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back to article 'No representation without taxation!' urges venerable tech VC

After apologizing for his comments comparing increased taxation on the rich to the Nazi pogrom of Kristallnacht, you might have expected Tom Perkins – the pioneering venture capitalist who backed firms such as Netscape, Genentech, AOL, and Google – to moderate his tone. Not a bit of it: on Thursday night he suggested that if you …

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The poll tax

Which got renamed and called "Council Tax". And that, you do pay.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The poll tax

You obviously don't understand what the poll tax was. It was a tax on the individual paid to the local council. Council tax is a property tax and what you pay depends on the banding of your property.

What the poll tax prevented was certain families paying less by having 5 or 6 adult people living in a house built for 3 people. Under the poll tax they all contributed but under council tax you can have people playing the system.

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Re: The poll tax

It also meant that somebody occupying say, Buckingham palace, and Sandringham, and Balmoral only had to pay £500 in total.

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Re: The poll tax

The tax was for council services, not social engineering/wealth-redistribution. Unless your house is the one generating the rubbish for the bin-men to collect, it seems reasonable to tax those who use the services. The tax system becomes overly complex when you try to make everything hit the rich harder.

The poor are always the ones who pay relatively more of their income on non-optional items. That's why nobody wants to be one of the poor. It's generally a bad thing to be.

The poll tax was simple to understand in concept, had a broad base and easy calculation. Despite its disastrous PR, it was actually a pretty good tax. Mrs T had just been in power for too long and had acquired too many enemies by the time it came along and it couldn't survive her. I'd swap those kinds of tax rates for what we have today.

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Yawn

They just love to believe they are provocative and important. It's out of control. Here's a CEO who compares the 1% to Jesus:

http://mankabros.com/blogs/chairman/2014/01/27/the-one-percent-is-more-like-jesus/

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Angel

Re: Yawn

That one is a spoof, I'm afraid.

Besides, Jezus is famous for being the *only* son. So there can be at most one CEO like Jezus, and everybody else is an imposter. I propose a walking-over-water, multiplying-bread-and-fishes, turning-water-into-wine and a raising-the-dead competition.

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Re: Yawn

"Besides, Jezus is famous for being the *only* son."

Funny, my Bible says he had 6 brothers and at least 2 sisters. Of course, the sisters don't rate names but that's old time religion for you. Not sure where female bishops fit into that world-view.

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Coat

Re: Yawn

Not that it matters, but in these times and in this region of the world, anyone with any kind of blood relationship was called "brother" or "sister", prominently cousins.

Yawn indeed.

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Re: Yawn -@Kozicki

I'd like a couple of academic references for that.

The reason is that it's a peculiarly Catholic teaching, not supported by any evidence. The Gospels have come down to us in Greek, and in Greek there are distinct words for brother and cousin. The "cousin" word isn't used. The brothers of Jesus also usually accompany Mary, his mother.

I know we're treading on pink unicorn territory here, but the teaching you allude to derives from Mariolatry - the belief in the Virgin Birth and all that guff. For some/many Catholics, Mary has to be perfectly sexless, so obviously no bonking with Joseph or offspring therefrom. Thus actual Biblical scholarship has to be ignored if it suggests that she was a normal, and obviously healthy, young woman.

If you're interested in the period and why a peripatetic preacher had such influence, you can study the Biblical narrative exactly as you could study hieroglyphs or cuneiform - and this will support the obvious interpretation that Mary was very young when she had Jesus and, like many another middle class woman of the period, she went on to have a number of children.

I see your yawn, and regard it as evidence of lack of actual scholarship.

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Re: Yawn -@Kozicki

If you believe in the virgin birth, presumably they would be half-brothers and half-sisters.

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Re: Yawn

Going to be dull just now, but he was famous for being the only son of God. His brothers and sisters would have been the sons and daughters of Joseph, and half-siblings to Jesus

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"don't pay tax, get no votes."

I know of a few people for whom their response would be "....ok. Guess I'll save some money then."

And a million dollars = a million votes? That's not a recipe for disaster at all.

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Re: "don't pay tax, get no votes."

A parallel take would be, that since the real voting is done with your wallet, high income people shouldn't be allowed at the polls since they've already had their share of influence.

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Re: "don't pay tax, get no votes."

given that in the US the individual vote is largely worthless, and the county is effectively governed by sponsored career politicians and the lobbyists who grease their palms it sounds like all he's proposing is formalizing the current arrangement. Oh the cynicism.

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Re: "don't pay tax, get no votes."

Saves him having to buy them.

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Megaphone

238 YEARS OF HISTORY

How does this fit in with the main Argument of the Founding Fathers of the 13 colony's

was not their main reason for Revolt against the "British Crown and empire""

NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION

not

NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 238 YEARS OF HISTORY

I don't believe they were choosing to pay tax.

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Re: 238 YEARS OF HISTORY

UK council elections were rate payers only until 1946 or so and indeed continued in Northern Ireland until 1969 which created the one man one vote civil rights movement (it was already one man one vote for Westminster and Northern Ireland Assembly votes). If you didn`t pay rates you didn`t get a vote - so only the head of the household got a vote and if you owned a business or multiple businesses and paid rates for them you could actually have several votes...

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Re: 238 YEARS OF HISTORY

The USA Founding Fathers would be considered terrorist commies these by the very country they founded.

Ironic, ain't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 238 YEARS OF HISTORY

I forget when it stopped, but at one time the universities of Oxford and Cambridge had their own MPs, so if you were an MA in residence you got two votes.

Since the entire Front Bench on both sides consists largely of Oxbridge graduates, it really was a bit redundant.

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Re: 238 YEARS OF HISTORY

<blockquote>The USA Founding Fathers would be considered terrorist commies these by the very country they founded.</blockquote>

They wouldn't be considered True Christians, either. And that's only the ones who actually were Christians, rather than agnostics or deists.

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Stop

Which taxes, though?

Everyone pays sales taxes, for example - a flat tax that affects poorer people more than the rich.

The fact that so few people can earn enough to fall into even the lowest income tax bracket should be a source of shame for the 1%, anyway.

Giving out dimes indeed!

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Re: Which taxes, though?

All pay sales tax, but some from money government handed out - so they are net receivers. If share of such people (and that actually should include all government workers) reaches 50%, very bad things will follow.

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Anonymous Coward

"Perkins said that if he were 20 today, he would move to Australia..."

It's never too late to follow your dreams, asshole.

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Devil

No representation without taxation! urges venerable tech VC

@DavidW et al: He would be welcome here, at least to the corporate drones that are the glove puppets that run the place (into the ground). Current gov busy cutting taxes to rich, increasing costs to everyone else. While they are at it, the last 30 years of gov policy has taken the country from having some industry and first world status to at best, second world status as a foreign owned farm and mining pit. A bit more of free trade and economic rationalism and 3rd world status wont be far. Or severe social dislocation which is the same thing. Perhaps he would like to befriend an inherited wealthy person who can't understand why Australians don't want to work for $2 a day. BTW, I thought much of western government crisis was due to the wealthy NOT paying any taxes. Or in some countries, no-one pays taxes. Greece for instance.

The root issue is that no-one is having a discussion on, note, discussion, is how much governments should poke into private lives. The second issue is the belief that companies are more than a legal fiction, but persons with rights, not concessions allowed by the parliament. An Oz High Court decision recently which is very disquieting stated that company funding of politicians is a free speech issue. That way is entrenched oligarchy IMNSHO.

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No way

We don't want him

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Re: No representation without taxation! urges venerable tech VC

yeah, you might want to stay away (very far away) from those "corporations are people, my friend" and the money = speech people. can't understand why someone with a lot of money would like to think that they are fungible.

for us in the US it seems like we're going to have to wait for a new supreme court majority because elections are completely bought and paid for under the present interpretation of The Constitution of The United States (some may have heard of it, few have read it).

don't worry... yet! i don't think anyone else in the civilized world has seen one fine little piece of legislation we have seen. it seems that some "business leaders" proposed legislation to allow businesses a vote in local elections "because businesses have a stake in how the community is governed."

wouldn't that be just special though. first that, then statewide elections, then proportional representation based on number of employees (or profits). then national elections and the adoption of employee ID's as the only valid form of voter ID. [hell, lets go all the way] then a two-tiered employee ID system with only one level valid for voting.

yeah, sounds ludicrous doesn't it.

ok, i might be a little paranoid. if i am, only i suffer. if i'm not . . .

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Ow. Ignorance heaped on Idiocy.

The fool doesn't appear to know that Americans pay US income tax even if they live abroad.

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Trollface

I'll be sure to tell him that the siren that sounds at the beaches are just a signal for the locals to get out of the water so the tourists and newcomers can have a swim in our pristine waters.

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And for every dollar of tax you evade

you get -10 votes which are redistributed to the poor.

Seriously, Perkins's ideal system already exists. It's called lobbying

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Pint

exeptions prove the rule?

The general problem is that politics has obscured the social mission.

By saying that I mean, if you believe that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a goal worth aiming for....

In the USA the supreme court passed the completely potty rule, the corporations are like persons. This is clearly wrong.

In the USA it would appear the tools are all there, just some tweaking is required. This is my first stab having not had lunch, just got back from my 7k run....

How about banning all corporate lobbying? Entirely? Instead, all donations to political candidates must be ONLY from citizens (and permanent residents), with the maximum amount being the national median income for the previous 5 years.

Corporations can only lobby in public, by advertisements to the voting public. By that I mean what we have now, but make it the ONLY mechanism. No "fund raisers", "fact finding missions" etc...

Citizens can band together to form lobby groups (same rules, only funds from citizens etc), and they can directly represent issues to elected representatives.

Finally, term limits all the way through using the incremental principle. i.e. need majority first time, +10% second, +20% third etc..

The whole thing about taxation is simply that it is too complex. Only those that can afford to avoid it don't pay it. Everyone else has no/little choice....

OK must get some food...

P.

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Linked to the right to vote

The poll tax was linked to the right to vote.

The list of payers was harvested from the electoral rolls. After it was introduced a lot of people dissipared from the electoral rolls and so couldn't vote, the fact that these poorest members of society were likely to vote against the tories was, of course, an unfortunate and unforeseen side-effect

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Linked to the right to vote

We were just talking about Gerry Mander and his missus, Shirley Porter two days ago. Last I heard she was out in Israel being rich.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Linked to the right to vote

Certainly not - she is a political refugee in Israel being protected form a facist regime that wanted to persecute her for her religous beliefs. Why else hasn't she been extradited?

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Well lets face it

Thatcher ripped Britain in two and America is already doing it's fair share in that regard

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I'm glad that this wealthy parasite may cease to spread his plague in a few years since his suggestion is basically a personal attack on my lifestyle and ethics.

I work for a nonprofit. Our goal is to help people get diagnostic healthcare and advance science. Over the last seven years I've turned down three offers to work for other companies, which would have paid a much higher salary for easier hours. So Perkins is basically saying that I should have %30 less voting power since I am trying to work for society and not a CEO.

So screw him and his ilk. They already have access to an army of mercenary lawyers and lobbyists, which is buying votes in all but name. I feel like I've gotten a fair bit of luck and it's my choice to pay it back, but that bastard got more than %99 of us and just wants to keep taking.

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Anonymous Coward

Bring back the Feudal system

Perkins obviously believes in the divin right of kings etc. What he seems to be advocating is the old-fashioned feudal system. Sounds like a great idea if you are a rich man! Of course, he could be pulling our collective legs, but the last guy to do that really well ended up founding Scientology!

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Re: Bring back the Feudal system

Bring it back?

Oh we're already there my friend and have been for decades.

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Citizenship

How about you can't become a citizen unless you have served the "Republic" in some fashion (Military, Medical Corps, Diplomatic Corps etc) and you can't get a license to have Children until AFTER your service is complete!

How many of you are old enough to "remember" who Authored this concept?

Of course you can still "live" if you have your own resources without Citizenship, you just don't get any say of Government's management.

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Re: Citizenship

You must be a Heinlein fan! That was "Starship Troopers"

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Alien

Re: Citizenship

Yeah, Starship Troopers, and I vote Perkins is the first out of the ship when we invade Klendathu....

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Unhappy

Re: Citizenship

"Yeah, Starship Troopers, and I vote Perkins is the first out of the ship when we invade Klendathu...."

Not going to happen...

Guys like that never volunteer for something dangerous.

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Re: Citizenship

"How many of you are old enough to "remember" who Authored this concept?"

Some idiot who had obviously never met a French Fonctionaire.

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Anonymous Coward

Is Perkins trying to provoke violence?

He seems to be the exact type of person that is at the core of the people's negative sentiment of the super-rich.

He is far more like the Nazi than those who denounce him.

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Unhappy

"He is far more like the Nazi than those who denounce him."

"He is far more like the Nazi than those he denounces"

TFTFY

True.

The National Socialist party got a fair share of its funds from big private donors. IIRC Tiesen (steel) and Krupp (arms) were somewhat prominent, as a way of stopping Germany going Communist (then as now the old "Reds under the bed" routine working a treat to get the cash flowing).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "He is far more like the Nazi than those who denounce him."

Thyssen. I'm not that Jewish, but I still hate travelling on a Thyssen lift or escalator.

The joke of course was that the industrialists then found that they had Nazis on the board who needed paying, and they were supplied with slave labour who they were forbidden to train or allow into the shelters, thus greatly reducing efficiency. They had forgotten how in the past kings would invite in armies of mercenaries to do their dity work, only to find their kingdoms taken away by those same mercenaries - as happened so often with the Praetorian Guard.

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We get into problems when.....

...only a minority actually PAYS taxes. Then the others can by their votes get the "wealthy" to pay even more. Pretty soon the "wealthy" don't want to be "wealthy" much more and join the majority who just want to feed at the trough. It turns into a vicious cycle that ends up ruining us all. Unfortunately we are very close to this point here in the USA, sad to say.

So, yes, if you DO pay (income) taxes (however small) and were given the right to vote based on that fact, it might make a difference. Running things on "other peoples money" is just fine until it runs out!

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Re: We get into problems when.....

But that's not the case. Only half of people pay income taxes, but everyone with a job pays SS/FICA taxes. Everyone with or without a job pays sales and other excise taxes. Everyone except the homeless pays property taxes (renters don't pay it directly, but some of the rent they pay to their landlords is used to pay property taxes)

I guess Perkins is mostly retired for venture capitalism now so he feels he can speak his mind without worrying what guys in the startups he's funding like Andressen and Zuckerberg will think of his extremist views.

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Re: We get into problems when.....

You must be middle-class or better, and wearing blinders, since you don't seem to be aware that if you don't make enough, you get back all of the income taxes that you paid.

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