Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
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08-02-2012, 05:42 PM
Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
Stark brought this question up on the “Do we owe each other anything?” thread (sort of).

Well, I am biased on this issue, because I am one of the poor and live on a very modest government pension. We are listed way under the poverty line and, without the extra income from our small online book business, we would be often hungry.

I keep hearing more and more often from every direction that we the baby-boomers (the aging population) will break the bank and make younger people have to pay higher taxes, as if we had not raised them, put them through school, started them in life AND paid a lot of taxes ourselves into our healthcare and pension system, the money which is being gambled away in questionable mutual funds and undefined derivatives by our leaders. However, 16 billion for fighter planes and 1.2 Billion for pointless 2-day Gxx meetings are, apparently, affordable.

So, my question is: should bleeding-heart-liberals be allowed to FORCE others (by enacting progressive tax laws) to help those who need help?

This question is very closely ties to the other one I asked today: “do we owe each other” anything?
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08-02-2012, 05:54 PM
RE: Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
(08-02-2012 05:42 PM)Zat Wrote:  Stark brought this question up on the “Do we owe each other anything?” thread (sort of).

Well, I am biased on this issue, because I am one of the poor and live on a very modest government pension. We are listed way under the poverty line and, without the extra income from our small online book business, we would be often hungry.

I keep hearing more and more often from every direction that we the baby-boomers (the aging population) will break the bank and make younger people have to pay higher taxes, as if we had not raised them, put them through school, started them in life AND paid a lot of taxes ourselves into our healthcare and pension system, the money which is being gambled away in questionable mutual funds and undefined derivatives by our leaders. However, 16 billion for fighter planes and 1.2 Billion for pointless 2-day Gxx meetings are, apparently, affordable.

So, my question is: should bleeding-heart-liberals be allowed to FORCE others (by enacting progressive tax laws) to help those who need help?

This question is very closely ties to the other one I asked today: “do we owe each other” anything?
I agree whole heartedly Zat.

The way our Governments proiritize is discracefull.
Here in Australia our P.M is hanging on by the skin of her teeth in a hung parliament
supported by Indeendents.Her gaining power, rested some time back, on 'promising' to make some restrictions to the insane pokies machine gambling in this country. This has been placed on hold till the next election.

As for social sevice recipients, I believe a good many of these are created by the system and re- cycled and furher used by the system..................Confused
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08-02-2012, 06:03 PM
RE: Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
(08-02-2012 05:42 PM)Zat Wrote:  Stark brought this question up on the “Do we owe each other anything?” thread (sort of).

Well, I am biased on this issue, because I am one of the poor and live on a very modest government pension. We are listed way under the poverty line and, without the extra income from our small online book business, we would be often hungry.

I keep hearing more and more often from every direction that we the baby-boomers (the aging population) will break the bank and make younger people have to pay higher taxes, as if we had not raised them, put them through school, started them in life AND paid a lot of taxes ourselves into our healthcare and pension system, the money which is being gambled away in questionable mutual funds and undefined derivatives by our leaders. However, 16 billion for fighter planes and 1.2 Billion for pointless 2-day Gxx meetings are, apparently, affordable.

So, my question is: should bleeding-heart-liberals be allowed to FORCE others (by enacting progressive tax laws) to help those who need help?

This question is very closely ties to the other one I asked today: “do we owe each other” anything?

I believe that in a democracy we owe each other exactly what we agree to owe each other. We construct a social contract and abide by it.

Rationally, helping the less fortunate leads to a more stable society.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-02-2012, 06:10 PM
RE: Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
(08-02-2012 06:03 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(08-02-2012 05:42 PM)Zat Wrote:  Stark brought this question up on the “Do we owe each other anything?” thread (sort of).

Well, I am biased on this issue, because I am one of the poor and live on a very modest government pension. We are listed way under the poverty line and, without the extra income from our small online book business, we would be often hungry.

I keep hearing more and more often from every direction that we the baby-boomers (the aging population) will break the bank and make younger people have to pay higher taxes, as if we had not raised them, put them through school, started them in life AND paid a lot of taxes ourselves into our healthcare and pension system, the money which is being gambled away in questionable mutual funds and undefined derivatives by our leaders. However, 16 billion for fighter planes and 1.2 Billion for pointless 2-day Gxx meetings are, apparently, affordable.

So, my question is: should bleeding-heart-liberals be allowed to FORCE others (by enacting progressive tax laws) to help those who need help?

This question is very closely ties to the other one I asked today: “do we owe each other” anything?

I believe that in a democracy we owe each other exactly what we agree to owe each other. We construct a social contract and abide by it.

Rationally, helping the less fortunate leads to a more stable society.

Yep ,a rational compassion, if ,hopefully such is possible.Sad
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08-02-2012, 07:28 PM
RE: Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
There is some truth in saying you are as strong as your weakest link.

The tax spending is not perfect and democratic systems are not ideal, but it is better than nothing. Helping each other is basic survival 101 and necessary.
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08-02-2012, 07:50 PM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2012 04:36 AM by Zat.)
RE: Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
(08-02-2012 06:03 PM)Chas Wrote:  I believe that in a democracy we owe each other exactly what we agree to owe each other. We construct a social contract and abide by it.

In a flawed democratic system (such as we have), laws get passed that often do not reflect the consensus of citizens.

This can happen for many reasons: among them leaders, once in power, can renege on the promises they had made during their campaign. This is exactly what is happening in Canada at the moment, regarding old-age pensions.

What I am interested in is the ethical consensus (if there is such a thing) on this forum, regarding the question asked in the OP.

Here is a CBC poll on the issue:

Quote:Boomer strain

About 80 per cent of those polled said they were concerned the quality of health care will decline from the strain on the system posed by the baby boomer generation.

Almost as many, 79 per cent, worried the health-care system will not be able to offer the same level of coverage as the baby boomers reach retirement age.

Financial burdens were also a worry:

76 per cent of those polled said they were concerned they will have to pay more taxes so the health-care system can provide services to the baby boom generation.
73 per cent feared they will not have enough money to maintain their health as they age, compared with 69 per cent who said their top concern was not being able to afford retirement.
85 per cent agreed the rising challenges brought on by the aging baby boomer generation mean federal, provincial and territorial governments need to get on with negotiating a new health-care funding agreement.

Canadians under age 46 were more likely than baby boomers to say they were preparing for higher health-care costs, such as by buying long-term health insurance or dipping into planned retirement savings to help pay for their own future health-care costs.

"I would worry that the people handling the health-care money aren't going to handle it properly and there won't be enough," said Patrick Skene, a 35-year-old from Winnipeg. "I foresee our health-care system kind of collapsing in the future."

So what is the solution?

Send old people out on the ice-flows or spend less money on fighter planes?

This is an ethical (and not legal) question that has a bearing on the fundamental question of social organization.

How should we divide the pie we all contributed to? Based on what principle?

Laissez Faire Capitalism?

Communism?

Socialist compromise? (compromised based on what principle?)

If we do not clear up this issue by defining our fundamental ethical principles, we will continue, as we have been, wasting 90% of our resources on fight over distribution, using all methods familiar to us today: bribery, corruption, fraud, broken promises, outright theft.
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08-02-2012, 09:16 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2012 09:23 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
I have two quibbles with the premise.

Help? and The Poor?

It's a government's job to ensure the welfare of its citizens. It's the citizen's right to expect government to ensure hir welfare. To the best of its ability.

If a country is poor because of climate or misfortunes of war, its government must attempt to bring food, water, shelter and basic care to as many as possible, and to work toward alleviation of the problem, before anyone in that country is allowed to be rich, before any national luxuries, like guns and airplanes, football teams and cathedrals are even considered.

A rich, peaceful country has no excuse to own a class that can be designated as "the poor." If a citizen is damaged or has bad luck or made poor choices and lost their place in society, they must be rehabilitated - not just with money, but with medical aid, counseling, re-training, support and if necessary, coercion - to regain it. By the end of a productive life, everyone should have contributed enough to retire with dignity, in security.

Charity has no part in these matters: this is the purpose and function of a society. Mutual assistance and support is the only reason we put up with the noise and smell and drudgery of civilization. What for does society exist if not its members?
So, having "the poor" as an accepted, standard, permanent segment of society is the utter failure of society.

Should we pay taxes? Sure. Lots of things need to be done on a large, municipal, state or national scale that benefit all the citizens. How should taxes be allocated? That's a political issue; in democracies, priorities change as circumstances and governments change; each budget reflect the administration's concerns of that year.
Some expenditures, like education, pension, health care, water purification, public safety are constant and are, or ought to be, enshrined in laws that are not subject to administrative whim. For these commitments, there must be an inviolable funds that are never risked and never used for any other purpose. Keeping these funds at the correct level for the current and anticipated population must take precedence over discretionary spending and tax exemption on profits.

Democracy works just fine in assigning importance to various public matters. Democracy, whatever the economic base, tends toward socialism. Therefore, the people who want more and more and more, always corrupt democratic systems. Unfortunately, the populace is too lazy, trusting and inattentive to prevent them hijacking the machinery of government, so usually has to overcompensate, once it has happened - and that's always messy.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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09-02-2012, 12:43 PM
RE: Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
(08-02-2012 09:16 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  I have two quibbles with the premise.

Help? and The Poor?

It's a government's job to ensure the welfare of its citizens. It's the citizen's right to expect government to ensure hir welfare. To the best of its ability.

If a country is poor because of climate or misfortunes of war, its government must attempt to bring food, water, shelter and basic care to as many as possible, and to work toward alleviation of the problem, before anyone in that country is allowed to be rich, before any national luxuries, like guns and airplanes, football teams and cathedrals are even considered.

A rich, peaceful country has no excuse to own a class that can be designated as "the poor." If a citizen is damaged or has bad luck or made poor choices and lost their place in society, they must be rehabilitated - not just with money, but with medical aid, counseling, re-training, support and if necessary, coercion - to regain it. By the end of a productive life, everyone should have contributed enough to retire with dignity, in security.

Charity has no part in these matters: this is the purpose and function of a society. Mutual assistance and support is the only reason we put up with the noise and smell and drudgery of civilization. What for does society exist if not its members?
So, having "the poor" as an accepted, standard, permanent segment of society is the utter failure of society.

Should we pay taxes? Sure. Lots of things need to be done on a large, municipal, state or national scale that benefit all the citizens. How should taxes be allocated? That's a political issue; in democracies, priorities change as circumstances and governments change; each budget reflect the administration's concerns of that year.
Some expenditures, like education, pension, health care, water purification, public safety are constant and are, or ought to be, enshrined in laws that are not subject to administrative whim. For these commitments, there must be an inviolable funds that are never risked and never used for any other purpose. Keeping these funds at the correct level for the current and anticipated population must take precedence over discretionary spending and tax exemption on profits.

Democracy works just fine in assigning importance to various public matters. Democracy, whatever the economic base, tends toward socialism. Therefore, the people who want more and more and more, always corrupt democratic systems. Unfortunately, the populace is too lazy, trusting and inattentive to prevent them hijacking the machinery of government, so usually has to overcompensate, once it has happened - and that's always messy.

Awesome.

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You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

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09-02-2012, 01:23 PM
RE: Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
Looking at this question from Europe the whole question seems just strange. Ehr? What?

"Never underestimate how narrow-minded, petty and stupid people can be". Mark Fulton, forum member
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09-02-2012, 02:20 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2012 12:30 AM by kim.)
RE: Do we have the right to tax people in order to help the poor?
(08-02-2012 09:16 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  Democracy works just fine in assigning importance to various public matters. Democracy, whatever the economic base, tends toward socialism. Therefore, the people who want more and more and more, always corrupt democratic systems. Unfortunately, the populace is too lazy, trusting and inattentive to prevent them hijacking the machinery of government, so usually has to overcompensate, once it has happened - and that's always messy.

Sadly, I live in the land of messy.

And looking back at my country's history -back to it's revolution ... I find the current mess to be just as strange as the original posted question seems to Cubic Bubbles.
I don't really relate to my own country anymore and given my upbringing, I wonder if I ever did.

Since I'm relating this question to Zat's post, Do We Owe Each Other Anything?, I feel restating what I said there addresses this question as well.
I owe only to myself what I hope to find in another.

Yes, tax those who have, to help those who have not... one day, I may have not. I can expect no more or less of anyone, than what I would or would not expect of myself.

A rich, peaceful country has no excuse to own a class that can be designated as "the poor."

Peterkin - that is the greatest sentence I've seen on a page in a very long time.
Thank you for humbly, reminding me that so many have far to go to reach a decent level of respect for humanity. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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