Coffeehouse Thread

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I'd rather just pay more taxes

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  • User profile image
    David7738

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    *snip*

    Because I believe it is simpler, more efficient, and more fair if a centralised body deals with the distribution of funds.  If there was some organisation that did this instead of the government, I would be equally happy to use it, but the benefit if including it in taxes is that everyone pays and there's no forgetting or 'getting round to it sometime' involved (never underestimate the power of apathy).

    Herbie

    The soviet central committee tried this and failed miserably. the state run farms under produced the small private plots  of land. 

    I've worked in a call center soliciting donations for a charity and found out that the charity only received 18% of the total donations the remainder was absorbed in administrative costs.

    United Appeal is supposed to be a central agency for donations but again a majority of the funds goes to administration rather than to the agencies themselves. The charities would be worse off if run by the government than if allowed to work alone.

    The I forgot or I didn't get around to it are weak excuses and a way of trying to say, "I didn't want to, so up yours" in politically correct language.If you really wanted to you would have gone out of your way to do so.

    Look at the lotteries (1/3 goes to the winners, the remaining 2/3rds is supposed to go to charities but they actually get less than 1/6th due to administrative costs and other overhead.

    The idea that the proceeds of the lotteries was to go to charities was only put in place to placate those opposed to gambling

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , David7738 wrote

    *snip*

    The soviet central committee tried this and failed miserably. the state run farms under produced the small private plots  of land.

    The Soviet system was rife with corruption and other human-factors. Of course communism doesn't work in reality - but plenty of ideas it takes (to their logical extremes) have a firm evidential basis - such as the principle that the state should serve its citizens directly and apply directed social-engineering (the sociological kind, not the penetration-attack kind) to achieve results - it's just so unfortunate that many of their grand experiments (such as the Five Year Plan and the Great Leap Forward) failed so miserably.

    My mantra is "evidence-based decision-making" - choose the option that has the most evidence supporting its case, rather than emphasising simple (or "pure") ideology. In this case, the styles of government and social systems well-established in Western Europe (Germany, Scandinavia, etc) are all doing so well that Germany is capitalising on the misfortune (and mismanagement) of Greece's internal finances to bankroll their bailout package and maintain one of the world's highest quality of life indexes. On that basis, how can it be said that socialism is "bad", "doesn't work", or "evil" considering the evidence is right there, 400 miles from my doorstep.

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    , David7738 wrote

    *snip*

    The soviet central committee tried this and failed miserably. the state run farms under produced the small private plots  of land. 

    I've worked in a call center soliciting donations for a charity and found out that the charity only received 18% of the total donations the remainder was absorbed in administrative costs.

    United Appeal is supposed to be a central agency for donations but again a majority of the funds goes to administration rather than to the agencies themselves. The charities would be worse off if run by the government than if allowed to work alone.

    The I forgot or I didn't get around to it are weak excuses and a way of trying to say, "I didn't want to, so up yours" in politically correct language.If you really wanted to you would have gone out of your way to do so.

    Look at the lotteries (1/3 goes to the winners, the remaining 2/3rds is supposed to go to charities but they actually get less than 1/6th due to administrative costs and other overhead.

    The idea that the proceeds of the lotteries was to go to charities was only put in place to placate those opposed to gambling

    Soviet Russia?  Seems a bit too lateral to me, I was talking about centralising the distribution of charitable donations, not a centralised government.  While we're on the topic, though, Communism did actually work very well for a short initial period, but failed due to the greed and dictatorial approach of its leaders.  Centralisation was not the downfall of communism, it's downfall was that the people in charge were not answerable to the population. I think a democracy with centralised government works pretty well in the UK.

    My point about a central organisation for charitable distribution is that centralisation of the administration would reduce the administration costs (due to economies of scale). This is why many large companies centralise their admin to one place. A centralised distribution would free up the charitable workers to perform the charity they want to do and not have to spend time doing admin.

    I agree with your point about the amounts of money that actually end up at the point of need -- I did once find a league-table for UK charities showing what percentages went where; some were very good at getting a high percentage of the money to the end-cause, while some were appalling. I believe a centralised organisation would be at the more efficient end, especially it it was open to public scrutiny.

    Herbie

     

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