Re: On Poverty and Crime: Oscar Wilde's views [by John Hilty]

Liberty (
Sun, 05 Apr 1998 12:06:42 -0400

Hi Ron,

At 06:43 PM 01/04/1998 +0200, Ronald J. Bartle wrote:

>By what comparison are US taxpayers "over-taxed" - here in Germany for
>instance, the standard rate of income tax and social deductions for most
>earners is around the 32% of gross earnings.

Over 50% of my own income goes to taxes ... 

>These payroll taxes help in civilised countries for stuff like road and
>railways and major infrastructure like air traffic control and harbour
>facilities.  The oh so necessary (at least in countries with massive 
>prison populations-) police forces and all other govt. run facilities 
>that amongst others - directly benefit and indeed enable the functioning 
>of business operations.

I am not against gov't paid services entirely.  I only support those 
services that benefit EVERYONE the same way (i.e. roads, highways, health
care), not programs that are the pet projects of some left-wing interest 
group leaders that cannot or will not find a regular job in the marketplace.
However, I would support funding going to programs that would help such an
individual fit into the regular market place.

>The idea of a social democracy being funded largely by heavily taxing the 
>rich is a fallacy.. here we are about to have an increase in the Value
Added >Tax that is paid by the end consumer of just about everything from
15% to 16%.  

In Ontario, the combined sales taxes are 15%, which are paid on most goods
and services, including most items used for business.  

>Considering that the very rich spend a lot smaller amount of their total 
>income on retail purchases liable to such taxation than the average or poor 
>family does...

No, as a business owner, we pay for quite a bit of these retail purchases.
Believe me, the tax bill we receive is not a miniscule amount of what we
take in, either.  I also pay goods and services tax, and provincial sales
tax, which is over and above the 50% or so, that is already taken off my
income.  Nobody is exempt from these taxes, except lower levels of gov't.

>I bet your pardon - while I admit that the communistic nations you mention 
>above are desperately poor.. in the case of Albania, their extreme plight
>has resulted largely from the destabilisation that so called capitalist
>freedoms have generated when a few sheysters came with get rich pyramid
>investment schemes offering glittering enrichment to ill-educated peasants 

Albania is viewed as the panacea by the Marxist-Leninists, whose beliefs
and values do not differ significantly from most of the people on this list.

>In the case of Cuba - most western leading ecconomists will tell you that 
>the one decisive factor in the relative poor situation of Cuba was the loss 
>of it's major trading partner thru the collapse of the old Soviet Union.. 

Cuba was always poor, even when the Soviet Union was alive and well.  Even
then, their record on human rights was certainly not admirable.

>I for shure don't want to turn the clock back.  I have no reason to put
>down the many fine and laudable aspects of life for many in our western
>democracies.  But if trying to get a realistic picture on the situation
>of the less privileged and the poor in our societies, we are going to
>make comparisions and take examples from other social-economic systems
>- then I do feel that such comparisons must be made in a balanced and
>informed way and not just be a repetition of cliches fed on cold-war
>presumptions - only a few of which have any real basis in reality.

Sort of like "make the rich pay", "get Canada out of Nato", "tax the
greedy, not the needy", and other similar cliches that have come from
that same particular era?

>Here in re-united Germany, still firmly rooted in the western-NATO 
>industrial nations - it is a matter of debate that our constitutional
>guarantees of housing and suitable employment for all - are not being
>sufficiently supported and made a reality in the day to day political 
>landscape of the nation.  In fact, one could expect in the coming national 
>elections in September that such annoyance at the departure of the present 
>Govt. from such fundamental precepts will find its reward.

We'll see.  However, the trend has been the opposite.  People tend to 
throw out governments that push for higher taxes, higher debts and 
irrational spending policies.

>(p.s. Just in case somebody thinks that a person pleading for informed and 
>      balanced judgement _has to be a communist or similar_ this particular 

No, this was not my assumption.  I am saying that communists and similar
persuasions do NOT push for a balanced judgment.  They push for ideology
that meets and supports their own assumptions about the world, that somehow
everybody else owes them a living.


Liberty (Lillian)