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An Eco Tax

 
PermieMan
 
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PermieMan
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27 June 2020 07:17
 

If the enactment of a legitimate eco tax were to require international sanctions agreeing upon the need to respond to Climate Change, it would likely have to start with International Corporations / Conglomerates associated with entire ‘unsustainable’ industries (fossil fuels, real estate, Amazon, shipping and distribution of commodities, shipping and distribution in the food system, commercial agriculture, the Airline Industry, Fast Food Industry, Department stores like Walmart) and then trickle down to including National domestic corporations and finally regional and local small businesses.  An Eco Tax would solve Capitalisms need to profit from Sustainability in the future.  The very crux of the problem.  As wealth involves much more than money, what Socialism purports.  As does ‘success’ being determined by a persons profession in life.  Wealth is about being able to access available resources.  In permaculture, abundance can be produced from destitute landscapes simply by means of following a set of design principles and the redistribution of available resources.  Our sociological environment must begin to follow these natural laws in order to respond appropriately to Climate Change within the Digital Era we are in.
The proceeds to an eco tax must then be spent on making the system in which we are technologically dependent, what we within the Human Kingdom call interdependent, Sustainable for future generations, whom are getting ready to enter the work force without a secure future for their children.  In other words Socialism adopted by the International Community makes it possible to enact an Eco Tax starting on the macro level and over time taxing the micro.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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27 June 2020 08:01
 

It seems to me that corporations must pay some sort of taxes for their use of “the commons”.

That said, I’d like to hear your definition of “socialism”. From my perspective, most of the West is already a hybrid of capitalism and socialism, so to me, what we need is to simply tweak the hybrid ratios a bit. Yes, a bit in the direction of socialism, but still with a strong capitalist component.

 
 
PermieMan
 
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PermieMan
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01 July 2020 07:04
 

I’ll agree with that.  Albeit, it is very American.  The purpose of Socialism for me, not referencing younger generations, is to close the gaping holes in society from long standing unrequited social ills so that archaic Colonialism can be eradicated and make way for the younger generations to successfully do the work.

 
 
icehorse
 
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01 July 2020 07:27
 
PermieMan - 01 July 2020 07:04 AM

I’ll agree with that.  Albeit, it is very American.  The purpose of Socialism for me, not referencing younger generations, is to close the gaping holes in society from long standing unrequited social ills so that archaic Colonialism can be eradicated and make way for the younger generations to successfully do the work.

I think the definitions are important in any discussion like this. Bernie declares himself to be a “democratic socialist”. Like his policies or not, he’s trying to make distinctions and give different labels to different ideas.

In short, I think that just saying “socialism” will lead to a lot of communication errors. Bill Maher refers to himself as a “classic liberal” and he defines what he means. I think this is heading on the correct direction as far as communications go.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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01 July 2020 08:32
 
icehorse - 27 June 2020 08:01 AM

It seems to me that corporations must pay some sort of taxes for their use of “the commons”.

That said, I’d like to hear your definition of “socialism”. From my perspective, most of the West is already a hybrid of capitalism and socialism, so to me, what we need is to simply tweak the hybrid ratios a bit. Yes, a bit in the direction of socialism, but still with a strong capitalist component.

It should be noted that captialism and free markets are not synonymous.
Capitalism is an economic system centered around the creation of wealth and the ownership of capital.
Free markets are about the exchange of goods and services.

I am not asking this question antagonistically, but as a way to highlight what it is we’re talking about.  What is the element of capitalism that we need to preserve and maintain?  Free markets, which provide us with efficiency and allow the law of supply and demand to operate as a way of naturally regulating economic activity.  I think the question is whether that economic activity is primarily for the creation of wealth, or to allocate goods and services where they are needed.  Capitalism is the idea that the goal of economic activity is to generate wealth.  Capitalism usually includes some amount of free market because of the efficiency advantages, but that does not mean capitalism is the only way to structure free markets.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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01 July 2020 09:29
 
weird buffalo - 01 July 2020 08:32 AM
icehorse - 27 June 2020 08:01 AM

It seems to me that corporations must pay some sort of taxes for their use of “the commons”.

That said, I’d like to hear your definition of “socialism”. From my perspective, most of the West is already a hybrid of capitalism and socialism, so to me, what we need is to simply tweak the hybrid ratios a bit. Yes, a bit in the direction of socialism, but still with a strong capitalist component.

It should be noted that captialism and free markets are not synonymous.
Capitalism is an economic system centered around the creation of wealth and the ownership of capital.
Free markets are about the exchange of goods and services.

I am not asking this question antagonistically, but as a way to highlight what it is we’re talking about.  What is the element of capitalism that we need to preserve and maintain?  Free markets, which provide us with efficiency and allow the law of supply and demand to operate as a way of naturally regulating economic activity.  I think the question is whether that economic activity is primarily for the creation of wealth, or to allocate goods and services where they are needed.  Capitalism is the idea that the goal of economic activity is to generate wealth.  Capitalism usually includes some amount of free market because of the efficiency advantages, but that does not mean capitalism is the only way to structure free markets.

It’s a good point. I’m not sure I have the labels correct, but it seems to me that we need some form of free market. We also need to reward invention and to a lesser degree innovation. There ought to be many ways to skin that cat, so I’m not devoted to “capitalism”.

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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01 July 2020 12:41
 
icehorse - 01 July 2020 09:29 AM
weird buffalo - 01 July 2020 08:32 AM
icehorse - 27 June 2020 08:01 AM

It seems to me that corporations must pay some sort of taxes for their use of “the commons”.

That said, I’d like to hear your definition of “socialism”. From my perspective, most of the West is already a hybrid of capitalism and socialism, so to me, what we need is to simply tweak the hybrid ratios a bit. Yes, a bit in the direction of socialism, but still with a strong capitalist component.

It should be noted that captialism and free markets are not synonymous.
Capitalism is an economic system centered around the creation of wealth and the ownership of capital.
Free markets are about the exchange of goods and services.

I am not asking this question antagonistically, but as a way to highlight what it is we’re talking about.  What is the element of capitalism that we need to preserve and maintain?  Free markets, which provide us with efficiency and allow the law of supply and demand to operate as a way of naturally regulating economic activity.  I think the question is whether that economic activity is primarily for the creation of wealth, or to allocate goods and services where they are needed.  Capitalism is the idea that the goal of economic activity is to generate wealth.  Capitalism usually includes some amount of free market because of the efficiency advantages, but that does not mean capitalism is the only way to structure free markets.

It’s a good point. I’m not sure I have the labels correct, but it seems to me that we need some form of free market. We also need to reward invention and to a lesser degree innovation. There ought to be many ways to skin that cat, so I’m not devoted to “capitalism”.

The following is my opinion, so feel free to ignore it.

Capitalism by itself is too focused on creation of wealth.  Without social controls and oversight, capitalism would lead to extreme exploitation of resources and people.  Social controls include things like work-week caps, weekends off, holidays, vacation pay, unionization and collective bargaining, construction codes and oversight, consumer protections, and other social constructs that have made work-life much more comfortable for many. 

The current anti-union, anti-social (disguised as profound misrepresentation of what socialism and social democracies actually produce) in the US is contributing both to increasing wealth gaps, and being heavily funded by wealthy (but unethical) corporate and private entities.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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01 July 2020 13:17
 
icehorse - 01 July 2020 09:29 AM

It’s a good point. I’m not sure I have the labels correct, but it seems to me that we need some form of free market. We also need to reward invention and to a lesser degree innovation. There ought to be many ways to skin that cat, so I’m not devoted to “capitalism”.

I think we overestimate how much reward inventors and innovators actually require.

An easy example is the iPhone.  It is debatable whether a product exactly like the iPhone would have come out when it did in a non-capitalist system, but one thing is for sure; the vast majority of technology in the iPhone was developed by universities and government agencies.  The thing that Apple invented was the UI.  They didn’t invent the touch screen technology, battery, cell phone technology, microchips for the phone, or really any of the necessary hardware to make it work.  Our current system rewards the ownership of technology ideas, but it does not actually reward creation of those new ideas.

For every example of a time where we might assume that capitalism has encouraged development of new ideas, we can also find places where it has stifled them.  A really banal example would be set top boxes for cable TV.  Only with the switch over to internet sources of entertainment have we seen improvement in these home devices, but not because the old ones have been improved, people are just using them less.  The old set top boxes are incredibly energy inefficient.  They waste as much electricity generating heat as they do putting images on your tv.  They use large amounts of energy while they are turned “off” as well.  On average, they use up about $8 of electricity a month.  The cable companies have no incentive to improve the boxes because they don’t pay for the electricity it uses, and most consumers don’t have information to make an informed choice, and even if they did… there really hasn’t been a choice to even make if they were informed.

The same goes for most tenants (home/apartment renters AND businesses).  Since utilities are not included in rent, companies that own apartment buildings and shopping malls have no incentive to improve utility efficiency.  The tenants pay the utility bills, but the landlords make decisions about how the building is constructed.  The landlords are not incentivized to lower energy usage.  If the goal of owning something to rent out to others is to make as much money as possible, the landlord has an incentive to use the cheapest utility tools for construction purposes, with no care about usage efficiency.  It doesn’t matter if a heating unit would pay for itself over it’s lifetime, because the landlord doesn’t see those savings.

I’m all for a free market to make decisions that are more important to both sides of the transaction, but have little to no impact on those outside of it.  Should the new Honda Civic have 3 cupholders or 4?  Let the market decide.  Should it use leaded gas or a hydrogen fuel cell?  That will have to be something decided by society at large.

The myth of the tech daddy has grown pretty big, and I think we shouldn’t let it control a conversation about how to structure our society.
An interesting video talking about the topic.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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01 July 2020 14:11
 

weird -

A couple of different points in your last post:

1 - i think we have to treat invention and innovation separately - not good to conflate them.
2 - a LOT of invention and innovation comes from individuals and small companies. This kind of R&D doesn’t come cheap, and would be impossible if there wasn’t the chance of a golden ring at the end of the day.
3 - Letting the state decide all R&D scares the crap out of me, not you? Some maybe, but not all.
4 - Bureaucratic inefficiencies exist. They shouldn’t be the reason that we don’t incentivize invention and innovation.

 
 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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01 July 2020 14:30
 

What makes you think that “a LOT” of innovation and invention comes from individuals and small companies that are incentivized by the prospect of a future windfall?

 
icehorse
 
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01 July 2020 15:02
 
mapadofu - 01 July 2020 02:30 PM

What makes you think that “a LOT” of innovation and invention comes from individuals and small companies that are incentivized by the prospect of a future windfall?

that’s a reasonable summary of my career and of many of my friends’ and colleagues careers.

Late addition: Also, think of literature and the arts.

[ Edited: 01 July 2020 15:19 by icehorse]
 
 
weird buffalo
 
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02 July 2020 13:45
 
icehorse - 01 July 2020 02:11 PM

weird -

A couple of different points in your last post:

1 - i think we have to treat invention and innovation separately - not good to conflate them.
2 - a LOT of invention and innovation comes from individuals and small companies. This kind of R&D doesn’t come cheap, and would be impossible if there wasn’t the chance of a golden ring at the end of the day.
3 - Letting the state decide all R&D scares the crap out of me, not you? Some maybe, but not all.
4 - Bureaucratic inefficiencies exist. They shouldn’t be the reason that we don’t incentivize invention and innovation.

Your issues here feel more ideological than anything else.  What is the evidence that people will not innovate without wealth as an incentive?  I am not disputing that wealth can be an incentive, but why should we structure our economy and society around wealth as the primary incentive?

Bureaucracies can also be efficient.  Medicare and Medicaid are far more efficient than the private health care industry.  The Department of Veteran Affairs is one of the largest medical research institutions in the world, and has led to breakthroughs in prosthetic limbs, PTSD treatment, and substance abuse.  It would seem strange to me to be scared of such research purely because it comes from the state.  I would think that we should base our fear on things like methods and outcomes, not just because of an ideology we hold.

 
icehorse
 
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02 July 2020 14:24
 
weird buffalo - 02 July 2020 01:45 PM
icehorse - 01 July 2020 02:11 PM

weird -

A couple of different points in your last post:

1 - i think we have to treat invention and innovation separately - not good to conflate them.
2 - a LOT of invention and innovation comes from individuals and small companies. This kind of R&D doesn’t come cheap, and would be impossible if there wasn’t the chance of a golden ring at the end of the day.
3 - Letting the state decide all R&D scares the crap out of me, not you? Some maybe, but not all.
4 - Bureaucratic inefficiencies exist. They shouldn’t be the reason that we don’t incentivize invention and innovation.

Your issues here feel more ideological than anything else.  What is the evidence that people will not innovate without wealth as an incentive?  I am not disputing that wealth can be an incentive, but why should we structure our economy and society around wealth as the primary incentive?

Bureaucracies can also be efficient.  Medicare and Medicaid are far more efficient than the private health care industry.  The Department of Veteran Affairs is one of the largest medical research institutions in the world, and has led to breakthroughs in prosthetic limbs, PTSD treatment, and substance abuse.  It would seem strange to me to be scared of such research purely because it comes from the state.  I would think that we should base our fear on things like methods and outcomes, not just because of an ideology we hold.

Notice that I said “Some maybe, but not all”. I agree that sometimes the state does some good invention and innovation. I just think that we REALLY want to encourage private R&D as well.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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02 July 2020 16:02
 

Who said that non-state R&D was going to be banned?
It seems like maybe you’re arguing against an idea that no one is suggesting.  In which case, congratulations?  Let me know when you’re done fighting your strawman.

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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02 July 2020 16:13
 

I guess I’m a bit less optimistic about the scale of truly private sector speculative innovation. It comes down to how much is “a LOT” - I’m not sure what proportion of innovation is driven by small business entrepreneurship.

FWIW, in my experience more innovation has been government driven; so we have different local perspectives which is presumably affecting our global assessments.

In the back of my mind I also have stories like that of google, https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=100660 , where the initial R&D was government funded, do not “pure” instances of free market entrepreneurship.  (I tried looking into DeepMind as a more recent instance of innovation0: it has a similar grad-school to startup story, but I couldn’t find whether the initial developments were gov’t funded).

 

 
icehorse
 
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05 July 2020 08:11
 
mapadofu - 02 July 2020 04:13 PM

I guess I’m a bit less optimistic about the scale of truly private sector speculative innovation. It comes down to how much is “a LOT” - I’m not sure what proportion of innovation is driven by small business entrepreneurship.

FWIW, in my experience more innovation has been government driven; so we have different local perspectives which is presumably affecting our global assessments.

In the back of my mind I also have stories like that of google, https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=100660 , where the initial R&D was government funded, do not “pure” instances of free market entrepreneurship.  (I tried looking into DeepMind as a more recent instance of innovation0: it has a similar grad-school to startup story, but I couldn’t find whether the initial developments were gov’t funded).

Perhaps a lot of the “splashy” R&D is government funded, I can get that. But I would say that most every successful small business has - at least - created some innovation(s) that led to their success.

 
 
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