#1
...if instead of the government, the tax payer would decide where their money would go? For instance, you could decide you want more money into military and less into food & agriculture. Perhaps go even further and specify that you want more education money to go to teacher salaries and less into university research or something.

It would still be the government's job to decide tax rates and I'm not talking about the US or any other country specifically, although it would be interesting to discuss how results would differ in different countries.

So, what would happen if we let people make these choices? Would results be more democratic or do you think policy makers would make wiser decisions? Wisdom of the crowd or tragedy of the commons?

Relevant:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_United_States_federal_budget#Outlays_by_agency
http://www.government.nl/issues/budget/revenue-and-expenditure-in-2014/expenditure-in-2014
#2
The general public makes decisions based on the first news article headline they agreed with when they predetermined what they thought as they googled the issue. It'd be a nightmare.
Last edited by JustRooster at Nov 29, 2014,
#3
Peeps would probs say no cos they can't be arsed deciding that sort of thing. Then they couldn't blame the government when it ain't workin
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#5
I think little would change. For every dollar a liberal gives to education instead of the military, a conservative will give to the military instead of education.
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#6
we'd all be screwed
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#7
Quote by StewieSwan
I think little would change. For every dollar a liberal gives to education instead of the military, a conservative will give to the military instead of education.

Does it matter whether things would actually change or not? If conservatives want to give money to the military, wouldn't it be amazing if they had the direct power to do so?

Wouldn't it create more political awereness, because people would have the feeling their opinion is more important?
Quote by steve_muse
Peeps would probs say no cos they can't be arsed deciding that sort of thing. Then they couldn't blame the government when it ain't workin

You could include a average option, which is just the average of what everybody else is doing for whoever doesn't feel like making decisions.
Last edited by frankv at Nov 29, 2014,
#8
Quote by frankv
Does it matter whether things would actually change or not? If conservatives want to give money to the military, wouldn't it be amazing if they had the direct power to do so?



Naw, cuz here's the thing. My salary is taxpayer money and we almost never get raises, because it's a public thing whether or not to raise taxes to increase state worker salaries. As soon as people see "give raise to government workers" they go "hell no!", without realizing that inflation means we're actually getting less and less money each year. This would also certainly happen with other aspects of government where people would have knee-jerk "no" reactions to necessary things. It's a nice idea to give your taxes to the places you want them to go, but ultimately you'd be left with a completely dysfunctional government.
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#9
In the UK, there'd be a bunch of people who refuse to put money into healthcare because "I'm not paying for those immigrants to come over here and get surgery on our NHS", then they'd get cancer and complain that there are no doctors to treat them. They'd do the same for Jobseeker's Allowance.
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#10
Quote by JustRooster
The general public makes decisions based on the first news article headline they agreed with when they predetermined what they thought as they googled the issue. It'd be a nightmare.

Yes, this.

Not that I think the government is always completely logical about taxpayer money, but I think the public would be way way worse at it.
#11
are you kidding me our infrastructure would implode

Idiocracy is what would happen
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#12
Quote by Dreadnought
are you kidding me our infrastructure would implode

Idiocracy is what would happen

but its what plants crave
#14
I'm actually going to take the devil's advocate here and say it would work out better than it is now. Shit, ANYTHING would be better than the DoD getting 30% of the entire US budget.

"But- but- but people are dumb!" everyone in this thread will mindlessly repeat. Yeah, of course the general population is overwhelmingly apathetic. That doesn't mean EVERYONE is uninformed. Sure, the corporations would still be able to use the media to manipulate money their way, but the people who know better would now have more power (more than none, that is) to control where their money went. Because right now, gigantic corporations have complete and absolute power over damn near everything that our representatives say and do. Even the tiniest fraction of that being taken away from them is a victory in my book.

And if it's set up in a way that apathetic or non-votes count as "carry on as it was before" as it inevitably would be, then what's the worst that could happen? A tiny fraction of the budget is put somewhere it doesn't need to be?

I can't speak for any other country though, since most other first world countries don't have the same problem with money in politics as we do. Or at least it's not as rampant as it is here.
Last edited by archangels at Nov 29, 2014,
#16
Quote by archangels
I'm actually going to take the devil's advocate here and say it would work out better than it is now. Shit, ANYTHING would be better than the DoD getting 30% of the entire US budget.


Might wanna check your math bud.
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#17
I reckon you'll get rekt m8.
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#20
All governments would proceed to collapse because John and Jane Doe don't know jack-shit about how to actually properly run a country and allocate funding.
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#21
That would just give more power to wealthy people/organizations. Normal people don't pay enough tax to be relevant.
#22
Quote by Crofty89
In the UK, there'd be a bunch of people who refuse to put money into healthcare because "I'm not paying for those immigrants to come over here and get surgery on our NHS", then they'd get cancer and complain that there are no doctors to treat them. They'd do the same for Jobseeker's Allowance.


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#23
Quote by daytripper75
Most people have no idea what it takes to run a country, so that seems like a bad idea.

Mr. President, is that you?

#scathing
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#24
It means people would have more incentive in paying taxes, know/more of a want to know/awareness of where their money is going, be more interested in its return and the negative consequences that come with not diversifying portfolios, and more effective, meaningful budgets/budget forecasts would follow
.
#25
Quote by Dr.Cheese
That would just give more power to wealthy people/organizations. Normal people don't pay enough tax to be relevant.


If a system like this goes through, yeah, making each person only responsible for where THEIR taxes are going would be a mess.
Better way would be to just have another kind of "vote" people can use, you count up all votes and decide where to divert the tax-money there.

Anyways, the idea is interesting, but you can't just go to the other extreme and give the average joe the power to direct the gov' budget however he pleases. You also get the problem that any citizen doesn't know what the other one "voted for", so nobody has any clear idea of what the whole population wants the budget redirected to, so you could end up with like 80% of the budget going to security/education/social stuff (or the general "letdown" people have with the current spending) and nothing to other areas.

Though there's also the problem of not only the amount of $ going to certain areas, but how that money is being used.
I can see a more regulated system going through, which takes all of this into account, where the common citizen has more of a say in how it's handled, but also has more knowledge about it and the process is smooth.
#27
Quote by Dreadnought
are you kidding me our infrastructure would implode

Idiocracy is what would happen

I like money.
A poem.
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no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

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#28
Shit would already have already fallen apart because anyone who supports that idea has the intelligence and maturity of a 5 year old.
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#29
I would like my taxes to contribute to getting the flat women of my country boob jobs
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#30
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I would like my taxes to contribute to getting the flat women of my country boob jobs

what a hero
#31
Quote by Wiegenlied
I would like my taxes to contribute to getting the flat women of my country boob jobs

the helping spirit of ontario :')

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#32
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Mr. President, is that you?

#scathing

this was really good
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#33
Quote by eGraham
this was really good
There you go e-stroking your own posts again.
Quote by SGstriker
If KFC is finger-licking good, then people would probably suck dicks for Popeyes. That's how good it is.


There's nothing left here to be saved
Just barreling dogs and barking trains
Another year lost to the blue line
#34
Quote by snipelfritz
Shit would already have already fallen apart because anyone who supports that idea has the intelligence and maturity of a 5 year old.


I think a 5 year old's thought process would take him more along the thought, "Mommy knows best/don't talk to strangers"
.
#35
Quote by Joshua Garcia
There you go e-stroking your own posts again.

god damnit, someone has to do it
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I wish I was American.

~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#36
Quote by gonzaw
If a system like this goes through, yeah, making each person only responsible for where THEIR taxes are going would be a mess.
Better way would be to just have another kind of "vote" people can use, you count up all votes and decide where to divert the tax-money there.

Anyways, the idea is interesting, but you can't just go to the other extreme and give the average joe the power to direct the gov' budget however he pleases. You also get the problem that any citizen doesn't know what the other one "voted for", so nobody has any clear idea of what the whole population wants the budget redirected to, so you could end up with like 80% of the budget going to security/education/social stuff (or the general "letdown" people have with the current spending) and nothing to other areas.

Though there's also the problem of not only the amount of $ going to certain areas, but how that money is being used.
I can see a more regulated system going through, which takes all of this into account, where the common citizen has more of a say in how it's handled, but also has more knowledge about it and the process is smooth.


True, this seems reasonable. When it comes to votes and diversifying from there though, would you be comfortable having a larger group deciding where the majority of the money goes, even if they contributed less as a whole than you? I'm speaking strictly taxes, of course, and assuming this group agrees on something you might not agree with.

And I suppose we could move towards real-time Internet data for the transparency question on knowing where others' money is going. But I like where you're going in general with the post I think
.
#37
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Yep. And Daily Express readers.
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#38
Idk about you guys, but I'd probably allocate all funds to my lobby group/political party start-up Accountants for Balance and Equity, and have ABE admin as Budget Controller (which would let things run naturally for most part, but prolly notice before silicone hits diminishing returns to spare the... overwhelming knowledge and understanding it would take to 'keep up with all that lol')

Aaaand since we'll be good on that end, maybe some rightfully deserved compensation/jets (for us to get around for audits of course)
.
#39
i reckon it'd be purty bad.
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