Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The pragmatarian approach advocates that taxpayers should be allowed to directly choose which government organizations (GOs) receive their individual taxes. So it makes sense that the primary criticism of pragmatarianism revolves around how other people would allocate their taxes.

This criticism doesn't hold much weight for me though because so far I haven't found anybody that would admit to intentionally paying for failure. The first sentence on that White House Office of Budget and Management page says...
For too long, the U.S. Government has funded programs based upon metrics that tell us how many people we are serving, but little about how we are improving their lives.
In other words, for too long our taxes have been paying for failure.

If a GO doesn't produce results...would you continue to allocate your taxes to it? If a private organization (PO) produces better results than a GO...would you continue to allocate your taxes to that GO? It is my firm belief that the people who earn the money have the strongest incentives to ensure that their money is not wasted.

A while back I ran across this interview where Milton Friedman is asked which of the Cabinet Departments he considers to be redundant. With this interview in mind I decided to create a similar survey.

This survey asks how you would allocate your individual taxes among the 15 Cabinet Departments. But, I also included Congress in the selection. The more you trust Congress not to waste your money the more of your taxes you would allocate to Congress.

This survey only represents the top two of the three tiers in the pragmatarian system. With a pragmatarian system tax payers would be able to divvy up their individual taxes among three different tiers...Congress (top), Cabinet Departments (middle) and individual GOs (bottom).   Each GO would have a fundraising progress bar on their website and tax payers would be able to pay their taxes at any time throughout the year. They would pay their taxes directly to the GOs and the GOs would give them a receipt and send a receipt to the IRS.

Taxpayers will no longer be blindly shelling out their money to a faceless organization. They will become donors altruistically supporting the public goods that they believe to be essential to the well being of our society. The focus will no longer be on will be on contributing. The process of contributing to the common good of society will go from impersonal to personal. The associated feeling will no longer be a "cold prickle"...instead it will be a "warm glow".

Department % of Your Taxes
Agriculture %
Commerce %
Congress %
Defense %
Education %
Energy %
Health %
Homeland %
Housing %
Interior %
Justice %
Labor %
State %
Transportation %
Treasury %
Veterans %
BB Code

Feel free to share your surveys in the following forums...

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