, and assorted forty ounce bottles of malt liquor!

The few that use the EBT cards like to bling them up with gold paint and fake diamonds. The cheap paint rubs off and clogs the card swiper. Sometimes one of the diamonds falls off and gets stuck in the slot, and then it scrapes off some of the magnetic stripe on my card when I swipe it. Why are those people allowed to use the same card swiper as productive citizens? Can't they have their own separate but equal swiper, or a dedicated checkout line for welfare moochers? On second thought, I'll bet they'd sue over something like that. I can see it now - "Supreme Court to hear Brown people v Chamber of Commerce".
 
2012-11-26 11:04:12 AM  
It's a nice thought to put things back the way they used to be.
The question is how do you achieve this when every, every, representative is and will continue to be for sale to the highest bidder?

/I want my unicorn pony, but the skeptic in me says I can't haz it.
 
2012-11-26 12:12:27 PM  
In theory it's some mixture of the customers (who end up with higher prices), the workers (who get lower wages) or the shareholders (who trouser lower returns).


As a worker, which is to say, someone with a skill that actually performs a task that produces something useful/tangible, I'm screwed no matter what: it's called profit, and it's the reason you will pay as low a wage as you can get away with. Each corporation does not act rational, they pay their employees as little as possible even if it means they wont be customers of their own product or have severely limited spending ability. This is because there will be plenty of other people to shop at our store! It's not some kind of farking insane race to the bottom where a very small few accumulate more wealth than they can literally spend in their lifetime while the rest of us slave away. No, not at all. The only people who have difficulty financially must be the ones who constantly buy crap - because it's not like all of our jobs are held hostage at the slightest notion that we didn't make enough profit this year, oh no. It's completely affordable for a family of four, meaning zero population growth, to have a modest home, healthy nutritious food and a very occasional bit of recreation to enjoy life. Nobody has a problem achieving that.
 
2012-11-26 12:26:21 PM  
Jobs and government income are a by product of the profit making. Go ahead and tell me how wrong I am, but take a moment to consider what YOU would do if you owned a company


It's not that you're wrong. You're right, in a way - the assertion, from where I sit, is that you're an idiot for defending such a system. How the fark can there be profits if there are no jobs and government? Your logic, if not circular, is absent. The corporations exist to make profit and to accumulate wealth to the shareholders. Those people are a minority, and frequently, I'd say more often than not, unrelated to the area of operation where the company does its production, meaning they're indifferent to the effect on the local area the corporation has, they're indifferent to the global effect the corporation has, the only thing they care about is profits. If they do happen to be somehow affected, they can just up and leave. They have the means. You dance around the idea that if corporations had lower taxes, they wouldn't be laying off as many employees - but that's demonstrably untrue: they will do whatever it takes to make more profit. There's no such thing as "enough" profit, and therefore outsourcing jobs is still always on the table. Because this is happening everywhere, all the time, most people (of course not all) are in a situation where they are completely farked for any kind of work flexibility, and there is no "rah get those bootstraps out and make something of yourself" type response that is useful to the vast majority of citizens. Because of this, everyone is scraping by and doesn't give a shiat about buying local or who or what had to die in order to make something $1 cheaper. This is the absolute essential nature of the mechanism of inequality in our current society. It is happening everywhere. The only people who claim it isn't happening are the ones who are fairly certain they'll be on the "right side" of the separation and think that attempting to intervene or speak up will put that position at risk. Dumbass.
 
2012-11-26 02:55:59 PM  
The tax system should not be regressive. It should not put the greatest burden of taxation upon the poorest people.

Most taxes are regressive:

Consumption taxes on all but luxury goods are regressive because the poorest consume most of their income. In the Third World, for example, people who make less than $2.00 or $1.00 a day (the poverty lines drawn by international aid organizations) spend 75% or more of their income on staple food. A rise in the price of rice, yams, flour or whatever the staple food is means starvation for many, distress for all. Taxes on an iPod should be higher than taxes on food. Taxes on a car should be higher than taxes on a cellphone. Otherwise you take food from the hungry and spare the obese and the super-rich.

Excise taxes, although often considered sin taxes even if they aren't on "sin" per se, are regressive also. The poor spend more of their money on alcohol, tobacco. The middle classes spend more on imported semi-luxury goods such as olive oil and real cheese. Duties are often extremely unjust because they hurt the poor and middle classes while increasing the profits of the rich and their corporations. But they are also market-distorting. If the French can make good wine and good cheese cheaper than even Californians, you should be consuming French wine and cheese.

The Californians should be producing something which they can produce better and cheaper. This is true even if one country produces everything better and cheaper--they should specialize in the things they are really, really good in and let others produce more expensive and crappier things that they are less good at. This is why the USA should make iPods and China should make cheap dollar store crap. Their cheap dollar store crap is sometimes very good, but sometimes it is a waste of money. Still, they should make that if that is where their advantage lies.

Even property taxes are regressive. The middle classes and still more so poor people, spend most of their money on housing. A rich man is better housed to the tune of millions of dollars, but those millions are nothing compared to the wealth that enables his family to live in 10,000, 25,000, even 100,000 square feet of house with all the luxuries going.

About the only taxes that are not regressive are taxes on very pricey luxuries that neither the middle class nor the poor buy. Sumptuary taxes don't work all that well, however, since loopholes and cheating are easier when you buy something you can hide away behind walls and fences. Thank's to Google, this no longer includes above-ground swimming pools (unless under a roof) or stables or golf-courses, but these can be hidden as well. For example, you can join a corporation called a "golf course community" and get the golf course and privacy, as well as the exclusion of undesirables and a private police force.

Corporate taxes are an ambiguous case because some can be passed on to the consumer easily and some can't. In the name of transparency, I believe it is better for the final payer to know what they are paying, but not necessarily to pay it separately from the price of the goods or service. I hate going to the store and experiencing sticker shock on everything because of a 15% harmonized tax on nearly everything in the store. I would sooner see the tax and the final price on the label than the cash register.

Some corporate taxes can not be passed on, and those cut into profits available for the lining of the pockets of share holders and management. All in all, however, corporate taxes are hidden taxes. The consumer blames the retailer, not the manufacturer or the middle men or the government.

Blame should fall where it is due. A VAT violates many of the criteria of a good and fair tax laid down by the great liberal economist, Adam Smith. It is not transparent, it is not always clear who pays, what they pay, when or where they pay, and why they are paying.

All in all, a consumption tax that meets Smith's criteria is probably best in that those who consume more, pay more. But it will never be perfect.

For example, consider a family of 12 who live in a apartment which rents for $2,000 a month, utilities not included, and a well-off single man who lives in the next apartment for the same $2,000 a month. A poll tax is obviously injust because the family would pay 12 times for the singleton's one time. A consumption tax would be injust because the family of 12 is probably below the poverty line while the single man may be rich but living well within his means. A property tax would be just as unfair as a consumption tax (they are essentially the same thing when you are talking the consumption of real estate or real capital, such as a building). And an income tax is easily made progressive, but if the two households have the same income, what then?

A mix of taxes is necessary to ensure that everybody pays some tax. It is easier to evade one tax than several. But my concern is not so much with where you tax, as whom, and how much, proportionately as well as absolutely.

It has been said that taxation is the art of plucking the goose with the minimum of squawking. Well, the rich can squawk long and hard about the tiniest imposition (which is literally a "tax" seeing as impôts means taxes in French). But they should still be plucked a bit harder than the middle classes, let alone the poor.

It is true that many Americans don't pay income tax. But most of those are retirees, students, part-timers, housewives who work, and so forth. Many of those escape income taxes only relatively: they pay on their paycheque but don't have to pay again at tax time. Compared to the number of Canadians who don't pay at tax time (about two thirds), the number of Americans who escape an additional tax bill above and beyond their payroll deductions is small.

There are two 47%. The Republican Entitled and the Democratic Entitled. They are drawing the same cheques for the same purposes but the Republican (White, Married, Employed) are drawing BIGGER cheques. For example, unemployment payments are, IIRC, graduated to your income. They are a percentage of your wages for a period of time before you become unemployed. If you are qualified at all, you get more if you are middle class and less if you are working class or sub-working class poor.

Is that just? I don't think it can be entirely fair. Some people are eligible who shouldn't be, and a lot of people are ineligible who definitely should be.

And then some idiot pipes up and proposes a flat tax that is low and the same on everybody. Even if such a flat tax were revenue neutral and inflation adjusted, it would be the most regressive tax this side of poll tax.

Propagandists working for the rich and well-to-do have worked long, hard and well to convince you that taxation is an unmitigated evil. It isn't. It is the life blood of the state, which despite flaws performs a vital role in a policed society. I am not an anarchist and I believe that right wing anarchism, even more than left win anarchism, leads inevitably to tyranny of the rich, the powerful and the immoral or amoral, in fact, to worse things than a policed state or even a police state perhaps.

Just and accountable taxation is good for you. It provides goods and services that even monopolists can not provide, that oligarchs provide at exorbitant cost, and that any other form of economic or political organization is unlikely to provide at all, even if they could.

As a rule where you have a poor government, you have rich private citizens who are selfish bastards, and where you have a rich government, you have even richer private citizens who are selfish bastards. A well-funded government is the lesser of these two evils because it is a broker between interests that otherwise would destroy each other and the rest of us as well.

Checks and balances (the glory of American government) fail when a two party system is owned by the same interests and when a multitude of parties allows nasty minority interests to sneak into power over the majority's interests. You are lucky that America has neither of these systems. The GOP is owned by one lot of selfish bastards and the Democratic Party is owned by the rest of them. They have to stay competitive, at least with each other, and there is always the terror lurking in their hearts that a third party might arise and destroy one or both of them.

Good.

Keep 'em scared and keep 'em honest. It's the only way.
 
2012-11-26 03:23:27 PM  

brantgoose: Even property taxes are regressive. The middle classes and still more so poor people, spend most of their money on housing. A rich man is better housed to the tune of millions of dollars, but those millions are nothing compared to the wealth that enables his family to live in 10,000, 25,000, even 100,000 square feet of house with all the luxuries going.


Not only that, but on a housing scale the mortgage interest deduction helps the richest the most and the poorest the least, since they don't own in the first place. One would think it would help the middle class, but they still get hit so much harder than the rich when home values hit a bubble that even they should be against the deduction.


Loved most of your post, but you lost me when you down the third-party hole. A third party isn't the solution - it would soon dethrone one of the two we had and quickly enough be beholden to those interests. Some third party-ish groups are pushing ridiculous taxes anyways (national sales taxes, flat taxes, fair taxes). Finally, I don't view the two parties as equally owned and I don't like to see equivocation between them. It is bad enough that there is so much "owning" of our politicians, but it is worse when what little attempt to be independent is shown by one party that large groups of people ignore it and paint them both with the same broad brush.

By doing that any incentive for people within either party is diminished.
 
2012-11-26 04:52:14 PM  

daveinsurgent: Each corporation does not act rational, they pay their employees as little as possible even if it means they wont be customers of their own product or have severely limited spending ability.


I always find that fact amusing.

Every time you reduce employee pay you are harming someone's customer base and eventually your own. It's like everyone forgot that we are still trading with each other.
 
Displayed 50 of 53 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report