Smaller cities and towns= less need for taxation, more money

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Perambulator
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05 Jul 2009, 6:47 pm

Everyone should live in smaller establishments. Both the Irish and the Swiss have got it figured out. Ireland has one seriously big city - Dublin. Switzerland has one seriously big city too - Zurich. Otherwise the two countries consist of many, many moderate sized towns and small villages.

There's therefore far less need for taxation. Tax pays for roads. Small towns require less roads because it's so much easier to walk and cycle in them. Tax pays for police and prisons. Small towns consistenly have less crime per capita. People in close communities often have a can do spirit and organise together to do things themselves. People in large towns and cities talk to each other less and believe more in delegating responsibility to the government or the local authority. In simple terms they depend on more middle men - middle men are an unnecessary cost and are paid for by taxes by everyone.

Both Ireland and Switzerland are enjoyable countries to live in because it's relatively easy to do business in them. The easier it is to do business, the more businesses there are and particularly more small businesses. Small businesses are more responsive to local people's needs. In smaller towns and villages there is also a stronger family connection. For most people closeness to family is good for their mental health.

People living in smaller establishments have more access to countryside which usually leads to people taking more exercise, thereby reducing the amount of taxation necessary to fund a publically funded health system. There are also more choices of what to do in a smaller place. If you want to hunt, hike, go fishing, pick blueberries, cycleThe only thing stopping us from taking this step is people resist change as a matter of course. People stay in an area because their family are there, their friends or they maintain a sentimental connection to it or jobs are unavailable in their rural home town. It would be worthwhile to try to organise entire families and groups of friends to move to new, smaller establishments. Governments should argue to businesses if more of them moved to smaller towns they could reduce the taxes on them and therefore make it persuasive. Too many jobs are in cities and so the trend of people moving to them and them expanding continues. Do you agree?



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05 Jul 2009, 6:59 pm

Umm...no, not at all. The trend has been for people moving out of cities for about 60 years now - at least in the US. That's why mostly poor people live in cities - the people with money that work in cities commute from the suburbs. Actually, if more people lived in cities there'd be way less transportation costs, and the cities themselves wouldn't be broke.



Perambulator
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05 Jul 2009, 7:05 pm

A suburb is part of a city. They are part of the problem. A small town is, for example, Albany in New York. It's a town that has no significant suburbs and that is mostly all compact.



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05 Jul 2009, 8:08 pm

I don't like the idealization of small towns that I see, to be honest. (I live in the Midwest) Most podunk hick towns are just that- hick towns. I prefer to live in civilization (AKA a city, or at least very close to one) to take advantage of all society's modern conveniences, even if this means sitting in the occasional traffic jam.


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monty
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05 Jul 2009, 9:23 pm

Perambulator wrote:
A suburb is part of a city. They are part of the problem. A small town is, for example, Albany in New York. It's a town that has no significant suburbs and that is mostly all compact.


Well, the word suburb originally came from the term 'sub-urban density.' These suburban towns were usually on the periphery of existing cities, but were sold as a kind of a small town. But as the metropolitan regions grew, there was pressure to intensify land use, and growth meant that these small towns were no longer on the fringe ... soon it was mile after mile of suburb. Los Angeles is one of the worst examples of this.

Scale is interesting, but can't explain everything. In many ways, small towns are more expensive - more miles of road per person, more feet of pipe and wire to get the utilities to a given size population. People in small towns and suburbs tend to have larger houses and bigger lawns, which eats more land, requires more heating and cooling, and requires more weed and feed to keep manicured.

The one city that I really like the scale of is old Savannah, Georgia. It is a livable mix of town houses, 3 story apartments, high rises, a park every few blocks, lots of stores and restaurants and things in walking distance, but not overwhelming.



zer0netgain
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06 Jul 2009, 8:24 am

I think the better answer is human nature.

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.

I see this happen in small as well as large communities, but the larger the municipal entity, the more capacity there is for an endless stream of taxes, fees, etc. and the related mismanagement, embezzlement, graft, etc. that can happen.

A smaller community is more transparent when it comes to the locals knowing what happens in their community leadership. A city can keep a mountain of dirty deeds concealed behind a vault of endless bureaucracy.



Janissy
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06 Jul 2009, 8:34 am

I do not agree. Cities can use tax money more efficiently because of the economy of scale. Also, anybody who thinks that small towns will use fewer tax-paid resources such as police hasn't been to small town U.S.A. recently where methamphetamine has made a mockery of your small town idealization.



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06 Jul 2009, 3:41 pm

Albany, NY is a city surrounded by 2 other cities - Schenectady, and Troy. I used to live there and the whole capital region is far from a small town. It is also quite far from efficient (see senate debacle). Now I live in a real small town with a corn field out of my window, and I pay some of the highest property taxes (percentage) in the whole US. The idea sounds nice on paper, but doesn't work in practicality.



zer0netgain
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07 Jul 2009, 7:11 am

Janissy wrote:
I do not agree. Cities can use tax money more efficiently because of the economy of scale. Also, anybody who thinks that small towns will use fewer tax-paid resources such as police hasn't been to small town U.S.A. recently where methamphetamine has made a mockery of your small town idealization.


Large cities may have economy of scale, but their problems are many magnitudes greater than what a small town has.

Small towns aren't perfect, but the larger the body, the greater the problems.



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07 Jul 2009, 7:31 am

zer0netgain wrote:
I think the better answer is human nature.

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.

I see this happen in small as well as large communities, but the larger the municipal entity, the more capacity there is for an endless stream of taxes, fees, etc. and the related mismanagement, embezzlement, graft, etc. that can happen.

A smaller community is more transparent when it comes to the locals knowing what happens in their community leadership. A city can keep a mountain of dirty deeds concealed behind a vault of endless bureaucracy.


I can tell you how they'd control that in a big city - we're trying to get it done in Cleveland; its being regionalized (ie. Cuyahoga county is becoming 'Cleveland') and the idea is to give all of the mayors voting power, having one head executor coordinating it, and having it to where the smaller cities who make up the inner and outer ring suburbs actually having a direct say in how Cleveland operates - if it wants to share a tax pool. Right now we have something similar to having three mayors, pretty much three people with equal power who can pivot accountability off on each other all day long.



0_equals_true
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08 Jul 2009, 10:20 am

Mao tried something like this it caused a massive famine.

Logistically it doesn't work.



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08 Jul 2009, 10:46 am

Having many small towns is economically retrograde. At one time (the dark ages) Europe consisted of small towns and villages. A lot of good that did.

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phil777
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08 Jul 2009, 11:26 am

0=T, logistically huh, do you mean he tried splitting villages, taxing them and then redistribute the ressources? Because yeah, i could understand how that wouldn't work.



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08 Jul 2009, 12:08 pm

It turned out really well when the Khmer Rouge did it in Cambodia, too.



Zornslemma
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08 Jul 2009, 3:21 pm

Orwell wrote:
I don't like the idealization of small towns that I see, to be honest. (I live in the Midwest) Most podunk hick towns are just that- hick towns. I prefer to live in civilization (AKA a city, or at least very close to one) to take advantage of all society's modern conveniences, even if this means sitting in the occasional traffic jam.


I agree 100%. I strongly favor the transfer of power to (large)urban areas, and the country bumpkins are supposed to be *self-reliant* and not sucking up goverment tax dollars. To HELL with those willfully ignorant dog-f*cking, snuff chewing, hicks!

BTW Perambulator: Here in the USA, countryfolk, townies, and suburbanites rely Far more on motor vehicles than city slickers to get around because out in the boonies and even in small towns the nearest stores are often miles from most peoples homes.