Parent FTW! Now why did I have to scroll all the way to the bottom of this thread to see a comment pointing out the obvious translation of this story.
Please give me a scenario where someone gets more back from their taxes than they pay in. I doubt if you can that does not involve someone who is paying very little and getting subsidized from fellow citizens. (A freeloader as you put it.) I could teach someone to read and write and in two years for about 5% of what we pay in government schools, and they would have a lot more respect and work ethic than some punk who has been in ghetto government babysitting for the last12 years.
While I do not doubt that many people get more from government and their tax dollars than they realize, I do not believe it is close to what they actually pay unless they truly are a freeloader.
If a property tax increase impacts you but you do not mind, you are probably more on the wealthy end than you realize. People with average incomes struggle to get by, and expect government (including schools) to make the same sacrifices they are making.
While there are cases where schools really do need money, from my experience most of the special bond elections or associated property tax increases are for fluff not related to improved education. You have to wonder why the tax rate that was working before is not working now, especially in cases where property valuation increases are more than making up for inflation. And throw in the fact that most increases in schools budgets nationally have gone to administration, and you can see the real effect of property tax increases in most cases. http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/03/chart-of-the-day-public-schools-bloated-with-bureaucracy/
While your proposal sounds nice, X could be never be close to the median income. Those who make below the median income (or at least claim that they do) would always vote more goodies for themselves from those who make over the median income because they have absolutely no skin in the game. Taxes would continue to go beyond the optimal rate with nothing to keep it in check. You would end up killing the economy and stagnating as they have in Venezuela. If you bring it down to something like bottom 20th percentile, you still have enough people getting taxed to keep the bottom from pushing tax rates up ad infinitum but the families who are trying to make ends meet who make between 20%-50% would struggle, and this would also hurt the economy.
The best scenario (that will never happen) is to have X at somewhere close to the median but remove power from congress to directly set tax rates. Instead, it could only be changed every ~10 years by an independent group (much like the federal reserve does with monetary policy), and a change would require substantial proof of the effects of the tax rate on the economy and on revenue generated as a percent of GDP.
Unless you live in a very small town with a small government, you will never get the benefit back that you pay into taxes, particularly property taxes. Or if you live in a city, you may be getting something close to the value to what you are paying if you live in a far below median value house (in which case someone else is subsidizing you). However, in that case most likely you are in a bad neighborhood and your kids would be better not going to school than being subjected to substandard government babysitting. And no amount of police (other big chunk of property taxes) will ever make up for risk you are taking on by living there. But move to a nice neighborhood, and you are essentially paying more to NOT ever see the police.
In the next 10 years I will probably pay over $100,000 in property taxes, and I will continue to pay this every 10 years adjusted for increased property values and other stupid pet projects voters in Austin choose to fund. If I have kids, I could send them to send them to a decent private K-12 for that and be done with it instead of pay this over and over the rest of my life. And for police, imagine if neighborhoods were able to hire armed private security with the same basic function as police. This could easily be done for less than $50/month per house, and they would always be a very short way away, instead of potentially an hour or more. Talk about enlightened self interested.
And by the way, gas tax should be used to (and predominately does) pay for all roads. In cases when it is not, local gas or mileage taxes should be adjusted accordingly. This is much more fair and self-sustaining than charging based on how much someone's house is worth.
Mod parent up!!! I have been looking for this for a long time. I can't find any other charting service that offers this, and barely anything written about this topic anywhere online.
If correlation proved causality, your statistics might actually mean something. I could also easily say that gun control results in more murders because the cities in the US with the greatest gun control laws in general have the highest percent of murders. In reality, while this may possibly be a result of tighter gun control, it is also the case that gun control laws were enacted BECAUSE these cities had high murder rates. The fact that they did not work or made things work is only part of the story.
A better question would be if murders went down significantly in countries that banned guns after the ban. They did not, and in fact the opposite happened.
Since Canada passed strict gun control laws, their homicide rate has gone up while at the same time going down in the US:
In England, people injured by firearms has increased by 110% in the 10 years leading up to 2008. (Ban was enacted in 1997). In late 2009 The Telegraph reported that gun crime had doubled in the last 10 years, with an increase in both firearms offences and deaths.
UK Gun Statistics
Australia did not ban guns, but has seen mixed results with their efforts to reduce the amount of guns owned. Accidental gun deaths are up, gun suicides are down with other suicides are up by the same amount, and assault rates are up. Gun robberies increased for the first 5 years but are now back down to the levels they were before the gun buyback program.
So comparing gun deaths in the US to countries that already had much lower gun deaths before the ban guns is obviously an irreverent comparison for this debate. Violence in the US is a complex issue, and one that will not be solved by more gun control laws. As long as one group of people is always blaming others for the problem, we will never get a handle on how to change our culture to reduce the attractiveness of violence in the minds of our children. For that to happen, we need to co-operation of parents, government, the media, Hollywood, etc. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen, because in my mind the biggest problem is children growing up without fathers being raised by TV, movies, and "music" artists which promote violence. As long as the government pays people to have children and pays single mothers to stay single and poor, this is not going to change.
SydShamino, some good points, but wow, I must comment on these quotes:
We want to force them to comply with the will of the majority
I don't want to hear any complaining when the majority takes your rights away, if that is the kind of society you want to live in.
And frankly, most of the laws of society exists to force people who lack empathy and benevolence to comply under penalty of imprisonment.
While I completely agree with your point, I am guessing you vote for a party that likes to say "You cannot legislate morality". I am always baffled when liberals say this to social issues they do not care about, and then they try to legislate morality in every other part of their platform.
find a case of a black man doing this to a white kid *under equal circumstances*, where the black man was not arrested.
Here you go:
Hot off the presses even! It just happened, and it wasn't that hard to find. If you had searched for this you would have found this or many other cases just like it. The reason you don't hear about this or others like it is that other races down have their own racial extortionists like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton to rile up the ignorant within their race.
It is very common that people don't get charged until some evidence is built against them. It is also common that people get stuck in jail when there is very little evidence against them when people of power are nervous about looking bad in case they are wrong. This happened to a friend of mine who was eventually released on house arrest but has waited over a year and they still won't let it go to trial, since they know they have no case against him but the news scared people in our city about the case by reporting completely made up information. To me, the former is a better situation than the latter. Since our country allows bounty hunters, there is statistically very little risk for anyone fleeing if they do decide to make an arrest.
I don't know if you can get arrested for finding something and keeping it, but this guy did not get arrested, he had is house searched with the police help. (Hence the relation to this story.) They did not even find the phone, so it is not clear if he did in fact find it and take it.
This reminds me of this story:
The police assisted corporate security folks from Apple to search the house for their missing iphone. This guy had is house searched, even though he just found the phone laying there. But if you are the average Joe Schmoe and you actually got it stolen instead of left it at a bar like an idiot, then you are SOL.
You are using the wrong definition for democracy. This is confusing because it has a double meaning. You are using it in its broad definition of 'popular government', meaning elections. However, when people distinguish between 'Republic and Democracy', they mean the 'type of popular government', which is actually a more narrow definition.
So in a sense you are correct, but you are not referring to the same word that those you are trying to 'correct' are using.
That would be binary, not ternary.
I was in a high-level math class in 8th grade that had just as many girls as boys, and many of the girls were very good. By my senior year in high school, most of the girls were no longer in the highest level math class offered, or if they were they had mediocre scores. I'm am sure much if this was cultural, but I believe by the time the girls got into high school they started focusing on the areas that interested them more. They graduated with high grades and were very capable to do any subject the school offered, but they pursued other AP classes.
In college, there were very few girls going towards math or engineering majors. The ones in my engineering classes generally just never seemed interested in learning the material or excited about the field, but they had decided it was what they were "good" at and could make a good career at. Many of the guys were the same way, but a substantial number of us really did take a interest in learning and doing the projects. I don't know if this "interest" gap is cultural or biological, but if you look at how you children are drawn towards different toys and behavior based on gender, I would say there is still a biologic component here that this study is missing.
(Sorry for re-post, forgot to log in)
You do honestly not think banks contribute to society? The entire world economy is based on banks and their ability to leverage the money the have to create loans.
I hate some of the big banks as much as the next guy but I am not sure how you can not see how much our economy depends on banks. Do you have a retirement account? Ever use a credit card? Ever borrow money for a car or home? Would you prefer a corner "money store" or borrow from the mafia? I personally enjoy being able to take advantage of the services banks or credit unions offer at virtually no cost to me.