Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Demand For Impersonal Shoppers

Reply to thread: Economic Ignorance

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It might help to read the short tax choice FAQ.

In a tax choice system, directly allocating your taxes would be optional.  If people didn't have the time or inclination to directly allocate their taxes then they could just give them to their impersonal shoppers (congresspeople).

What percentage of taxpayers would choose to give their taxes to their impersonal shoppers?  In other words, how much demand is there for impersonal shopping?

If there was any demand then wouldn't this service be available in the private sector?  Unless there's unmet demand that nobody has taken advantage of.  If you think this is the case then you should start your own impersonal shopping service.

How would it work?  Well...it would be just like the services offered by personal shoppers.  Except it wouldn't be personal...it would be impersonal.  Many different people would give you their money and you'd buy them all the same things.  If people weren't happy with the items then they could simply give their money to another impersonal shopping company.

I'm sure there has to be demand for this...right?  Because it would be fundamentally absurd to be using the public sector to supply this service to the entire country if there was absolutely no demand for it.  Wouldn't it be super crazy if it turned out that the only reason we vote for people to spend our tax dollars is because that's just the way it's always been done?

Around 1000 years ago some barons were fed up with kings spending "their" money on war after war...so they took the power of the purse from them.  And the kings only had the power of the purse in the first place because people believed that they had "divine authority".  Voila, here we are...allowing elected officials to spend our tax dollars.  And if we're not happy with their decisions then we can simply vote the bums out of office!    

It is easy to believe; doubting is more difficult. Experience and knowledge and thinking are necessary before we can doubt and question intelligently.  Tell a child that Santa Claus comes down the chimney or a savage that thunder is the anger of the gods and the child and the savage will accept your statements until they acquire sufficient knowledge to cause them to demur.  Millions in India passionately believe that the waters of the Ganges are holy, that snakes are deities in disguise, that it is as wrong to kill a cow as it is to kill a person - and, as for eating roast beef…that is no more to be thought of than cannibalism.  They accept these absurdities, not because they have been proved, but because the suggestion has been deeply embedded in their minds, and they have not the intelligence, the knowledge, the experience, necessary to question them.
We smile…the poor benighted creatures!  Yet you and I, if we examine the facts closely, will discover that the majority of our opinions, our most cherished beliefs, our creeds, the principles of conduct on which many of us base our very lives, are the result of suggestion, not reasoning…
Prejudiced, biased, and reiterated assertions, not logic, have formulated our beliefs. - Dale Carnegie, Public Speaking for Success

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