Monday, March 28, 2005

Indefensible Standpoints

BBC NEWS | Business | Microsoft and EU reach agreement

I think if Microsoft wants to include Media Player with Windows, fuck yeah let 'em. It's a solid program but it cannot do everything. What people are worried about is that MS is stifling growth and that might be the case but I have this sort of quiet urge in the back of my mind for a completely unified system, with a single standard. This isn't for ease of use or user-friendly simplicity but rather for compatibility. I dunno, I like the idea that none of the computers in Star Trek seem to have brand names and captain kirk never has to browse for a Mac version of this or that. Maybe the government can step in and encourage cooperation between our industry giants and when some genius steps up with a plan to blow them out of the water somehow make it in their interest to work with him instead of trying to destroy him. Provide tax breaks for adhering to industry standards and bonuses for advancing standards, that sort of thing.

I of course hold equally strong belief in the opposite view. I like the idea of a technological world where information is free (though for fucks sake pay for your software people it doesnt write itself), I like the idea of competing standards and the whole adam smith greed is good blah blah blah, Free Market isnt fashionable but it has its good points. I like that you can start your own empire with a C++ compiler and unhealthy eating and sleeping habits. What say you? Do we want universal compliance and to do away with anti-trust by making it open and collaborative, did I spell that right? or do we want free market open competition where the winners are given the laurel wreath and the losers slink away resenting them?

What about taxes, too. Here's another indefensible opinion I gave serious consideration to after a brief discussion with Jon. Flat sales tax for individuals. Do away with income tax. What? you shriek, your bleeding heart beating hard. That will hurt the poor and help the greedy capitalists. Well, it would if it is implemented that way. With income tax you can do tax breaks and such and make people pay less if they dont have it but if you have a flat tax all those single mothers are paying 30% more for their diapers while saving 10% on their annual taxes. You are outraged. Well, says I, wouldn't it be a simple matter to apply tax breaks to sales tax? Jons take on this was, no, that would involve a lack of privacy, the government always goign into peoples bank accounts to figure out if they deserve it or whatnot...but...what about something like this: there is a 30% tax, and everyone has to pay it. That is the default. Depending on your circumstances, however, you are given the option to apply for vouchers or waivers or whatever. You would of course voluntarily have to open your books to uncle sam and whatnot, but rather than figuring out what kind of check you get back when why etc, you just get a little card type deal, or maybe have it on your Drivers License or rather the digitial national ID card that we should really have moved on to by now that contains driving and tax and residential and everything information with a thumb print scanner. Ne? So then you buy your diapers and you show your card and you get 30% knocked off or whatever.

Corporations have income tax of course, but it deals with the ever-itchy issue of income tax charged twice on corporate earnings, since corporations dont pay sales tax it encourages business expansion, it simplifies the tax issue, it does away with april 14 for fucks sake, and it creates a system where you are held accountable for what you spend. I dont advocate the implementation of such a system necessarily - off the top of my head, it seems like it would be bad for the economy where the MPS would increase like crazy in middle class and up while the lower class would spend more (make sense? sure) though the lower class spending more may provide a bigger burst for the economy than we imagine. Corporate income tax would of course be fucking HIGH, this would encourage them to take advantage of lack of sales tax and stimulate corporate growth. Interseting. This would be a blow against suburban sprawl, forcing business and lower class into a relationship they have never really had, right? Suddenly business needs to expand and suddenly poor people can spend more money, middle and upper class start sitting on their trust funds which are tax free and useless...hmm. What woudl that do? I am almost tempted to support the implementation of such a system just to, ya know, mix things up.

Any thoughts? No of course not you losers never comment.
I've always been in favor of the income tax being the only thing. You know it'd only need to be about 20% though, right?

I hate it when people don't comment.
Income tax gets confusing, though. Think of how much time money and effort the government would save if the IRS were replaced by 3 guys who check peoples bank accounts to see if they are eligible for sales tax waivers?

Who said this btw?
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