The predictions that article look pretty damn inaccurate seeing as (based on 2012 unemployment figures) only has a year to get from 6.4% unemployment to ~50%.
Your article is from an objectivist periodical (a philosophy which I utterly reject as being one without compassion or humanity) and its ridiculous claim, which comes via the NYT comes, in turn, from a government statistics group which (as far as I can tell after a quick search through their releases which were recent enough to be relevant at the time of the article) never made any such claim. Your article is at best biased and makes statements which advocate the spending of no public money on welfare whatsoever ("Its government violates the rights of its citizens by forcing them to finance the welfare state"). It also, being objectivist argues that charity is immoral ("Denmark’s economic problem is a consequence of its moral problem ... the government does this because Danish citizens regard selfless service to others as moral.").
I do not possibly see how anyone with a drop of humanity left in them could possibly consider such evil nonsense to be rational.
eSOANEM wrote:No. You have illustrated that, in the current economic system it would require enormous tax hikes. It is not clear that these tax hikes would necessarily destroy the economy.
No country on earth taxes at over 50% of GDP. The closest is Zimbabwe, at 49.3%. Given the very wide spread of tax rates among existing countries, one can postulate that the sudden barrier beyond which countries do not pass demonstrates a practical limit.
Your numbers place it (total federal spending with a CW) at around $7T out of $15.66T. That is assuming that no current federal spending is stopped and the CW is paid on top of everything else. It also assumes that untaxed income allowance stays in place. On the other hand, it doesn't include children in it. I suspect it is probably is an overestimate of the total cost and this places it at 45%. This is a hell of a lot. It is also why, as I have said before, I do not believe a CW is going to be implemented or indeed could implemented on anything but a small scale in the forseeable future.
You are also wrong about taxation. According to the CIA world factbook, 28 countries tax above this 45% mark which, according to your own numbers would be needed to implement a CW. These countries are: Iraq, Greenland, Turkmenistan, & Macau (which all tax above 75%); Libya, Cuba, Lesotho, Marshall Islands & Kuwait (which all tax above 60%); Tuvalu, The Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland & France (which all tax above 50%) and Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Austria, Italy, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Brunei, Bolivia, Slovenia & Netherlands. Zimbabwe is not on that list you may have noticed, this is because it is unknown how much they tax. Zimbabwe would not be a good comparison anyhow given the number of ways their system is already broken and how little of that money would actually be being spent on the public good.
The top two sets of countries there (taxing >60% GDP) are mostly countries without a great standard of living generally (which, seeing as that's the main argument for the CW, I shall use as my metric). The next two brackets (taxing above 45%GDP) we see countries like the Nordic countries, France, Austria, Belgium and Netherlands in there all of which do have a high standard of living.
In fact, as measured by average life expectancy at birth, of those 28 countries, Macau, Italy, France, Sweden, Netherlands and Norway are in the top 28. By infant mortality, Denmark, Slovenia, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, France, Italy, Macau and Sweden are in the top 28. By maternal mortality, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, France and Bosnia and Herzegovina are all in the top 28 (note, I wasn't carefully checking each name in the top 28 against those taxing above 45%GDP so there may actually be more countries than this in each of these lists although probably not many).
Just for giggles, I thought I'd also do this for the GDP/capita. With this metric, Macau, Norway, Kuwait, Brunei, Austria, Netherlands and Sweden are all in the top 28.
So, this tells us that 29% of the top 28 countries by standard of living tax above this "impossible" line. It also tells us that 25% of the highest GDP economies tax above this line. I'm struggling to see how you can possibly argue that such taxation will destroy the economy any more.
Regardless, I have said several times now that it is clearly impractical to implement on anything but a small scale at the moment. I am not arguing for introducing a CW now. I am arguing that, a CW is an ethically better system than the current one and so we ought to work towards a situation where it becomes feasible.
Why, exactly, is it ethically better?
And how would it even be practical on a small scale? The single example provided was not CW...it was just a donation of money. Without the taxation portion, you're not testing the system. Now, even on a small scale, how do you test it in any area? Do you ban people from moving into/away from the area, because damn, is there going to be a motivation for people to do that.
The main ethical benefit is the lack of benefit cliffs. Also, the reduced administration costs make it preferrable.
By a small scale, I mean on the scale of a small nation or state (for the US). Somewhere like Netherlands for instance (which already taxes a sufficiently large percentage of GDP that it ought to be able to provide it).
Tyndmyr wrote:Given the extremely high cost of CW at a living wage(as the OP and others proposed), then it may as well be described as arbitrary seizure, since the majority of your earnings are indeed seized. Regardless of if goods are seized, or money is seized, so they buy goods instead of you, the end result is much the same.
Now you're just being silly. Taxation is not arbitrary seizure. Arbitrary seizure implies the taxman can just walk up to your house and say "sorry mate, we need that tv to fund the CW". This is not how tax works. Tax is seizure albeit in defined and not arbitrary ways.
Tyndmyr wrote:If you can't determine utility, how do you determine a solution?
I can determine utility on any number of metrics for measuring the standard of living. None of these are GDP. Rejecting one metric does not mean I have none.
LaserGuy wrote:Because your income is always added to your CW. In fact, minimum wage is arguably unnecessary, if not detrimental, with a CW system
Then you effectively subsidizing small business by paying the first dollars of their employees wage for them.
Yes, this is a reasonable way to analyse the CW (for those in paid work for a small business).
LaserGuy wrote:First off, we already have this problem: It's called the welfare wall. There are certain thresholds at which the loss of benefits is not offset by an increase in income. This is a problem that CW fixes, because the benefits do not decrease with your income, or, if they do decrease, they decrease progressively so that any increase in income always results in a real wage increase for the individual--for example, for every extra dollar you earn, your CW benefit is reduce by 20 cents until it reaches zero.
Yes, I know. However it still punishes the man in the middle. He's bracketed on both sides, like he is today. And the real increase you talk about is a perception barrier. If the perceived value of the job is not greater than CW then you won't take it. Being progressive make the calculation harder for the job seeker. The CW is certainty, a job no matter how attractive otherwise, is not.
There is always an increase in the amount of money you have available if you enter paid work under a CW. The man in the middle is not punished at all. If a job is not perceived to b of greater value than the CW, it is still worth taking because their values add rather than replacing each other. Progressive taxation also does not make it harder to choose whether to take a job because you're still always better off with a higher paying job than a lower paying job.