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Shit (not to mention pointless and unworkable) ideas of the week

Friday, March 3, 2017 9:48
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From The Evening Standard:

The influential Institute For Public Policy Research said Mr Khan and other mayors should be put in charge of chairing health and care management bodies and be given tax-raising powers, as in New York, that could include “sin taxes” on sugar, fats and cigarettes.

Ahem, won’t Londoners just do “booze cruises” out to the Home Counties?

From the BBC:

Stamp duty should be a tax on property sellers, rather than buyers, to help those trying to buy their first home, a major UK building society has said.

As OnTheOtherHand said when emailed me the link…

… imagine the simultaneous conversation that couples A, B, and C all bidding for the same house in London have after the law is changed:

“Now that the seller is paying £13,171 stamp duty, let’s take that money we deposited with the conveyancing solicitor to pay the duty on our behalf, and bid £13,171 more for the property to beat the other couples…”

From The Guardian:

So when Bill Gates pitched into the debate last week with a proposal that robots should be taxed, just like human workers are, you can imagine the splutters of outrage from the neoliberal fortresses of Silicon Valley.*

“Right now,” he said, “the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”

And the money raised should be used to retrain people the robots have replaced, with “communities where this has a particularly big impact” first in line for support. I never thought I’d write this, but here goes: good for you, Mr Gates.

* Wanker. People working for the ”neo-liberal fortresses in Silicon Valley are already paying a super-tax i.e. the very high rents they have to pay to be able to live within commuting distance of a well-paying job.

To be fair, the rest of that article was a bit more nuanced that the knee-jerk Luddite “tax robots” meme that has been doing the rounds recently and which I intended to take the piss out of.

Gates actually said “you’d think we’d tax the robot at a similar level [to the worker]“, which is nothing more than saying that corporate profits (from the automation) and wages (from not automating) should be taxed at the same level, rather than taxing wages at double the rate of corporate profits, which is of course a good idea for many other reasons.

No idea what the “retraining” nonsense is all about, pay people welfare while they’re unemployed and pray that new businesses grow and develop and take them on is all you can do.


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