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I truthfully ask this

Can someone explain to me why we can't have a national presidental primary election day where all states vote versus all the states pushing theirs earlier to one-up each other and "matter more"?

While we're at it, can someone explain why a flat tax won't work too?

And I'm being totally serious with these questions. If you can answer them in a non-partisan manner, I would really appreciate the response.

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jiggery_pokery
Sep. 25th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
1) Lobbyists. I don't know which ones to blame, but lobbyists in general.

2) It can and there are countries (in Eastern Europe, I believe) where it already seems to be doing so quite well. However, "a flat tax" might mean all sorts of different things to different people - for instance, I would feel very differently about a flat tax where the first $1,000 is untaxed and all remaining income is taxed at 16% and a flat tax where the first $40,000 is untaxed and all remaining income is taxed at 40%. I'd prefer to live in a country which went for the latter of those two any day of the week, even if it hurt me more personally.

There are all sorts of rationales behind tax systems. Many early taxes were purely punitive to discourage certain types of behaviour. Adam Smith was one of the first modern famous philosopher/politician/economists, who is quoted as writing "The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state" from whom the phrase "from each according to his ability to pay, to each according to his need" is derived. Adam Smith is often bandied around as a small-government advocate, but that sentiment there is yer actual SOCIALISM and all the better for it.

Arguably it's impossible to have a discussion about competing political philosophies without becoming partisan, even if so many philosophies are wayyy off the scale for modern American partisan tastes!