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Ideas: Appropriate use of taxation - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
September 15th, 2005
08:48 pm


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Ideas: Appropriate use of taxation

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Date:September 16th, 2005 09:24 pm (UTC)
you're either talking about something that just hands more power disproportionally to the rich or a complete re-write of the tax structure.

I *am* talking about a complete re-write of the tax structure. Or more specifically, the principles that should be used in completely rewriting the tax structure.

I would also point out that taxes on alcohol and cigarettes have done nothing whatsoever to reduce the number of people that drink or smoke. Maybe the tax just isn't high enough yet?

I don't know much about alcohol taxes, but cigarette taxes definitely reduce smoking. Not as much as I'd like. Maybe the tax isn't high enough. More likely, though, it's something where taxation alone can't have the desired effect. Taxation should be used to discourage smoking in proportion to the harm smokers do to themselves, but smoking in the presence of non-smokers should be a separate matter, and the appropriate level of tax would be indistinguishable from a ban.

Oh, and you need to replace "you" with "me" in this sentence, because otherwise the conclusion is false.

Actually, I should have left the last 'you' out entirely, it's a proofreading error. Striking the 'you', I stand by the logic.

As an example the current system in which the freedom of individuals is variably impaired depending on the crimes they commit. I suppose you could claim that people in the US have varying levels of freedom...in which case it's likely there is nothing you would agree that people have identical levels of to any meaningful degree.

I don't understand your point here. I do, in fact, argue that there is nothing that people have identical levels of to any meaningful degree. The only thing they should have identical levels of is the right to a fair hearing and the right to be treated as individuals, and I think you'll agree that in this society they don't have those.
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