Originally Posted by Mumbo Jumbo
Well, I grant you that's a very good point. And I also have to add that Denmark's really, really boring.To be honest, I don't really understand economics.
I can just find links.
I would like to suggest that high taxes aren't as punitive to business as you think. Denmark is astonishingly prosperous.
EVERYONE complains about the taxes.And then they drive home and watch stuff on their plasma TV, stopping off at the state-funded swimming pool which has a luxury spa in the basement.
More on Denmark? I take it you're just trolling now.
Originally Posted by BRussell
Any liberal who would argue that taxes have no impact on the economy would be a moron. But rather than morons, they're not only thinking further than what you give them credit for, they're thinking further about it than you are. They're thinking in terms of externalities, while you're thinking only in terms of the isolated transaction of collecting taxes.
1. Taxes hurt the economy, but the spending can help the economy as well, depending on what it's spent on. For example, investing in transportation benefits the economy by providing an infrastructure that everyone uses to conduct commerce. If the country and its economy are threatened by foreign enemies, the economy is helped by fighting them. Same with police stopping crime, and many other things. Of course, the government can waste money too, but not all spending is wasteful by definition.
I agree, in theory. The reality is that much government spending has become wasteful. Government is supposed to spend money on things that benefit the public, like roads, schools, defense, police and fire protection, parks, etc. These are the reasons government exist. Of course, government has branched out into "managing the economy," redistribution of wealth, and social justice. That's the problem.
I think most conservatives probably agree with that. But I don't think conservatives do understand the next point:
2. With respect to social services and the safety net, like education, health, retirement, etc., liberals often frame this as a simple moral question, and to me, that's a good enough argument. We should guarantee basic human dignity.
Most conservatives absolutely agree. I know I do. The problem is when we go well beyond basic human dignity. And we have. Retirement is not a right, for example. It is not required for human dignity. Historically, it's a relatively new concept. Of course now, Americans are entitled
But there's an economic argument too. When the lower and middle classes understand that there is a basic safety net like Obamacare provides, they can take economic risks like starting a business without fearing that if it fails they'll never be able to bounce back. Public education means that even the poor can move up. These public services loosen up the economy so that more people are able to participate fully.
Eh...I disagree. Here again, it sounds good in theory. In reality we know that people don't take risks in terms of starting businesses, investing, etc...unless they get to keep more of their own money. Education is another animal. If you're talking about reform/more funding in the public schools, that's one thing. If you're talking about guaranteed college, that's a whole other level.
This, to me, is the basic difference between conservatives and liberals, with respect to economic policy: Conservatives believe a strong social safety net in a free market economy encourages laziness, and liberals believe it encourages economic activity.
Conservatives have been proven right on this time and time again. Also, safety net a bit of a weasel word/term. Safety net...like short term unemployment insurance and care for those that can't care for themselves? Great. But it doesn't encourage economic activity.
On taxes and budget deficits, SDW and I have been back and forth on this for probably 10 years now, devoting a good portion of our combined 20,000 posts to this topic. I'll just say that I agree with the article that SDW cites, that taxes may not pull in their full revenue potential, and tax cuts may reduce revenues less than they seem, but disagree with the theory that cutting taxes raises more revenue than it loses (except perhaps in very narrow situations).
I still say that with some exception, history begs to differ. It doesn't happen right away. But the 1980s and early 2000s show the effects. To be fair, I think it's more of an indirect effect and that it has to be timed right. Tax cuts coupled with the upswing in the natural cycle can, in fact lead to as much or more revenue than was being collected before.