Episode-1693- Listener Feedback for 12-14-15 — 9 Comments

  1. Regarding the universal income idea pondering, I have a minor addition to your final comments about it. Yes, if it was implemented by having a cut-off if one’s income went over a certain amount, it would disincentivize people from earning over that cut-off amount, unless of course they were expecting to get a lot more than that cut-off amount. It would be better to try to make the cut-off graduated, that way people would at least still have some incentive. For example, earn 10,000 over that cut-off, you lose 5000 of the “universal income”. I don’t know what numbers might work best nor have I analyzed the numbers to see if even that is possible under the current system (I strongly suspect not). When I add up all the taxes I currently have to pay, I figured out that for each additional dollar I earn, nearly half of it goes straight to taxes anyway. The first dollars don’t have this problem, just all the additional dollars I try to earn. So, I already have this problem of a near 50% loss anyway, yet I still try to earn more. (I don’t like it at all, but that’s what I currently have to deal with.)

    Anyway, another reason this would never work is because the government would implement this without actually removing much if any of the other welfare! Can you imagine the weeping and gnashing of teeth the lefties would do at the thought of all that other welfare going away? No, they’d insist it all stay… and just tax the 1% to pay for it (that’s the solution for everything).

    • Like I said though if you kept the current tax system that is already done. If you look at how little a single person keeps when their income goes from 30-45 grand a year it will make you sick.

      Note that is for AGI not strait gross income.

  2. The problem with basic income:

    Currency is not a resource, it is a system of accounting for the production of resources. An extremely imperfect system yes.

    But this means the time and effort to produce the resources must be taken from somebody else by force.

  3. I think that if we are going to be stuck with a state, then a small state with a single tax on the unimproved value of land with any surplus revenue being equally distributed among the citizens in the form of a dividend would be a pretty good way to go. (More or less the philosophy of Henry George as I understand it.)

    I don’t think we could successfully implement such a state because the power elite who write the laws aren’t going to do anything that would hurt their own wealth and power. Even if we could achieve such a form of government it probably wouldn’t last long because the state is too attractive of a tool to evil people and those who think the ends justify the means.

  4. “Theide argued Wood only passed out fliers because he knew of another case taking place that day. Court records for November 24 show Andy Yoder, an Amish man, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors regarding Department of Environmental Quality permits to create and refill inland lakes.

    “The defendant here had a specific interest in this case,” said Thiede. “We show that by he’s there at the pre-trial for this case when only this case was up for pre-trial. Then we see him at the courthouse again for this case that is talking about the Yoder case.”

    • Well that sounds plausible then that the specific case did attract him.

      If this goes to trial there is some interesting things about it.

      1. The prosecutor will have to talk about jury nullification, he can’t not do it.
      2. The defense attorney will have free rein to discuss it. It has to be allowed.
      3. The jury will have to be given the pamphlet!
      4. The prosecutor will have to explain WHY this an would target that case, ie, the state attacking an Amish guy for something he did on his own property.

      The irony of a case being prosecuted for informing people about jury nullification being nullified by a jury is kind of delicious. One can dream! Sadly, this quote springs to mind. “I couldn’t convince him you can’t trust your fate to twelve people too stupid to get out of jury duty.” From the book Trial by Clifford Irving.

    • I was surprised to learn while serving on a jury how many are willing to follow the lead of someone who voices their opinion in a reasonable manner.
      Now nullification is a new concept to many people and they may not be in a hurry to do something different. His lawyer needs to do a spectacular job explaining/educating the jury. If this concept was more familiar to people who know examples of other juries doing so, it stand a greater chance for nullification. Easier here than the Amish case. However if the da is smart during jury selection he will ask if potential jurors have heard of nullification and if so drop them. So we are back to how good a job the defense lawyer is able to connect and explain things to the jury.

  5. Ah, yes, the Alaska PFD. I grew up and lived in Alaska most of my life (would rather be back there than here in Denver), and I was around as a little tyke when it was first paid out. Most of us Alaskans viewed it a little more as a kind of “year-end bonus” rather than a supplemental income to subsist or live on (makes sense since it’s issued yearly). Use part of it to pay for the things that have been waiting to get done (home repairs, pay off credit cards) and spend the rest on Xmas gifts or to go towards big grown-up toys. It would be nice if more resource-rich states and nations would adopt that model instead of just putting all the money from resource extraction into the general fund to be spent by idiots and elected officials (but then, I repeat myself). The Alaska PFD in my opinion was one of those rare occurrences when the politicians actually did something using a combination of long-term thinking and concern for the welfare of their constituents, and would likely never have become a reality if it had just been proposed today instead of in the 70’s when the state government and the population were much smaller.
    Though I am kinda surprised mainstream economists haven’t explored this idea more, as a means to further ‘stimulate’ spending. Sure works for Alaska for spending more.

  6. on universal income:

    Basically: land and other natural resources are owned by the state and you lease it; value you add to it you keep but the intrinsic value (rent) goes to the (now profitable) government. Government revenue is distributed equally to adult law abiding citizens. Entrepreneurs like you and me would be able to be able to access more than our equal share of resources and profit off of them. Lazy people (maybe me, lol) could own and live on the economic value of their equal share of the country’s resources.

    It won’t happen any time soon, but I think it comes damn close to being the only ethical way to run a country.