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thinkinginpictures
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11 Oct 2020, 2:45 pm

Please explain to me why high taxation in return for universal health insurance and social benefits are a bad thing?

Before you reply, please read and understand my arguments why this is a good thing for most people, and only a bad thing to the very rich:

If you leave taxes low and without universal welfare benefits, you have to pay a lot of money to private insurance companies to get health care and unemployment benefits, pensions etc. Those companies are run by profit.

Profit means that those companies have incentive to keep the prices high and the quality low to get more money in the end.There's nothing you can do about it. You can try and find another insurance company, but what if they're all the same - poor quality and the price too high?

Universal Welfare - paid through taxation - is non-profit. It means you get what you pay for. Sometimes - like in Scandinavian countries, if you are not treated on a state-run hospital (you also get to choose which btw.), you can choose a private treatment, at the expense of the public health insurance. Also, the voters elect representatives. That means in the end the voters get to decide the fate of the welfare - the taxes and standards of welfare.

Americans pay more for private welfare insurances (in case of unemployment, pensions/retirement, health care etc.) than the average tax payer in Scandinavian countries pay - for the same standards of welfare.

So you might want to ask: Who's paying the largest bills for welfare in Scandinavian countries?
Yes, you're right. The rich pay most of it.

The problem with many Americans is that many believe themselves to be billionaires in the waiting.
Forget about it. Only a tiny fraction of ordinary working people can become billionaires. It's equally true for both Scandinavians and Americans alike.

Also, workers are better organized in labor unions in Scandinavian countries. Labor unions are almost prohibited in the U.S. - or, at the very least they somehow cannot compete and fight for the same goodies the Scandinavian labor unions have fought for and - and won the battles.

So please tell me from the perspective of "Average Joe" - why do you think the Scandinavian model is so bad compared to the standards of the U.S.?

I'm 100 % certain that "Average Joe" would get more money to spend on the "fun stuff", if all the Average Joe's voted for the Democrats instead of voting for the Republicans. Also, "Average Joe" would get more social security, better health care and less worries.



Jiheisho
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11 Oct 2020, 3:06 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
Please explain to me why high taxation in return for universal health insurance and social benefits are a bad thing?


First, I agree with you and support that position.

But the arguments against are varied.

In the US, ideological positions against government are very strong. Some people believe government programs and taxation is a form of oppression. What that does is it shifts wealth and power to a private sector to exploit. This is why plutocracies and aristocracies are very popular.

The economic argument is that government action and taxes makes the economy inefficient. This is also an ideological argument as there is very little actual evidence and quite a bit contradicting the hypothesis. What these people believe is a markets are the only efficient economic driver. The problem is while markets can be very efficient for private goods (things a person owns), they are not very good at public goods (lighthouses and civil rights). The other problems is that market have inefficiencies that these people simply don't want to address. Externalities are a classic example, where the impact of a pollutant are not factored into the cost of a good and so represent a market failure.

What you get with both is a shift from capitalism as an economic system to capitalism as a social system. Where "public" good is simply measured in economic output regardless of benefits and costs. While economics is important (and more than just capitalist economics), it is not the only metric with which to measure the cost and benefits of policy to a society.

You position of evidence-based policy unfortunately is not the norm. People are not rational.



uncommondenominator
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11 Oct 2020, 4:09 pm

I feel like the biggest issue is most people don't even know how taxes work, or what they do, combined with a misunderstanding of the reasons for the american revolution. Basically the most the average person seems to "know" about taxes is that "tax = bad, more tax = worse". And because they don't actually know how taxes work, all kinds of nonsense seems plausible, in the wake of their inadvertent ignorance.

These same people also seem to have a skewed idea of wealth distribution, and seem to both believe that literally anyone can become a billionaire if you work hard enough (but raising taxes can prevent that from ever happening), and that poor people are only poor because they are lazy.

Even then, some people are just greedy, and simply don't like the idea of their wealth being impinged upon, no matter how small of an amount it actually is compared to what they have.

Fun fact! The top 40 wealthiest billionaires in america are so rich, that even if you taxed ALL of their wealth and income at 75%, all 40 of them would still be multi-billionaires. Not like, they'd earn it back soon or eventually - like BAM! take 3/4 of EVERYTHING they own, and ZAP! right there on the spot, all 40 are *still* multi-billionaires.

Also yes, I agree with you. But the wealthy don't want to lose their power, and too many people both believe that they too might be millionaires or billionaires someday, and that to sign off on these programs would resign all wealthy people to lives of poverty.



NobodyKnows
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11 Oct 2020, 4:24 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
So please tell me from the perspective of "Average Joe" - why do you think the Scandinavian model is so bad compared to the standards of the U.S.?

There are quite a few ways that it could work out badly for "Joe":

1: He'll end up paying the cost of care plus interest, because all federal programs are funded by debt. If he's under 50, he's already on the hook for his parents' and grandparents' elder-care, plus interest.

2: Instead of being able to vote with his wallet every month, under single payer he'll only have a say in his healthcare every 2-6 years. So much for "keep your laws off my body" :|

3: If he's a member of an unpopular group, he won't get reliable care no matter what he pays. (Ask me how I know.) And in contrast to private insurance, he won't be able to walk away or cut back to a no-frills plan to limit his losses.

4: The ACA's electronic medical records requirement makes it much more likely that his doctor will know if he's a member of such a group. Bad news: If his doc is a bigot, he's dead. Good news: He'll pay much less for healthcare.

5: If he's self employed and has fluctuating income, his average tax rate is much higher than what it would be if he were an hourly or salaried worker with the same average income. So he'll pay more than the actual cost of his care and lose the healthcare premium tax deduction.

There are probably a thousand more examples, but it's a beautiful Sunday evening and I want to go walk my dog.



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11 Oct 2020, 4:34 pm

What should be provided by the government and funded by taxes?

Well, with 10+ years of hands-on experience as a government official and regulator, here's my opinion:

Very good idea:
- Defense & Law Enforcement

Good idea:
- Health Care
- Education & Research

So-So idea:
- Social Security (Pensions, unemployment benefits etc.)
- Media
- Infrastructure (Roads, rail etc.)
- Utilities (Electricity, Water etc.)

Bad idea:
- Real Estate (Construction and Housing)
- Services

Very bad idea:
- Industry


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TheRobotLives
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11 Oct 2020, 8:56 pm

Jiheisho wrote:
The economic argument is that government action and taxes makes the economy inefficient.

The general idea is ...

When you tax, you take money from careful spending individuals and give to a wasteful, inefficiently spending government entity.

So, you get less overall.


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11 Oct 2020, 9:31 pm

TheRobotLives wrote:
The general idea is ...

When you tax, you take money from careful spending individuals and give to a wasteful, inefficiently spending government entity.

So, you get less overall.


Individuals do not always act in their own interest, people can be really misinformed, just look at anti-vaxers. And less buying power of individuals can limit what we should consider rights in care. That could be like telling every wheelchair bound person to carry a ramp around with them to go up stairs, rather than building accessibility, you overburden the ones that need the help, and would in general save effort in the long run.


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auntblabby
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11 Oct 2020, 9:38 pm

in just about every metric that matters, the third way nations are beating us badly. we are on the wrong track and only headed to the graveyard of nations if we don't switch tracks RIGHT NOW.



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11 Oct 2020, 9:40 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
Please explain to me why high taxation in return for universal health insurance and social benefits are a bad thing?

Same reason slavery is bad.

Someone else should not own your labor.


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auntblabby
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11 Oct 2020, 9:51 pm

taxation, once again IS NOT SLAVERY!! ! :wall:



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11 Oct 2020, 10:51 pm

Taxes is a form of socialism. We all pay into our system for road maintenance, sidewalks maintenance, public libraries, fire stations, the police, public schools, social security, Medicaid and the conservatives hate this. I am fine with it.

I have also known people who thought working to live was slavery. My first boyfriend was dead set against it and thought it was the R word to pay to eat and pay to live. He acted like working to pay your bills and to keep gas in your car was slavery.

Is legal slavery a thing, yes IMO but working fair hours and not having to work 7 days a week or 80 hours a week and not being on a fixed schedule is not legal slavery.


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11 Oct 2020, 11:39 pm

auntblabby wrote:
taxation, once again IS NOT SLAVERY!! ! :wall:


Maybe, maybe not, but then again neither is working for a wage a form of slavery, yet you seem to see people who do so as being "wage slaves"...
https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=51646&p=8556300&hilit=slave+wage+slave#p8556300

Given people have a much better chance to choose their "wage masters" than their "tax masters", and have greater ability to change their "wage slave" conditions" than their "tax slave" conditions, I'd suggest that tax is a greater form of "slavery" than working for a wage is.


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Bradleigh
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12 Oct 2020, 12:05 am

Brictoria wrote:
Given people have a much better chance to choose their "wage masters" than their "tax masters", and have greater ability to change their "wage slave" conditions" than their "tax slave" conditions, I'd suggest that tax is a greater form of "slavery" than working for a wage is.


Without a "tax master", I would probably have ended up on the street with severe mental health problems. For the longest time I could not even get a "wage master" with my normal problems, my anxiety makes me entirely unfit for something like retail, that I don't know what situation I would have been forced into without help from the "tax master".

I don't know what world you live in where you can just choose the type of "wage master" that would have your best intentions in mind over the "tax master" that provides healthcare, education and transport.


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Brictoria
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12 Oct 2020, 12:18 am

Bradleigh wrote:
Brictoria wrote:
Given people have a much better chance to choose their "wage masters" than their "tax masters", and have greater ability to change their "wage slave" conditions" than their "tax slave" conditions, I'd suggest that tax is a greater form of "slavery" than working for a wage is.


Without a "tax master", I would probably have ended up on the street with severe mental health problems. For the longest time I could not even get a "wage master" with my normal problems, my anxiety makes me entirely unfit for something like retail, that I don't know what situation I would have been forced into without help from the "tax master".

I don't know what world you live in where you can just choose the type of "wage master" that would have your best intentions in mind over the "tax master" that provides healthcare, education and transport.


The fact that the "tax master" is more benevolent towards yourself (or those in similar\related positions) than a "wage master" does not detract from the fact that the "tax master" has more power\exert considerably more control over people than a "wage master", making "tax slavery" a greater form of "slavery" than "wage slavery".

Consider: You are entirely dependant, based on your post, on the good-will of your "tax master". Should their good-will change, you have minimal recourse, not being able to change to a different "tax master". However, should you be dependant on a "wage master", you have the potential to find a new "wage master" who will better provide for your needs, should the good-will of your present "wage master" change.


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12 Oct 2020, 12:22 am

Here in the US you can choose how much you want withheld in tax. I always do 0 so that means I get all my money back in taxes and I owe nothing. The more you decide you withhold in taxes, the more you will owe in taxes so I claim 0 always. I used to owe money in taxes as a young adult and would get around 30 bucks back in taxes. Then I got married and we both started to claim 0 on our wages and we got back around $2000 in taxes. Then we had kids and we got even more back in taxes.


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12 Oct 2020, 12:25 am

there is no convincing the high-functioning "ableists" here and elsewhere, of the chronic need of broad gov't intervention in the social services field, for the majority of us who are not as high-functioning.