Labor reform...not going well


Hey @jotham and @rowland, what do you think of this?


They are just paid shills for big business.


a friend described the bosses here as ‘kids crying for candy’ thought it was pretty fitting!


I think it’s wonderful that Trump is lowering the business rate to 15%. The higher 35% rate is the reason so many big companies were keeping profits overseas; in the near future, they will be repatriating that money back home. The situation has gotten so bizarre, that Europe was ahead of Obama’s America in business tax relief and competition, which is rare in history.

I wish the highest individual tax were lowered more. It is 39.5% under Obama, 35% under Bush. Reagan took it down to 28% (from Carter’s 70%).

I almost set up an S corporation in 1997 under the umbrella of which I could have executed all my flurry of stock activity back then. It would have been set up in Nevada (even though never been there) as they don’t have state taxes along with Delaware (in order to successfully attract capital to their state). I’m glad to see that my state, Kansas, has followed suit now.

Why you ask? What do you think of it? In my opinion, this is just peanuts. I’m still more worried about low interest rates. I’m afraid all the great things Trump is doing might be overshadowed by distortions in the macroeconomy. That needs to be fixed pronto.


The whole “every human interaction is commerce” axiom, of course. If you follow it to its logical conclusions, why have a separate corporate tax rate at all? And so on.

(I suppose I should ask @finley too, if he hasn’t been put out of service by dishonorable practices yet.)


Actually, I’m all for the flat tax. Moreover, I would love if we could go back to the genius of our forefathers who didn’t allow for income tax in the Constitution, and so they tried to introduce it through the 16th amendment in 1913, (friggin Democrats).

I would be fine repealing that amendment (and the 17th too!) and federal revenue were collected by tariffs and duties collected only when you buy something, similar to a VAT.

That’s why I strongly supported candidate Rick Perry for president, because he wanted to repeal amendments 16 and 17.


Did you ever think about finding the nearest fog bound mountaintop and shaking your fist in the air …if so may I be so kind to recommend this therapy which will have the added benefit of saving valuable forum space. :slight_smile:

Some random shrieks and roars of '‘damn democrats’…‘Taxation-Smaxation’…‘Obama-Rama’…‘Trump why have you forsaken me’ and ‘It’s all been downhill since 1853’ will have added effect and energize the soul


The problem with that is that it all hinges on the definition of the word ‘buy’. If I can wheel out my favourite example of how not to run an economy, ie., the Philippines (seriously, I’m starting to wonder if the country is some sort of economic experiment being run by the UN), they have a flat tax of 3% imposed on all transactions. The problem with this is twofold:

(a) it causes an immense amount of accounting headache, especially since it’s basically illegal to use accounting software in that benighted hellhole, and
(b) the tax authorities have above-and-beyond-the-law jurisdiction to decide what is and is not a transaction, and to fuck with your business model to ensure that as many ‘transactions’ as possible will occur. If your opinion doesn’t concur with theirs (which is undocumented), they’ll hit you with massive fines.

In theory, barter is also taxable, as a consequence of (b).

It’s actually far simpler for all concerned to just tax profits, as most normal countries do. The downside (for the revenue) is that everyone will naturally aim to minimize declared profits. And why not?

I completely agree, though, that keeping tax rates reasonable - 15% is plenty high enough - is likely to produce all the revenue the country needs, while encouraging people to actually pay their taxes; point being, it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth to pay expensive accountants and lawyers to work around a modest 15% slice. Less work for accountants and lawyers of course, but I guess that’s another plus.

I still maintain that the most efficient form of taxation would be an entirely voluntary one, with incentives for those who pay the “suggested” amount. In most endeavours, carrots work far better than sticks.


I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Maybe I’m not clear what a VAT is as we don’t have that for federal income, but just for state income.

What I mean is just a simple tax on merchandise that everyone buys, such as clothing, food, whatever. Is that what you mean? Therefore, your tax would be as big as your spending habit. So poor people who spend less would pay less. And people could control how much tax they pay, if they want to save, by not buying those things that have a tax.


It sounds simple when you’re talking about consumers buying things, but it all turns to crap when you’re talking about businesses buying (and selling) things.

Here’s a real-world example. An accountant rents a small office. Instead of paying rent to the landlord - who has many properties and therefore a complex business - he offers to provide accounting services.

How would you charge VAT on that “transaction”? And is it fair to do so?

The crux of the problem is that the magnitude of a transaction often has little bearing on the profit derived from it. Some enormous transactions have tiny profit margins, fractions of a percent. Some small transactions have 50% or 100% markups. It isn’t reasonable to levy a tax on the basis of the value of the transaction, which is what VAT is.


But if all human interaction is commerce, as you guys said, why is it unreasonable, and why do so-called businesses (which are really just humans in disguise) turn everything to crap?

Ah, so you don’t agree with the Donald on everything.


I’ll assume here you’re asking a serious question, as opposed to just taking the piss.

I already answered the first point with examples. VAT collection is:

(a) incredibly onerous, if everyone has to report every piddling transaction instead of simply giving the gubmint a summary of their annual profits and a ballpark guess as to tax payable, as happens in more business-friendly countries.

(b) likely to result in abuses of power if tax authorities are allowed - indeed expected - to skim off the top of absolutely every conceivable interaction; if I give my neighbour a basket of apples, I don’t really want men with clipboards descending on me saying ooooh, we reckon that was worth $5, of which $1 is ours; hand it over!

© arbitrary, because (as I already said) the tax take has no relation whatever to the benefits gained by the transacting parties. If I sell a car for less money than I paid for it, why should the government add insult to injury by taking 20% of what little cash I’m left with?

Businesses don’t turn everything to crap. Attempting to levy VAT (or a transaction tax, or whatever you want to call it) does that. It just results in a yuuuge waste of manpower, resentment, and unintentional economic distortion.


Oh, I get what you’re saying. yes, we do have a court case against situations like you mentioned, providing service for rent. Personally, I think it should be valid.

As for businesses, it would become part of the cost of expenses. It’s like weighing the consequences, the tax would be imposed on consumption instead of on the profits (or personal income in the individual’s case).

But the thing about it, it wouldn’t require documentation, there wouldn’t need to be tax returns and deadlines, could eliminate the IRS in one fell swoop, just like that.


I don’t know that he is against a flat tax, it is much more revolutionary that what he proposes, but even that is revolutionary, at least for the corporate tax reduction to 15%. He’s going in the right direction.

Ted Cruz had suggested a flat tax of 10% for individuals and 16% for businesses.


The taxes and spending are too damned high. That’s the problem. Transactions involving the government are out of control.

What’s needed is Constitutional limits. Any tax rate above a certain rate forbidden by Constitution. Any government debt ratio above a certain point unconstitutional, except in a legitimate declared public emergency. Let them figure out how to work within these limits. I’m sure that’ll be fine. What they need is the limits. Discipline imposed from without.

But no such amendment will get on the ballot with our current crowd on Capitol Hill. That toilet bowl needs to be flushed.

What were we talking about again? Oh yeah. Labor reform. In Taiwan, if I’m not mistaken. The trouble with staying on topic is sometimes everything’s connected to everything else.


[quote=“jotham, post:153, topic:158317, full:true”]But the thing about it, it wouldn’t require documentation, there wouldn’t need to be tax returns and deadlines, could eliminate the IRS in one fell swoop, just like that.
Try telling that to the Philippines BIR :slight_smile:

The amount of pointless paperwork their “system” (using the word in the loosest possible sense) produces is incredible, and they’ll use the slightest discrepancy as an excuse to extort ‘fines’ from you. Most businesses avoid VAT like the plague - by the simple expedient of lying on their tax returns to avoid the VAT threshold - because the administration costs (nevermind the tax itself) would put all but the most profitable companies swiftly out of business.

Its a safe bet that tax authorities everywhere will never, ever implement a tax system which eliminates the need for tax authorities.


Still with the clipboards? I thought most countries started phasing them out ages ago. But you know the PI better than I do.

[quote=“finley, post:152, topic:158317, full:true”]
VAT collection is: (a) incredibly onerous, (b) likely to result in abuses of power © arbitrary[/quote]

Okay, so you would abolish VAT, but I don’t think you said you were against taxation entirely. So for whatever tax you would keep, would you have the same rate for humans and corporations, since corporations don’t really exist?


Btw I thought of you guys yesterday (especially Comrade Finsky :wink:) when I saw the premiere of this show.

Interesting stuff, though not quite as cheerful as a Dickens musical.


I’m not against governments raising revenue. It irritates me that the only method they will contemplate is extortion with menaces.

I wouldn’t have a “rate” at all. I suppose - in my unicorns and rainbows world - I’d have the IRS replaced with something like a PR department, whose job is to fluff up government spending projects - silly stuff like national defence, healthcare, or the police force - to convince the plebs that these things are worth funding. There would be incentives, concrete and non-concrete, for people (=corporations) who contribute, and ignominy and inconveniences for those who don’t. Non-monetary contributions would be accepted. Crowdfunding, I think the youngsters call it.


Taiwan’s lottery tax receipt is a good system for getting compliance. So is their new generation alternative health insurance premium.
The tax code and the authorities inTaiwan are also very straightforward.
If only they’d play fair by taxing the landlord class too instead of people who work their butt off every day!