The Instigator
That1User
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: Progressive Tax is superior to Flat Tax for a nation to utilize.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
That1User
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 842 times Debate No: 75596
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

That1User

Con

This will be a three round debate with "Round 1" used not for debate but for acceptance.

Definitions:
Progressive tax: A tax that takes a larger percentage from the income of high-income earners than it does from low-income individuals. (http://www.investopedia.com......)
Flat tax: A system that applies the same tax rate to every taxpayer regardless of income bracket (http://www.investopedia.com......)

(I suggest you use your R3 argument for your R1 argument.)
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Pro

I'm going to explain something very simple and turn it into something amazing.

I'm going to ask you this; why does the state tax people at all?

The neo-liberal would say 'Argh! They want to steal your money to line their pockets and ruin the economy just like everything else they touch!'

The strong socialist, or communist, would say 'To stop the filthy rich fat cats exploding with money and corrupting the nation with their whims becoming the true law of the poor.'

The moderate, or centrist, would say 'To create a fair balance where no one has an unbearable standard of living but there is still a nice, smooth inequality in incomes depending on the qualification amount or difficult level of a job.'

Of course, there are many other positions one could take between centrism and one of the other two but this is the basis of my entire argument and is important of your to understand. Tax is there to settle an issue that would drive a society to become Ancient Egypt v. 2 if it isn't nipped in the bud before an elite lineage or aristocracy of any kind can form. It is a simple theory really, when Libertarians remark 'the freer the market, the freer the people' what they really mean to say is 'the freer the market, the freer the rich are to use and abuse their money to their heart's content giving only to those who appease then and succumb to their whims efficiently enough.' I'm sure even Con would agree to this as Con is supporting flat taxation which is equally based on this theory albeit being somewhat hypocritical in the way they go about justifying where the burden of the taxation ends up falling.

Now that we've established a core, fundamental purpose for taxation itself we must firstly understand why the state is more trustworthy with one's money than the average rich guy. The reason is somewhat complex as it is all about balance. If the state gathers too much in taxation, the economy stagnates and something like a North Korea or USSR begins to form. This is definitely undesirable but what is key here is that, if you observe North Korea or USSR's taxation system you would realize that they did end up creating a flat tax of no less than 100%. In other words, the corporation and business in USSR and North Korea were/are the government itself. State owned industry became nothing more than diversified subsets of the monopoly that was the USSR or North Korea. Monopolies are exactly what taxation exist to avoid occurring and what devastate economic fairness and progress within a nation.[1][2]

Monopolies are going to be very easily thwarted under a progressively taxed nation. The government says 'hey guys, you're too rich and no one stands a chance against you in the economy so to avoid you ruining the spirit of competition that economics is based on we're going to tax you heavier for the greater good of our nation's economy.' There is no hypocrisy whatsoever with a progressively taxing nation to introduce heavy taxation policies specifically targeting potential monopolies or cartels (which are multi-corporation equivalent of monopolies). On the other hand, a state that employs a flat tax rate to its populace will struggle to justify or legislate anything that stops monopolies form forming and having too strong a hold on the economy. What happens when monopolies form is simply this; the quality of their good or service becomes as poor as possible so as to increase the profit margin that can now be gained as they're the only provider of it. If anyone new comes around, they can use any tactics from lowering prices to less than they spend making it (temporary loss is outweighed by the profit they gain by driving the new competitor out of business for good)[3]. There are many other strategies but why am I mentioning monopolies? Monopolies are analogous to any rich group in society that seeks to have their offspring dominate the offspring of the poor of that generation. It is human nature and is an abomination that tears societies apart.

Let's take a look at which nations employ flat tax and which employ progressive tax.[4] Countries such as USA, Japan, China, UK, New Zealand, Austria, France and many other such as in this table[5]:



The fact is that almost every nation that you would consider a 'leading economic state' or 'Fully developed nation' has progressive tax installed. This is based on something called the 'Human Development Index (HDI)' and the vast majority (by a large margin) of nations towards to top of progressivity of taxation end up on the top of HDI.[6] The reason I use HDI, as opposed to GDP is that many flat-taxed nations, especially ones taxing lower percentages, end up with GDPs just as high as developed progressively taxed nations on face value[7] but what the HDI covers is how efficiently this money is used for each and every human being within that nation. If Con wishes to deny this, I'm willing to expand into details in the final round as it wouldn't be a new point but expansion upon this one.

Aside from the hard facts, progressive taxation makes far more sense in and of itself than flat taxation does. If taxation exists to prevent the poor from living unbearably and the rich forming an unstoppable aristocracy, then what happens if one day the Government of a state realizes that more taxation is required? In a flat tax scenario, the poor are on a face value equally contributing to the tax 'collection bucket' as the rich but what one fails to realize is that losing 0.5% of income to a millionaire who owns many mansions is going to leave them totally capable of living and the 'hit' to their income would probably only result in a grunt at best. A 0.5% increase in tax to people in the lowest 40% income bracket of a nation begins to hit far more drastically. That could be the difference between a family being kicked out on the street (and then having to beg for benefits and state-provide, tax-funded accommodation, oh the irony!). That could be the difference between a kid being barely able to pay attention in class as his or her stomach is grumbling and the malnourishment causes them to fail school and end up unqualified and in a vicious cycle of poverty. There's a whole lot of narrow-mindedness that goes into the concept of flat taxation. What you need to understand is that as long as we agree that there should be a minimum wage of some kind and that there definitely is an income below which living is humanly unbearable and one is incapable of functioning under it, we agree that there is a 'bottom' to income that is not $0 but somewhere far above it. That amount is not set in stone and will vary from economic situation to economic situation of a nation (yes, that rhymed). The issue of 'where the burden falls' is one of the key arguments in support of progressive taxation as not only do increases in tax devastate the poor under flat taxation but decreases in tax enable the rich a far larger leeway to begin to abuse their wealth and power than the poor. Income brackets are recognized even by most nations that opt for flat taxation. They openly admit that there is a very real disparity in incomes but say that it is necessary for economic progress (which is a totally and utter lie as it encourages the epidemic of poverty that is a vicious cycle as previously mentioned).

The only real argument that flat tax supported tend to use in support of it is 'why should you punish the rich for being wealthy'. This argument is so futile as it is not a punishment for being wealthy but instead is a statistic necessity for a nation to maintain a basic living standard for its populace an have a complete society that is satisfied with it as opposed to a society where a very small percentage are overly satisfied and the majority are having their expression of dissatisfaction suppressed through abuse of wealth.

Ultimately, this comes down to something more than the compassion and moral compass of a government and its state; it comes down to the willingness to sacrifice the minority's excessive wealth for the sake of the majority's basic standard of living.

I conclude with a simple ideal:

'The reasonable satisfaction of the many should always be prioritized over the unreasonable greed of few.'

I think my opponent for accepting this debate and look forward to an in-depth rebuttal.



Sources:
[1] http://smallbusiness.chron.com...
[2] https://mnmeconomics.wordpress.com...
[3] http://economicsonline.co.uk...
[4] http://www.wisegeek.com...
[5] http://gregmankiw.blogspot.co.uk...
[6] http://hdr.undp.org...
[7] http://knoema.com...;
Debate Round No. 1
That1User

Con

Pro presents an interesting question "Why does the state tax people at all?"
Pro, however, goes on to strawman various views such the neo-liberal (conservative?), the communist view, and the centrist view before answering the question with:

" Tax is there to settle an issue that would drive a society to become Ancient Egypt v. 2 if it isn't nipped in the bud before an elite lineage or aristocracy of any kind can form."

This is an incorrect view of taxation, for taxation is not to prevent an aritoscracy from forming, but rather to raise money in order to provide for government expendetures. (http://www.britannica.com...)

Pro then goes on to strawman my position by stating "when Libertarians remark 'the freer the market, the freer the people' what they really mean to say is 'the freer the market, the freer the rich are to use and abuse their money to their heart's content giving only to those who appease then and succumb to their whims efficiently enough.' I'm sure even Con would agree to this as Con is supporting flat taxation which is equally based on this theory albeit being somewhat hypocritical in the way they go about justifying where the burden of the taxation ends up falling."

I do not agree with a flat tax because of these reasons, I agree with a flat tax because it encourages economic growth, which I will go into later when I finish rebuttals.

My opponent then goes to argue that North Korea and the USSR had/has a flat tax of 100%
" if you observe North Korea or USSR's taxation system you would realize that they did end up creating a flat tax of no less than 100%. In other words, the corporation and business in USSR and North Korea were/are the government itself. State owned industry became nothing more than diversified subsets of the monopoly that was the USSR or North Korea."

This is a simple factual error, according to page 756 of the Encylopedia of Soviet Law, people who earned above 100 rubles in monthly wages had an Income tax of 13% if the wage was made in the Soviet Union (if it wasn't, it was 30%) if it exceeded 5000 rubbles, the income tax was 75% rubbles (https://books.google.com...

"The fact is that almost every nation that you would consider a 'leading economic state' or 'Fully developed nation' has progressive tax installed. This is based on something called the 'Human Development Index (HDI)' and the vast majority (by a large margin) of nations towards to top of progressivity of taxation end up on the top of HDI.[6] The reason I use HDI, as opposed to GDP is that many flat-taxed nations, especially ones taxing lower percentages, end up with GDPs just as high as developed progressively taxed nations on face value[7] but what the HDI covers is how efficiently this money is used for each and every human being within that nation. If Con wishes to deny this, I'm willing to expand into details in the final round as it wouldn't be a new point but expansion upon this one."

While it is true that many high HDI nations use the progressive income tax, it would be more beneficial for these nations to implement a flat tax, as the implementation of a flax tax is set to reduce taxes, encourage economic growth, and increase economic productivity and economic activity. ( http://www.heritage.org...) (http://www.aabri.com...) Economic growth is good because it reduces poverty and increases employment as well as happiness

(http://www.cato.org...)

In closing, I have negated my opponent's arguments and have affirmed my position that a flat tax should be implemented because it increases economic growth, economic productvity, economic activity, all of which helps to allieviates poverty and increases employment and overall happiness.
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Pro

8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
That1User

Con

Unfortunately my opponet forfeited. I extend all of my previous arguments.
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Pro

8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
That1User

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent's account is no longer active, hence I extend all of my arguments and advance to the next round of Unitomic's May Tournament.
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Pro

8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by That1User 1 year ago
That1User
Please disregard my statement to only accept in R1, I was copy and pasting the previous R1. You can post your argument from R3.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
That1User8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJATied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
That1User8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJATied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff