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  1. #111
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Ne
    You could have just written: "I don't really know. It just sounds like there would be to me, but I have no proof."
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  2. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Just because people are willing to pay for something does not necessarily mean that it has objective value. Obvious examples would be drugs like opium. Even though the demand is great, we restrict their consumption because we recognize that our society would be harmed in the long run.

    The same value judgment can be applied to people like Paris Hilton. She might make a lot of money, but if everyone were to emulate her, the competitiveness of our nation would be negatively impacted.

    Opium has great value. Almost all of our drugs for moderate to severe pain are synthetic derivatives of opium. And restricting supply of opium and opioids is a net negative for society, because the Drug War is a failure. It INCREASES the prices on opioids and makes their production that much more valuable. The government sets an unintentional price floor on drugs, because drug dealers factor in the potential for arrest, theft, and death in their trade. And I will go further: drugs like heroin can be used without being abused. The country would be a lot better off if drugs were decriminalized (and marijuana outright legalized, like alcohol was in 1933). The country is WORSE off right now.

    I also don't see how Paris Hilton would equate to a potentially fatal drug, either. Your post is totally incoherent.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Opium has great value. Almost all of our drugs for moderate to severe pain are synthetic derivatives of opium.
    So what you're saying is, if a little is good, more is better? Should the leaders promote its recreational use in schools?

    I also don't see how Paris Hilton would equate to a potentially fatal drug, either. Your post is totally incoherent.
    You were trying to argue that it is impossible to objectively say that Paris Hilton has no value since she makes a lot of money. The ability to make money is a very poor gauge of a person's value to society.

  4. #114
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    So what you're saying is, if a little is good, more is better? Should the leaders promote its recreational use in schools?
    What I am saying is that Prohibition has never worked, and that our priorities are completely skewed when it comes to drugs. Restricting supply doesn't work. All it does is to make the black market for drugs more dangerous and more profitable. Leaders shouldn't be "promoting" anything in schools, other than learning. You are supposed to educate children, not indoctrinate them. They spread deliberate misinformation about drugs in school programs like D.A.R.E., too.


    You were trying to argue that it is impossible to objectively say that Paris Hilton has no value since she makes a lot of money. The ability to make money is a very poor gauge of a person's value to society.
    ECONOMIC value! Why is this such a hard concept to understand? It has nothing to do with someone's intrinsic value as a human being. You may not like it, but Paris Hilton has far more value to the economy than you or I do. That doesn't make her better or worse. It's just a fact of life.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #115
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    You might as well give it up, merc. They don't speak your language.

  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    You might as well give it up, merc. They don't speak your language.
    It's a hell of a thing to be an ESFJ arguing logic and economics to N's who don't seem to be able to think impersonally about them.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  7. #117
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    If "urban sprawl" is what the market wants, then that may well happen. Look at Houston. No zoning laws, highways everywhere, sprawling and ugly. It also happens to be one of the fastest-growing major cities in America.
    I'm going to disagree with you here. The "market" may appear to favor urban sprawl, but that's only due to government intervention in other areas. What if, instead of spending tax money on more roads, that tax money was spent on mass transit? See where I'm going here? Urban sprawl forces government to increase the size of its infrastructure (roads, water, sewer, etc), which contributes to the neglect of existing infrastructure.

    The government is a player whether we like it or not.

    Well wince income taxes would be eliminated and excise taxes decreased significantly, I think taxes for almost everyone would be decreased. The relative tax burden would be shifted to owners of large amounts of land. Hong Kong seems to do well with their land value tax, although their system is somewhat tainted by the government being the monopoly landowner. We don't have that problem in the United States. . . yet.
    I look at it this way. What percentage of overall tax revenue do farmers contribute right now? That percentage is probably lower than the percentage of land they own. Therefore, burden would be shifted more heavily on farmers. I'm not considering reduction in government expenses since that is a different issue.

    Also, small farming is pretty inefficient economically in this day and age. Many small farmers would have sold out long ago if they didn't have cheap government loans, price floors, high tariffs, subsidies. etc. Those are the most market-distorting taxes/disbursements of all.
    First of all, large corporate farms benefit the most from government programs. Secondly, your judgment of inefficiency is only valid if you ignore externalities. For example, large chicken farms in Maryland are responsible for much of the pollution (due to runoff contaminated with animal waste) of the Chesapeake Bay. Small farms do not have the same environmental impact (it's an exponential relationship, not linear). We can debate over the actual cost (in dollars) of that pollution, but the reality is that pollution does have a cost which is not paid by large corporate chicken farmers.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I'm going to disagree with you here. The "market" may appear to favor urban sprawl, but that's only due to government intervention in other areas. What if, instead of spending tax money on more roads, that tax money was spent on mass transit? See where I'm going here? Urban sprawl forces government to increase the size of its infrastructure (roads, water, sewer, etc), which contributes to the neglect of existing infrastructure.

    The government is a player whether we like it or not.
    And these are the kinds of questions that are best answered through A) the market; and B) the lowest possible level of government. The rules in Houston would be different than the rules in New York, and that is not a bad thing.


    I look at it this way. What percentage of overall tax revenue do farmers contribute right now? That percentage is probably lower than the percentage of land they own. Therefore, burden would be shifted more heavily on farmers. I'm not considering reduction in government expenses since that is a different issue.
    Non-corporate farmers don't contribute much, since their income is relatively low. However, farmers as a group have the highest percentage of millionaires in the United States. This is because farming requires large plots of land, and land is very valuable.

    Of course, I don't think switching to a land value tax while spending $3 trillion in government and running $1 trillion+ deficits would really do much good. There are systemic problems more important than the particular area in which we raise revenue. I am not even advocating the Single Tax, just playing Devil's Advocate. George was very much against protectionism and corporate subsidies and very much FOR free trade. The Single Tax was part of a greater program.


    First of all, large corporate farms benefit the most from government programs. Secondly, your judgment of inefficiency is only valid if you ignore externalities. For example, large chicken farms in Maryland are responsible for much of the pollution (due to runoff contaminated with animal waste) of the Chesapeake Bay. Small farms do not have the same environmental impact (it's an exponential relationship, not linear). We can debate over the actual cost (in dollars) of that pollution, but the reality is that pollution does have a cost which is not paid by large corporate chicken farmers.
    This kinda gets back to the "pollution is a tort" mindset I was writing about earlier. I don't want to get too bogged down in libertarian environmentalism minutiae here, though. Suffice it to say that getting rid of all income and sales taxes and replacing them with a land value tax would require changes so big in our country that MANY issues (including externalities and environmental torts) would probably have to be addressed in a brand new way.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #119
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Buying lottery tickets alleviates some tax burden for people smart enough not to play the lottery, since the proceeds go to things like public schools, programs for seniors, etc.
    Yes, but they bought ONE lottery ticket and got the entire prize, they don't add more utility than all the others who have won. You're completely throwing out randomness from your model of economic worth of individual, that's what's ticking people off - part of how much you can earn is randomly determined and not equal to economic value added.

    Btw, I'm also a geolibertarian.
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  10. #120
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And these are the kinds of questions that are best answered through A) the market; and B) the lowest possible level of government. The rules in Houston would be different than the rules in New York, and that is not a bad thing.
    To say that these are best answered through the market begs the question, what type of market? The direction market is a reflection of governmental regulation (see medical insurance being tied to employment as an example). We cannot completely remove the government from the process, and even the idea of the "lowest possible level" is somewhat subjective. My point being, government intervention should be applied in a fashion that gives us the desired result.

    Non-corporate farmers don't contribute much, since their income is relatively low. However, farmers as a group have the highest percentage of millionaires in the United States. This is because farming requires large plots of land, and land is very valuable.
    Non-corporate farmers don't contribute much because the rules are stacked against them. They can't participate in the market like the large corporate farms that are pushing their externalities off on others. Would large corporate farms be "more efficient" if they were forced to cover these costs? I have my doubts. Perhaps in some respects (or with certain crops), but it most certainly would not be ubiquitous, as it is now.

    This kinda gets back to the "pollution is a tort" mindset I was writing about earlier. I don't want to get too bogged down in libertarian environmentalism minutiae here, though. Suffice it to say that getting rid of all income and sales taxes and replacing them with a land value tax would require changes so big in our country that MANY issues (including externalities and environmental torts) would probably have to be addressed in a brand new way.
    Any solution to the pollution externality issue has to take into account that corporations will probably have far more resources at their disposal (high priced, well funded legal teams) than the plantiffs, who would probably be either groups of individuals or municipalities. I have my doubts about any sort of judicial system solution succeeding. The playing field might be level before the law, but it's not level economically. I would rather see this applied more like a tax.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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