ZOMBIE FORUMS

It's a stinking, shambling corpse grotesquely parodying life.
It is currently Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:01 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 18 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: I'm Baaaaaack!!! Debate topic: Government financing without taxes.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 3:45 am 
Offline
Native
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 521
Location: California
Ok, I used to be known by just about everyone here, but I have been gone so long that I am sure most of you don't remember me...

Anyways, reading MiB's topic "Rich pay all." inspired me to usher in my return with a new topic, about possible ways of funding the government without resorting to taxes.

This topic is not for the purpose of debating what the role of government is, how it should spend the money or for what purpose, only how it might be able to raise it.

I do not know of any government in history that ever tried financing itself without taxes, so this idea is an untested, new concept. It is my opinion many reject the idea outright because they have no prior experience to aid them in imagining how it could ever work. That I think is the main obstacle to convincing people that it might work.

As for my own ideas, I think I have one. Every year the government grants patents and copyrights to inventors, artists and corporations. With the government protecting these patents and copyrights, the applicants are able to make fortunes without fear of someone stealing their ideas. Protecting the patents costs money, that the government at the moment pays using taxdollars.

I propose that to offset the costs of protecting patents and copyrights, the government either charge a one time fee or maybe collect a small percentage of the profits made by the applicant. If the inventor or artist benefits from the government protecting their work, isn't it fair that they pay for it? This method is analogous to a man paying for his plane tickets. You request it, you pay for it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 4:00 am 
Offline
PostWhorePornStar
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 5:00 pm
Posts: 7672
Location: Tallahassee, FL
I remember you, and welcome back.


One problem with your idea, though. I'm dirt poor. I have no money to pay for a patent on a terrific idea I have, for example a new type of car engine that can run of pig manure and get over 150 miles to the gallon. Tom next door does have enough money though, and pays for the patent and makes millions off of my idea. I'm left out in the cold with nothing, and he gets away with stealing my idea simply because I couldn't afford to patent it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 4:13 am 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1793
Location: Still Alaska
Cons:
The one time fee would be a death-knell for those without large amounts of capital.

The percentage of the profit is highly similar to taxes. Specifically an income tax (as it might even have progressive percentages assigned to it, logically). However, unlike an income tax, the apparent profit could be shrunk, and highly abused. Creative accounting is not even really necessary when you give obscene salaries.

This idea might pay for itself. And that would not only be fair, but logical. But would requiring a fee higher than is required for said enforcement of the law be fair to those paying the fee? No. It would merely be another way for YOUR MONEY to be used for something YOU DON'T WANT. Therefore, we don't want one service to paying for another.

What happens to non-self-supporting services (defence, maybe?), then?

Additional possibility:
The government could act as an official, impartial mediator (as in food inspections, or other similar things). A copyrighted, government seal appended to things would guarantee that something was not false advertising. To acquire this seal, however, require one to pay for the associated inspection.

Good to have you back.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:57 am 
Offline
PostWhorePornStar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 2:17 pm
Posts: 5983
Location: Around about there.
It is virtually impossible to have a government which can finance itself without taxes, primarily because of the way that 'tax' is defined. Everything can be labeled as a tax purely because it's a "financial contribution for the support of a government." Okay so it continues on with it stating that it's a required payment and it can be countered that a person wouldn't have to buy a government patent/protection thing, however this gets to Icy's point here. If they don't want to subscribe to the standard government package then who *do* they go to?

An interesting sidepoint is that a nation is "a relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country." If the government becomes a subscriber service, or even that someone in Florida wants to subscribe to Canadian government or Japanese government, then what? The current system of nation states falls apart (Canada suddenly gets a third of Nebraska appended to it and the US picks up a 52nd state when northern Mexico subscribes). This will happen because if the US doesn't want a third of Nebraska subscribing to Canada government they'll send in the army and make sure they don't subscribe to Canada government or make it a monopoly. If it's a monopoly, it basically becomes compulsory payment, a tax.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 1:20 am 
Offline
Native
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 521
Location: California
Thanks for the welcome.

Krylex:

The option for a percentage of the money made after your patent was obtained was just for the situation when you don't have enough money to pay the lump sum. And I don't agree with the comparison to the income tax. You do not have to patent things to survive, you do need an income to survive. If you don't pay the fee, you will not go to jail, but you will if you don't pay an income tax. The fee I am talking about is like a carrot, while the income tax is like a gun.

Vass:

A tax is a tax if it has to be paid to the government and if you don't pay you go to jail. You don't go to jail if you don't pay the fee I am suggesting.

As for the debate about a subscriber system, I want to try and keep the topic narrow to just things our government could do now that wouldn't be coercive like taxes. I intend this thread to be simply about playing with ideas for less coercive or non-coercive methods of government financing; to get people to think about it.

Abunai:

The idea of a government mediater sounds interesting, making it non-mandatory would have the added benefit of forcing the government to actually be more efficient otherwise the benefit of their seal of approval wouldn't be worth the cost of the fee. Look at the FDA for example. If the approval of the FDA wasn't mandatory companies could decide for themselves if they wanted it or not. It would force the FDA to either do a good job and not waste money or be ignored. As it stands now, since drug companies have to spend astronomcal sums to the FDA to prove the negative that their drugs won't cause harm, the cost of developing drugs is going up.

I look at this issue as a comparison between guns and carrots. I think if the government would start using carrots, making it worth someone's while to contribute money, rather then using guns, and forcing people to contribute, the non-coercive methods would work better.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:22 am 
Offline
PostWhorePornStar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 2:17 pm
Posts: 5983
Location: Around about there.
The Goldstandard wrote:
A tax is a tax if it has to be paid to the government and if you don't pay you go to jail. You don't go to jail if you don't pay the fee I am suggesting.

So would the official stance of the hypothetical government in this situation be that it is not concerned that not all people are giving it money?

Quote:
I intend this thread to be simply about playing with ideas for less coercive or non-coercive methods of government financing; to get people to think about it.

Umm.. two other possibilities: the government assumes control of all corporate enterprise and x% of the profit goes to the government (unlikely to be feasable, I doubt people would accept nationalisation of coca-cola etc.), or the government acts per any other individual in the nation and invests its existing income in assorted companies on the stock exchange, gets income from dividends and buying/selling stocks (hell I think governments do this to a certain extent already).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: I'm Baaaaaack!!! Debate topic: Government financing without taxes.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 1:24 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 6:38 pm
Posts: 3148
Location: Gay bar at the end of the universe
The Goldstandard wrote:
As for my own ideas, I think I have one. Every year the government grants patents and copyrights to inventors, artists and corporations. With the government protecting these patents and copyrights, the applicants are able to make fortunes without fear of someone stealing their ideas. Protecting the patents costs money, that the government at the moment pays using taxdollars.

I propose that to offset the costs of protecting patents and copyrights, the government either charge a one time fee or maybe collect a small percentage of the profits made by the applicant. If the inventor or artist benefits from the government protecting their work, isn't it fair that they pay for it? This method is analogous to a man paying for his plane tickets. You request it, you pay for it.
I disagree wit this. I think this would discourage the creation of new intellectual property. Imaginative individuals are what has driven our civilization and culture from its dawn and they are who will carry us forward. Governments should recognize this and do everything in their power to encourage such inventive people.

The one time fee is right out since this would cut out the poorer people's chance of contributing. The percent of the profits is an interesting idea though but it would still be discouraging, however slightly, to aspiring inventors and artists.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:46 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 14, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 3446
Location: New York
Vass wrote:
or the government acts per any other individual in the nation and invests its existing income in assorted companies on the stock exchange, gets income from dividends and buying/selling stocks (hell I think governments do this to a certain extent already).


Yes, we could give the state a vested interest in the success of certain companies over others. What could possibly go wrong with that?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:05 am 
Offline
Native
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 521
Location: California
The government already doesn't care that some pay more then others. In fact, our current government <i>wants</i> some to pay more then others, like the wealthy. Some pay little to no income tax because they make so little money in the first place. If the government couldn't compel anyone to contribute money, some would definately not pay. Some, because they are unable, some because they are unwilling.

There is no way to guarantee that everyone contributes if you can't resort to compulsion, so it isn't an issue. The issue is to find ways to make it worth your time to contribute money. Then finding donors won't be so difficult. Remember how I keep saying the government should use carrots? (Metaphorically speaking.) If you make it worthwhile to contribute, people will contribute.

As for intellectual property, I look at it this way. It is a matter of pricing. If you charge a low enough rate, the inventor won't see it as discouraging. Hell, people in the highest tax brackets pay over 30% of their income in taxes, but it doesn't discourage them from trying to make more money.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:27 am 
Offline
Expatriate

Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 139
1) There already is a pretty substantial one-time fee on filing for a patent. Granted this fee is well within the means of larger institutions, but it is enough to be an issue for small-time inventors. And while the government does shoulder some fo the cost of patent enforcement, patent-holders often pay a considerable portion of it themselves, as they are the ones to bring forward legal action for patent infringement.

2) Depending on how you define taxes, there ARE examples of taxless states. TO the best of my recollection, though, such cases have relied on the basic assumption that all property belongs to the state anyway and/or the government retaining for itself exploitation of choice resources. I'm not sure how well either of thsoe systems would scale, nor how well they would mesh with a free-market economy.

There are also examples of governments managing to acquire notable quantities of money without paying taxes. Offhand, the best example of this is the US' Land Ordnance of 1785, which divided the Northwest Territory (modern-day Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and part of Minnesota) into saleable lots.

Historically, governments were often more reliant on other forms of income - tribute from vassal states, spoils of war, and even charitable contributions from rich citizens - than from taxation. Again, though, I'm doubtful that these solutions could be applied to a modern nation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:03 pm 
Offline
PostWhorePornStar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 2:17 pm
Posts: 5983
Location: Around about there.
IcyMonkey wrote:
Yes, we could give the state a vested interest in the success of certain companies over others. What could possibly go wrong with that?

So make the treasury an independent, apolitical entity as per the federal reserve and let them handle the issue of raising revenue. Then the funds they raise can get handed over to the government to be spent as the government sees fit.

As for a patent fee, it seems plausible. I'd disagree on it discouraging the creation of new intellectual property (specifically technology [it'll probably severely damage artistic/creative development]) though.
It's the R&D labs of the assorted corporations, with all that money they have available to spend, that drive technological development, (around 60% of R&D funding comes from businesses [diagram and the pdf {it's on page 9} it's from ]) so whether individuals continue to invent or not isn't particularly important to whether we continue forward. However it would affect those who are involved in creative works (artists, writers, some musicians) as a significant proportion of this creative work is by individuals not corporations or the government.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 2:20 am 
Offline
Expatriate

Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 139
Er... not to be rude, but are you familiar with the distinction between patents, trademarks, and copyrights?

With the sole exception of software (and rarely even that) creative works are covered under copyrights, not patents. Copyright is extended by default to any creative work*. Copyrights extend for a set period of time after which the work becomes public domain. It is possible but not necessary to register a copyrighted work. Copyrighting is free, though I think there may be a filing fee to register a work.

Trademarks need to be registered and cost a considerable amount fo money, but can be kept ad infinitum. However, there is a very limited definition as to what can be a trademark. Think of it like corporate identity theft insurance.

Patents offer much better protection than copyrights and are far broader than trademarks. However, there are two problems with it: first, it has a noteworthy fee and second, patents run out after only 20(IIRC) years, after which the information covered by the patent becomes public domain. The idea behind this is that by extending strong initial protection followed by release, inventors are encouraged to release their new inventions rather than keep them as trade secrets and thus help increase the overall tech level.
Significantly raising the patent fee, such that it would be a viable form of revenue, would break down this system and cause companies to keep crucial technologies as trade secrets rather than allow them to pass into the public domain. Whether or not you believe this to be a good thing is debatable, but it would sabotage the patent system.


* there's a truly massive amount of law explaining in delightfully contradictory detail what is and is not creative work, when it is and is not considered part of the public domain, etc.

(This information is offerred without warranty - it's been over a decade since I've studied this stuff in any detail)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 10:54 am 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 2:39 am
Posts: 1756
Location: The border of civilization
It was probobly said but I'm to lazy-ass to check.
My opinion is quitw smple and go like this:
Your idea is wrong, you just tax patents, and it won't be enough by far.
My idea is that the government will own all of the natural resurces and will use their profit as the income source.

I have a hell'of'a headach right now, so please excuse me for writing this way.

_________________
Warning! The owner of this property is armed and willing to defend life, liberty and property.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:47 am 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 1349
Without the use of taxes, there is no 'right of ownership' by the poeple that the government serves. It becomes a business entity that has little responsibility to the poeple it is supposed to be serving. Public money removal will equal public trust and input removal. You may think that you have little input or say into the present US government, but in fact you do. You can demand informantion, sue for satisfaction, and the list really is too long for listing here. Once a government removes itself from a role of taking support from its people, all the obligations it has to said people are also gone. In short, it comes to this: We (the government) raise our operational revenue ourselves. You do not pay for our services or operations, therefore you have no say in what we do. You also end up losing voting rights.
Imagine the type of business criminal assholes running things then!!!
Your rights will become more like a shareholders stake, and the more money you have the more your say in matters. So much for democracy.
Go to any city or county goverment in the US today that has hired an administrator. This person is not elected, and therefore cannot be directed by represented peeple. The input of the people is reduced in comparison to an entity that has a fully elected and accountable operational body. This person may still be recieving payroll from a taxe base, but also may be getting funded from private entereprise. I use the example of the admistrator of the city I presently live in: The person is not elected, the council which is supposed to control and dircect operations of the city has allowed the person to get the city into electricy distribution, buying local infrastructure and negotiating directly with the electric providers, and all with tax generated revenue. The city is now cutting a large profit from the resale of the electric., While it is nice they are now able to make some operational revenue, they have crapped all over the public trust by becoming profit driven, rather than service driven. By the way, the price of this single utility has now risen over 200% over what it was just 4 years ago. It now costs me more for electricy here being only 2 miles from the Hydro source (operational since about 1912), than it did while I lived in NY State.
The profits fron this operation are used to pay the admistrators payroll, and we have been informed that since no tax dollars are used to fund this person, only gross misconduct, such as felony criminal activity could get this person removed.
The admistrator runs the goverment, but is seperate and untouchable. This is government run without tax dollars: limited or no accountability. Service to you is limited. You have little or no say. Huge costs can be passed onto you, with little recourse or relief.
I will stick with paying taxes, as to have some accountabilty.


Note: above may have some typos present due to typing with one eye swollen shut (hope you don't get this latest virus running around the country, it sucks). Sinus infections suck!!!!!!!!!!!

Edit: I got both eyes backin operation, so; fixed some, left some for the pedants.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:12 pm 
Offline
Addict

Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 11:08 pm
Posts: 2115
Location: Lair of the Internet Anti-Hero
Your all wrong. Capitalism sucks.

For the Party, Comrades.

BB, BB, BB, BB, BB, BB.....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:33 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 3730
Location: DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS
MrDead wrote:
Go to any city or county goverment in the US today that has hired an administrator. This person is not elected, and therefore cannot be directed by represented peeple. The input of the people is reduced in comparison to an entity that has a fully elected and accountable operational body. This person may still be recieving payroll from a taxe base, but also may be getting funded from private entereprise. I use the example of the admistrator of the city I presently live in: The person is not elected, the council which is supposed to control and dircect operations of the city has allowed the person to get the city into electricy distribution, buying local infrastructure and negotiating directly with the electric providers, and all with tax generated revenue. The city is now cutting a large profit from the resale of the electric., While it is nice they are now able to make some operational revenue, they have crapped all over the public trust by becoming profit driven, rather than service driven. By the way, the price of this single utility has now risen over 200% over what it was just 4 years ago. It now costs me more for electricy here being only 2 miles from the Hydro source (operational since about 1912), than it did while I lived in NY State.
The profits fron this operation are used to pay the admistrators payroll, and we have been informed that since no tax dollars are used to fund this person, only gross misconduct, such as felony criminal activity could get this person removed.


Is that from privatization, or from the fact that the 'govt has a local monopoly on energy and can charge its customers (energy companies) whatever it wishes, thus making them jack up prices?

-MiB

_________________
delenda est communism


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:57 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 1349
It was a combination of both. They saw an opportunity, and created the virtual monopoly, then played the privatization card to maintain their status.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 8:13 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 3730
Location: DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS
So the mixed economy has stupidly large corruption issues. Big news, eh?

Lets try completely centrally-run economies, since they worked so well in the Soviet Union and China.

Er, wait...

So what does that leave?

-MiB

_________________
delenda est communism


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 18 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group