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Re: Workers Paradise. /Political rant.
On Fri, 13 Sep 1996, Timothy C. May wrote:
>The 70% already _are_ cutting the throats of the other 30%. It's called a
>60%+ tax rate. This is the sum of: federal income tax, state income tax,
Most of these taxes are not used for feeding the poor but to support
the Nomenclatura of the Bureaucracy and we all want to get rid of that.
The beauty of a simple tax on production of goods for transfer to a
few necessary institutions is it's simplicity - no need for millions of
clerks to implement the System like now. And the Basic_Needs_Refund
should, as I suggested, be payed to ALL citizens, for ease of
administration. The idea of production tax, as opposed to the present
system of income tax, has been investigated by economic theorists
for years and some of them believe in it. I can't go into details
because my knowledge is lacking and my interest in the academic
subject of economy is moderate, but such taxation seems to fit with
crypto-anarchy in that physical goods in any but the most insignificant
scale can't be hidden by cryptography.
And I rather pay some taxes (but optimally much less than now)
then have my throat literally cut by a revolting 'mob of servants'.
>The masses have realized, as De Tocqueville predicted 150 years ago, that
>they can use the democratic process to pick the pockets of others. This is
>why I have no faith in "democracy," and consider crypto anarchy to be the
>best way to undermine this flawed system.
I agree with most of this. As some kind of an anarchist (but not a
pure anarcho-capitalist) I can of course not accept the basic rule
of democracy: that a majority (big or slight) should be able
to decide for the minority; or decide for the individual in any
but the most obvious ways (imprisoning killers and thieves etc).
But I believe that most people really want to work to some extent,
to be part of the economic process and gain a standing above
the minimal one - hence there is no danger in a Basic-Feed-Refund
>Cf. what sociologists call "the demographic transition." Countries that
>value learning and wealth are _not_ facing a population problem. In fact,
>many such countries are now at "below replacement" birth levels.
And that's good. The world population really should go back to around
1 billion for achieving a stabile ecology (with singing birds for
the peace of minds). The former (?) US system of encouraging young
standalone women to make babies to get benefits was very bad. The
Chinese system - less benefits the more children you have - is the
way to go.
>poor of today are receiving this. Ask a peasant of, say, 18th century
>Europe if he'd consider himself sheltered and fed if he could have an
>apartment in a building, a microwave oven, a television, a MacDonald's
>nearby, and enough extra spending money for some beer.
That's about exactly what I see as a minimal standard. The microwave
oven is the cheapest of ovens. Untaxed beer is the cheapest of drugs.
The television could go, though (but it will never do so in the present
system - it's needed for indoctrination).
>(The point being that people want more than "basic food and shelter," but
>are often unwilling to make the commitments and sacrifices in their lives
>to gain the wherewithal to earn significant salaries.)
This is where we disagree. The real lazy ones are satisfied with a roof
over there heads, a microwave oven for cooking pizza, a six-pack and
a soap opera. Most people really do want to achieve something more in
>There is a basic error here, one that I see often. Who says that the
>"anarcho-capitalists" will freely give away, say, some vast fraction of
>their profits so as to subsidize the overall society? Any more so than the
Not a vast portion, if the above_basics capitalistic economy blooms.
Probably 10% would suffice - what was once paid to the church, the
institution that traditionally has supported the ill and poor.
The problem with the 100% market economy approach is what to do
with those who just can't get it together, i.e. who buy beer for the
money that should go to health insurance and then fall ill. It's
against basic human instincts to just let them stay in agony.
A system with only voluntary charities might possibly become enough
when we have reached the resemblence of an ecology-balanced singularity,
but this is not the historical time for suddenly ending ALL welfare -
in a situation with unemployment (not accepting making maids and
servants of those loosing their jobs) mainly due to robotics.
>And crypto anarchy means it will not be clear who is making what, who is
>generating what income, and where it is located. And the producers of
>wealth will be able to move accounts, resources, and even factories around
It will always be comparatively easy to locate production plants
and farms, and tax them 10% of their production, without even
caring who owns them. This would call for a minimum of government
clerks. Crypto anarchy will inhibit taxation of all other kinds
of businesses, speculations and information transfers - the great
bulk of the present economy.
>Ask your fellow Swedes about the drain of talent out of Sweden in the 60s
>and 70s...the flight of Bergmann, actors and actresses, corporations, and
>even ABBA. (Though I understand most of ABBA moved back to Sweden and is
>now chummy with the Queen.)
This is a myth.
I don't have to ask, I was there! I was happy to get rid of Bergman,
a much overrated director of boring movies. That actors and actresses
left for Hollywood is not surprising, that's where the real movies
are made (good and 'bad'). The Swedish film industry - heavily subsidized
with tax money! - is mostly producing boring movies, with people just
talking, that only intellectual snobs pretend to like. The country
is to small for the accumulation of high-risk investment capital that
real movies need nowadays. The likes of ABBA's and Bjorn Borg (a
tennis player who got very rich) move to tax-friendly places like
Monaco, invest their millions and then come back to live off their
accumulated wealth. Nothing wrong with that. Had there been crypto
anarchy already in the investment markets they could have stayed
all along, of course, but who cares about where they live. And since
you mentioned the Queen of Sweden (born in South America, of
suspicious post WWII German descent): she is presently the front
celebrity for the anti-pedophile movement here - after being shown
some kiddie-porn at an 'official' demonstration.
Seriously... The big Swedish corporations (Volvo, Eriksson, ASEA etc)
have not moved out of the country. Why should they? Swedish wages
and taxes are not very different from anywhere else in the Western