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Do you agree with income taxation? Poll

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Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
  • View Poll Results: Do you agree with income taxation?
    Yes, and all rates should be higher
    6.14%
    Yes, and the top rate should be higher
    18.42%
    Yes, and the higher rate should be higher
    2.63%
    Yes, and the basic rate should be higher
    2.63%
    Yes, but the basic rate should be lower
    8.77%
    Yes, but the higher rate should be lower
    3.51%
    Yes, but the top rate should be lower
    8.77%
    Yes, but all rates should be lower
    27.19%
    Yes, but only a minimal level should be charged (less than 5%)
    8.77%
    Not at all
    13.16%

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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    Why should they not be allowed more though? They have earned a lot more money, they should have a lot more to spend on themselves.
    They already have a lot more to spend on themselves.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    Again, you are just showing everyone what kind of callous human being you are.



    I never said free. I said free at the point of use.



    At the moment. But what if you suddenly were seriously ill? (and if you go to a private hospital - what if they refused to treat you because the treatment is too costly).



    I doubt you would be saying that if you were diagnosed with cancer tomorrow.
    Or if when you finish education (based on your username I am assuming you are still in education) you cannot get a job (because there are not enough). Or if your parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer's and needed 24/7 care.
    Have you ever been to a private hospital? If they're charging you a fee that includes a profit over and above the cost to them, why on earth would they say anything is too costly? Nothing is too costly if you have a client that is willing not only to pay the cost to the business, but an amount over and above this amount that is profit.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    I don't agree that China is more successful than Russia.

    If you look at GDP per capita rather than national GDP (which is a moronic thing to compare when one nation has literally ten times the population of the other) you see that Russians are more than twice as well-off as Chinese - an average of c. $12,000 per capita in Russia to $5,500 in China.
    Irrelevant, one is an economic superpower (or is becoming one) and it isn't Russia.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    They already have a lot more to spend on themselves.
    Why does this matter whatsoever?

    The fact is if you go out to work and earn £100 a week, £1,000 a week or £100,000 a week, why should you not be entitled to keep all of your earnings should you so wish?
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    They already have a lot more to spend on themselves.
    That isn't answering the question though. Why shouldn't they have even more. Why should they give away proportionately more of what they earn. You can't comment on how much money people need, you can't say flat out that someone earning 150k and being in the upper income tax bracket already has enough money.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Have you ever been to a private hospital? If they're charging you a fee that includes a profit over and above the cost to them, why on earth would they say anything is too costly? Nothing is too costly if you have a client that is willing not only to pay the cost to the business, but an amount over and above this amount that is profit.
    Treatment and care for things like cancer and Alzheimer's is VERY VERY expensive. Much more than what you would be paying for private insurance. And much more expensive than what you would probably be able to pay in an attempt to cover the cost.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Why does this matter whatsoever?

    The fact is if you go out to work and earn £100 a week, £1,000 a week or £100,000 a week, why should you not be entitled to keep all of your earnings should you so wish?
    Ignoring the fact that you should HELP people, because that is a concept you seem unable to comprehend.
    The fact is that if you earn money in this country, at some point the state and society has helped you do that. So why shouldn't you give some of that money back?
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    Irrelevant, one is an economic superpower (or is becoming one) and it isn't Russia.
    You can't just dismiss a point as irrelevant when it is not convenient to your argument.

    The fact is that the average Russian has twice the money of the average Chinese person. China is only regarded as a 'success' because it has an unsustainably high population that collectively produces a lot. However, the average Chinese person produces less than half of what the average Russian produces. You cannot make any sensible argument that the Chinese are better off than the Russians when the Russians have twice as much money per person than the Chinese.
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    That isn't answering the question though. Why shouldn't they have even more. Why should they give away proportionately more of what they earn. You can't comment on how much money people need, you can't say flat out that someone earning 150k and being in the upper income tax bracket already has enough money.
    But surely you could use that reasoning to say there shouldn't be any tax? Which is a view you do not agree with.
    And yes, you can say that. Because it is.
    I have already said why those who earn more should pay a higher percentage. Its called fairness. The same % of a low wage is more valuable to the person than that of a high wage.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    I don't agree that China is more successful than Russia.

    If you look at GDP per capita rather than national GDP (which is a moronic thing to compare when one nation has literally ten times the population of the other) you see that Russians are more than twice as well-off as Chinese - an average of c. $12,000 per capita in Russia to $5,500 in China.
    Another ignorant post. You did not address my other points and clearly have not investigated the transitions of China and Russia. China started off from a lower base, but I think you'll find GDP per capita has grown much faster in China than in Russia since their transitions.

    Let me tell you this. In 1989, only 2% of those living in Russia were in poverty. By 1998, that number had soared to 23.8%. The only people who got rich when free market policies were pursued too much were the oligarchs. I'd like to see if you can find comparable statistics for China - you'll be hard pressed let me tell you.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Why should everyone be compelled to help others? What do we gain, objectively? What is our incentive, other than any putative sort of 'satisfaction' or 'pride' in helping someone?

    It is a complete fallacy to regard anything taxes pay for as 'free'. You're paying through the nose to fund an inefficient system that you might not even use.

    I haven't used a public hospital at any point in my life. I've never been to an NHS doctor. I've never been to an NHS dentist.

    I get precisely nothing from the £104,000,000,000 spent anually on the NHS.

    Yet my taxes - and yes, I do pay taxes - support it. I regard this as unfair.

    I think it far more fair that people pay for what they actually consume.
    Most of the people who have replied to this post have suggested situations where you get, for example cancer, and therefore need treatment. I would posit that private health insurance should be able to cover the risk of any such event occurring. Government health schemes are in essence public health insurance, and therefore much more inefficient.

    However, I think the main reason you do not agree with the welfare state is that you simply have a fundamentally different viewpoint to most people. The majority of people believe that the poor and the unemployable and the disabled should be helped, and that income inequality on a large scale is a bad thing. John Harsanyi came up with the idea of the 'veil of ignorance'; justice is what you rights you would give to each human being, without the knowledge of which human you would become, or whether you would be intelligent or strong or mentally-handicapped. Now, behind this veil of ignorance, the majority of people would choose for the weaker and stupider to be supported by the richer - for equality - whereas you would gamble on becoming the stronger and more intelligent. There is nothing wrong with this, just a different perspective, that's all.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Why does this matter whatsoever?

    The fact is if you go out to work and earn £100 a week, £1,000 a week or £100,000 a week, why should you not be entitled to keep all of your earnings should you so wish?
    Because you have to pay for the services the state has provided you free at the point of use; the education that helped you get a 100k a week job, the healthcare that ensured you were well enough to work, the security that you, your family, and your possessions receive, the justice system that ensures pay you make isn't simply stolen.

    If you disagree, then go work in somewhere like Somalia, where there is little taxation, no rule of law etc. Thanks to our education system (paid for by tax), it's not difficult to produce people who are capable of working in £100k jobs.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    Ignoring the fact that you should HELP people, because that is a concept you seem unable to comprehend.
    The fact is that if you earn money in this country, at some point the state and society has helped you do that. So why shouldn't you give some of that money back?
    I think you're assuming a number of things;

    First of all, you assume a type of universal moral standard that you think everyone believes in. This isn't really the case. People vary widely in what they consider to be moral or immoral. You are free to consider it immoral to allow people to die. I am free to consider it immoral to force people to forfeit a percentage of their lawful earnings or else face sanctions.

    People disagree. It happens. Not everyone thinks that the same ideals will result in the best society. It is pointless to say 'you SHOULD do this' or 'it is your DUTY to do that' when people simply do not believe that this is the case. I'm sure I can't convince you that it is moral to allow a state of nature to exist in the world, just as I suspect you are sure you cannot convince me that one section of society should be forcibly compelled to support another section of society.

    The second thing I think you assume is that somehow the state plays some part in the success of every individual. I don't think that's really justifiable in the modern world; consider someone that becomes a massively successful businessman having lived their entire life in the United States, selling their products and services exclusively in the US, as well as having been educated there, privately or publicly. Say they then move to the United Kingdom. The society in the United Kingdom has arguably done nothing at all to contribute to their success.

    Why should they have to fund the society of the UK?

    If your argument rests upon the basis that 'society has given you something, so you must give back' surely it falls apart in a situation like that?

    Alternatively, if someone has been a recipient of state help in some way, surely at some point it is considered that they have 'repaid' the state and society for their help - this doesn't appear to be your position though. Surely it would be logical if you recieved education worth £100,000 from the state, you would pay £100,000 during your lifetime into the state for education. If you recieve £50,000 of healthcare, you pay that £50,000 back - but at some point, you are deemed to have 'repaid' your 'debt' to society and are free to consider yourself out of debt?

    I do not understand the principle of paying in more than you get out, with no defined end to your payments.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    You can't just dismiss a point as irrelevant when it is not convenient to your argument.

    The fact is that the average Russian has twice the money of the average Chinese person. China is only regarded as a 'success' because it has an unsustainably high population that collectively produces a lot. However, the average Chinese person produces less than half of what the average Russian produces. You cannot make any sensible argument that the Chinese are better off than the Russians when the Russians have twice as much money per person than the Chinese.
    It is irrelevant because you haven't taken into account the stages of development of these two countries. Russia is an industrialised country you can't really call it a developing country. Fact of the matter is, China is still a developing country. A very rapidly developing one at that. China still only has an urban population of around 50%. Compared with about 75% in Russia. If you look at China in 1990 it was closer to 25%, evidence of the rapid development of the country. You simply cannot compare the GDP per capita of the two countries given their vastly different stages of development. China has a better economy and as it continues to develop it will grow even stronger.

    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    But surely you could use that reasoning to say there shouldn't be any tax? Which is a view you do not agree with.
    No it can't, but that reasoning can be used to argue for a flat tax rate.

    And yes, you can say that. Because it is.
    Earning 150k with a family and mortgage etc, is very different to earning 150k without any attachments or responsibilities. That extra 30k being taken away by being taxed 40-50% rather than 20% could make a huge difference for that family.

    I have already said why those who earn more should pay a higher percentage. Its called fairness. The same % of a low wage is more valuable to the person than that of a high wage.
    Well it isn't fair, not sure what you're definition of fairness is. This system would not penalise the poor, they would still be paying the same, very low, amount of tax. The people earning more would be paying many multiples more tax, but at the same rate as the poorer people. That is fairness.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    I think you're assuming a number of things;

    First of all, you assume a type of universal moral standard that you think everyone believes in. This isn't really the case. People vary widely in what they consider to be moral or immoral. You are free to consider it immoral to allow people to die. I am free to consider it immoral to force people to forfeit a percentage of their lawful earnings or else face sanctions.

    People disagree. It happens. Not everyone thinks that the same ideals will result in the best society. It is pointless to say 'you SHOULD do this' or 'it is your DUTY to do that' when people simply do not believe that this is the case. I'm sure I can't convince you that it is moral to allow a state of nature to exist in the world, just as I suspect you are sure you cannot convince me that one section of society should be forcibly compelled to support another section of society.

    The second thing I think you assume is that somehow the state plays some part in the success of every individual. I don't think that's really justifiable in the modern world; consider someone that becomes a massively successful businessman having lived their entire life in the United States, selling their products and services exclusively in the US, as well as having been educated there, privately or publicly. Say they then move to the United Kingdom. The society in the United Kingdom has arguably done nothing at all to contribute to their success.

    Why should they have to fund the society of the UK?

    If your argument rests upon the basis that 'society has given you something, so you must give back' surely it falls apart in a situation like that?

    Alternatively, if someone has been a recipient of state help in some way, surely at some point it is considered that they have 'repaid' the state and society for their help - this doesn't appear to be your position though. Surely it would be logical if you recieved education worth £100,000 from the state, you would pay £100,000 during your lifetime into the state for education. If you recieve £50,000 of healthcare, you pay that £50,000 back - but at some point, you are deemed to have 'repaid' your 'debt' to society and are free to consider yourself out of debt?

    I do not understand the principle of paying in more than you get out, with no defined end to your payments.
    Read my previous post. Sure, you may believe it is morally wrong to take away people's income and redistribute it, but you are in the extreme minority. First of all, the majority of people follow some religion or other, which generally involve ideals of charity of some sort. Secondly, even most atheists believe in human rights, and human rights are not met if there is no income redistribution and the poor starve to death or die because easily-treatable diseases go untreated.
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    (Original post by FDR)
    Because you have to pay for the services the state has provided you free at the point of use; the education that helped you get a 100k a week job, the healthcare that ensured you were well enough to work, the security that you, your family, and your possessions receive, the justice system that ensures pay you make isn't simply stolen.

    If you disagree, then go work in somewhere like Somalia, where there is little taxation, no rule of law etc. Thanks to our education system (paid for by tax), it's not difficult to produce people who are capable of working in £100k jobs.
    What if you haven't used the education system? I have never used the state education system, nor the NHS. I don't agree with zero taxation btw, just flat taxation.
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    (Original post by FDR)
    Because you have to pay for the services the state has provided you free at the point of use; the education that helped you get a 100k a week job, the healthcare that ensured you were well enough to work, the security that you, your family, and your possessions receive, the justice system that ensures pay you make isn't simply stolen.

    If you disagree, then go work in somewhere like Somalia, where there is little taxation, no rule of law etc. Thanks to our education system (paid for by tax), it's not difficult to produce people who are capable of working in £100k jobs.
    What if you've had private healthcare and education your entire life? Should you then pay lower taxes?

    What if you're a very sick person that requires a lot of healthcare - should your taxes be higher to account for that?

    If not, I don't understand your argument. If it is at all based on repaying society for any benefit you have recieved, if the amount you must pay is unrelated to your benefit and exists in perpetuity it seems manifestly unfair and incompatible with the idea of owing a debt.

    Debts cannot be infinite; at some point surely one has repaid society for the benefit they have?
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    (Original post by Aeonstorm)
    Read my previous post. Sure, you may believe it is morally wrong to take away people's income and redistribute it, but you are in the extreme minority. First of all, the majority of people follow some religion or other, which generally involve ideals of charity of some sort. Secondly, even most atheists believe in human rights, and human rights are not met if there is no income redistribution and the poor starve to death or die because easily-treatable diseases go untreated.
    Please direct me to a human right to income distribution. I'm not aware of one.

    Do you also think you can enforce religious values on athiests?

    Do you think that is fair?
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    You have no evidence to support that though.
    And indeed the welfare state was created exactly because charity was not enough.
    Yes, but taxes predated the welfare state - so I would argue that there was not enough charity because people didn't have enough money because the state was arresting such a large chunk of their income for so long.

    Wrong.
    Most people don't give to beggers in the street because you have no idea if they are genuine or not. Nothing to do with tax.
    Well I do - I would refuse a genuine begger for the reason that I should already have remedied their situation with the amount of tax I'm paying. It was just an example anyway - there are countless genuine charities that receive less than they would if people weren't being taxed to fix the issues that they're STILL having to campaign for because of government failures to efficiently use our the tax that they coerce from us.

    Better chance with the NHS than a private company who would only treat you if it is profitable.
    But it has to be profitable to work - if the NHS runs a deficit, then it'll collapse eventually. You can't just keep hiking taxes every time the welfare system hits a new deficit threshold... eventually there won't be enough money left in the country to remedy the situation.

    It's not like you can just decide to do things at a deficit and everything will be hunky dory - that's what's wrong with the NHS right now. Massive waiting lists, continual failings, staff shortages, staff incompetence, etc, etc, etc. It's all down to the fact that you CAN'T run a successful enterprise that doesn't make profit on a long term basis and except it not to collapse.

    So you are suggesting we don't help ill people at all???
    No, I'm merely saying that you can't reject a system of healthcare on the basis that a small minority of people will not be catered for, because that is a feature of ANY system of healthcare.

    But that isn't a reason to scrap them totally.
    The kind of failings I'm talking about aren't mistakes or mishaps or anything like that - they're inherent to the system. They're the type of failings that snowball and will never improve because it can't improve.

    If the NHS runs at a deficit instead of a profit, then all you can do is keep hiking taxes and making cuts to address the growing deficit. There comes a point when you can no longer do that (a point we've pretty much reached) and then the system begins to crumble. Unless you work at a profit, you can't work at all on a long term basis.

    But it is more of a feature of a total free market system.
    Is it? How so?

    Rubbish. Why do we have many many talented people still in this country then?
    A variety of reason. But the fact of the matter is that we have FAR, FAR less than we would have if we made ourselves more attractive to productive people/high earners.

    Even the people who stay in the country go to extreme lengths to put their finances through tax havens in order to avoid tax - we might see a lot of those loopholes closed in coming years, and I assure you when that happens, we'll see an even greater exodus.

    But you aren't working 80 hour weeks for £40k a year.
    It was an example... you said that people don't care about percentages of income earned, they only care about the final absolute number. And I was making the point that this isn't true - people are interested in how much they earn relative to how much work they put in, which is why the vast majority of people would snub a £40k job with an 80 hour week in favour of a £30k job with a 37.5 hour week. And if they were to work 80 hours a week in the same job, they'd want to see their wage doubled too.

    If you have a part-time job and you worked over-time, how would you like to be told that during the hours you do over-time, you only get paid half your nominal wage? You'd tell them to shove their over-time... nobody is going to work MORE hours for progressively less pay.

    The same is true of the tax system. If a margin increase in work is not met with a proportional increase in pay, then people become deincentivised to increase their work. They cap their productivity, and you kill the economy.

    And your argument is flawed because if you double your efforts you are still getting a hell of a lot more money.
    Yes, but the point is that your margin increase in work versus margin increase in salary plateaus rather quickly. Yes, you're earning a lot of money, but it's a travesty that you have to put in 150% more effort to get 100% increase in salary. What kind of incentive is that?

    And you can't just be spiteful towards these people because they're earning a lot of money in absolute terms. The fact is that the more money they earn in absolute terms, the more value they generate in the economy. So if you want to introduce a tax system that ignores incentives for these people, and assumes that just because they're rich that they should have large proportions of their income arrested and have their work progressively less rewarded, then you're really just biting your nose off to spite your face, because the economic consequences of such a system doesn't just decide whether or not that individual can afford another Bentley or not, it also decides the general state of the national economy, which affects all of YOUR day to day economic transactions.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Please direct me to a human right to income distribution. I'm not aware of one.

    Do you also think you can enforce religious values on athiests?

    Do you think that is fair?
    Um are you kidding me? Who do you think takes your garbage? What do you think unemployment benefits are for? What do you think pensions are for? Who do you think pays the police to ensure order and justice?

    As I have said, I believe that the majority of atheists accept human rights. If you don't accept human rights, then can you clearly not see how your views have no place in society? The libertarian idea that individuals have inherent rights stems from the concept of human rights itself. You can't claim that you have a right to religious freedom when you don't agree someone else has the right to personal safety (provided by the police).

    Edit: Why doesn't your poll have the option: "Yes, and its fine the way it is"? Not saying that I would choose that, but isn't that one of the most obvious answers?

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