The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Itsallovernow
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Dodecanese Dictator Debate No. 1 – Income Tax

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,902 times Debate No: 12040
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

DEBATE STRUCTURE

Round 1
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Pro sets out debate premise and confirms his position
Con accepts the opposing position and requests clarifications, suggest amendments, etc.

Round 2
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Pro submits opening argument
Con submits rebuttal and counter argument

Round 3
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Pro submits rebuttal to Con's counter argument and gives closing argument
Con submits rebuttal to Pro's closing argument and gives own closing argument

FULL RESOLUTION

The burden of tax should fall upon those with the broadest shoulders
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DEBATE PREMISE

You have amassed a very substantial sum of money as the result of helping a series of corrupt Nigerian generals to transfer their vast fortunes overseas and you decide to use some of the cash to buy your own uninhabited island in Greece's Dodecanese archipelago. The island you choose to buy is called San Antray.

Fortunately, your fabulous wealth and Greece's current dire economic straits allow you to go one step further and purchase the island's sovereignty outright from the Greek government and thus enable you to install yourself as the island's rightful dictator.

However, there is no point being a ruler with nobody to rule over so you decide to invite people to move to your island and become citizens of San Antray.

Now, in order to provide employment for them you decide to develop the island as a tourist resort - with no sales taxes to attract tourists and no corporation tax to attract investors.

Before long, a suitable investor by the name of Smashos Nicapos agrees to fund the development of the island and, in return, you grant him the right to keep all the profits that subsequently accrue tax-free.

PLAY THE SAN ANTRAY GAME TO SEE HOW THIS MIGHT WORK
http://www.viz.co.uk...

So, with the financial assistance of your Greek business partner you build an airfield, some villas and hotels, some pubs and clubs, some restaurants and shops, together with a private sexual health clinic.

Of course, the citizens of San Antray need places to live, transportation and decent public services so you also build a port, roads, a school and a hospital and to keep law and order and defend San Antray from invasion from the Turks, you also establish an armed militia.

Now these public services need to be paid for and with Mr. Nicapos not paying any tax on his profits from the tourist trade you need to raise funds from the citizens by means of an income tax.

The only question is: what form of taxation do you employ?

For sake of argument, let's use the following figures:

� Cost per year to run the country: EUR50 million
� Number of San Antrean taxpayers: 10,000
� Average income per taxpayer: EUR30,000
� Thus, the total amount earned by all citizens per annum: EUR300 million
� Therefore, the average tax liability per taxpayer is: EUR5,000

Now, your finance minister informs you that 80% of your citizens work in the leisure and catering industry, which is notoriously badly paid, and they typically earn EUR15,000 a year. Meanwhile the remaining 20% of the population are investment bankers who have relocated to San Antray in order to take advantage of the island's lack of financial regulations and they typically earn EUR90,000 a year.

These figures are further described as follows:

� 80% of the population earn: EUR120 million per annum between them
� 20% of the population earn: EUR180 million per annum between them

For the purposes of this debate, you have two basic choices of income tax:

a) An equitable income tax system - since each taxpayer uses public services in equal amounts, they should each pay equal amounts of tax, i.e. EUR5,000 should be collected from each of the 10,000 taxpayers, thus raising the EUR50 million required to run the country - because it is unfair to force the rich to subsidise the poor.

b) A percentage-based income tax system - because an equitable tax would result in the poorer 80% of citizens paying 33% of their income in tax while the richer 20% would only be paying 5.5% of their income in tax - so to be fair, income tax should be set at 20% for all taxpayers, which would raise exactly the EUR50 million required to run the country.

There are no absolute rights or wrongs in this debate, of course, the winner will be the one who produces the best argument.

I intend to take the position of Pro in favour of a percentage-based tax system and affirm that the burden of tax should fall upon those with the broadest shoulders.

I hope this will be an enjoyable and enlightening debate and I look forward to welcoming my opponent's acceptance of the position of Con in support of the equitable tax system.

Thank you.
Itsallovernow

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this very interesting and well-though debate. I will now move to CON, and accept the Burdon of Clash.

I now move to recognize and observe the full resolution, which states: "The burden of tax should fall upon those with the broadest shoulders."

OBSERVATIONS:
1) "The broadest shoulders" is a metaphor that referrs whomever can accept the responsibility with the lest detrimental effects.
2) "The burdon of tax" This does not state whether all tax would fall on one party, which has been idetified as 'poor' or 'wealthy', or both parties.
3) "Should" This does not ask to prove definitiveness, just evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
4) My opponent assumes Pro ("I intend to take the position of Pro in favour of a percentage-based tax system..." Whereas I will assume Con, in which I will conclude that there should be a defined amount instead of a percentage)

CONTENTIONS:

1) The amount of money in whatever that a percentage holds on a body does not always coencide to suit the person it taxes. My opponent states "Income tax should be set at 20% for all taxpayers, which would raise exactly the EUR50 million required to run the country." In simplistic math, this is one-fifth of that person's paycheck. The person in question would more than likely live with other house members, presumably most would be family if the dictator was wanting the country to grow. The family would have many expenses to pay for. Their homes, their children, the food, etc. With it assuming the role of a tourist island, prices of the most odinary everyday things would skyrocket, forcing harder conditions for the "poorer" and dominate social class of the country. With mounting finiancial strain and an unstable island, due to it's current developing phase, people would be unattracted to stay there as a people, especially if they are likely to be assumed the poorer class. In US dollars, 15,000 Euros (today) is 72,046.0 EUR per year vs. the 112,428 USD of the richer class. In this, people would not be attracted to move there, even though the Euro is a 1.25 American dollars and of higher value, you'd still earn more in the US or, as a matter of fact, Europe.

CLASH(ES):

1) In my opponents "Choices of Income Tax", for a. he states "...because it is unfair to force the rich to subsidise the poor." This is a fallacy, and I ask the audience to disreguard it.
2) There are more than these two types of tax systems:
a. Personal Income Tax- An indivudual income tax would be dependent of the net income of the individual (with some deductions permitted). In this, there are some correction and they are as follows: payments to the government, for taxpayers who haven't paid enough during the tax year and tax refunds from the government for those who've overpaid. They can allow losses from a certain income/investment to cancel out another. For example, a loss on the stocks may be deducted against taxes paid on wages." (I will defend this one, since we use this and it is familar.)

NOTE(S): Clash no. 2 is also a contention of mine.

I wish the best of luck to you, Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

Many thanks to Itsalltherenow for accepting this debate and for raising the issues he did.

I am confident that the voters will have taken due note of the points he made, as did I, but I should like to make it clear that the whole premise of the debate, together with the figures contained therein, was constructed so as to provide a platform to argue the relative merits of two tax competing systems without getting bogged down too much with real world distractions.

With this in mind, I would like to launch my opening argument by stating that, if I were to become the supreme leader of San Antray, I would not be one of those despotic tyrants that so often seize the reins of power and ruthlessly oppress their countries' citizens.

On the contrary, I would be an ethically-aware dictator who would govern with a strong social conscience, introducing legislation that would benefit the many, not just the privileged few.

That's why I would ensure that burden of taxation would fall on those with the broadest shoulders by ensuring that the wealthy 20% of the population contributes the most, in absolute terms, to the government's coffers.

This, despite the majority of the population benefiting most from the public services that the taxes pay for, especially when their dependents are factored into the equation, as my opponent rightly points out.

But there is a moral as well as an economic case to be made here.

The human race is only developed to the point it has because we have worked together as a society to achieve our successes.

This has only ever been possible through the framework of social cohesion and a society will never be united in pursuit of its common goals if the prosperous few refuse to share some of their wealth with those less fortunate members of the community.

It is this sense of noblesse oblige that forms the bond that keeps society together and prevents the majority from turning on the prosperous elite and dispossessing them of their wealth.

In the final analysis, by paying more in absolute terms than someone on low wages, a high net worth individual is discharging his moral duty to assist those with greater needs and fewer resources.

My opponent has chosen to defend a modified version of the equitable tax system I suggested so I will wait to hear more about that from him before I comment on it.

Thank you.
Itsallovernow

Con

Thank you for posting, Pro!

Well, I suspect there has been a slight confusion. To further clarify, I will elaborate my advocacy of my above proposed tax plan in simplistic terms. Workers will make money and pay their taxes based on their ability to pay. In a tourism country (that is, after all, the main income) the prices of the most ordinary things would be much higher than places such as, per say, Huntington (WV). These people would have to pay much money. The poor would not have that much to spend, seeing as the prices of their nessecities would be high. Their ability to pay would be minimal, seeing as if they wouldn't stop paying all-together. Worse yet, the could move and the nation would not be a settled place. With the leaving of the poor class (and that is the majority), you would be forced to tax the rich more heavily. In a business to make money, some corpertations would see a heavy taxation for a still developing country a liability and they would lose interest and withdraw their business. Eventually, the country would either dissapate or you would have to sell it, if you even could.

My proposed plan is a system of income tax that analyzes a person's assets, income, and other financial obligations. In this, the person would be charged a reasonable amount that they could pay, within reason. If the tourist trade booms, the income tax wouldn't be a problem, and you could eliminate is and start rennovations based on the income of tourism. The rich would have play very little role but as an added asset for your buisness and attract more corporations and provide competetion as investment in your booming country, rather than have it disappate.

All though this approach is slightly unorthadox, with an island, it could be done.

As for you being an "I would be an ethically-aware dictator who would govern with a strong social conscience, introducing legislation that would benefit the many, not just the privileged few." Hitler, my friend, believed that he was doing the ethical and right thing for his people, and, in a country as a leader, your people come first and matter the most. Since ethics are not defined, any system of ethical inclinations could be adopted, for better or worse, for adaptation of devious purpose, or retained for precieved moreality. In essence, ethical claims do not matter in this debate, due to the hypathetical context, there can be no evidence.

"That's why I would ensure that burden of taxation would fall on those with the broadest shoulders by ensuring that the wealthy 20% of the population contributes the most, in absolute terms, to the government's coffers." In this, you would not gain maximun interest in corperations' eyes and you might lose valuable investments. These investments could be banks, finiancing consultants, lawyer offices, etc. established in your country.

"This has only ever been possible through the framework of social cohesion and a society will never be united in pursuit of its common goals if the prosperous few refuse to share some of their wealth with those less fortunate members of the community. It is this sense of noblesse oblige that forms the bond that keeps society together and prevents the majority from turning on the prosperous elite and dispossessing them of their wealth." The people would not refuse to share their wealth, if you were dictator, lest they be thrown in prision. These wealthy people would more than likely be invested heavily in your country. If you maltreat them, then I garuntee you that your entire country would suffer financially. You can not simply tax them because they have the most money.

In my plan, you look at what's avalible. Since this is still a developing country, I can say without harming my case that you would have to wait to establish some luxuries, such as public transport, before you accumlated so much debt that your country might fail. It would be best to follow my plan and wait unti the general coffers could support this kind of innovative ideas.

"In the final analysis, by paying more in absolute terms than someone on low wages, a high net worth individual is discharging his moral duty to assist those with greater needs and fewer resources." To this, I point out again that these wealthy people would more than likely be invested in your country.

Thank you for your time, Pro.
Debate Round No. 2
brian_eggleston

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for his considered reply and address, first of all, his point that, as a dictator Hitler had the best interests of his people at heart but would not generally be described as an ethically aware man with a well-developed social conscience.

I agree, and I would like to state categorically that, if I were to be the island of San Antray's dictator, I would not force people to salute me and shout "Hail Eggleston" or persecute Slavs and gypsies or sanction the testing of biological weapons on disabled people or force Jewish people to work in labour camps before murdering them on a wholesale basis. Furthermore, I promise I will not use San Antray as a platform to invade my neighbours in a quest for military and political dominance of Europe!

Moving on, my opponent proposes a type of means test "based on (workers) ability to pay…a system of income tax that analyzes a person's assets, income, and other financial obligations".

This is an interesting idea but, unfortunately, it will reward the rich and punish the poor.

Let's compare the annual outgoings of the richer 20% and the poorer 80%:

Waiter with wife and two children
____________________________

Rent and utility bills – pays half salary for two-bedroom apartment

Groceries – buys supermarket own-brand essentials and cheap meat, fruit and vegetables from the local bazaar

Travel Expenses – the whole family walks everywhere as they cannot afford a car

Clothing – buys cheap items sold in discount outlets

Entertainment – singing songs while dad plays the mouthorgan is all they can afford

.

Investment banker living alone
_________________________

Mortgage – pays half salary for luxury villa

Groceries – has vintage champagne, Beluga caviar and fois gras flown in from Harrods in London but mainly eats out or employs professional caterers to come in and cook

Travel Expenses – runs a helicopter and a Ferrari, hires a chauffeur-driven limousine for transfers to and from town and has a luxury yacht moored in the harbour

Clothing - buys designer gear imported from upmarket boutiques in Paris, London and Milan

Entertainment – eats in the island's finest restaurants; engages the services of high-class caterers and hostesses when holding parties; books private tables at gentlemen's clubs and plays golf at the island's most exclusive resort

.

Now, since investment bankers pay themselves mostly in the form of bonuses: which are squirreled away into offshore bank accounts to avoid the prying eyes of the taxman; they would be able to produce receipts to prove that they spend a far bigger proportion of their income than the family does.

So, we can see that under my opponent's scheme, the rich will pay little or no tax and the poor will have to, in effect subsidise them, by paying more than their fair share (up to 41.5% of their income) in order to make up the required �50 billion, which cannot be considered morally just.

I do recognise, however, that low tax regimes attract high net worth individuals and that they should be encouraged to settle in San Antray. However, there is very little financial gain to the island from them being there if they pay no tax.

Since there is no sales or corporation tax on the island, income tax is the only way a dictator could raise the money required to run the island and, provided the rate does not exceed that of comparable countries, a percentage-based tax should not deter anybody from settling in San Antray, be they rich, poor or somewhere in between.

Thank you.
Itsallovernow

Con

Thank you, Pro, for establishing this debate. I must say, I have enjoyed myself.

I will move to clash, then affirm my case with closing statements.

1) "Rent and utility bills – pays half salary for two-bedroom apartment". If these are settlers, as you have so claimed, then they would not pay to rent an apartment. They would own their own homes.
2) "Travel Expenses – the whole family walks everywhere as they cannot afford a car". I believe that we both established that the entire purpose of this debate was based on public transportation. If they are paying these taxes, they do not have to walk; they can use what they are paying for.
3) "Entertainment – singing songs while dad plays the mouthorgan is all they can afford." This is illogical. You can not prove that every father would play an instrument or propose this as the only form of entertainment.

FOR THE RICH:
1) "Groceries – has vintage champagne, Beluga caviar and fois gras flown in from Harrods in London but mainly eats out or employs professional caterers to come in and cook." Not every wealthy person lives extravagently. It is not fair to say this nor is it logical.
2) "Travel Expenses – runs a helicopter and a Ferrari, hires a chauffeur-driven limousine for transfers to and from town and has a luxury yacht moored in the harbour." Again, this is not fair to say, my friend. If we assume that the rich are predicably indulgent and the poor are underfed and maltreated, then you're appealing to the audience and not setting a fair debate (i.e. vitemizing the people from people who are too indulgent).
3) " books private tables at gentlemen's clubs " Lol!

"They (rich) would be able to produce receipts to prove that they spend a far bigger proportion of their income than the family does." Reguardless, you have classified them as rich, acknowledging their financial status as well and that they make a lot of money. Before they even got their checks, they would have to pay. Since they have dependecies and are able to afford them, then they would not recieve "discounts" like the poor, who truely need them.

"So, we can see that under my opponent's scheme, the rich will pay little or no tax and the poor will have to, in effect subsidise them, by paying more than their fair share (up to 41.5% of their income) in order to make up the required �50 billion, which cannot be considered morally just."
MY RESPONSE: It is not morally just to just ignore the wealth of these people and the income that is flooding into their pockets! Since their investments are in your island, you would directly pay them, and to say that it is not within your power to tax the rich is absurd, my friend. In the history of European countries, it is commen to not tax the rich to subsidize the poor and it's failed. That is not my aim. My aim is to, indeed, tax the rich based on their assets like the poor, but with less benefiets. Is it fair? That's debatable. Is it the best course of action that has minimal, if any, detrimental effects? Absolutely. Since your country is a major investment, then they would not abandon it if you taxed them, even if somewhat more than the poor. They can afford it, the poor can not, and it is as simple as that.

"I do recognise, however, that low tax regimes attract high net worth individuals and that they should be encouraged to settle in San Antray. However, there is very little financial gain to the island from them being there if they pay no tax." As I've stated before and now, they SHOULD and can pay taxes! I'm all for it and my opponent has agreed with my case.

In this, I do believe I have won for the reason(s) above. Thanks for the debate and

=VOTE CON=
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
I don't insist you confine yourself to the debate parameters as I set out - there was always the opportunity for you to change them if you wanted anyway.

The important thing is to debate the issue of income tax!
Posted by Itsallovernow 7 years ago
Itsallovernow
You know, you were almost 100% correct in the fact that I should have chosen 1 of the two tax systems, something I didn't note until you brought it up. However, you stated, and I quote "There are no absolute rights or wrongs in this debate, of course, the winner will be the one who produces the best argument." So, using this 'technicality', I can correctly say that it does not matter. You stated your support prematurely of my arguements, my friend, whatever they may be. If you continue to pursue that I am wrong for this, you contradict yourself, and I do not find the confines of this debate specific enough to continue debating.

(Note: I will probably copy and paste this to my arguement. Not sure why I did it in the Comments Section....)
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
Thanks for your response, Itsallovernow. I will digest your contribution and respond tomorrow morning (London time).
Posted by Itsallovernow 7 years ago
Itsallovernow
No problem, bud. It's my debute debate. I've not posted a debate in a LONG while.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
Thank you very much for accepting!
Posted by Itsallovernow 7 years ago
Itsallovernow
In my opinion, an almost flawless debate. I will enjoy the challenge, brian_eggleston and I wish you the best of luck =)
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 7 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
The best debate I have ever seen.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Itsallovernow 6 years ago
Itsallovernow
brian_egglestonItsallovernowTied
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Total points awarded:04