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Debates Forum

  1. 14 Dec '13 14:31 / 3 edits
    People of a libertarian persuasion often have moral qualms about taxation. People on the left worry about the massive profits being made by corporate shareholders while ordinary citizens struggle to make ends meet.

    How about a third model? It is designed to be a non-coercive model of "big government" that would harness capitalism to a programme of social responsibility; but would it work?

    1) The state's goal will be to fund agreed government expenditure from profit-making industries rather than from taxation.

    2) The initial source of revenue, where possible, will be as yet unclaimed natural resources. All undiscovered or unexploited natural resources will be declared state property. Corporations with relevant expertise will be permitted to exploit and sell these, with the goal of maximising profits. This will be on a franchise basis, with a fixed proportion of the profits returning to the state coffers. The state as owner will be empowered to dismiss and replace any franchise operators that fail to make a profit.

    3) A percentage of the profits will be used to fund, as far as possible, the normal objects of state expenditure (defence, health care, education, pension provision, etc), while another percentage will be devoted to the further acquisition of profitable enterprises of any sort. These will not be nationalised, but acquired legitimately on the open market. Where practical they will be bought outright and incorporated into the franchise model. With larger enterprises, the state may need to acquire shares gradually with the goal of ultimately acquiring a controlling interest, after which these enterprises too can be incorporated into the franchise model.

    4) The state franchises will compete with private concerns in the usual way (i.e., they will have to sell their products at market prices; prices will not be manipulated to create an unfair advantage for the state-owned firms). The state will seek to maximise market share and profit using traditional tools such as advertising, which may emphasise the social value of the state franchises ( "Buy from them and fund their bonuses; buy from us and fund your pension" ).

    5) As the profit-making state enterprises begin to fund a greater degree of state expenditure, taxation can be proportionately reduced.

    6) The ultimate goal: a self-funding, non-coercive state paying for its activities on the basis of the voluntary purchasing decisions of its own citizens. A state that libertarians and social democrats alike can be proud of!

    Can someone explain to me why this wouldn't work?
  2. 14 Dec '13 15:28
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    People of a libertarian persuasion often have moral qualms about taxation. People on the left worry about the massive profits being made by corporate shareholders while ordinary citizens struggle to make ends meet.

    How about a third model? It is designed to be a non-coercive model of "big government" that would harness capitalism to a programme of socia ...[text shortened]... and social democrats alike can be proud of!

    Can someone explain to me why this wouldn't work?
    Look everyone, another flavor of collectivism.

    It could work this time if only..........
  3. 14 Dec '13 15:45
    Originally posted by whodey
    Look everyone, another flavor of collectivism.

    It could work this time if only..........
    Well, no surprise that you don't have anything useful to say about the novel, indeed radical proposal. I'm not sure how it qualifies as "collectivist" when it's based on voluntary transactions by citizens, but you do tend to use words in curious ways...
  4. 14 Dec '13 17:25
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    2) The initial source of revenue, where possible, will be as yet unclaimed natural resources. All undiscovered or unexploited natural resources will be declared state property. Corporations with relevant expertise will be permitted to exploit and sell these, with the goal of maximising profits. This will be on a franchise basis, with a fixed proportion of the ...[text shortened]... s owner will be empowered to dismiss and replace any franchise operators that fail to make a profit.
    So the state would take over unclaimed natural resources? In other words, you can keep your business like we can our health care? Fabulous!!

    Why only unclaimed natural resources? Why not just have government take over everything if your idea is soooo good?

    Right now government runs trillion dollar deficits, so we are to expect them to run a business?
  5. 14 Dec '13 17:31
    First of all, I believe there needs to be fair competition. As long as the government still has the ability to make laws it can continually make rules to favor its business. In fact I cannot imagine the government not using its other power to bolster its own business.
    Second, I worry how we neutrally decide which industries need government industry? Do we pick Wall Street because we want to punish them? Do we oil industries because they are not environmentally friendly enough for some groups? Do Republican pick industries in traditionally Democratic states to hurt a base that does not vote them or vise versa? Do all the new industries go in states like Florida and Ohio because they likely decide the next national election.

    I'd certainly prefer less government not more.
  6. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    14 Dec '13 17:32
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    People of a libertarian persuasion often have moral qualms about taxation. People on the left worry about the massive profits being made by corporate shareholders while ordinary citizens struggle to make ends meet.

    How about a third model? It is designed to be a non-coercive model of "big government" that would harness capitalism to a programme of socia ...[text shortened]... and social democrats alike can be proud of!

    Can someone explain to me why this wouldn't work?
    Interesting ideas. It would sure cut down on government waste. This might work, but the changes are too radical. A series of smaller changes may be more realistic.
  7. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    14 Dec '13 17:36
    Rich people will veto it because they don't like government competing with private property owners for profits.
  8. 14 Dec '13 17:43
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Rich people will veto it because they don't like government competing with private property owners for profits.
    Then rich people would be right. We don't need a system that makes the US like the USSR.
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    14 Dec '13 17:49
    Originally posted by quackquack
    Then rich people would be right. We don't need a system that makes the US like the USSR.
    You think the Soviet government operated at a profit?!
  10. 14 Dec '13 17:53
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    You think the Soviet government operated at a profit?!
    i don't think this system would either
  11. 14 Dec '13 18:02
    Looks like you are describing Norway's oil-funded state investment fund. It works to the degree that natural resources are available, even with Norway's significant oil wealth, it isn't enough to fund all of the government's operations. Natural resources just aren't that valuable compared to human capital; in most modern economies the services sector is the largest one.
  12. 14 Dec '13 18:14
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Looks like you are describing Norway's oil-funded state investment fund. It works to the degree that natural resources are available, even with Norway's significant oil wealth, it isn't enough to fund all of the government's operations. Natural resources just aren't that valuable compared to human capital; in most modern economies the services sector is the largest one.
    I had started to comment on the labor aspects of this economy and now I think the issue is pertinent in a service economy. What is the relationship between the government and organized labor, in the economy you are talking about? I mean unions but also professional organizations such as the medical and legal associations.
  13. 14 Dec '13 18:24
    Originally posted by quackquack

    I'd certainly prefer less government not more.[/b]
    Nonsense. The only answer to any question is to empower government further since they do such a swell job with everything else.

    No worries.
  14. 14 Dec '13 18:25
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Looks like you are describing Norway's oil-funded state investment fund. It works to the degree that natural resources are available, even with Norway's significant oil wealth, it isn't enough to fund all of the government's operations. Natural resources just aren't that valuable compared to human capital; in most modern economies the services sector is the largest one.
    I believe Venezuala does the same. See how great they became?
  15. 14 Dec '13 18:39
    Originally posted by whodey
    Nonsense. The only answer to any question is to empower government further since they do such a swell job with everything else.

    No worries.
    You are certainly correct.