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A Good Compromise?

FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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6/23/2010 1:13:53 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I was wondering about your opinions on an idea I had on a compromise between right and left economics.

What if all basic needs were made universal but it was entirely paid for by sales tax?

What this would essentially be is a free-market system all except that is makes basic needs cheaper/free, while increasing the cost of everything else.

The poor would be happy to have ensured a minimum standard of living while the rich would be happy to have virtually no tax burden.

Am I missing something or does it seem fair to you?
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Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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6/23/2010 1:44:54 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/23/2010 1:20:11 AM, Puck wrote:
At 6/23/2010 1:13:53 AM, FREEDO wrote:

Am I missing something

Import goods. :P

Yeah lol I guess the tax would have to be made really high...
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innomen
Posts: 10,052
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6/23/2010 2:08:06 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Defining "basic needs" would be a nightmare. I also think it would further stratify society. A very large part of society will follow the path of least resistance and simply exist in "basic needs" and try to increase "basic needs" via legislation. That would eventually be a large voting block. Meanwhile those with ambition and ability would rise to the the top by leaps and bounds. Also i cannot imagine the very rich given a stipend for their basic needs in addition to what they already have without some major protest.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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6/23/2010 7:10:56 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Basic needs are food, shelter, health care etc etc.... pretty expensive stuff.
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/23/2010 7:38:35 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
You're just taking the present system except making it regressive, in a highly irrational way for just about any actor might I add. The rich don't buy enough to pay much sales tax, this is regressive as hell. Which means you have to soak the middle class to pay for the poor (which results in them refusing to work to be middle class, since they would reap essentially NO benefit over the "basic needS" class. Which means essentially no one (unless they are not yet rich but have a serious shot at it) is actually paying the tax that is supposed to pay the living expenses of what is now essentially EVERYONE except the rich. Which means the system falls apart, either you fail to pay such expenses or there is a different tax.

And hell, even the rich would suffer from a lack of labor-- unless they had 100% mechanized operations, which just about no one does.
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wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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6/23/2010 9:49:23 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Sales Tax: http://www.debate.org...
Bad. And ethically, it steals wealth from both the producer and the consumer and redirects it to a third party. It penalizes transactions for luxury goods and lowers our standard of living.

Now, there's also a huge consequence for giving everybody everything they need to survive: the incentive to work to produce those goods (even though they're paid for by taxes) is cut. There's also an issue of economic calculation.

Over time, luxury fades away. People start living on only the bare necessities, and eventually, there isn't a luxury sector to tax. Society would start over.
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mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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6/23/2010 9:58:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/23/2010 9:49:23 AM, wjmelements wrote:
Over time, luxury fades away. People start living on only the bare necessities, and eventually, there isn't a luxury sector to tax. Society would start over.

prepostrous!

so long as govt. only gives (really unappetizing food) to ONLY those who cannot get it for themselves... food markets will still buzz along merrily (as they do even today)

Also... so long as there are some markets... people will profit.

a lot of profit = more money than is strictly necessary... eventually meaning that such people will probably spend money on indulgent "luxury goods" even if they're the only thing taxed...
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Strikeeagle84015
Posts: 867
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6/23/2010 10:07:18 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The biggest problem I see with this is that you are guaranteeing the necessities of life when people are guaranteed something they stop working for it
However when people are not guaranteed something they usually overproduce it
Example
The Soviet Constitution guaranteed the necessities of life to all people as consequence there were more hungry people in the USSR than anywhere else
The American Constitution does not guarantee food since the late 19th century the US has always produced more food than their domestic market could consume
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