Page 1 of 3 [ 32 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

Robdemanc
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 May 2010
Age: 49
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,922

15 Apr 2012, 1:40 pm

I remember M Thatcher said in one of her speeches that there is no such thing as public money, there is only tax payers money.

I think she was using the term to put people against each other by making them think about the tax they pay to make people more aware of how government spent money. As far as I am concerned there is no difference in what it is called. The money will still be collected and spent whatever we call it, and whether it be on war, schools, hospitals or bankers bonuses, the public will usually have the last say in how it is spent, as will the tax payers (which lets face it is virtually everyone).

I think it was one of her many ways of turning people against the unemployed.



ruveyn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Age: 83
Gender: Male
Posts: 31,726
Location: New Jersey

15 Apr 2012, 2:24 pm

Robdemanc wrote:
I remember M Thatcher said in one of her speeches that there is no such thing as public money, there is only tax payers money.

.


She is quite right. Money is earned by persons rendering service or by bussiness making and selling their product.. The money belongs to the owners of the business before they pay their bills.

the "public" is an abstraction. Money is privately earned and privately owned.

ruveyn



Asp-Z
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,016

15 Apr 2012, 2:28 pm

Most money the majority of governments of the world have these days is actually borrowed from China, not taken from citizens in tax revenue. But it can certainly be said that governments don't have their own money.



Ragtime
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Nov 2006
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,770
Location: Dallas, Texas

15 Apr 2012, 2:50 pm

The answer to the thread title question depends on some of a person's most fundamental beliefs, as addressed by this question: Are people here for the state, or is the state here for the people? The U.S. government was founded by the people and for the people. Some in government want to change that, however.

The answers to the question I posed have extremely serious implications. If we are here for the state, we have no rights but those which the state decides to grant us -- and which therefore the state can revoke. If the state is here for us, however, it is accountable to us for all of its actions, and we are to be served by it, not oppressed under its power.


_________________
Christianity is different than Judaism only in people's minds -- not in the Bible.


WilliamWDelaney
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,201

15 Apr 2012, 3:52 pm

Wealth is entirely a social construct. US currency is the property of the federal government. This is the law, and you can't "debate" it away. However, the law itself is a social construct, and it follows similar rules to any social construct. This is non-negotiable: it is a fact of our existence.

For example, if you are a billionaire, much of your fortune is probably in the form of stocks, bonds and so forth. This makes matters a lot more complicated than just US currency, but it follows the same principle as all other forms of "real wealth." I will get to "real wealth" and the true substance of wealth in a minute.

In the case of stocks, the stock share that you hold is really a share in the business to which it pertains. For example, if you own stock in Duke Energy, your share means that you are regarded as part-owner of Duke Energy. However, what is to keep Duke from saying, "well, we're going to take your share back, and we are not going to pay you"? The truth is, damn little. If you are a minor share-holder, you probably don't have sufficient wealth to take Duke Energy to court, even though they are committing a crime. A whisper in your senator's ear, a little money passed under the table, and you are out of your share. Your right to a share in Duke Energy depends on Duke's belief that your rights as a shareholder extend beyond whatever can be enforced by brute strength of the law. What it is hinged on is honor. Therefore, when you buy a share in Duke Energy, you are making a statement of your trust in Duke Energy to honor your rights as a shareholder. It is delusional to think it works any differently.

And then there are your bonds, and a bond is nothing in the world except for an agreement that someone you have lent money to will pay back on its bond at a certain interest rate on a certain date. This is another social contract. You loaned a person or other entity a certain amount of money on the good faith that your money would be paid back to you with interest. It's not just a statement of your faith in that entity's morals, but it's also a statement of your faith that it will be able to repay you when the time comes. When you loan anyone money, the only thing in the world you are doing is making a bet that the person you are lending it to will pay it back with due interest. If you think it works any other way, you are delusional. If you don't like the idea of being screwed, you ought to be be careful who you loan money to.

Therefore, what is "real wealth"? Well, if you agree with my reasoning on the above, it's really just a betting game on how other people will behave. When you accept US currency, you are making a bet that the US government will come through on the promise that is printed on the bill itself: "THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE." You are making a bet on that promise. You are making a bet that Uncle Sam will come through for you on this promise, somehow. If the US government is either unable or unwilling to make sure that you can present your landlord with some amount of US currency and have it be accepted without question, you made a bad bet. You made a bad investment of faith, and the only person truly to blame is you. Just like stocks and bonds, real wealth is based on this betting game over human behavior. It is delusional to think it works any differently.

However, how does that apply to solid, substantial forms of wealth like, for instance, gold? Some people might try to tell you that this is an exception to the rule, and they are wrong, wrong, wrong. The only worth that gold actually has is based on other people's willingness to go to considerable lengths in order to obtain it. When you put yourself to any amount of trouble to obtain gold, you are making a bet that, sometime later, people will still be willing to trade in at least close to the value that you paid for it in order to obtain it. It is still a bet regarding human behavior.

Finally, what this all amounts to is essentially this: the reason that billionaires have such huge amounts of wealth is based on exactly the same system. They are kingpins in the giant casino of human interaction. All that makes Warren Buffet wealthy is this and nothing else: Warren Buffet has a lot of people whom he knows that he can trust to give him something substantial in return for his investment on their stock. That trust means everything. People might try to argue with you on this issue and debate this issue, but that's what it all really boils down to. In the end, all wealth is a social construct.

To accentuate, the difference between you and Warren Buffet is the fact that Warren Buffet is a magician who can turn lead into gold, and you are not. You can take away every penny Buffet has and lock it all away in a safe, and he will still be richer than you. If the government were to take away all of Buffet's wealth in taxes, he would still be a kingpin in the great betting game. Therefore, asking whether "wealth is public or private" only means that you have fallen into the delusion that wealth has, at some level, a perfectly liquid, concrete nature. It doesn't and never will. As long as our mutual neighbor thinks that I am more likely than you to be a good betting partner, I'm richer than you are, full stop.

To be more topical, why, therefore, do you pay taxes? Well, I dare you to make a bet that, if you fail to pay your taxes, the government will just ignore it and let you get away with it. It's as good a bet as any, buddy. If you are imprisoned for tax evasion, you lose the bet. Hell, if you wanted to, you could make a bet at the voting booth that a Republican wouldn't screw up your stocks by making retarded and destructive decisions that result in international catastrophe and panicky markets. If you wanted to, you could make a bet that you could still live with the consequences of cutting medicare and social security when the impoverished and unfortunate are wailing at your door. That's reality. That's life.



ruveyn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Age: 83
Gender: Male
Posts: 31,726
Location: New Jersey

15 Apr 2012, 4:45 pm

WilliamWDelaney wrote:
Wealth is entirely a social construct. US currency is the property of the federal government. This is the law, and you can't "debate" it away. However, the law itself is a social construct, and it follows similar rules to any social construct. This is non-negotiable: it is a fact of our existence.

.


So is bartering goods and services. There are plenty of ways around using government conffetii. Wealth is the utility of goods and services exchanged. That would exist with or without a government. Government runs an interesting racket. The legal tender laws force a certain amount of trade using government issue toilet paper. That is how the government runs its protection racket and skims its take off the productive activities of others.

ruveyn



TM
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2012
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,122

15 Apr 2012, 5:01 pm

There is only 1 kind of public money and that is money gained by the government for managing the resources that belong to the public, IE public property. Taxes are more or less telling people "Hi, we have more people who can be violent against you and not get punished for it since we allow them to do, so give us cash"



WilliamWDelaney
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,201

15 Apr 2012, 5:27 pm

ruveyn wrote:
WilliamWDelaney wrote:
Wealth is entirely a social construct. US currency is the property of the federal government. This is the law, and you can't "debate" it away. However, the law itself is a social construct, and it follows similar rules to any social construct. This is non-negotiable: it is a fact of our existence.

.


So is bartering goods and services. There are plenty of ways around using government conffetii. Wealth is the utility of goods and services exchanged. That would exist with or without a government. Government runs an interesting racket. The legal tender laws force a certain amount of trade using government issue toilet paper. That is how the government runs its protection racket and skims its take off the productive activities of others.

ruveyn
Ruveyn, your anti-government nonsense is no more interesting or enlightened now than it was two years ago, whereas I routinely manage to at least be interesting, even if occasionally psychotic and clearly mentally unbalanced. When you have contributed something to the discussion that is worth my responding to it, I would gladly discuss it with you. You are dull.



marshall
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,000
Location: Turkey

15 Apr 2012, 6:09 pm

WilliamWDelaney wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
WilliamWDelaney wrote:
Wealth is entirely a social construct. US currency is the property of the federal government. This is the law, and you can't "debate" it away. However, the law itself is a social construct, and it follows similar rules to any social construct. This is non-negotiable: it is a fact of our existence.

.


So is bartering goods and services. There are plenty of ways around using government conffetii. Wealth is the utility of goods and services exchanged. That would exist with or without a government. Government runs an interesting racket. The legal tender laws force a certain amount of trade using government issue toilet paper. That is how the government runs its protection racket and skims its take off the productive activities of others.

ruveyn
Ruveyn, your anti-government nonsense is no more interesting or enlightened now than it was two years ago, whereas I routinely manage to at least be interesting, even if occasionally psychotic and clearly mentally unbalanced. When you have contributed something to the discussion that is worth my responding to it, I would gladly discuss it with you. You are dull.


Don't expect Ruveyn to change. He'll manage to outlive you if you suffer too many concussions from... :wall:

I'm sure returning to a barter system would at least make life interesting. You'd probably end up with various privately issued currencies controlled by corporations. Some currencies would hyper-inflate while others simply cease to exist as a particular money minting corporation goes under or changes hands. Plain savings accounts would become pointless as no private entity would ever be able to guarantee the proper reimbursement. Or everyone could just go back to being farmers and trading grain and livestock.



Master_Pedant
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,926

15 Apr 2012, 6:19 pm

TM wrote:
Taxes are more or less


What you knowingly pay in exchange for living in a country with defence, public infrastructure, a system that administers the messy details of the institution of private property rights, and the benefits of living in a society with an educated workforce.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yghZjv8AI40[/youtube]

Incidentally, one has the option of immigrating to Somalia to avoid the grave violation that are taxes.


_________________
http://www.voterocky.org/


Joker
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Mar 2011
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,593
Location: North Carolina The Tar Heel State :)

15 Apr 2012, 6:25 pm

Him I guess it could be either way really but it is mostly public money not tax payers money.



TM
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2012
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,122

15 Apr 2012, 6:48 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
TM wrote:
Taxes are more or less


What you knowingly pay in exchange for living in a country with defence, public infrastructure, a system that administers the messy details of the institution of private property rights, and the benefits of living in a society with an educated workforce.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yghZjv8AI40[/youtube]

Incidentally, one has the option of immigrating to Somalia to avoid the grave violation that are taxes.


I didn't protest paying them so much as outlined how paying taxes are enforced. However, if I wanted to avoid taxes, I'd move to Monaco rather than Somalia. It's one of those cases where if the only things government did was defence, infrastructure, education and a justice system I'd be fine with that, government just tends to never be satisfied at a reasonable point and prefers collecting extra taxes to expand its dominance over more and more of society.



marshall
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,000
Location: Turkey

15 Apr 2012, 7:10 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
TM wrote:
Taxes are more or less


What you knowingly pay in exchange for living in a country with defence, public infrastructure, a system that administers the messy details of the institution of private property rights, and the benefits of living in a society with an educated workforce.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yghZjv8AI40[/youtube]

Incidentally, one has the option of immigrating to Somalia to avoid the grave violation that are taxes.


There's also the marginal theory of value and the natural hierarchy of human wants/needs. A fixed value tax would be appropriate if the marginal value increase for each extra dollar given to an individual or family was independent of their income (i.e a constant). A so-called flat tax (i.e. fixed % of income) would be appropriate if the marginal value increase was a straight linearly decreasing function of income. In reality the function is neither a constant nor a linearly decreasing function. It's a hyperbolic function that asymptotically grows to infinity as income goes to zero. As long as the person isn't yet dead, the means to purchase the most basic necessities for survival, i.e. food, clothing, shelter, gains an almost infinite priority. A tax that cuts into these necessities, cutting into the vertical asymptote, is both immoral and impractical.



Tequila
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,508
Location: Lancashire, UK

15 Apr 2012, 7:14 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
Incidentally, one has the option of immigrating to Somalia to avoid the grave violation that are taxes.


Equating those who want to pay less taxes with a tribal warzone is more than a bit of a stretch.



Vigilans
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,327
Location: Montreal

15 Apr 2012, 7:16 pm

Tequila wrote:
Master_Pedant wrote:
Incidentally, one has the option of immigrating to Somalia to avoid the grave violation that are taxes.


Equating those who want to pay less taxes with a tribal warzone is more than a bit of a stretch.


You could also try the Korean DMZ


_________________
Opportunities multiply as they are seized. -Sun Tzu
Nature creates few men brave, industry and training makes many -Machiavelli
You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do