I don't think I've ever heard of PBR being a hipster beer. The only reason I know of people drinking it is because it's damn inexpensive.
Considering the option to disable is right there in the choices to change it? Yes. Now, there isn't a setting called "enable/disable," but it can either start automatically or not, so I think that counts the same. I'll admit I was a little quick to judge, but most of the KDE issues I've seen are people giving up before they find the setting they are looking for, when a couple minutes of following xkcd's computer troubleshooting flowchart would've worked great.
I've never had to use a passworded pdf, and I don't really see the need for one (for me); they just don't come up in my workflow.
I found it odd that you would "chmod -x" a bunch of things instead of looking, so that was part of why I thought troll.
So I was about to call you a troll, because I've changed the screensaver on KDE a few times. Then I remembered that it's in the display and monitor section of the system settings, which makes sense, but could be in other places. I've never had to use a password protected PDF, but if it's anything like Kmail, then you just hit no to saving the password when it asks, and you can tell it to not ask again with the little check box. Yes, I think you are just may be trolling.
Movie? I thought it was from the game Uplink.
Except I'm pretty sure more users would want the OMG Ponies! theme than the SlashBI crap.
I have to have proof of insurance when I go to the DMV to put register my car and get plates for it. How is insurance not mandatory?
A week ago, I had a discussion with a few people about income tax. Prior to that, I hadn't given it much thought, just that a flat tax would be the easiest and simplest way to do it. I started to like their point, so I was looking into it. I think I could be for small government without the constitution, but I don't think I want to. A flat tax would treat everyone equal, which would be necessary under the constitution.
I agree that the progressive tax is a money grab by the government, but I didn't think of limiting the goverment's power by limiting its income. I guess I figured it would just print more as it needed. And rather than cause more/worse inflation, I saw the tax as a way to curb the inflation. I think we agree that both inflation and unfair taxation are bad. And rather than try to pick the lesser of two evils, a trap I fell into, you want to pick the "no evil" option of changing the system. I think what we may continue to disagree on is the percentage for income tax, but I have yet to read your post on the illegality of such. Hopefully I do that soon, before I forget.
As far as the interstates, I have no good reason for Hawaii having one, unless they made a bridge and no one told me. I suppose infrastructure could be done entirely privately, though I'm still not seeing it. The initial investment for roads would cost a ridculous amount to get the land, and without the idea of eminent domain, one land owner could derail the entire thing. If however, you mean the maintenance and upkeep of said roads, after having paths for them to go, is done by private companies, I can sort of see that. I don't see wholly private roads as a good idea.
I don't see how property rights protect against environmental pollution. Let's say we both have a river running through our land, and you're downstream of me, and I'm too lazy to properly dispose of some waste so I instead dump it in the river. I would be within my rights to do that, as it's on my property, but it would impact you in a negative way. I don't see any recourse you would have for that if there aren't regulations in place that make what I'm doing bad. An absolute cap on damages is dumb, but I can see a system where the fine would be three times the damages as calculated a certain time has passed, for instance. Enough time for damages to be reasonably computed.
As far as internet/phone, I wasn't trying to say everyone should have the same level of service for the same price, but that they should have an option to use it at some level. I don't think dial-up counts as a reasonable alternative, either. When internet companies decide not to service an area because it would cost too much for too little return, I get that. But the fact that they are preventing competition from filling in those gaps is stupid. I guess that's part of the problem of them being monopolies?
As far as the stocks and bonds thing, that short bit was some useful information. It seems to me that the intent is good, but it has been twisted. Stocks raise capital for the company when issued, but then all of the traders that aren't holding onto them as a longterm investment are not adding any value to the system.
The social problem of people wanting things for free, and the sense of entitlement annoys the hell out of me, partly because I can't rationalize it. If you never work for anything, then you never accomplish anything worth doing. I just don't see how people can want that. I want to do things that mean something, even if the only one who thinks so is me.
As far as the invest back in the economy, I don't think I wrote well enough to what I meant. I don't mean for the chairmaker to shut down the chair factory as soon as he reaches X amount of money. Instead, I meant more for the chairmaker to stop pulling money from the chair factory, and to have it put to use by the chair factory that generated it. I get that successful people usually like what they do, and I wouldn't want to prevent them from continuing to do it. In a roundabout sort of way, I guess I agree with you on this point, but went a different way to get to that conclusion.
Understand this point: CONSUMPTION WITHOUT PRODUCTION IS DESTRUCTIVE TO THE ECONOMY.
And that's what governments do.
I disagree on the abstract, but must agree in practice. The military, the collective representation, can be productive. The military waging wars and inciting fear and all that is still a product, albeit not a very good one. I think the military should be used as a last resort, and for defense only, but at this point I suppose it is wishful thinking.
Of course I would read the post in its entirety(probably the only one though). It's not a troll(I hope, it got me thinking), I haven't seen it before, and it's interesting. To be honest though, I almost dismissed your first post in the thread as too outlandish a claim(the bit about gov't workers not paying income tax). Also I apologize for jumping around a bit. Your post is kind of long, and so I'm responding to parts as they catch my eye, because I went and read the whole thing a couple hours before typing the reply.
Also, I realized during preview, that while this is a long post, it's not nearly as informative as I'd hoped.
If we had this discussion about a week ago, I would have agreed with a flat income tax across the board for everyone. However, a flat income tax is more unfair to the lower income earners than the graduated income tax is to the higher income earners. Even with the higher tax, they still have more money to live on than those in the lower tax. I get that life isn't fair and all, but those who are earning more are doing so because of what the government is providing. Yes, they would be paying more (amount-wise) even with the same percentage.
Your example of Steve Jobs only spending 4% of his money is a good one for this. I have an admittedly simplistic understanding of how investments work, so please bear with me. He spent 4%, and that money was directly put back into the economy. That 96% that he never spent, he accrued intrest on it by it being loaned out* and other people using the loaned money. He now gets more money he's not going to spend. What good is having the money if he's not going to spend it? It was in his means to be able to pay a higher percentage in taxes. I think there is a paint where once someone has an amount of money where can't really spend it all, there really isn't a point to getting more.
*I'm sure there were stocks and other things, but I really don't get how stocks provide value. People biy them, and then hopefully sell them to someone else for more than they paid, but I don't see any value being created.
As far as those in the higher brackets taking their wealth out of the country, I think that's part of the problem. If the tax system was a hell of a lot simpler and there wasn't a way to avoid the taxes, then I would have no problem with a flat tax percentage. I think it's a social issue, people wanting as much as the can get away with, and I don't see that changing.
I agree with small government. The government should be doing as little as possible, things like infrastructure, defense, crime control, and yes, regulations when needed. Gov't should not be trying to expand its powers, but keep with the minimum necessary to keep society going. The interstate highway system is a good thing, and I don't think it would have been done by the private sector. Look at internet and cell phone providers, they don't have full coverage, and in many cases, people are lucky to have a choice between internet provders. These companies don't want to spend the money expanding infrastructure, nor improving it. That's not really due to regulation, but greed.
Envirnmental regulations can be a good thing. Car emission standards are good, considering how many cars are on the roads. There wasn't very much travel in the 19th century. States like California take it to the extreme, but that doesn't mean all regulations are bad. The USA is still an innovator today, even with the regulations.
Yes, gov'ts are doing too much, and that can create problems, which can snowball into larger problems by doing even more. You'll get no argument on that from me.
As far as what the USA was befor the 19th century, it was a newly created country. It was more of an afterthought because it just became independent of those same European countries. It took a couple decades to get things sorted out, and then yes, became a powerhouse in the 1800s, and still is. Off hand I can't think of any country that upon inception, was an instant major player. These things take time.
I didn't say I don't care about income tax, but that I don't have a problem with the concept. The current implementation leaves a bit to be desired, but the day everything is perfect is a day I doubt I'll live to see.
It's true, I don't pay much in income tax, but then again, I don't make much, either, so that's expected.
I like the idea of graduated income tax brackets, because it enables those who do make more to contribute more, but without burdening them as much. They have more money total, so they can spare more to give to the government that enables them to live as such. That's the short version.
If we were to get rid of income tax, where would government reveue come from to fund the public works and such things it does currently do? I understand a bunch of stuff would be cut, which would be a good thing, but I can't see the government getting enough money from sales tax, property tax, and whatnot.
I must disagree. Roads, schools, and other public works provide value to society, and are paid for by the government, who has workers at least overseeing these projects. Just because the value isn't monetary doesn't mean it has no value.
Payment for labour may not be profit directly, but it can be if the worker values their labor at a rate lower than what they are being paid. However, it is still an incoming fund to the worker. If you get money from any source, it is income. Is there a difference between revenue and income that I'm missing?
Earlier in the thread, you said:
The point is that under the definition of what income taxes are: they are taxes upon revenue or pre-tax profit...
True, a goverment worker is not generating new income for the government(unless they're collecting fines, but I'm not going to look at that now). I don't see why any worker of the government needs to generate income, when the government is capable of generating more money on its own(inflation). Government should be spending the money it collects for the betterment of society.
That government worker is doing a job that the government needs done. How is that any different than a company worker doing a job the company needs done? They are getting paid for services rendered, and it really doesn't matter where that money comes from. For the worker, that money is income, revenue, payment, whatever you want to call it. That money will be taxed.
Maybe I'm obtuse, but I'm reading what you've written, and I think you're just playing word games.
From your definition of what income takes are, you say they or on revenue OR pre-tax profit. Revenue is the money coming in, right? That's incoming money. Income. And money that is left over after subtracting the expenses from this income, is called profit. I would argue that people can have profit, and it would be called savings. This savings would be the money left over that they didn't yet spend.
I agree that the government is in a position to subtract the income tax amount straight from the worker's paycheck, and would most likely argue that they should, as it would make for less paperwork. However, I think this idea would not work currently because there are so many levels of government that have taxes of their own (federal, state, county, w/e), each trying to take their piece of the paycheck, that it's easier to do it the way it is done now, because of how the widtheld portion would have to be divied up.
As far as your implied statement that government workers don't do anytihng, by saying only those outside the government create value, I think it's bullshit. I'll concede the point there is a lot of waste, in that there are a not insignificant amount of people who are doing little more than collecting a paycheck, but I also see some things that are not easy to put a dollar value on. As one example, what's the value of defense, the deterrant the military is? Those soldiers might be maintaining equipment, or themselves through training, which may seem to not have any value but their purpose is what? Defense, to protect the nation.
I think I got a little distracted from my main point, which is that it is, in fact, an income tax that is paid by government workers. I'll leave the legality of an income tax for another time, but I don't have a problem with the concept of income tax.
I'm fairly confident the GP was making a joke, but I think you were serious. Government workers do pay income taxes. Unless of course, soldiers are not govenment workers, because they pay federal income taxes, and, depending on the state, state income taxes as well.
You mean less, I hope. It weighs less at the top of a mountain than it would at sea level because the distance(R) is bigger.
A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you. -- Ramsey Clark