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Belmont Club

One and Twenty

November 21st, 2013 - 7:08 pm

Paul Caron at the Taxprof describes the concept of the GUGIT, whose central idea is to “progressively” tax a person wherever he may be, whatever citizenship he might hold. Through the establishment of a global taxing authority there will be no hiding from the revenue agent.

Over the past several decades … governmental revenue [has] shifted to less progressive and regressive taxes on labor and consumption. Reasons for the shift are many but include international tax competition as world economies have become increasing global … a fundamental change in the scope of the progressive income tax is essential to protect progressivity. …

A GUGIT would make far better sense than separate national income taxes. The paper goes on to describe a vision of a GUGIT [grand unified global income tax] with a global taxing authority and a uniform tax base….

At individual level, the GUGIT would allocate income to the jurisdiction into which the taxpayer intends his or her services to have their impact or upon relative periods of residence during the year. Either method diminishes the benefit of expatriation to avoid taxes but a continuation tax or exit tax may remain necessary to combat tax expatriation.

The high point of traditional freedoms was probably reached at the end of the 20th century in the decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since then it’s been all downhill. The trend has been all about consolidating power into permanent majorities. We will have the End of History, and failing that an End to Something at all events. Although the GUGIT scheme may presently seem farfetched, it articulates the goal to which “progressive” activists must eventually aspire. Single payer, single electoral majority, single state. ‘Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer. Once you build a jail, the only problem left is how to fill it. If they build it you must come.

Rather than fight a defensive intellectual battle against the GUGIT dissidents might find it more useful to articulate an alternative vision: the replacement of traditional nations with virtual private citizenship. SSN — a Sovereign Social Network. Since GUGIT will fundamentally abolish the nation state on the way to creating a “global taxing authority”, which if it is to make any sense implies a global political authority, why not abolish the nation state on an alternative basis?

After all, if you’re going to pay a GUGIT, you might as well pay it to an affinity group. You wouldn’t want to give your money to an entity that you hate and which hates you.

People are already being encouraged to join private countries. Google Wallet, for example, is an example of an attempt to create a single credential; one universal identity through which you can access services. At present it is used only to buy things. “Google Wallet is a mobile payment system developed by Google that allows its users to store debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards among other things, as well as redeeming sales promotions on their mobile phone.”

But in principle a credential can be used to store attributes of any kind. It may determine where you may go, what you may claim, who you are. Services which used to attach to a passport — protection, welfare, etc — have been declining for the taxpayer, while they’ve increased for the nontaxpayer. A GUGIT is simply a license to tax people who can expect noting in return. For only the nonpayers should receive the benefits of “progressive taxation”. That’s the definition of progressivism.

GUGIT will make holding a British, American or EU passport a penalty for the taxpayer and a benefit only to the dependent.  The current passport apparently will not protect you from the global taxing authority. If a passport can’t protect you from a transnational revenue agent, what is the point of it?

Why not make all your payments instead to a private wallet?

All that Google would have to do to become a 20th century country is offer the equivalent of national defense to its members. Once that is provided the last advantage of the national passport disappears.

The other day New York Congresswoman Grace Meng was mugged in Washington DC. While one hopes the DC police will solve the crime, it is possible to imagine a world where Meng could call on private justice via her Google Wallet as an alternative to the cops. Then even if the DC police were completely helpless — as is supposedly the case in Detroit — then assailants could be brought to book by “Google Hurt” or something similar.

Islam, which many progressives admire, had a system of quasi-states through which provided many services to subject peoples.

The millet system was developed to protect the rights of the “tolerated clients of the Muslim community” … the self-autonomous nature of the millet was facilitated by a delegate from each group; a Patriarch represented the Greek and Armenian Churches and a haham başi or chief rabbi as appointed by the Sultan represented some Jewish communities … The millet had control over all internal disputes and agreements, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, other matters of personal status, and the distribution and collection of taxes.

Such services as could not be provided by an SSN might be supplied by a variant of the traditional nation state until such time as a private equivalent can be developed.  As the state morphs from a mutual protection society to an income transfer machine, it provides less and less incentive for the productive to join. In order to head off the pressure of civil war or conflict, why not release two products?

Red State and Blue State wallets. Each will enable their members to call upon services in exchange for a tax or fee. Neither can free ride on the other. If the Blue Wallet plan specifies that no defense shall be provided against terror attacks, then so be it. They can use their money for other things, like birth control pills or counseling. The Red Staters, however, may choose to pay for protections and fund a private army.  If a Blue State wallet holder is attacked, they must make shift as a victim of the “knockout game” recently told audiences.  She “understood” why she was attacked and had “no hard feelings” against the disadvantaged in society. Some people have criticized her attitude, but why should they?  She should be free to live to live in fear if that’s what she chooses so long as others are free to defend themselves.

Unless an alternative to the GUGIT is actively sought then the consolidators will eventually triumph.  The progressives are already impatient to resume the march toward progress.

President Barack Obama on Thursday endorsed the move by Democrats to revamp Senate filibuster rules to make it easier for the majority party to confirm nominees.

“I support the step a majority of senators took to change the way that Washington is doing business. More specifically, the way the Senate does business,” Obama said during remarks in the White House briefing room. “The vote today, I think, is an indication that a majority of senators believe, as I believe, that enough is enough.”

As George Will observed, “There’s no limiting principle in the principle that they’re invoking, that is majorities should rule all the time. What this means is if in the spring of 2017 there is a Republican president, which there could be, the Republicans still hold the House and they have 51 Senators, they can repeal Obamacare with 51 votes. And I’m not sure the people who did this today have thought this through.”

Oh yes they have and the result of those cogitations is that there must never be a Republican majority senate and president again. It is George Will who may not have thought it through.

Once the GUGIT is set as a goal the progressives will get there. Set against the vision of GUGIT is an SSN where people can choose to band together in affinity groups. This trend has been observable for a long time. The emergence of racial and ideological, even sexual groups are indicators that the national glue is being replaced by identity politics. In a world of multiple identities, a GUGIT is logically an instrument of oppression because it enables on group to rule over the others.

An SSN on the other hand, makes much more sense in a world determined to achieve fragmentation. It will provide less of an opportunity for one group to dominate another. If national elites can conduct themselves as “citizens of the world” then why can’t ordinary people create SSNs whose privileges and duties are portable all over the planet?

Logically the sort of world that progressives want will either be a tyranny or a return to semi-autonomous confessions. Perhaps the fundamental political choice of the 21st century will be between a single confederation of global elites and a constellation of private states to which people voluntarily enroll. The choice is between one Ring or many rings.  It was ever thus. The nation state itself is a recent historical development. Nothing about it says forever.

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie,
One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,
One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

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Top Rated Comments   
And I am reminded of the world Neal Stephenson laid out in "Snow Crash" and "The Diamond Age." FOQNE, Franchise-Owned Quasi-National Entities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The idea of the state is that some things must be provided in common, such as national defense. As the list of things provided in common came to include other things, the problem of free riding grew so large that consequences -- hence freedom -- was correspondingly abolished. For if there are no consequences to choices then choices are meaningless.

Realistically the state can never be fully abolished, so attempting it will only achieve a partial success, which is the sustainable outcome. By aiming for all then we may come away with some. We will never abolish the commons, else there would be no roads. But the Commons can only compass so much or the famous Tragedy of the Commons must follow.

Let the onus of protecting the state fall on the statists. Since we are unlikely to succeed completely against them, we can take our part without fearing excessive success.

The GUGIT is a frank attempt to communalize everything. It's advoicates are not bound by concepts of reasonability. Aiming for the abolition of the state may only resort in a draw or a temporary reprieve from the advances of the jailers. Freedom and tyranny are in an endless historical tug of war. If one does not pull in the direction of choice then a tyranny that does not hold back may pull everyone over its own finish line.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Are you sure GUGIT is not a typo? The F key is next to the G key, so FUGIT seems to be a distinct possibility. Daydreams of tyrannical progressives may be put aside for the moment, as our current tyrannical progressives are having a bad hair day. Polls are down, Obamacare is going in the dumpster, and so is Obama. Michelle Obama has fiercely instructed American children to eat their vegetables. Little did she realize it was her husband who was the vegetables.

While not exoccoli
Is within a hair
Of being broccoli
Obama’s poll
Down inch by inach
It takes a toll
He’s now the spinach

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (68)
All Comments   (68)
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What this means is if in the spring of 2017 there is a Republican president, which there could be, the Republicans still hold the House and they have 51 Senators, they can repeal Obamacare with 51 votes. And I’m not sure the people who did this today have thought this through.”

That is why the Democrats need amnesty. And the Republicans appear stupid enough to give it to them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The repubs for amnesty have big corporations and business as their 'sponsors'. Tons of money to ones who will push amnesty as the sponsors are for amnesty. Sure Rubio is set for life.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Today's music video

The O'Jays - Back Stabbers
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Its very easy to feel compassion that manifests itself in redistributing the wealth. Many people feel quite strongly about the moral imperative to do so. There are lots of folks out there who are simply enraged by the idea that a mere plumber can buy a McMansion when there are poor people who would like a boob job but can't afford it. However, such feelings tend to dissipate when (1) its your wealth that is being redistributed and (2) it will result in a noticeable downgrade in your lifestyle and/or /standard of living. At that point most will find that their dormant brain circuits dealing with self-interest, math, and cost benefit analysis will come alive and that compassion thingy tends to fade away. That's what is happening with Obamacare now. The sacrifices involved have become personal rather than abstract.

They made a cardinal mistake. They didn't make enough effort to hide the price tag.

And I do like Wretchard's idea of dividing people up into the blue and reds, but it would never work. The Blue model essentially is a one trick paradox pony. With equality being the ultimate goal, whether it being social, economic or whatever, for each instance of perceived inequality you must divide the populace into two groups and then screw around one group for the benefit of the other. The ultimate problem with this is that if the burden on the screewees becomes too great they will leave if that option is available to them. That's why and how Detroit became depopulated. And if you have people in close proximity and you can observe those who aren't subject to the screwer/screwee dynamic it makes your own situation seem more intolerable. The disfavored slaves will start running away from the plantation in mass.

Progressives know this. That's why they push national rather than state or local solutions. They want to make sure there is no practical place for the screwees to run to. The Blue model would collapse if it was coterminous with the Red. It would provide both a model to compare the Red with as well as a place to run.

How ironic it is. Modern day Progressives, whether they want to admit it or not, are intellectual descendants of Marxism. Originally the moral draw of Marxism was that it was needed to free the productive (the workers) from the non-productive parasites (capitalists) who enslaved them. Today our Progressives seek to enslave the productive for the benefit of the non-productive parasites. Go and figure.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is why we had the Cold war, why peaceful coexistence with the USSR was never feasible. It's curious the same dynamic hasn't developed with Red China, or perhaps it has just not as noticeably?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's another example of nation-state fragmentation, with some observations about consequences from the crumbling Pax Americana. What's interesting is that even a hard nose like Glick can't completely assimilate that crumbling, as her uncharacteristic ambiguity in the latter section of the piece demonstrates.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

"Poor countries pulled out of the United Nations climate talks during a fight over transferring wealth from richer countries to fight global warming.

The G77 and China bloc led 132 poor countries in a walk out during talks about “loss and damage” compensation for the consequences of global warming that countries cannot adapt to, like Typhoon Haiyan. The countries that left claim to have the support of other coalitions of poor nations, including the Least Developed Countries, the Alliance of Small Island States and the Africa Group.

Poor countries have demanded that the developed world give them $100 billion annually by 2020 to prepare for the impacts of global warming, such as heat waves and droughts. Brazil even put forward a proposal last week that would have made rich countries pay for historical greenhouse gas emissions.'

And the news from Rio2016?

"Rio de Janeiro's endless beaches and lush tropical forest will be a photographer's dream during the 2016 Olympics. But zoom in on the likes of once-pristine Guanabara Bay, and the picture is of household trash and raw sewage.

In the neon green waters around the site of the future Olympic Park, the average fecal pollution rate is 78 times that of the Brazilian government's "satisfactory" limit — and 195 times the level considered safe in the U.S. Nearly 70 percent of Rio's sewage goes untreated, meaning runoff from its many slums and poor neighborhoods drain into waters soon to host some of the world's best athletes.

Unless Brazil makes headway in cleaning up its waters, experts warn the Summer Games could pose health risks to athletes and mar what officials hope will be their global showcase event. Instead of the soaring vistas of Sugarloaf Mountain, the world could instead see old couches in the bay and tons of dead fish floating atop a city lake."

And the personal intercession of Nobel Peace Laureate Obama with the IOC did not prevent Chicago2016 from losing on the first round? To a literal sh*thole?

My, My!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Arithmetic always wins.

Obama (D-Chicago) learned his spending habits as a state senator in the Illinois Senate.

We know how that ends.



As the nation's bond rating declines, the cost of Obama's spending increases. The Fed already has interest rates near zero.

Someone ought to ask him, "How much interest do the bonds in the Social Security Lockbox earn per annum?"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Today's Golden Oldie

Gore Bush debate 2000

Lock Box vs. Fuzzy Math
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This GUGIT scheme comes out of the realization that there is not enough of "other people's money" in any one state or nation to fill the insatiable appetite of Leftist Progressive Government , so the Left thinks there must be some stash somewheres else to rob to fill it's appetite. Got news for them - it ain't there.

If Obamacare and the Left's other nefarious Magical Marxist schemes are allowed to take root and grow, in short order the American economy will crash and burn, taking along with it every other economy. Wealth and civilization are fragile things. If you sufficiently undermine the laws, rules and culture that gives that wealth it's foundation to grow upon, it all disintegrates pretty quickly.

There won't be no money honey for that sweet marxist magic no mo, only desolation, despair and ruin on a worldwide scale. No world guvmint neither - only tribal militias takin care of their own and plundering others as they can. Of course, the Russias and Chinas of the world will see their opportunity and try to conquer all.

However, perhaps Obamacare will destroy the Democrat brand for the near future and so it may not be the Left that succeeds in enslaving us.

But the TBTF might. The QE scheme has allowed the TBTF to foreclose and hold huge amounts of property, here and in Europe. One day we may wake up and find the TBTF owning a controlling stake in the economy. And yes, nearly half of QE has gone to Europe. The big banks may have other nefarious and covert schemes at work that are not so obvious as GUGIT, but accomplish the same thing through the back door.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We don't have to worry about international taxation. Big Government is already past the point of no return. The current path of most governments is simply not sustainable -- debts will not be paid, promises will not be kept, safety nets will fail. And because the financial world is already past the point of no return, meltdown could begin at any moment.

In this environment, Lefties would of course like to raise taxes. They ALWAYS like to raise taxes. But our fascist politicians are too desperate for cash to give the money to some other group in New York or Switzerland to spend; they will keep any taxes they can raise for themselves.

The EU got off the ground only because guilty German leftist politicians were willing to subsidize other countries. (Whether ordinary Germans ever agreed, we shall never know). Which governments today have the ability and the will to subsidize other countries? There is simply no chance that China or Saudi Arabia will ever agree to share their wealth with selected people outside their borders at the direction of a bunch of UN leftist elites.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mad Fiddler: “Turns out that in the minds of most liberals, that seems to mark me as some kind of right-wing nut prepper”

Probably the main argument against missile defense amounts to that it is unfair for some people to be so protected while others are not. Reagan’s SDI plans did not call for Europe or Asia to be defended. Of course, by preventing a missile attack on the USA that protected those other places, but SDI’s opponents could not see that far. They even thought it unfair that the Soviets would not have the same defense.

Remember at their core these people’s philosophy is that of Militant Mediocrity. Admittedly, much of the time they think that philosophy is just for everyone else, not themselves, and many of them even think that they will be hoisted high as a result of bringing so many people low.

Universal Mediocrity is not simply a necessity to prevent widespread starvation and wretched living conditions; it is an end in itself, having a unique nobility of its own not attainable by any other means.

In many ways, failure is not a bug with their ideas but rather a necessary and key feature.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The universal condition is, by definition, mediocrity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Today’s post discusses a topic which is echoed in the operation of nonprofits and their political activities. Some that charge for services use the client base as a credentialing tool when arguing for, typically, a leftist agenda item “See how many we represent.”
It is a quid pro quo with those that use them to bolster their credibility. “See how many agree with us.”

Of course, the clients were never asked if they consented to being counted as supporters of the agenda. Chances are the agenda was not even contemplated when the service was bought. In effect, when they bought the service they gave the organization a blank vote to be used as it sees fit. The nonprofit status being dedicated to good works instead of filthy lucre provides cover and of course, there are those tax benefits.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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