Re: Weasels vs. transparancy / traffic cameras

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue May 23 2000 - 06:10:04 MDT

Martin Ling wrote:
> On Mon, May 22, 2000 at 12:44:25PM -0700, James Rogers wrote:
> > On Mon, 22 May 2000, Martin Ling wrote:
> > >
> > > I was ambiguous. What I think I meant is that the specifics in terms of
> > > the percentile figures for taxation are not much use with no
> > > consideration of how that money is being used (which can be well or
> > > badly, as you say).
> > >
> > > Once you've decided to allow for some taxation, however (as opposed to
> > > none at all, as Mike has suggested - and it is a vaild option) it makes
> > > very little sense to try and compare exactly how much freedom a country
> > > has removed, via its taxes. There are simply far too many factors.
> >
> >
> > I disagree. I think there are plenty of examples of what constitutes a
> > reasonable upper bound for how much money a government should spend for a
> > given service. Even assuming that taxation does not equal theft if
> > valuable services are received, any taxation above the demonstrable market
> > rate for a given type of service *is* theft by any definition I can think
> > of.
> >
> > This is where the argument really begins. In the vast majority of cases,
> > government services are *grossly* overpriced. If government services were
> > as efficient and responsive as people claim they can be, privatization
> > wouldn't be as attractive as it is.
> >
> > Looking at the "best practices" of various governments around the U.S.
> > and combining them, I estimate that I could get a level of service as good
> > or better than I currently receive for no more than 5% of my income, and
> > probably a bit less. However, in practice the government charges me
> > greater than an order of magnitude over a reasonable market rate. Not
> > only that, but the government has no motivation to become more efficient.
> > I would be happy with direct tax provided services *if* they were
> > comparable to what private industry could provide. Unfortunately, it is
> > difficult to devise a way to do this that doesn't eventually slip into
> > inefficiency. That efficient taxing agencies exist today is more of an
> > accident than a stable long-term outcome.
> But this is exactly the point - without taking into consideration how
> well the money is being spent, trying to compare how much theft is going
> on in in two countries by their tax rates is
> Do take me in context - I was discussing with Mike the specific
> differences between the US and the UK. And as Charlie pointed out with
> figures, there's actually very little in it.

As I pointed out with real figures, there is a significant difference in
what taxes are paid.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:11:33 MDT