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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 09:42   #1
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So if you had to choose...

Who would it be.

David Davis or David Cameron?

Im not a tory nor can I ever see myself being one, however there is a possibility that the tories could make a push at the next general election and if they did get into power well it does effect us.

Personally I would say David Cameron, purely because he seems like a nice bloke, intelligent and is as down to earth for an old etonian (villa fan, has the occasional fag, which means he did weed at uni, actually studied politics (PPE at Oxford) and enjoys ale, as well as that he has a wife and kids.)

David Davis though seems like a bit of a weirdo. He has a weird mouth, the upper part sticks out more than the lower part, I think its his teeth, anyway it looks weird. I also dont think that he would be able to fight someone like brown at a general election. Not only that but I saw him in an interview with paxman on newsnight and he seemed like a bit of twat. He was mumbling something about opting out of a UN immigration thing, which even zimbabwe is part of. North Korea isnt and he wants to opt out of it, the guy seems like a twat full stop.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 09:56   #2
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Davis would be a total disaster.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 09:59   #3
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Re: So if you had to choose...

David Davis seems to be the more statesman like of the two but as far as I can see his only failing is that he is a self important shit who gets more annoying every day.

I really don't care if he lived on a council estate, I did and it didn't turn me into an annoying twat like him (probably still a twat though) and it's not something I feel the need to mention everytime I talk to someone.

Cameron could turn out to be the Conservative equivalent of Blair, young, dynamic and hopeless.

I'd vote for neither.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 12:15   #4
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Cameron. I was hoping for Clarke.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 12:24   #5
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Re: So if you had to choose...

I would choose david davis in the hope of causing further damage to the conservative party.

I would then disband the conservative party. re-name new labour 'the tory party'. reform the Liberal party and poach all of the decent morally upright members of the old conservative and labour parties in order to create a party full of reasonable, genuine and liberal politicians.

let's call it 'a long term plan'
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 12:28   #6
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwe
I would choose david davis in the hope of causing further damage to the conservative party.

I would then disband the conservative party. re-name new labour 'the tory party'. reform the Liberal party and poach all of the decent morally upright members of the old conservative and labour parties in order to create a party full of reasonable, genuine and liberal politicians.

let's call it 'a long term plan'
Lets call it a party of very few members.

Say about none.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 13:50   #7
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Choose what? Leader of the nation or leader of the Conservative Party?

If we have to have either as leader of the nation then probably Cameron. They're all identikit tossers anyway but he said something about downgrading ecstacy to Class B or something like that, so why not.

Obviously Davis would be better as leader of the Tory Party since that'd make them even less electable.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 14:05   #8
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Exclamation Re: So if you had to choose...

Davis is simply of the mould of recent leaders - I.E, what we need is more of the same. No real reform of image of policies. He is completely unsuited to be leader. He is IDS Mk II.

We know almost nothing about Cameron politically, other than he has supported in the past some fairly offbeat schemes, such as a flat tax. He also supported the Iraq war, is highly neo-con in his inclinations, although is 'reformist' on some things, such as drugs laws. There isn't really that much to suggest that he's a genuine moderniser or a reformer other than his own say so during the campaign, although he obviously has a better grasp of what needs to be done, at least in image terms, than Davis does.

Cameron has simply said what others have been saying for years; the difference is that this time it looks partially credible, although it remains to be seen if he wants to put any flesh on the bones of it. Almost everyone else in the party - Davis included - in the past few years have talked about reform extensively but done precisely nothing about it. It's not really anything new in that sense - the only difference is that Cameron has been so polished, people have started standing up and listening.

It'll be interesting - or at least, entertaining - regardless of which of them win, because both are quite divisive figures, and there will be a lot bitching in the party as a result.

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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 14:43   #9
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
Choose what? Leader of the nation or leader of the Conservative Party?

If we have to have either as leader of the nation then probably Cameron. They're all identikit tossers anyway but he said something about downgrading ecstacy to Class B or something like that, so why not.

Obviously Davis would be better as leader of the Tory Party since that'd make them even less electable.
I agree with all your points, however, I don't neccessarily see the Conservatives being in power as a bad thing. I certainly prefer it to Labour staying in much longer, they appear to be hugely similar these days. I would prefer Cameron to win for this reason and the fact that he seems to have a more sensible drugs policy. Which is a fantastic thing imo, any step towards legalisation and any step involving better education seems good to me.

Although he does appear to want ex junkies to talk to students and say how it ruined their life. Slightly reminiscent of the "drugs" Brass Eye episode with the "school junkie" who turned into a horse. At least I think it was a horse
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 14:45   #10
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Exclamation Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaio
Lets call it a party of very few members.

Say about none.
That would be the present Conservative Party, then?
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 15:23   #11
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Davis, but i hoped for Clarke
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 15:28   #12
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Post Re: So if you had to choose...

Clarke would have been good at the ballot box if he was only running on his own personal merits. But he would have been pretty disastorous for the party itself, and that would have impacted it's electoral fortunes. Clarke is lazy, badly disciplined, extremley divisive, and has the wrong idea about where the party should go.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 15:45   #13
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Wait how is studying politics at university meant to be a good thing? Why would a sane, intelligent, well-balanced person decide to study politics as an undergrad? Its difficult to think of a group of people less fit to run a country (management students perhaps).

Regarding the thread topic, the reasons youve given for preferring either one are shit and completely unrelated to competance/values, so I doubt you care much more than I do (and thats very little).


edit: MM said cameron supported a flat-tax so it would probably be him, even though theres less chance of that passing than a law banning fat people from using the Tube.

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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 15:52   #14
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Question Re: So if you had to choose...

What on earth are you talking about?
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 15:57   #15
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
Wait how is studying politics at university meant to be a good thing? Why would a sane, intelligent, well-balanced person decide to study politics as an undergrad? Its difficult to think of a group of people less fit to run a country (management students perhaps).
Because politics is (are?) interesting?

It's not clear to me why you are saying sane well-balanced types wouldn't. I possibly would have, but there did not appear to be any real career options for lazy antisocial types in politics.

And if by 'management' you mean the UK equivalent of business, i agree with that. The business majors I knew were pretty much all former engineering and premed majors who made the move for the obvious reasons.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 16:00   #16
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Yeah but being taught politics at undergrad level is like having someone inject a small amount of cancer every day into you and while your body can fight off the individual bits eventually it just overwhelms your system and you become some sort of raving lunatic with less understanding of how the real world works than my pet snail Bill.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 16:24   #17
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
Wait how is studying politics at university meant to be a good thing? Why would a sane, intelligent, well-balanced person decide to study politics as an undergrad?
Because it's cool and interesting, mainly. Although I don't make much claim to be a poster boy for sanity or intelligence.

But anyway, I did Politics at Undergraduate level. I could have done some sort of Comp Sci type course, but I would have ended up hating it (both the course and computing in general). And I thought a Politics degree would be easier. And it was indeed pretty easy.

Basically my undergrad course involved going into University for about 3-4 hours a week (lectures were optional), eyeing up pretty girls (we were in the Arts Faculty which had far more attractive girls than the Maths or Engineering faculties) and reading stuff I would have wanted to read anyway. There was almost zero workload and I got to study the things I was genuinely interested in.

That's why.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 16:46   #18
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Reference material above by the way.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 16:50   #19
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
Yeah but being taught politics at undergrad level is like having someone inject a small amount of cancer every day into you and while your body can fight off the individual bits eventually it just overwhelms your system and you become some sort of raving lunatic with less understanding of how the real world works than my pet snail Bill.
Im taking a course in comparative politics this semester, and I agree 110% with what you wrote.
The course itself seems to have a rather limited grasp on the real world, not to mention it has very little data to actually base its theories on.

Why my university offers this course (democracy and democratization) is beyond me. It should not qualify under the demands for scientific value.
However, the lecturer is very good.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 17:19   #20
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
edit: MM said cameron supported a flat-tax so it would probably be him, even though theres less chance of that passing than a law banning fat people from using the Tube.
From the Davis speech I saw he supports that as well.

I will be voting for Cameron mainly as he is a bit more interesting and his more lenient drugs policy. Other than that most of their policies are nearly identical, the few that I have seen Cameron discuss so far anyway.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 17:29   #21
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Incidentally, im not sure if anyone has mentioned the main reason why people are voting for Cameron.

He has good hair.

This is actually true, and quite upsetting
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 17:41   #22
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Re: So if you had to choose...

http://www.cameroncampaign.org/faqs.html#faq4

There's too much horrible stuff here to make him a worthwhile human being (although this is vaguely encouraging), and I'm too apathetic to go google for information about what the other one believes.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 18:56   #23
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Re: So if you had to choose...

I plan to immediately move to the UK and begin a campaign to do things:

1. Change the name of the Conservative Party to the Evitavresnoc Ytrap.

2. Then I would advance the candidacy of the only logical candidate for leader, Nodrog.

(True story.)
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 19:21   #24
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
edit: MM said cameron supported a flat-tax so it would probably be him, even though theres less chance of that passing than a law banning fat people from using the Tube.
could you explain to me how there is any possible upside to a revenue-neutral plan that makes life worse for almost everyone*?



*unless you are some whacky keynesian and are hoping the flat tax greatly lowers revenue creating huge deficits which logically should promote growth if you didn't read his book very carefully
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 19:22   #25
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolis
could you explain to me how there is any possible upside to a revenue-neutral plan that makes life worse for almost everyone*?
Flat tax is better because a) it doesnt punish people for being successful and generally not dumb, and b) it discourages Sun reading morons for screaming for increased taxation/public services, since they will be the ones who have to pay for them rather than leeching the money off a wealthy minority..
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 19:51   #26
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Re: So if you had to choose...

assuming you mean a flat tax % of income (as opposed to flat % of wealth or a true flat 'everyone pays X' system), i think the opposite on both counts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
and b) it discourages Sun reading morons for screaming for increased taxation/public services, since they will be the ones who have to pay for them rather than leeching the money off a wealthy minority..
let's say i make ~10K per year. very likely my expenses are very close to exactly that. under a graduated system, i don't get taxed much at all, and make ends meet. moving to a flat tax system, my income gets cut down a notch, and suddenly i need some soft, milky government teat to suck on to make ends meet.

and while it's true that the more i suck, the more i have to spend in taxes, it's still okay because being as i am below the average income mark, i'm still getting more than my share back with every % the rate moves up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
Flat tax is better because a) it doesnt punish people for being successful and generally not dumb, ..
any system where there is any correlation between income and tax is going to do just that though. if you don't like that, then why not champion a system that doesn't punish the successful?
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 20:06   #27
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolis
assuming you mean a flat tax % of income (as opposed to flat % of wealth or a true flat 'everyone pays X' system), i think the opposite on both counts.

let's say i make ~10K per year. very likely my expenses are very close to exactly that. under a graduated system, i don't get taxed much at all, and make ends meet. moving to a flat tax system, my income gets cut down a notch, and suddenly i need some soft, milky government teat to suck on to make ends meet.

and while it's true that the more i suck, the more i have to spend in taxes, it's still okay because being as i am below the average income mark, i'm still getting more than my share back with every % the rate moves up.
any system where there is any correlation between income and tax is going to do just that though. if you don't like that, then why not champion a system that doesn't punish the successful?
I've not seen the proposals but I am fairly sure that there would be a certain point where tax woud begin. So people who earn (lets say) £15,000 or less wouldn't pay any income tax, while those who earn over that amount would pay the same level of tax per pound the initial £15,000.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 20:19   #28
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolis
let's say i make ~10K per year. very likely my expenses are very close to exactly that. under a graduated system, i don't get taxed much at all, and make ends meet. moving to a flat tax system, my income gets cut down a notch, and suddenly i need some soft, milky government teat to suck on to make ends meet.
Then you should either vote for lower taxes or get a better job. There's no reason why you should be exempt from paying for public services just because you dont earn much money.

Quote:
and while it's true that the more i suck, the more i have to spend in taxes, it's still okay because being as i am below the average income mark, i'm still getting more than my share back with every % the rate moves up.
You'll be getting a lot less overall than you would be under the present system where everyone just sponges off the rich. And again, if taxes are hitting you hard, you are going to be less likely to vote for things which will require an increase in taxation. The main problem with the current system is that it allows the poor majority to force the rich to pay for whatever crap they are whining about.

Quote:
any system where there is any correlation between income and tax is going to do just that though. if you don't like that, then why not champion a system that doesn't punish the successful?
Well, I oppose all taxation on principle. But assuming that we have to have something, an income tax supplemented with inheritence and corporate taxes seems like the best option. You couldnt manage with a sales tax alone because it would have to be fairly high which just creates black markets, and a wealth tax is a horrible idea since most people dont hold the majority of their capital in the form of liquid money.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 20:24   #29
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Systems Go
I've not seen the proposals but I am fairly sure that there would be a certain point where tax woud begin. So people who earn (lets say) £15,000 or less wouldn't pay any income tax, while those who earn over that amount would pay the same level of tax per pound [edit]after[/edit] the initial £15,000.
that's a perfectly good system and i have no problem with it.

i guess my real problem is that when people talk about changing a tax system, the only two relevant questions are:
1. Who do you want to raise taxes on?
and
2. Who do you want to lower taxes on?

and the phrase 'flat tax' manages to talk about radically altering the tax system without answering any relevant question about what the changes would actually mean. using a non-ideal 'flat tax' as you describe, you could: raise taxes on the poor, lower them on the rich. raise taxes on the rich, lower them on the poor. or: raise taxes on the middle class, and lower them on the rich and the poor.

i get the impression nod means lower on the rich, higher on the rest.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 20:26   #30
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Who else giggles when nodrog says things like "leeching off the wealthy"?
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 20:33   #31
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Re: So if you had to choose...

In the US, one of the arguments in favor of the flat tax is that the rich would actually pay more than they do now.

While the tax rate would be lower, there would be no deductions which favor the rich under the current system. (There would be a threshold income before the tax would start as well to protect the poor).

There is also an argument that there would be less tax evasion which costs the government many billions of dollars each year.

The tax system wouyld also be simplified, there would only need to be a very short form for everyone. How much did you make? What is 14% of that? (for example) How much did you have deducted dluring the year? Pay too much? Thanks we'll send you a check. Pay too little? Cool, send us a check.

It probably would not live up to expectations because, even if implemented, the politicians wouldn't be able to keep their hands off of it. They would want to bribe this constituancy and that with new deductions and tax incentives and pretty soon it would be back to the same problem.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 20:39   #32
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolis
and the phrase 'flat tax' manages to talk about radically altering the tax system without answering any relevant question about what the changes would actually mean. using a non-ideal 'flat tax' as you describe, you could: raise taxes on the poor, lower them on the rich. raise taxes on the rich, lower them on the poor. or: raise taxes on the middle class, and lower them on the rich and the poor.
Well, I would personally support a one-rate income tax that applies equally to everyone, with no exemptions or tax-free earning floors for people on low incomes. Obviously this isnt going to happen since in order to maintain current levels of public spending while eliminating the higher rate of income tax, the lower rate would have to be drastically increased. This would be political suicide since even the most ardent fans of things like the NHS and social security tone their cheerleading down when faced with the prospect of actually having to pay for them out their own pocket. I'm not sure what exactly David Cameron proposed, but I imagine it would involve enough exemptions and pandering that the 'average family' didnt end up paying more taxes overall (and as dda said, it could even increase the tax burden on the rich, although thats unlikely given his political leanings).
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 20:44   #33
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
Then you should either vote for lower taxes or get a better job. There's no reason why you should be exempt from paying for public services just because you dont earn much money.
i'm not going to argue whether there is a moral reason, but what about pure pragmatics? there is some minimum amount of money needed a person needs to live on. and i'd hazard that the cost to society from someone pushed below this amount by taxes (broken windows + cash registers + missing money) is greater than the amount of money you would lose by just not taxing him in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
Well, I oppose all taxation on principle. But assuming that we have to have something, an income tax supplemented with inheritence and corporate taxes seems like the best option. You couldnt manage with a sales tax alone because it would have to be fairly high which just creates black markets, and a wealth tax is a horrible idea since most people dont hold the majority of their capital in the form of liquid money.
fair enough. i see property and inheritance taxes as being the viable 'wealth tax' options (is property tax EVIL?).
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 20:52   #34
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolis
there is some minimum amount of money needed a person needs to live on. and i'd hazard that the cost to society from someone pushed below this amount by taxes (broken windows + cash registers + missing money) is greater than the amount of money you would lose by just not taxing him in the first place.
Well, the bigger picture view is that taxes would decrease in the longrun since there would be less incentive for people to vote for high levels of public spending. But more fundamentally, the equation "poverty causes crime" is oversimplistic, and would be more accurately phrased as "poverty, when coupled with a sense of entitlement, causes crime". And of course, the current system helps to breed a sense of entitlement ("other people must pay for my education/healthcare/children!") which other systems would not.

Quote:
fair enough. i see property and inheritance taxes as being the viable 'wealth tax' options (is property tax EVIL?).
All taxation is evil, but the choice between various forms of taxation should be motivated by pragmatics (mainly objectivity and enforcability), fairness (in the sense of everyone paying a relatively equal %), and apoliticality (ie trying to avoid situations where one political group can vote themselves things at the expense of another). The problem with using property and inheritence taxes as the primary source of governemnt income isnt that they are more 'evil' than income or sales taxes; its because a lot of property and inheritences do not take the form of liquid assets, which makes setting a high rate problematic. If I inherit a company or house valued at £1m and the inheritence tax rate is 20%, where am I going to find the £200,000 required to pay the tax? That just isnt how capital works.


edit: I'm going home now anyway so blah

Last edited by Nodrog; 11 Nov 2005 at 21:03.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 21:10   #35
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Re: So if you had to choose...

cameron smokes crack, he'll be right at home as PM.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 21:15   #36
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
Who else giggles when nodrog says things like "leeching off the wealthy"?
i giggle at that but i guffaw at 'they should get a better job'.

The capacity of the middle classes to rubbish their blessings never ceases to amaze me.
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 21:17   #37
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Re: So if you had to choose...

hey after googling, it turns out davis also supports a 'flat foreign policy'
Quote:
CW: And in addition to your flat tax support, my notes also say you support a 'flat foreign policy.' Could you tell us a little more about that?

DD: Sure. The flat foreign policy system is about optimizing your policies while trying to keep them as simple as possible. For example, should we invade a given country? Well, we need to look at the costs and benefits, and then run them through an arbitrary function. China? Well, figure the expense and likely number of casualties times an arbitrary factor X, minus the effect of not invading, times an arbitrary Y. It's a very simple system.

CW: But what are X and Y?

DD: Constants. Whichever ones make an ideal foreign policy, obviously. Also, it's important that there are no exemptions, just like my tax system.

CW: So that puts you down somewhere between favoring invading every other country all of the time and no other country ever, right?

DD: It certainly does not exclude those endpoints, but yes.

CW: Wait, so do you favor invading China or not?

DD: The important thing is not whether or not I favor invading a given country at a given time, it is that I have an arbitrary system that could be described as 'flat' to decide it. You see, for a lot of voters, it doesn't matter what the actual policies you favor are, just so long as the system you use to achieve them could fairly be described as 'flat.'

CW: Thanks very much Mr. Davis for making the time....
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 21:32   #38
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolis
hey after googling, it turns out davis also supports a 'flat foreign policy'
gott in himmel.

that's genuinely fantastic.


Hooray for the Tory party!
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Unread 11 Nov 2005, 21:37   #39
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Re: So if you had to choose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolis
hey after googling, it turns out davis also supports a 'flat foreign policy'
I have no idea what this post is meant to mean. A flat-rate tax just means that theres one tax rate. Obviously there are different ways of implementing a flat-rate tax (eg involving exemptions), just like there are lots of different ways of implementing a progressive tax. There is one particular method of flat tax (no exemptions) which I happen to like, and beyond this, I think that flat taxes are in general preferable to progressive ones. This doesnt mean that I like every flat-rate tax, just like I people who generally prefer progressive taxes dont have to like every single progressive tax (for instance, "1% tax rate on the lowest 5% of the population, 90% on everyone else" would be a form of progressive taxation).

I dont care enough about the full details of Cameron's proposal to bother researching them, since I know that it isnt going to be very radical since otherwise he wouldnt be elected> However I can induce from the fact he is a Conservative that it probably isnt going to result in an increase in the tax burden paid by the wealthy so I'm probably going to prefer it to the present model (although not by much since again, it isnt going to be radical).

This isnt difficult.
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