Taxation

Bobbin

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Oct 22, 2009
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5,942
#61
Taxation is law like every other law. If you don't like the law, either live with the consequences of breaking it, live elsewhere or suck it up. There's no fourth option.
Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.

Plus, I find the topic interesting at least for now. It is something I've seen come up a lot and the philosophical idea that it is theft is difficult to shake. It allows unethical behaviour for subjectively good ends. hmmm.... who to assassinate :p
 
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Alan

Honorary Master
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Sep 30, 2005
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61,570
#62
I hardly think you can call taxation theft purely on the grounds that your money is taken from you without you having much choice in the matter ... show me a thief out there that robs you and then gives your money back to you in the form of public services (that WOULD be a community-spirited thief).
Plenty of white collar criminals who have stolen huge sums from people through corporate scams that then donate significant amounts of money to various charities.....

The bottom line is don't moan about something, propose a better solution at the very least. How would you provide free public services that are truly free? Somebody HAS to pay, and because nothing exists without people, it has to be people ultimately.
Preferably people who are the most vocal champions of welfare redistribute their own money before going after money that belongs to others. Especially the champagne socialist variety who demand the middle and working classes make genuine sacrifices while continuing to live it up themselves.
 

John Tempus

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Aug 8, 2017
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#63
It’s been found in a study in the US that 80% of all heart disease & cardiovascular complications are in patients that were previously smokers. Nevertheless you started saying that sin taxes are abused for other products then listed basically what everyone expected:

1. Alcohol - Abused by many in this country and often on the road too.

2. Smoking products /Cigs - cause of many complications

3. Sugar - remember how people bitched about sugar abuse is not tax but smoking and drinking is.. well I guess gov listened

4. Fuel tax / RAF - if you drive around here in JHB you realize that 5-10% actually obey the law.. the rest do as they please. So I guess taxing everyone for not self enforcing/controlling is needed.

In all the above cases, self control would be the easy fix but that’s gotten us as a nation nowhere particularly in the last 15-20yrs where people aren’t brought up with self discipline it seems. And lately people claim they abuse things because everyone else is getting away with it .. wow such good values hey.

So if you can’t be a law abiding citizen and your life impacts others.. who shields other people from you? Who pays for that? When you use a private hospital.. do you really think gov is not paying indirectly? I can’t be the only person in this forum who can see costs involved.
I guess the point I was trying to make is why do we have VAT when we also pay a sugar tax,alcohol tax.

See my point now ? Double taxation on products. We pay VAT on sugar,alcohol,cigarettes and then also a Sin Tax. If you believe that double taxation on a single product isn't straight up theft then you must really living in a bubble.

This double taxation and in some cases triple taxation not to mention the other taxes we also have to endure ie. private medical(yes this is basicly a tax because tax paying citizens aint crazy enough to use government hospitals) because government medical is useless even though government medical is apparently funded by these Sin Taxes yet it is just deteriorating year after year. Property taxes, income taxes, business taxes, the list is just never ending and for a very good reason because the more complicated they can have the taxation system the better for them.
 

Foxhound5366

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Oct 23, 2014
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#64
I guess the point I was trying to make is why do we have VAT when we also pay a sugar tax,alcohol tax.

See my point now ? Double taxation on products. We pay VAT on sugar,alcohol,cigarettes and then also a Sin Tax. If you believe that double taxation on a single product isn't straight up theft then you must really living in a bubble.
Again, 'theft' is the removal of an asset without that asset benefiting you any longer. Somebody steals your car, they don't come back once a week to give you a lift in it. Somebody steals your phone, they don't pop up in convenient spots to take photos for you on that phone.

All you're complaining about is the mechanics of the taxation ... double, triple, quadruple taxation doesn't matter, if you haven't personally set a threshold for *how much tax should be taxed*? If I tax you 5c 50 different times or R50 000 in a convenient once-off transaction, which would be the worse form of taxation to you?

I think none of us have any real idea how State expenditure and taxation boils down into actual value that we experience personally, and that makes this an impossibly hard question to ever answer. How much value to do you place on driving 1km down a paved road? How is that value eroded if there are two potholes along the way? What is the intrinsic value of a street light at night, and how does that value increase if the light discourages a criminal who would have murdered you had it not been there?

I think if the e-Toll saga and the SABC TV license sagas have shown us anything, is that there is this perception amongst South Africans that "If you are taking my munny, you are a BAD person." Yet these same people will moan and scream about the poor state of service delivery in this country ... but would they be prepared to pay more if you could empirically prove to them that they are receiving more sheer value from the State than they are paying in terms of tax? The answer there is no, obviously, so it's a no-win argument ... therefore no point even starting the debate.

The State taxes you because it can. That is its job. Running a country takes money. Probably nobody in the country, even the Minister of Finance, could quantify for you exactly what is a fair amount for you personally to be taxed, and whether that should, could or might differ from a billionaire or a beggar based on your daily use of State services, pro-rated to actual usage and back-dated to cost of implementation, with all maintenance and depreciation factored in *head explodes*
 
Joined
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2,809
#65
I guess the point I was trying to make is why do we have VAT when we also pay a sugar tax,alcohol tax.

See my point now ? Double taxation on products. We pay VAT on sugar,alcohol,cigarettes and then also a Sin Tax. If you believe that double taxation on a single product isn't straight up theft then you must really living in a bubble.

This double taxation and in some cases triple taxation not to mention the other taxes we also have to endure ie. private medical(yes this is basicly a tax because tax paying citizens aint crazy enough to use government hospitals) because government medical is useless even though government medical is apparently funded by these Sin Taxes yet it is just deteriorating year after year. Property taxes, income taxes, business taxes, the list is just never ending and for a very good reason because the more complicated they can have the taxation system the better for them.
This is going back years, but in 1972 the brewers society asked the same question and were told that the VAT rate to give the same yield as all the other indirect taxes was something like 150%. Then basic VAT rate was then 10%
 

Swa

Honorary Master
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May 4, 2012
Messages
18,266
#66
It’s been found in a study in the US that 80% of all heart disease & cardiovascular complications are in patients that were previously smokers. Nevertheless you started saying that sin taxes are abused for other products then listed basically what everyone expected:

1. Alcohol - Abused by many in this country and often on the road too.

2. Smoking products /Cigs - cause of many complications

3. Sugar - remember how people bitched about sugar abuse is not tax but smoking and drinking is.. well I guess gov listened

4. Fuel tax / RAF - if you drive around here in JHB you realize that 5-10% actually obey the law.. the rest do as they please. So I guess taxing everyone for not self enforcing/controlling is needed.

In all the above cases, self control would be the easy fix but that’s gotten us as a nation nowhere particularly in the last 15-20yrs where people aren’t brought up with self discipline it seems. And lately people claim they abuse things because everyone else is getting away with it .. wow such good values hey.

So if you can’t be a law abiding citizen and your life impacts others.. who shields other people from you? Who pays for that? When you use a private hospital.. do you really think gov is not paying indirectly? I can’t be the only person in this forum who can see costs involved.
The issue there is that you're comparing a collapsed health care system with a working one. It doesn't cost the state more when everyone is dying equally. And if we consider one variable why shouldn't we consider another? It's been proven that Vitamin D supplementation can reduce cancer and heart disease rates by over 50% at less than R1 a day. Prevention in this case costs a lot less than curing, if there was even a cure, yet it's neither provided nor rewarded. Another problem with this reasoning is that sin taxes should be ring fenced but as we know they aren't and budgets are fixed so that state hospitals make due with what they get rather than allocating according to demand.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. You want people to give you public services and not charge you for it? Where else do you get free ****? Even the church is gonna charge you in the long run.

The foundation of our modern society is built on the principle of the common good. We all have to abide by the same laws, even if some people should be murdered we keep alive so that the rest of us get a right to life. Same applies to tax: the public services you get might be terrible by your standards, but they're amazing for somebody living in a tin shack ... and just maybe the difference between life and death.

The bottom line is don't moan about something, propose a better solution at the very least. How would you provide free public services that are truly free? Somebody HAS to pay, and because nothing exists without people, it has to be people ultimately.
Don't be so quick on the button there. There's a big difference between levies and taxes. A levy you pay directly for something you use like the electricity infrastructure or garbage collection. Taxes go the common public good. The problem we have is that proportion of the public is all too common and you still end up paying directly for everything you use while supporting others. Cape Town for instance want to introduce a solar tax so you still pay even if you provide your own because they are losing income. So they're trying to turn a levy into a tax. If it was a tax we should all pay equally and get equally but as we know those that are the actual users won't be paying.

Sure I have solutions for a lot of these but no political party will ever implement them because they'll lose the votes of those that contribute nothing rather than creating more responsible citizens. So it's pointless.
 

Foxhound5366

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Oct 23, 2014
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#67
Don't be so quick on the button there. There's a big difference between levies and taxes. A levy you pay directly for something you use like the electricity infrastructure or garbage collection. Taxes go the common public good. The problem we have is that proportion of the public is all too common and you still end up paying directly for everything you use while supporting others.
I dunno Swa, do you feel there might be an ethical responsibility for the wealthiest people to support the less fortunate, or do you prefer to live in an "every dog for himself" society? Certainly we can look at the most developed societies and the strong social security nets they've developed, so I think in South Africa we need to discard the tut-tutting of social welfare as something that isn't a cornerstone of modern societies.

Like I tried to explain in my previous post, the mathematics is too complex to ever find a justified solution for the right amount of tax. Not only would the *right* amount of tax vary based on usage of the asset or service, but it would also vary based on individual income levels and intangible value derived (an absurd example: people who get erotically aroused by the sight of dump trucks pay more for refuse removal than those who don't in order to level the investment/return scales).

What I CAN tell you with perfect honesty is that despite all the moaning, I don't think that South Africa has the tax balance far wrong. Despite paying for my fuel tax, my PAYE, my e-Tolls, my TV license, my VAT and allllll the levies, my biggest expenses are still my rental, car loan and insurance payments, followed closely by groceries, credit repayments and entertainment. For me to bitch and moan about the great tax burden placed on me while being able to drive on highways, go into libraries and get some free books, have my mother receiving state hospital care right now, and not have to deal with the criminals that the police actually DO manage to catch, would be a wasted effort.
 

Bobbin

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Oct 22, 2009
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#68
I dunno Swa, do you feel there might be an ethical responsibility for the wealthiest people to support the less fortunate, or do you prefer to live in an "every dog for himself" society?.
Sorry I know you asked swa directly but I felt the need to answer... I think I kind of see the problem... (feel free to object or ignore etc...)

1. Do you feel there might be an ethical responsibility for the wealthiest people to support the less fortunate?
Interesting to debate perhaps but unrelated to the topic (Though I think the answer may be yes - in the context of negligence perhaps). There are multiple avenues not involving tax where this can be realized anyway.

2. Do you prefer to live in an "every dog for himself" society?
I prefer to live in an ethically sound (or as close to as possible) society. Non-aggression (Universally) is a principle that makes sense to me. This includes not being a victim of theft and defending others from the same.

Just to clarify, you think those toiling with the idea of tax as theft would pay nothing to society if tax was removed? And that point, I suppose, is your claim or issue?
 

Foxhound5366

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#69
Just to clarify, you think those toiling with the idea of tax as theft would pay nothing to society if tax was removed? And that point, I suppose, is your claim or issue?
Ding ding ding, I've already stated that very clearly here:
I think if the e-Toll saga and the SABC TV license sagas have shown us anything, is that there is this perception amongst South Africans that "If you are taking my munny, you are a BAD person." Yet these same people will moan and scream about the poor state of service delivery in this country ... but would they be prepared to pay more if you could empirically prove to them that they are receiving more sheer value from the State than they are paying in terms of tax? The answer there is no, obviously, so it's a no-win argument ... therefore no point even starting the debate.
Bobbin, taxation isn't theft, any more than riding on a highway is called 'skipping death' or walking on the road 'dodging meteorites'. It might be nice to be hysterical, and in some ways it might even be technically accurate, but it's a strawman definition that is just a waste of time to debate within that framing.

Let me put it to you like this: IF you accept that society needs to look after the poor AND you accept that 'looking after' requires money, THEN you automatically accept taxation as the means to extract money from the populace (because how else - should the reserve bank just print more money to cover the State's expenditure?).

Now THAT we accept that taxation is required, THEN we recognise that all we're quibbling about is how much we want to be taxed, and that generally it sucks being taxed (because munny!), and how badly some of that money gets spent (because people), and how sad all of life is (because blue). And then we turn on the TV and continue with our lives.
 

Bobbin

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Oct 22, 2009
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#70
Ding ding ding, I've already stated that very clearly here:

Bobbin, taxation isn't theft, any more than riding on a highway is called 'skipping death' or walking on the road 'dodging meteorites'. It might be nice to be hysterical, and in some ways it might even be technically accurate, but it's a strawman definition that is just a waste of time to debate within that framing.

Let me put it to you like this: IF you accept that society needs to look after the poor AND you accept that 'looking after' requires money, THEN you automatically accept taxation as the means to extract money from the populace (because how else - should the reserve bank just print more money to cover the State's expenditure?).

Now THAT we accept that taxation is required, THEN we recognise that all we're quibbling about is how much we want to be taxed, and that generally it sucks being taxed (because munny!), and how badly some of that money gets spent (because people), and how sad all of life is (because blue). And then we turn on the TV and continue with our lives.
I didn't agree to or accept that. I agree that money (not taxation) is required - you twisted/flipped the words there. The manner of money extraction or creation (possibly extending to or even affecting allocation if it is achieved ethically) on the other hand is what seems to be the issue that anti-tax proponents raise.

The best you can do is get me to concede that it is a "necessary evil" (Or overall good either way) AND there is not a single alternative worth considering. Intuitively I don't trust this to be true but you're not collaborative enough to even attempt to solve it with me. So meh... we will move on.
 

Foxhound5366

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#71
I didn't agree to or accept that. I agree that money (not taxation) is required - you twisted/flipped the words there. The manner of money extraction or creation (possibly extending to or even affecting allocation if it is achieved ethically) on the other hand is what seems to be the issue that anti-tax proponents raise.

The best you can do is get me to concede that it is a necessary evil AND there is not a single alternative worth considering. Intuitively I don't trust this to be true but you're not collaborative enough to even attempt solve it with me. So meh... we will move on.
I'm not the one who sees taxation as being problematic. As it is you who does, doesn't the burden of proof rest with you to make a compelling case for that? So far I haven't seen anything new or compelling here, apart from the usual belly-aching over having to pay munny and obfusticating it as 'theft'.

I'm pleased we've agreed to move on with our lives until you or somebody infinitely smarter than both of us proposes a workable alternative that transfers money from one group to another group via magic and we'll call it "wealth sharing" instead of "taxation" and everybody will be happy (including you - but I doubt it) :p
 

Foxhound5366

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Oct 23, 2014
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#72
Tell you what Bobbin ... between you and me, I hate capitalism altogether. I believe "money" is a stupid concept, and I think that there is a lot more wealth on our planet than we're benefiting from as people because of it (just look at how diamonds have to be artificially restricted to the market just to keep their scarcity and relative value high).

In a world without money, who knows what alternatives to taxation there might be. We may all live such abundant lives, with robots to do all the dirty work, that the mere concept of "social welfare" is laughable. I'd like to live in a future like that.

Unfortunately right now, I live in this present ... with money. I don't think you and I could ever find a solution to the macro-economic problems that capitalism presents, but maybe in the future when people break far away enough from all the nets that currently bind us, then a brave group of individuals can structure a new society.

Here's to that day.
 

Bobbin

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#73
Tell you what Bobbin ... between you and me, I hate capitalism altogether. I believe "money" is a stupid concept, and I think that there is a lot more wealth on our planet than we're benefiting from as people because of it (just look at how diamonds have to be artificially restricted to the market just to keep their scarcity and relative value high).

In a world without money, who knows what alternatives to taxation there might be. We may all live such abundant lives, with robots to do all the dirty work, that the mere concept of "social welfare" is laughable. I'd like to live in a future like that.

Unfortunately right now, I live in this present ... with money. I don't think you and I could ever find a solution to the macro-economic problems that capitalism presents, but maybe in the future when people break far away enough from all the nets that currently bind us, then a brave group of individuals can structure a new society.

Here's to that day.
Well I suspect, only to the best of my limited intellect/stupidity, that capitalism ultimately speaks to individual freedom (one is synonymous with the other) and this should ideally never ever be encroached upon universally without any exception. Self defence is the only violence/aggression - aggression probably not being the right word by definition - I can advocate for.

I also suspect that the problems many see with capitalism are a matter of ethics, not a matter of capitalism. Ethics being an entirely different domain that encroaches on any system and not just capitalism, yet is conflated only with capitalism as an argument against capitalism (where I often get frustrated).

Side thought: Does capitalism merely free human nature universally? If so, can we fix human nature without violating their freedom?

Ethics and values can surely be taught without the expense of personal freedom. And at the same time we also have to acknowledge that evil will always exist and cannot be used as a scapegoat to motivate against this basic ethical principle of freedom. Evil itself being the control or aggression of other people, and therefore taxation being a "fight fire with fire" or "two wrongs to make a right" notion. Remember that taxation increases government control/power and also allocates it for government interests, not yours. Both are equally corruptible.

But perhaps mine is a very naive and hopeful thought and I appreciate your openness/post here regardless. Irrespective of my view and where I differ on capitalism/freedom I also think I share your sentiment ultimately.
 
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Foxhound5366

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#74
I also suspect that the problems many see with capitalism are a matter of ethics, not a matter of capitalism. Ethics being an entirely different domain that encroaches on any system and not just capitalism, yet is conflated only with capitalism as an argument against capitalism (where I often get frustrated).
Nooooo, it's not a question of ethics when your basic premise is "let's get the brightest minds competing against each other in different companies, and let the winning company go on to prosper and the losing companies go bankrupt and all their brightest minds can lose their jobs and have their otherwise amazing ideas canned".

All THAT is is the business version of "survival of the fittest": keep encouraging competition so that society gets better over time via natural erosion and the winner will always rise to the top (except when 'winner' and 'best' aren't always synonymous).

It's a fine approach when you're bacteria competing in a pond for existence, but I think humanity now has enough combined wisdom and empathy to maybe devise a more sensitive and inclusive foundation that discards no good idea or person, and that encourages and rewards collaboration rather than competition and dog-eat-dog. That way we all benefit at the maximum rate.
 

Bobbin

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#75
Nooooo, it's not a question of ethics when your basic premise is "let's get the brightest minds competing against each other in different companies, and let the winning company go on to prosper and the losing companies go bankrupt and all their brightest minds can lose their jobs and have their otherwise amazing ideas canned".

All THAT is is the business version of "survival of the fittest": keep encouraging competition so that society gets better over time via natural erosion and the winner will always rise to the top (except when 'winner' and 'best' aren't always synonymous).

It's a fine approach when you're bacteria competing in a pond for existence, but I think humanity now has enough combined wisdom and empathy to maybe devise a more sensitive and inclusive foundation that discards no good idea or person, and that encourages and rewards collaboration rather than competition and dog-eat-dog. That way we all benefit at the maximum rate.
hmmm... my first thought is that if we don't allow competition we harm the market. If we don't have a value structure in society rewarding competence then we will reap what we sow, essentially. That's a very bad thing for you and me. Incompetence begets incompetence, something completely against the notion of people voting/negotiating with their wallet and time to get the best value possible.

.."except when 'winner' and 'best' aren't always synonymous"... they're mostly synonymous as far as I can tell. It has usually only been in the case of government interference where this wasn't the case (SARS IT whatshername comes to mind). I can't say for sure though... Enron also came to mind as a possible negative but a very quick read suggests even they relied on government regulation to get where they were (Though I can't verify).

I can't think of an unregulated negative example at the moment as far as business is concerned (though not uncommon for me to hit a blank where answers are obvious). Even in cases where unethical business practice comes to light (pollution or child exploitation etc...), people generally stop supporting them or investors take their money elsewhere or panic sell. Only example I can really think of is Coca-Cola and sugar, though the market has been consistently demanding healthier alternatives for a while too.

Collaboration can exist unregulated (anonymous hacker group come to mind). So lack of regulation may not necessarily mean dog-eat-dog. When values align I think people can do great things regardless of government (and sometimes in spite of it).

Eish, I don't know if I'm just coming across as ignorant or something or why I don't see it.
 

Foxhound5366

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#76
Lol Bobbin, you're just too conservative. You don't like the thought of somebody taking your money (tax), but also don't like the thought of removing the safety blanket of capitalism.

I've listed two concrete examples of capitalism's failures already: false scarcity to drive up prices, and winner-takes-all corporate competitions where the BEST solution would frequently be a combination of a few of the pitches on a table.

You just defended the most cancerous mindset in the world: that if we don't have people living in fear, we won't get progress.

In reality, we have seen how people can work under the most maniacal bosses and deliberately under-deliver as a form of silent protest ... another "victory" for capitalism?

The oldest wisdom is still true: united we stand, and divided we fall. And yet here we all are in our little capitalist silos, countries and companies, without a thought for the irony. We quibble about the rules of this terrible game, instead of just changing playing fields altogether.

There has to be more. There IS more. I suggest you stop defending the old schools of thought (imposed by old factory owners keen on maximising their own profits and screw the rest of society), and start embracing the new wave.
 

Bobbin

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#77
Lol Bobbin, you're just too conservative.
Quite rare for an Atheist I believe, or so I've heard :p

You don't like the thought of somebody taking your money (tax), but also don't like the thought of removing the safety blanket of capitalism.

I've listed two concrete examples of capitalism's failures already: false scarcity to drive up prices, and winner-takes-all corporate competitions where the BEST solution would frequently be a combination of a few of the pitches on a table.
I guess it would be unfair of me to try raise counter examples seeing as anarcho-capitalism (I believe is the truest sense of the word?) has never been attempted - some say it isn't possible.

You just defended the most cancerous mindset in the world: that if we don't have people living in fear, we won't get progress.
huh? Isn't that the mindset of the pro-government/regulation proponents? They're the one's forcing and threatening citizens to comply with their values.

In reality, we have seen how people can work under the most maniacal bosses and deliberately under-deliver as a form of silent protest ... another "victory" for capitalism?
I don't see how this has any bearing on capitalism. Industrial Psychology perhaps? Business ethics?

The oldest wisdom is still true: united we stand, and divided we fall. And yet here we all are in our little capitalist silos, countries and companies, without a thought for the irony. We quibble about the rules of this terrible game, instead of just changing playing fields altogether.

There has to be more. There IS more. I suggest you stop defending the old schools of thought (imposed by old factory owners keen on maximising their own profits and screw the rest of society), and start embracing the new wave.
True collaboration occurs when values are aligned. This is only possible in an organically developed situation. This is not possible in a forced situation.

I don't see anything inherently wrong with profit either. It's quite critical in fact to growth and sustainability. How it is used, once again, is a matter of ethics and competence and not of capitalism.

Sorry man, everything you seem to be saying is falling on deaf ears perhaps. But I can't not be honest with my understanding and lie to you in pretend agreement :(

I guess we must concede in disagreement :/ I'm happy to call myself the stupid one.
 
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#79
Depends on the circumstances of the scenario you're describing. Pay what and to who? If you owe someone money, then you need find a way to pay them, not so?
Property tax


Many 'educated' people are also downright morons, or comically ignorant. Where do you draw the line on something so vague?
We have an established education system, grade school, high school, bachelors, masters, phd. Why does this not take affect when running a political system, votes have a weight based on education.
 

Swa

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#80
I dunno Swa, do you feel there might be an ethical responsibility for the wealthiest people to support the less fortunate, or do you prefer to live in an "every dog for himself" society? Certainly we can look at the most developed societies and the strong social security nets they've developed, so I think in South Africa we need to discard the tut-tutting of social welfare as something that isn't a cornerstone of modern societies.

Like I tried to explain in my previous post, the mathematics is too complex to ever find a justified solution for the right amount of tax. Not only would the *right* amount of tax vary based on usage of the asset or service, but it would also vary based on individual income levels and intangible value derived (an absurd example: people who get erotically aroused by the sight of dump trucks pay more for refuse removal than those who don't in order to level the investment/return scales).

What I CAN tell you with perfect honesty is that despite all the moaning, I don't think that South Africa has the tax balance far wrong. Despite paying for my fuel tax, my PAYE, my e-Tolls, my TV license, my VAT and allllll the levies, my biggest expenses are still my rental, car loan and insurance payments, followed closely by groceries, credit repayments and entertainment. For me to bitch and moan about the great tax burden placed on me while being able to drive on highways, go into libraries and get some free books, have my mother receiving state hospital care right now, and not have to deal with the criminals that the police actually DO manage to catch, would be a wasted effort.
Geez we are really living in a utopia where public healthcare is better than private. No we live in a society where 10% of people are supporting 90% by whatever means. Clearly something is wrong with that picture as they aren't disabled which is the only people society really has a responsibility towards. As an individual my only responsibility is to take care of myself and any children I may have. Does that sound like something a large percentage of our able bodied people with normal mental capacity are doing?

As for your contention that developed societies have the wealthy people support the less fortunate, no it's actually the case they support themselves as well and not only the less fortunate. If I don't feel like paying for my food I can live off stamps even though I can afford it. Don't feel like paying for medical use public healthcare. It's in any case better than the private sector which gives diminishing returns.

You claim taxation isn't theft. So what is it then when a politician puts money in their pocket or spends it in a way that's not for the benefit of the public?
 
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