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Comment: Re:Bad Solution (Score 1) 826

by shaitand (#49740079) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
" Use-based taxing on roads... if there's a need to tax for "economic benefit", put it somewhere else"

Agreed a fair tax on use would be very complex and cumbersome to calculate. Which is why there shouldn't be use taxes and fees. Shift everything to the income tax system or better yet a tax on wealth.

Comment: Re:Bad Solution (Score 1) 826

by shaitand (#49740037) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
"As it stands, the wealthy people pay the vast majority of the income taxes, and the poorer HALF of the country pays essentially no income tax at all."

Hardly. The top 5% do. The top 5% aren't the wealthy. You could provide full government healthcare, fully paid higher education, a paid year off work for new mothers and fathers, and the top .001% could pay 100% of the bill and the only thing it would do is slightly slow their rate of wealth accumulation. And currently, they pay the same effective tax rate as that of the lowest income bracket.

"Or would you just keep taking some of everyone's assets, every year, until nobody has anything left?"

Way to beg the question. People would be better educated and more healthy. More money would be moving in the economy. Wages would increase across the board, revenues would increase across the board, infrastructure would improve and for the vast vast majority of our population this would easily give them enough to pay the tax on their meager assets without losing anything, it might even allow them to actually have some assets. This would make it easier for small businesses to start and generate enough revenue to stay alive. The only ones with an issue might be massive corps and those shifting their increasing wealth around from investment to investment and who make all their wealth passively.

Comment: Re:Bad Solution (Score 1) 826

by shaitand (#49739737) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
"Do you really believe the rich get 80% of the use of the road? I, the working man, wanted to go to McDonalds. I used the road for myself, to get where I wanted to go. Am I free to go to McDonalds when I feel like it, or not?"

I don't see what that has to do with a McDonald's employee using the road to go make McDonald's money. I'm talking about wear and tear on the roads from people commuting to work and commercial trucking. If McDonald's employees stop using roads/sidewalks/traffic signals/police and fire protection/etc to drive to work and back every day for a month and that doesn't cost McDonald's any money I'll concede that they shouldn't be on the hook for paying for that infrastructure.

"You do realize there is only one logical end conclusion to your line of thinking; the rich should not be allowed to exist in the first place. They are always going to 'get more benefit' from everything than the non-rich. Maybe you can do away with them even though everyone else in the past 100 generations tha has tried, has failed."

For now I'd settle for not charging people using roads fees and pay for them via the income tax system. Sure it unfairly punishes the top 1% while the top .001% pay an effective tax rate that is less than the lowest income bracket but it's better than expecting a McDonalds burger flipper to pay the same per mile to drive to work as passive investor who gets all the profit from that drive and doesn't even have to drive to work.

Comment: Re:Bad Solution (Score 1) 826

by shaitand (#49739483) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
"The most fair would be for each person to bear their portion of the cost that they create. Since that isn't practical, a rough approximation is the next best thing. How much of the maintenance costs do they cause? As a rough approximation, it's proportional to the amount they use the resource (the road, in this case)."

Which is exactly what I'm proposing. The employer is depending on the road infrastructure to facilitate it's business function, namely, to get all the employees who generate 100% of it's fiscal gains to where it's needs them to be. Since it gets the majority of the financial gains it should pay the majority of the expense. Saying the employee is the one using the road is equivalent to charging this tax to the truck drivers a company employees. Want to test it? How about all the employees of HP not utilize any public infrastructure for their commute one month without detaining staff and see if it impacts their revenues. If not being able to use buses, subways, sidewalks, roads, traffic signals, or depend on the protection of police has no impact on HP's business you win if it does then the commute is in fact part of HP's business function.

"The fact that one person, for whatever reason, has accumulated more dollars is not directly relevant at all. It's just like when you go to the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread - the price is based on the cost of ingredients, the preparation costs, shipping, wages for workers, some portion of the store's overhead, some portion for profits. Nowhere in that equation is how much money you make, how hard you work, etc."

It is completely relevant. Bread is not public infrastructure. But it does cost in terms of public infrastructure to make, it causes wear and tear for employees to commute, it costs on the subsidized power grid, it costs to enforce the regulations to make a bread shop produce safe product, it costs to provide police to protect it, it costs federal funds out the wazoo to support the banking structure and security, healthcare costs to keep staff healthy and able to produce the bread, drive the trucks, repair equipment, education for the same, etc. The things you list are actually only a minor factor in the price of bread or anything else, that is the minimum cost, the actual cost is whatever the consumer can be gotten to pay. However all these expenses are present for every loaf of bread, and if a loaf of bread is $1 and I have $10 dollars in my pocket I have the public resources required to produce 10 loaves of bread sitting in my pocket. If you have $100, your $100 represents 10x as many public resources.

Comment: Re:Bad Solution (Score 1) 826

by shaitand (#49739157) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
"You want to use MORE tax dollars to keep a running tally on what percentage of the value of a road's use is reflected in the ebbing and flowing profitability of all of the businesses that might be located somewhere along or connected to a given municipality's various types of roads?"

Nope. I want to eliminate all government fees and all taxes (at all levels) and replace with one, I want that one tax to be on wealth and not revenue (revenue stimulates the economy, accumulated wealth does not). This eliminates all need to make special exceptions based on income, tally expenses, etc. Zero tax breaks, zero tax exemptions, zero variation in rate.

I also would like to see that tax administered at the state level and not the federal level and let the federal authorities request their funds from the states.

But all that is another issue. In the meantime I'd settle for absolishing all use based fees and paying for all those things with federal tax dollars. Businesses already get a huge advantage here. Last I checked the rest of us pay higher tax rates and don't get to deduct all the money we've spent through the year and only pay tax on what's left over.

Comment: Re:Bad Solution (Score 1) 826

by shaitand (#49737365) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
"Your notion that road taxes should be higher if you make more money than someone when you get where you're going is ... preposterous. "

I raise you rush hour. Commercial transport of goods, work related travel, and commuting to and from work by far constitute the largest source of wear and tear on the roadways. Both the employee and the employer have need for this travel to generate revenue. This is in the interest of government and society because it stimulates the economy. We are spending government resources to generate that revenue, if I get 100% of the revenue I should pay 100% of the costs from that revenue, if I get 70-90%, I should pay 70-90% if you switch out the "I" in those statements with "my employer" it remains true. If it is fair to say the person using the roadway should pay it's cost because they get the benefit, it's fair to point out that 70-90% of the benefit is gotten by their employer.

"What about two shoe salesmen who drive down the same road to the same store to go to work? One is a poor communicator, never takes a shower, and can never seem to handle more than one customer at a time. His co-worker has his act together, and customers respond well by buying more shoes. He makes three times the commission, which translates to a much better income. You're suggesting that he (the better shoe salesman) should be charged more to use the same road because he's not a lazy idiot."

In what way? That changes the scale, in both cases the owner of the shoe store is getting 70-90% of the value generated by the salesman's efforts and therefore gets 70-90% of the benefit from their use of the roads. However, how the more successful salesman ended up with more money is irrelevant and largly none of the governments business. 3 x the dollars represents 3 times the purchasing power in goods and services which means about three times the total public infrastructure cost the bill for ending up with 3 x as much of the goods and services and therefore the person who ends up with those dollars should pay a proportionate bill. Your saying one guy should get the benefit of (dollars generated by) 75% of their combined public infrastructure costs while they both pay 50% of those costs? I'm saying the cost should 70-90% fall on the owner who got 70-90% of the dollars, and the remaining balance be split 75/25 again in accord with who got the dollars. Which seems more fair? Any "laziness" has already been accounted for by earning 25% of what the other salesman earned.

Comment: Re:Bad Solution (Score 1) 826

by shaitand (#49737019) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
"Interesting. Is there a practical way to address this, though?"

Eliminate all use based taxes and fund all government spending via wealth based taxation. Scaled revenue taxation is better than use or sales based taxation but revenue generation benefits our economy. Wealth accumulation on the other hand is of no benefit to the economy.

"Also, it seems extremely rare to have a road lead just to one business, so the 70-90% number is probably on the high side."

I earn six figures so not low income, still my employer still bills 100% of my time out at 5 times what I make. That means 80% of the revenue I generate goes to my employer. That means anytime I travel to and from work or for anything that benefits my career my employer should be paying 80% of the cost of any wear and tear on the roads. Additionally, since I spend nearly 50% of my waking hours (aka life) producing revenue for them 80% of all government infrastructure (roads, replacement drivers licenses, medical infrastructure, police, housing, "my" share of government agency costs, defense, etc) costs that come from my life should be paid by them.

It's no different if you make $20,000-30,000/yr like most folks. Your employer still generally will be taking 70-90% of the value you generate. Therefore 70-90% of "your" share of public infrastructure and services use cost belongs to them.

Even if you think the share of someone who earns six figures vs someone who earns $20,000yr should be equal based on millage (I don't, dollars represent goods and services and $1 buys roughly 100000x less of them than $100,000 and therefore requires about 1/100000th the public infrastructure to generate). How much public roadway infrastructure do you think is used by people commuting to work for someone else? Ever been in a city at rush hour?

Comment: Bad Solution (Score 1) 826

by shaitand (#49735867) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
This tax, and the one it replaces, would charge people commuting to McDonalds equally with the owners of McDonalds even though the owners get somewhere between 70-90% of the economic benefit from that road use. Almost all government taxes/fees which are applied with use rather than scaled on revenue share this problem. Pretty much universally, these kind of taxes are a way for people who get only a partial share of the value they create to pay a full share of the cost of the public infrastructure required to create that value, making the poorest among us subsidize the wealthiest.

Comment: Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 1) 286


Citation? You aren't likely to find that as government PR spin but actions speak louder than words. So review native american treaties, the acquisition of Texas, the rest of the southwest, and California.

New mexico for instance was invaded, ownership by claim of might equals right was recognized by the US, the US purchased it for a song then didn't actually pay the bill to Mexico because the US was strong enough to get away with it.

Comment: Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 2) 286

"Natives as a group have the lowest standard of living in the state."

Like he said... "They are better off than anyone else in Polynesia, and have one of the highest standards of living in the world."

Just because it's a low standard by Hawaiian standards doesn't mean its a low standard with any reasonable perspective.

Comment: Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 1) 286

"The reason why these whackjobs's opinions matter is the US is an invading and occupying colonial power who has given the vote to illegal settlers and who has appropriated this Hawaiian land, manifest destiny and all. I get that all of the native American treaties are void and most of the US should be legally reverted to native control and the illegal settlers expelled; but natives don't have nukes or numbers only casinos at the whim of the occupying power."

Oh please. No human beings are the genuine natives of a single square inch of the planet and all of it has passed in possession from hand to hand. There isn't a single person within Hawaii who was there when it wasn't part of the US and they are all born US citizens. Along with all the other native americans. The treaties were nothing more than kindness to people with leaders too stupid to surrender before getting everyone they were responsible for protecting slaughtered.

A treaty is no different than any other contract, you break it when the benefits outweigh the consequences. It's no different than breaking a cell phone contract when the new offer outweighs the cancellation fee. I have native blood (Blackfoot, not Hawaiian) and I have friends who are full blooded and some of them refuse to take the money from those casinos. They don't feel they are entitled to any special treatment just because of the accident of birth.

Comment: Re:Innate Value (Score 1) 253

by shaitand (#49605943) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Disrupting the Argentine Economy
"That needs not be the case."

That's a common misunderstanding. It does need to be the case and has been mathematically proven that it needs to be the case. Bitcoin miners are performing work, specifically, they are validating transactions. If they were doing something else instead the blockchain wouldn't be guaranteed to be valid and bitcoin could be counterfeited.

Today bitcoin would be a perfect choice for exchanging value between two untrusting parties, even governments. You could have an entity set up a mining operation and control all mining of a bitcoin clone and then distribute based on some other work being performed but then you are back to trusting the entity doing the mining.

If you disagree and think the math is flawed you are welcome to dazzle us all and build the solution. People do things that aren't supposed to be possible every day.

Comment: Re:25% deflation? Amateurs, I tell you! (Score 2) 253

by shaitand (#49589047) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Disrupting the Argentine Economy
"Did you seriously just say something that exists only in the digital realm"

Seriously are we back in the 90's? Some of the most valuable things on earth only exist in the digital realm, see microsoft office and windows, google, and everything produced by the television and movie industries.

"which solves a cryptographic puzzle nobody actually asked or cares about"

The puzzle of money that can't be counterfeited, doesn't require inflation, and doesn't depend on a central bank? I'm not sure how that falls under a cryptographic puzzle nobody cares about. Using bitcoin to trade with the Chinese would certainly solve some massive problems for the US very quickly.

The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong -- until the next person quits or is fired.