File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
http://aspose.com/file-tools
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Call for Global Taxation Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Spring in Action this week in the Spring forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "Call for Global Taxation" Watch "Call for Global Taxation" New topic
Author

Call for Global Taxation

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=reutersEdge&storyID=7439461

Why is it that the idea of any global tax just makes me cringe. While the cause is certainly worthy, if that were to pass for some reason, I can only imagine a whole host of things that some might feel require a global tax. And who exactly levies and collects this global tax? Who enforces it? Last I checked, there's no global government that has sovereignty over anyone. Bleh! Can you say taxation without representation?

While I know the concept of global taxation would receive a generally violent reaction in the US, I guess such a thing probably wouldn't seem that bad to your average European?
[ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
What about an optional Tax? Like the one you can offer to help re-elect the president(in the US)? Does that seem more fair?

M


Java Regular Expressions
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
What about an optional Tax? Like the one you can offer to help re-elect the president(in the US)? Does that seem more fair?

M



Why a tax? Just send your check to your favorite AIDS organization.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
In theory, I don't have much of a problem with an "optional tax". It's the same as any other solicitation for the most part. The devil would of course be in the details of how it was implemented. For example, how much of the tax is directly benefitting whatever is being taxed, versus how much goes for overhead and "other administrative costs". Who would be responsible for administering such global taxes, even if optional, would also possibly be a source of concern.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
I agree with your concerns, I'd like to know that the money was being responsibly collected and spent. But to be honest, if the little box were there this year, I'd probably check off 50 bucks or so. It has to do some good, and I'm ok with little bit.

M
[ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Aside from the whole concept of a global tax, which in itself is deeply disturbing, the fact that what he is really calling for is forced wealth redistribution is equally disturbing.
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Funny how purely factual postings are deleted here...
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
They weren't purely factual post in the opinion of the moderator, Herb. And if you have any other feedback you'd like to provide on the way the 'ranch is run, the appropriate place is the Javaranch forum.

M
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Aside from the whole concept of a global tax, which in itself is deeply disturbing, the fact that what he is really calling for is forced wealth redistribution is equally disturbing.


I didn't read the article, just your comment. But since we're not having political discussions anymore, I don't really want to focus on the rightness or wrongness of wealth distributions, his hidden agenda, etc. I was just wondering how you would feel about an optional global tax to fight AIDs.

Did I read you correctly? That you wouldn't mind, if you felt that accounting process was above board? Or did I read you say that you think it's a bad precedent to set in general? Or are you still weighting the issue? I have to say, I still am.

M
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
In theory, I don't have a problem with an optional "tax", since it is basically just another form of voluntary solicitation. However, I very well might have a problem based on the actual implementation of said tax.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
If the law were 'good enough' law(just as we have 'good enough' software), would you oppose it on the principle that it's a Global Tax? Or would you accept it based on the fact that it's a voluntary tax?

M
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
If it were a voluntary US tax, that is we were taxed by our own government who then sent off the money to some global fund, I might be able to live with it. If on the other hand we were taxed by some global body and it was "international law" somehow, I would probably have a huge problem with it on sovereignty grounds.
Alan Wanwierd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Why do you think a global tax is such a bad idea? We have many of them already administered not by a gobal government but by the power players who truly are global - corporations:

Microsoft License fees for example. The tax is collected by Microsoft and you can avoid paying it by either 1) Not using microsoft software, 2) Using it illegaly. This is analagous to avoiding income tax by 1) Not getting a job or 2) Not declaring your income. The first solution to avoidance causes inconvenience the second increased risk of punishment.
Steven Bell
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
I would have a problem with it first for being a global tax, and second for being a waste of money, not the cause, just the means of collection and distribution.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Fair enough, though I think I probably wouldn't mind contributing to a global( and voluntary) tax to fight AIDs, even it were a part of international law that we had agreed to follow. But like you, I'd like to see some verification of the process. The more details I saw, the more I would be likely to contribute.

M
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Steven,

I think we're working under the assumption that it wouldn't be a waste of money: otherwise, I think it would be a worthless discussion.


That is, I'm pretty sure we would get 99.9% agreement that we wouldn't want a global tax that a waste of money, regardless of the label slapped on it.

M
Steven Bell
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
That is basically my point. It would be a waste of money. No governmental run charity is nearly as efficient or effective as private charities. I would challenge anybody to name an international body that could be entrusted with efficiently handling the money.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
Why do you think a global tax is such a bad idea?


The power for governments to tax their citizens is given to them by the people the government represents. I can see no circumstances under which I would ever recognize a world government (I'll stay away from the reasons for now), nor can I see any circumstances under which a world body would be granted the sovereignty to levy taxes against my person, and if such sovereignty were somehow obtained... well, we put an end to that the first time in 1776, and I would expect much the same. Although I know it happens, I can't understand why a sovereign people would willingly cede their sovereignty to another body.

Anyway... if taxes were collected by some world body you can guarantee that we would not be properly represented. As anyone who grew up watching Schoolhouse Rock will tall you, "that's called taxation without representation, and it's not fair."
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=reutersEdge&storyID=7439461

Why is it that the idea of any global tax just makes me cringe. While the cause is certainly worthy, if that were to pass for some reason, I can only imagine a whole host of things that some might feel require a global tax. And who exactly levies and collects this global tax? Who enforces it? Last I checked, there's no global government that has sovereignty over anyone. Bleh! Can you say taxation without representation?



Jason,

Your above comment suggests that you didnt read the article fully, before your knee jerked to a horizontal position. What was suggested is that the money be raised on international finance transactions. Id imagine this would be like "For every transaction, bank xxx donates a fraction of a cent to a fund held by some charity organisation". Id view this very much in a similar light to Washington Mutuals "For every xxx dollars you spend, we donate 5 cents to a local school", but on a much larger scale. In most likelyhood it would be organised by the world banks and regulated amongst themselves.

I would point out however, from the article its unclear as to whether this charge would be passed onto the consumer, or whether it would be a charitable act by the participating banks.

I thought I would stress this before some gun nut barricades themselves in his/her apartment, waiting for the UN in their black helicopters to descend, kick in the door and demand their $10 tax.

Originally posted by Jason Menard:

While I know the concept of global taxation would receive a generally violent reaction in the US, I guess such a thing probably wouldn't seem that bad to your average European?


As an "average european" Id agree that the kind of global taxation that you are describing is offensive. But the reality seems a lot more mundane. I dont know if you fully read the article and jumped to the conclusion that because it was proposed by Jacques Chirac, it must be representative of the apprx 400 million citizens of the EU, or perhaps it was a veiled swipe at Europeans in general.

Cheers,

Mark
[ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Mark Fletcher ]

Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
Steven Bell
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
I would point out however, from the article its unclear as to whether this charge would be passed onto the consumer, or whether it would be a charitable act by the participating banks.


It always gets passed onto the consumer.

[ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Steven Bell ]

[edited by JM to change CODE block to QUOTE block]
[ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
MF: Your above comment suggests that you didnt read the article fully, before your knee jerked to a horizontal position. What was suggested is that the money be raised on international finance transactions.

Nope, I read the whole thing. You might want to go back and take another look at it though. From the article (emphasis mine):

Chirac said the levy could be imposed on a fraction of all financial transactions without hampering markets, but it could also be raised by taxing fuel for air and sea transport, or by levying $1 on every airline ticket sold in the world.


MF:I would point out however, from the article its unclear as to whether this charge would be passed onto the consumer, or whether it would be a charitable act by the participating banks.

That seems pretty clear to me that options under discussion would most definitely be passed on to the consumer. You don't think the airlines are just going to eat the $1 surcharge or the fuel tax, do you?


MF: dont know if you fully read the article and jumped to the conclusion that because it was proposed by Jacques Chirac, it must be representative of the apprx 400 million citizens of the EU, or perhaps it was a veiled swipe at Europeans in general.

I did read the article and it was neither. For one, Europeans generally seem more accepting of socialism and concepts like wealth redistribution than does your average American, although I'm certain there are plenty of Americans and Europeans who feel just the opposite. For another, many Europeans were willing to cede some of their sovereignty to the EU, so that might make it less of a problem for some to cede their sovereignty to a world body if they were similarly convinced it was in their interests, much as they thought the EU was (acknowledging btw that not all governments held a referendum on the EU). Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing and I'm not making a judgement on it, but I could certainly see parallels.
[ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Sadanand Murthy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 26, 2003
Posts: 382
However they may collect this tax (ugh), there will need to be a world body to handle it. At this time, UN seems to be such a one. Judging by their oil-for-food program, I'd be loathe to have UN monitor/manage this.


Ever Existing, Ever Conscious, Ever-new Bliss
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Max Habibi:

What about an optional Tax? Like the one you can offer to help re-elect the president(in the US)? Does that seem more fair?

Last I checked, that checkbox wasn't really an optional tax; rather, it was a designation of a portion of the taxes you would pay anyway to a particular fund. And yes, I would object to that, because when some people check that designation, it increases the proportionate tax burden on other people for the government's normal business. (Alternatively, you can think of it as increasing the deficit.)

Massachusetts actually does have some checkboxes for actual optional taxes - that is, if you check the box, you pay more in taxes and the extra money is sent to the appropriate charity. I don't really object to that as long as the list of check boxes doesn't get too long and it isn't costing the government money to administer the system (or the administrative expenses are paid out of the "optional taxes").
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Adrian Wallace:

Why do you think a global tax is such a bad idea? We have many of them already administered not by a gobal government but by the power players who truly are global - corporations:

Microsoft License fees for example. The tax is collected by Microsoft and you can avoid paying it by either 1) Not using microsoft software, 2) Using it illegaly. This is analagous to avoiding income tax by 1) Not getting a job or 2) Not declaring your income. The first solution to avoidance causes inconvenience the second increased risk of punishment.


Quite the contrary. While most people can't survive without income, avoiding Microsoft software actually makes life more convenient, not less.
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
While the cause is certainly worthy, ...


Given that :

1.) AIDS is not even in the top 15 leading causes of death in the US :
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005110.html


2.) or even the top cause of death in the entire world :
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0779147.html


3.) And that HIV transmission is laregly the result of voluntary choices to engage in well known risky behavior :

http://pub.ucsf.edu/newsservices/releases/2004010710/
http://www.aegis.com/news/afp/2001/AF010219.html http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3610487.stm


I cannot see why AIDS gets priority in attention, media coverage, and a disproportionate amount of funds. A global tax for AIDS and not other diseases makes no sense.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by herb slocomb:
I cannot see why AIDS gets priority in attention, media coverage, and a disproportionate amount of funds. A global tax for AIDS and not other diseases makes no sense.


Whether or not you feel a particular cause is "worthy" or not is a personal choice and I don't see the point in debating it. Pretend the global tax is for the disease or cause of your choosing. The point in me raising the issue was the concept of a global tax. What it's for is besides the point in my opinion.
[ January 26, 2005: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Perhaps it would have been more accurate to label the thread as "Global Taxation" rather than the chosen title?
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by herb slocomb:


Perhaps it would have been more accurate to label the thread as "Global Taxation" rather than the chosen title?


You have a point. Done.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by herb slocomb:
[QB]

3.) And that HIV transmission is laregly the result of voluntary choices to engage in well known risky behavior :

QB]


Perhaps in certain pockets of first world societies( say, the US), but certainly not no so in the global context. I think there are entire African counties where up to a 1/3 of the population is HIV positive. And I recall reading that the fastest growing population of Aids in America are heterosexual women? Can anyone confirm?

M
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Max Habibi:


Perhaps in certain pockets of first world societies( say, the US), but certainly not no so in the global context. I think there are entire African counties where up to a 1/3 of the population is HIV positive. And I recall reading that the fastest growing population of Aids in America are heterosexual women? Can anyone confirm?

M


In any context, US or global, AIDS is not the leading the cause of mortality. True, you may be able to find a few isolated countries where AIDS does rank high, but my prior stated facts seem more relevant ("global" meaning considering the world as whole). Even if I grant you that US hetero women are increasing as AIDS cases, in terms of absolute numbers, the mortality level is low as is plainly indicated in my prior post. Life and death should NOT be a plaything of politcal correctness or popularity.
Svend Rost
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2002
Posts: 904
Based upon the fact, that the cause is worth I wouldn't have
any problems with the global tax.

Be it on plain tickets or not.

/Svend Rost
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Regarding AIDS being primarily caused by risky behavior, Max Habibi:

Perhaps in certain pockets of first world societies( say, the US), but certainly not no so in the global context. I think there are entire African counties where up to a 1/3 of the population is HIV positive.

Check out the last of Herb's links which discusses how Uganda decreased HIV infections rates from 15% to 5%. "Risky behavior" includes a lot more than male homosexual sex, but it's still stuff that can still be voluntarily avoided.

Herb: I'm pretty sure the reason AIDS gets disproportionate attention is because, unlike most diseases, it's just as common in affluent and influential people as in those will less of a political voice.
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Warren Dew:


Herb: I'm pretty sure the reason AIDS gets disproportionate attention is because, unlike most diseases, it's just as common in affluent and influential people as in those will less of a political voice.


The phrase "political voice" pretty much sums it up quite nicely as to why AIDS has received so much attention relative to other more serious diseases over the past 15 years. "Political Voice" also explains why my first post was deleted, even though it stated exactly the same propositions in essentailly the same manner as my later posts, just without the supporting URLs (yet most of the ideas in the URLs were common knowledge for the most part for those who read newspapers).
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Malaria is the perfect comparison. More than 1 million people die from malaria each year and most of them are children. In almost every case, malaria is curable. And yet no one talks about a concert for malaria or a world tax for malaria. But then the people that die from malaria aren't wealthy or famous.
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
But then the people that die from malaria aren't wealthy or famous.


Sadly, but true, you are right.

Media will not give any attention to XYZ band that is going to perform in ABC city to raise money to fight malaria.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Dave Lenton
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by herb slocomb:

Because you are a true Son of Liberty who knows in your heart that all taxation is simply theft backed by governmental force accompanied by flowery langauge that attempts to legitmize it.


Perhaps if you think that taxation is theft, you may wish to consider relocating to a coutry which does not partake in collection of taxes. I hear that Somalia is a very interesting place to visit

Seriously, without taxation then the government could not perform its vital functions and would find it hard to manipulate the economy.

Tax is like most (all?) things in life - you can have too much and too little. The argument should perhaps not be about if we should have tax or not, but where the balance lies between a lot and a little.


There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Dave Lenton:



Seriously, without taxation then the government could not perform its vital functions and would find it hard to manipulate the economy.



The US government existed for a significant amount of time (many decades) without extorting an income tax or sales tax from its populace. While there were various tariffs and excise taxes, nothing at all, in terms of scope or magnitude, that we moderns would consider significant taxation to any degree whatsoever.

But more fundamentally, I think the whole premise that government cannot exist without taxation is suspect. There's a whole literature on such a subject with Ayn Rand being perhaps the first to suggest this. Consider that my State of Florida alone gathers billions in lottery revenue and redistributes hundreds of millions towards public education as an example of revenue generation without taxation. Consider the possiblity of people conducting ordinary sales transactions and contracts and then optionally paying a small percentage to insure access to public courts for enforcement (real estate transactions are the closest thing now we have to such a model). Use your imagination, ingenuity, creativity, and intelligence to come up with other voluntary sources of revenue.

Admittedly, I suspect most acceptable voluntary revenue solutions to replace taxation will fall short in generating an amount equivalent to modern taxation. Certainly the modern welfare State could not be sustained. But this would be the choice of free people and the government has no moral right to forcefully take from some people to give to others .


You are correct that "manipulating the econonmy" is hard to do without a vast hoard of money/capital. Manipulating an economy is fraught with danger however; witness what happened because of government meddling in the economy - the Great Depression, which spread world wide, later preparing the soil for the geneal holocaust of WWII. Its hard to imagine a government causing a greater catrastrophe even intentionally. Free markets should remain free. This means no government manipulation.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118


In any context, US or global, AIDS is not the leading the cause of mortality.


AIDs is not the leading cause of death in the United States, or in the entire world population. It is, as I understand it, the leading cause of death in some nations. In fact, in some countries, up a 1/3 of the population is inficted with HIV.


True, you may be able to find a few isolated countries where AIDS does rank high, but my prior stated facts seem more relevant ("global" meaning considering the world as whole).

What one of your statements is supported by the fact that AIDs is not the leading cause of global deaths? I'm failing to follow your logic.


Even if I grant you that US hetero women are increasing as AIDS cases, in terms of absolute numbers, the mortality level is low as is plainly indicated in my prior post.

I'm not sure I'm following you. A

re you suggesting that your priori statement that a lack of morality leads to the majority of AIDs deaths justifies the observation that the fastest growing population if AIDs victims(in America) are heterosexual women?

Or you suggesting that your priori statement that a lack of morality leads to the majority of AIDs deaths justifies the observation that the fastest growing population if AIDs victims (globally) are heterosexuals?

Or you suggesting that your priori statement that a lack of morality leads to the majority of AIDs deaths justifies the observation that AIDs is the leading cause of death in some counties?



Life and death should NOT be a plaything of political correctness or popularity.

I'm not sure I understand this statement. Are you saying that Life and Death are political playthings of political correctness, with regards to AIDs?

Are you saying that Life and Death are political playthings of popularity, with regards to AIDs? Or are you making a general, philosophical statement about the sanctity of life?

Are you saying that Life and Death are not political playthings of political correctness, with regards to other diseases/issues?

M
[ January 27, 2005: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Malaria is the perfect comparison. More than 1 million people die from malaria each year and most of them are children. In almost every case, malaria is curable. And yet no one talks about a concert for malaria or a world tax for malaria. But then the people that die from malaria aren't wealthy or famous.


This is an excellent point: However, perhaps the Media isn't really to blame. The media really panders to us. If we're not willing to help the unwealthy and poor, and the media reflects that fact, then maybe we should reexamine our own willingness to help.

M
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
I'm opposed to any "global tax" as it would ultimately amount to forced oppression of economic development in the developed world (meaning north America and Europe, possibly also parts of Asia).

This is extremely clear from the entire Kyoto debacle which is exactly that, a global tax leveraged by the UN (whom we didn't even elect...) to destroy the US and EU economies under the guise of "the environment".

Starting along that path leads to very dangerous situations in which one country can decide to kill off economic growth in another under the guise of leveraging a "tax" on it for "fair" distribution of wealth without any checks and ballances.


Why is it that the idea of any global tax just makes me cringe. While the cause is certainly worthy, if that were to pass for some reason, I can only imagine a whole host of things that some might feel require a global tax. And who exactly levies and collects this global tax? Who enforces it? Last I checked, there's no global government that has sovereignty over anyone. Bleh! Can you say taxation without representation?


exactly.


While I know the concept of global taxation would receive a generally violent reaction in the US, I guess such a thing probably wouldn't seem that bad to your average European?


We're not much different from average Americans.
Indeed we've been bludgeoned into paying European taxes for decades, but we've also seen the results which for most of us means our countries are worse off than before except for a few politicians who have cosy jobs in Brussels and Strassbourg.


42
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Call for Global Taxation