Friday, November 11, 2011

Pragmatarian Questions

Let's play 20 pragmatarian questions...
  1. What would the outcome be if taxpayers could directly allocate their individual taxes to the government organizations of their choice?  Meaning...at anytime throughout the year you could go to the Environmental Protection Agency website and submit a payment. 
  2. If we consider Hayek's concept of partial knowledge...what is the total information disparity between 535 congresspeople and 150+ million taxpayers?
  3. With that answer in mind...how significant would the allocation disparity be between A) 535 congresspeople considering the opportunity costs of other people's money and B) millions and millions of taxpayers considering the opportunity costs of their own "hard earned" taxes?
  4. Would people need less of a nudge to support the public goods that they actually valued?  
  5. Would people feel a "warm glow" when they paid taxes? 
  6. Would this result in the best possible use of public funds?
  7. Are there any reasonable arguments against the efficient allocation of public resources?
  8. Which government organizations would be the biggest winners/losers? 
  9. Would the resulting division of labor between taxpayers eventually reveal the ideal scope of government?
  10. Would taxpayers demand greater accountability/results given they could see exactly where their taxes were going?
  11. Given the efficient allocation/production of public resources...how "socialist" could our country go? (this question is really slippery)
  12. Could this potentially result in anarcho-capitalism?
  13. Given that the tax allocation decisions of congress are in themselves a public good...what percentage of taxpayers would just choose to allocate their taxes to congress (aka their public goods personal shoppers)?
  14. Would this system maximize political tolerance?
  15. What would happen to political parties?
  16. What are some possible unintended consequences?
  17. What effect, if any, would this have on income inequality?
  18. Which could be considered a bigger transition...passing control of taxes from a king to parliament or passing control of taxes from parliament to taxpayers?
  19. People from which political ideology (liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism, etc) would be most inclined to support this?
  20. What are the chances of this happening within our lifetimes? 

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