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comment by rthomas6
rthomas6  ·  869 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Attack of the Fanatical Centrists

If loving a regulated free market is neoliberal, then I'm a neoliberal. For non-essential goods, I think it's a great way to allocate resources. It's not even incompatible with social democracy, and in fact it's what we see in those countries. The problem is lassez-faire style markets. I did not mean to imply that's what I want. Use capitalism when it works, correct for it when it doesn't, and prevent it from doing harm (these are externalities).

And I didn't elaborate very well in that I really do love the free market but also believe in a social floor. Basic needs should be provided for every person.

And you're right, my belief that a 0% corporate tax is best is unusual, but please don't lump me in with reactionaries. I don't want lower taxes. Corporate taxes don't do what people think they do. It doesn't tax the wealthy, and it doesn't tax wealth. Instead, it taxes consumers indirectly and helps kill low margin businesses. It's much more efficient to tax rich people directly, instead of taxing corporations and thinking you're taxing rich people. Tax people when they take money out of a business. Most economists agree with my position to a large extent, including ones on the left. At the least they say the corporate tax should be quite low.

And I'm not really opposed to Medicare for all. It would be a lot better than what we have now. I just meant it's not the only way to improve things, and maybe not the very best. I would vote for someone that supported it though.

kleinbl00  ·  868 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What, exactly, is a "regulated free market?" That's kind of like a dry ocean or the color dark-white. A regulated market can have all sorts of trade in various shades of "free" but the spectrum is not

"regulated" - - - - - "free"


"command economy" - - - - - - - "free trade economy"

with the amount of regulation being a spectrum made up of those hyphens. "Free market corrected for externalities like climate change" means what, exactly? Because you seem to be a fan of a government built of mechanisms yet you eschew the mechanisms. "Harm" is pretty demonstrably "everything the free market does not see as its responsibility" and Saint Friedman himself said that "the market" had a moral imperative to do every shady shifty thing it could right up to breaking the law because if societies really care about something, they'll regulate its protection.

0% corporate tax is reactionary. You're implying that the social cost of a corporation to the society that harbors it is zero when the whole purpose of a corporation is to diffuse the responsibility of the individual. When I built the birth center we had an inspector come out to hassle us twice a week for the better part of a year. Who's supposed to pay that guy - you? Why would you do that? What about for the traffic I'm adding to the intersection? What about for the increase in EMS based on the profile of my business? These are all things that should come out of my pocket because the business I'm practicing is profiting based on the imposition I'm putting on society. And I'm just delivering babies. It's not like I'm Union Carbide. Economics says that if your business is low margin you should charge more. I'm not here to subsidize your vaguely-profitable dream restaurant I'm here to eat a bagel. If you can't sell me a bagel for a price that (A) I want to pay (B) you want to earn, don't sell bagels. That's Econ 101, which "most economists" also agree with.

rthomas6  ·  868 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You make some very good points.

What I meant by correcting for externalities is imposing fines for things that have a social cost or burden.

And, related to that, what I meant was 0% corporate income tax, and my thinking was one could charge directly for costs incurred by society because of a corporation.

But the obvious question is how? Charging for some costs is straightforward, and some not. Part of the answer would be a high unimproved land value tax.

I want the dream restaurants to be taxed less than the union carbides, you know? But I feel like the way I want to do it adds complexity. Maybe it would be too complicated to do things this way? On the other hand, it sort of seems like how a lot of local govenments operate right now.

kleinbl00  ·  868 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think a lot of our disagreement is that you have a theoretical framework that hasn't been much tested by reality, while I have a realistic framework that has trashed the shit out of theory.

Corporate taxes are low, d00d. We're honest, upstanding, upright citizens who pay what we're supposed to and our corporate tax rate is about 1/4 what our individual rate would be at the same value. I've had three corporations; two of them were tax dodges to take advantage of the friendliness of the US tax code to corporations. They've saved me up to 100% of my taxes in the past. And a corporate income tax is a terrible idea because all corporations do is hide income. Which makes sense - right now the tax code rewards anything you can do that might vaguely build your business so you pile it into that instead. This is one reason it's much, much easier for a corporation to write off box seats at the arena than for you to do it.

As to unimproved land value, what you're doing is assigning future developability or present conservation a value of zero. Which, considering it's the public good that everyone benefits from, doesn't work. Australia did this: you could have all the land you wanted for nearly free so long as you put sheep on it and grazed it. No sheep? Pay taxes. Consequence? Australia is the tip of the spear of the environmental apocalypse. If Lebanon hadn't been overgrazed two thousand years ago it'd probably still have some cedars.

Tax codes are complex. If you have complicated taxes, hire an accountant. "complex" doesn't mean "unfair" it means plenty of people have hashed out these issues and some have won, some have lost but trust me on this: whenever you see someone calling for a "simple" tax code, know that he's reaching for your wallet. Whenever you see a "progressive" tax code, you're looking at a poor man reaching for a rich man's wallet.