Author Topic: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense  (Read 12164 times)

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Offline Zero999

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2019, 06:56:08 pm »
Yes it's total nonsense that automation harms prosperity. Machines have being replacing humans for a couple of hundred years now, yet the trend for wealth has been upward.

If automation is that bad for the economy, then how about slavery? The Roman economy did quite well, given a supply of cheap labour.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2019, 07:05:06 pm »
There's an old story that pretty much summarizes things:

When a gazelle gets up in the morning, it knows it has to outrun the fastest lion.
When a lion gets up in the morning, it knows it has to outrun the slowest gazelle.

Whether you are a lion or a gazelle, when you get up in the morning you better be ready to run!

 

Offline soldar

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2019, 07:18:05 pm »
What is scary is how easy it is to scare people with imaginary threats.

As Mencken said:
Quote
the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.


Brexit is a sad case of a lot of people believing that life would be better if only they were protected from competition. Protectionism has never worked in the past and it sure as hell ain't gonna work this time around.

Unfortunately it seems such thinking is becoming widespread in western countries.
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Offline Awoke

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2019, 09:08:18 pm »
How long before "voice actors" in your anime productions are replaced by AIs?
That's an interesting point, I suppose at that point they would not longer be associated with a real person. And would have to be reclassified, but for now they are.

what about bad dubs and subs?
Dubs are reworks. So the characters would be associated with another real person in that new language. As for subs, it's really just providing the dialog on the screen. Not much of a big deal.
 

Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2019, 09:35:04 pm »
...

Personal assistant AIs are becoming so life-like, you can't tell you're speaking to a computer.

...
Why do you feel this way?
Maybe he's thinking of something like this:


I think you missed the ELIZA context ;)
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Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2019, 09:45:07 pm »
Unfortunately it seems such thinking is becoming widespread in western countries.

Here in the US I think the trend is not about protectionism, but more or less about having a fair playing field on which to compete in other countries.

Other countries may not directly tariff our goods, but they may erect ridiculous restrictions on imported goods which domestic vendors are not expected to comply with.
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Offline soldar

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2019, 10:04:21 pm »
Here in the US I think the trend is not about protectionism, but more or less about having a fair playing field on which to compete in other countries.

Other countries may not directly tariff our goods, but they may erect ridiculous restrictions on imported goods which domestic vendors are not expected to comply with.


Most of the time "level playing field" is a euphemism for protectionism.

The point of view changes radically depending on whose ox is getting gored. If American food exports are required to meet stricter EU standards then those are "ridiculous restrictions" but if America requires imports from third countries to meet American standards then that is a reasonable protection for the American consumer.

Pretty much all countries engage in "technical" barriers and, like everything else, we justify it when our side does it and we condemn it when the other side does it.
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Offline TERRA Operative

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2019, 10:54:43 pm »
I was at Secureworld this past week, and one of the keynotes had a section on "dueling AIs", where two AIs attempt to detect whether they are speaking to an AI or not.

Personal assistant AIs are becoming so life-like, you can't tell you're speaking to a computer.

How long before "voice actors" in your anime productions are replaced by AIs?

Well, with the advent of Hatsune Miku, we got the voice and characterisation part down, just need to hook it up to Siri or Alexa to finish it off.  |O :D
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2019, 10:59:13 pm »
If you're going to tax robots, how would you handle cyborgs that are part human and part machine, where the two parts are permanently attached together? How would that be different from the far more common case of a human operating a machine?
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Offline soldar

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2019, 11:57:22 pm »
To tax robots you first have to define "robot" which is really just a machine. Robots (machines) have been used for a long time now in manufacturing automobiles and other things. I suppose the first telephone automatic switching equipment could be considered a "robot" as it did the work of a telephone operator and a computer would be a robot doing the work of an accountant.
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Online Gregg

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2019, 02:09:59 am »
The problem isn’t machines taking jobs; the problem is too many people consuming and not producing. 
Maybe it would serve mankind better long term to implement free birth control and major tax increases for more than one offspring per person.  I know that doesn't sound fair; but life in general isn't fair and how fair is it going to be when things spiral downward?  It is time the general populace starts to realize a big problem on this planet is too many people; and since nobody wants to volunteer to leave (except maybe to Mars) the problem needs to be addressed at the source. 
Historically more machines led to more jobs, more leisure time, more discretionary income with more consumption per person and a growing global economy; but how much longer is this growth sustainable?
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2019, 08:23:26 am »
Spare me the civics lesson, I know how it works.  You are aware that we have record low unemployment, record high incomes and all that neat economics stuff, right?  Trump's doing good for workers AND investors.  Still, there are industries that are dying (coal, for example) and people tied to that industry are not usually capable of moving into different jobs.  That's a problem!  We need to re-educate workers whose jobs are eliminated.
But how is Trump fixing the underlying problem of people who are tied to failing industries? Propping them up is not the answer. It's unsustainable and will only create more problems. It's also a form of socialism.

Quote
We have systems that help those truly in need - always have.  Nobody has a problem with helping the truly needy.   But we also removed the requirement to work to receive welfare and taxpayers DO have a problem with that.  Somehow, even with record low unemployment, especially among minorities, we can't seem to reestablish the requirement.  Why should able-bodied people live off my taxes?  There are plenty of jobs!

Robots are the reason we are paying to put my grandson through a decent university in a Mechanical Engineering program.  It's a little far out in the future but we will probably pay for a master's in engineering and a master's in business administration.  We want him to be capable of competing in whatever the future may bring.

As to Basic Income:  Unless it is near the median income, it just leaves people in poverty at a slightly higher level.  Around here, the median income is $70k while over in Mountain View (Silicon Valley), the median income is around $120k with median home prices above $1M.  How do we provide basic income for someone who wants to live in Mountain View?  Or do we just bus them all South Dakota where the median income is $23k.

How much do we owe those who are disinclined to get a job?
I agree that too much socialism is bad because it means people don't get rewarded for their effort, but some is necessary.

It should not be able equal outcomes, but equal opportunity.

Fair enough, your grandson is born to a wealthy family, but what about another child who is born to a less wealthy family? Suppose their ancestors were slaves and live in a crappy neighbourhood, with poor schools. They might have the drive and ability to work, just lack the education to secede.

Some socialism is a good thing. Apart from the moral side, the government should invest in areas which will improve the economy and generate a tax revenue. Pump money into the poor areas to improve the schools so the children can get jobs and pay taxes. Invest money in public healthcare so the sick can return to work and pay it back.

Brexit is a sad case of a lot of people believing that life would be better if only they were protected from competition. Protectionism has never worked in the past and it sure as hell ain't gonna work this time around.
Brexit is a lot more complicated than that. A lot of it is down to the fact that the UK is very different, both socially and politically to most other European countries. Concern about immigration is an issue and that the idea that the UK has little influence over the EU regulations it has to follow. Unfortunately, it's quite likely the UK will remain a member of the single market and customs union, even after Brexit, so will truly have no say over any of the rules.

I voted remain, but if we leave, we must do it properly: no customs union or single market!
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2019, 12:24:50 pm »
Brexit is a lot more complicated than that. A lot of it is down to the fact that the UK is very different, both socially and politically to most other European countries. Concern about immigration is an issue and that the idea that the UK has little influence over the EU regulations it has to follow. Unfortunately, it's quite likely the UK will remain a member of the single market and customs union, even after Brexit, so will truly have no say over any of the rules.

I voted remain, but if we leave, we must do it properly: no customs union or single market!

Yes, Brexit is a complicated, political problem but in the back of everything lies the idea that the UK in many ways needs protection from the EU.  It is being a colossal blunder and can have no good ending. Any ending now will necessarily be a bad ending and what remains to be seen is just how bad it will be. In the worst of cases what we may be seeing here is the beginning of the end of the UK as we have known it all our lives.

In the 19th century the UK was a world power in its own right. In the 20th century the UK's strength was in its allies.  WWII was not won by the UK but by the Allies. In the world stage the UK punched above its weight because it had excellent understanding of world politics and an excellent diplomacy.

In the late 20th century UK had lost its last big colonies and was trying to find its place in the world. There was a dream that it could become the head of a "Commonwealth Common Market" but that was unrealistic and did not work out. The only place where the UK could avoid becoming a nobody was in the EU but they would have to let go of those imperial dreams.  Unfortunately, many politicians and other interested parties are supporting outdated dreams and they might profit from it but the UK will most definitely be harmed.

What happened to the UK that did the industrial revolution and became a world power by innovating and leading? What happened to the UK that dealt in the world stage and lead coalitions? Now the UK is retreating into its burrow hoping to find protection there but will be eaten alive by the wolves.

To say the UK was not having their voice heard in the EU is just silly and totally inaccurate. The public have been sold lies by many interested parties, some of them in the UK, others in the USA and Russia and China, all of which have interest in weakening Europe, and that includes the UK.

Does anybody really think a solitary UK is in any position of strength to negotiate deals with the USA or China? The UK will be eaten alive. Let me tell you something, if the UK leaves with no deal, the first thing that happens is the UK yields to the USA in dropping food requirements so the USA can export food that the EU does not admit right now. I guarantee it. UK farmers will have to adapt to this, if they can, and many will not be able to do it and will go out of business. They were promised Brexit would be a road to freedom and they will discover it was a road to serfdom.

The public has been sold lies and unrealistic expectations. The notion that "we are different" is just silly, empty rhetoric. Everybody is different. We are all unique snowflakes but, come on, it is because we are different that we choose to become part of the group where we can discuss things and come to agreements.

There are several hundred thousand Brits living in Spain voluntarily. Maybe we are not so different after all.

The truth is that there is much xenophobia and desire for protectionism in the vote for Brexit and this has been exploited by interested parties.

The EU has bent over backwards to accommodate the UK but it seems the UK is never satisfied. I think it was Sarkozy who, some years ago, said about Cameron negotiating was like "a man attending a wife swapping party without his spouse". Well, it looks like it will be the UK's turn in the barrel soon ... for a long time.

The UK will be in a very weak position to negotiate anything with anybody, starting with the EU as is becoming painfully obvious. The UK thought they could play one country against another but it had totally miscalculated and the EU countries stand together and talk with a single voice.
See https://www.politico.eu/article/how-uk-lost-brexit-eu-negotiation/
The UK alone in the world stage will be taken to the cleaners.

The EU will back any of its members against a UK outside the EU. The EU is 100% behind the Republic of Ireland as the UK is painfully realizing. If the UK departs the EU I expect to see pressure in other points, like Gibraltar.

The UK public have been sold a blurry dream which is just impossible. The UK wants to have its cake and eat it. How can you be outside the EU and not have a border with the EU in Ireland. And yet Auntie May (as the Chinese like to call her) insists that it is possible. It is not "to be or not to be, that is the question". The question here is how can we "be and not be" at the same time. The obvious answer is that it is effing impossible. And yet, here we are.

I am afraid this could well be "the beginning of the end" of the UK. If a backstop is put into place it could well drive Northern Ireland to rejoin the Republic of Ireland. Scotland voted to Remain and this could well be the nail that secures Scotland's independence.  I think the public were never really aware of what all this entailed.

It has been a total and unmitigated disaster and is the responsibility of the political class. The public at large, in any country, are uneducated fools who will follow their leaders. The UK used to have world class leaders and are, sadly, now reduced to people like Cameron and May. The leaders have failed their people.

A hard Brexit would be an unmitigated disaster and UK leaders are very aware of that. A soft Brexit, besides being impossible is, well, impossible. And it makes no sense. The whole thing is a mess.

Go to Youtube and listen to James O'Brien's callers who are for Brexit. Not a single one of them can articulate anything clear and specific. It is all nebulous feelings of xenophobia directed at immigrants, competition, the EU, etc. They do not say it openly and clearly but that is what underlies their feelings.

In China they are having a field day watching the British Circus.
http://video.sina.cn/news/2019-04-02/detail-ihtxyzsm2524544.d.html
http://video.sina.cn/news/2019-03-07/detail-ihsxncvh0655131.d.html
They have not forgotten that a bit over a century ago they were invaded and humiliated by the UK and other western countries and I suspect they may be getting some satisfaction seeing how China is growing in power while the UK is mired in this mess of their own making.

And not only in China, here is John Oliver:
 
 (BTW, I wonder if that video is censored in the UK.)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 12:42:10 pm by soldar »
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Offline apis

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2019, 01:23:59 pm »
To me it sounds more likely there will be a hard Brexit no deal. The British parliament keeps saying no to all proposals from their PM and time is running out. The reasonable thing now would be for GB to ask the EU for another delay, so I assume the opposite will happen.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 09:59:34 pm by apis »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2019, 03:14:41 pm »
This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The train going steadily towards the cliff and nobody has the common sense to stop it because "that's what the people voted".

Never mind that most people had no idea what they were voting for or the consequences. Never mind that politicians mislead and lied. There is no going back now. Sorry. You voted and now you are going to get it. Good and hard.

Let's get rid of those stupid regulations! Well, yes, but then you can't sell to the EU. If you want to sell to the EU you will have to meet the regulations anyway with the added bonus that now you have no say in the making of the regulations.

It is so easy to excite people's fears. They are coming to take your jobs and your women! Let us stop them! Then it slowly sinks in that if you stop other people from coming in then other countries will do the same to your people and suddenly things are not as simple as they seemed at first.

As Mencken said
Quote
There is always an easy solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong.

It is so easy to excite people's fears and bigotry, to make them think they can go back to a time when things were better. Except that (1) you can't go back in time and (2) those imaginary better times never existed anyway.

Politicians are not measuring up to the task ahead. All they seek is personal gain at the expense of the country. They will promise anything while knowing full well it is an impossible lie. They promise you will be outside the EU when it comes to obligations but inside when it comes to benefits. And the people want to believe in any lies that promise the impossible.  A pair of comedians in Spain, when elections were coming up, would promise "two women for every man and two men for every woman". A hard Brexit with no border in Ireland is about as possible... unless the Brits want to try invading Ireland again.

The callers to James O'Brien never cease to amaze me but it just shows people are not rational beings. We are social pack animals and we follow the leader and if the leader says the train must head for the cliff we find comfort in numbers and do not want to be left behind.

Look at this guy:


and watch?v=1xWHg2mdUgE
and watch?v=jpxSybfrsLU
and watch?v=2Z16Os05CX0
and many more. People are just afraid of the future and want to go back to the past. That past that never existed.
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Offline Zero999

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2019, 04:23:33 pm »
Lots of what you say about Brexit is true and yes, the UK will be worse off. However the EU is morphing into something no one in the UK and many other countries for that matter, never voted for: a superstate. When the UK voted to join the EC, they did so for free trade, not to be part of a superstate. The whole thing needs to be reformed and cut back. Lots of eastern Europe weren't really ready to join the EU and were only let in because the EU feared them gravitating towards Russia. Unfortunately this has caused trouble: look at the mess in Ukraine!

Following EU rules which affect trade is fine. For example, we must produce food which satisfies the EU safety legislation, if it is to be exported to the EU. No one has any problem with that, but some of the rules don't affect trade. One which immediately springs to mind is the colour codes for electrical cables in fixed installations. No houses and apartments are exported to the EU, so they have no business in our building regulations and electrical standards. I can understand rules governing supply voltage tolerance and frequency, but not those affecting the fixed installation. I'm sure there are many other similar rules, but haven't looked them up.

It makes sense for Northern Ireland to reunite: Northern Ireland being part of the UK is not good for either party: Brexit or no Brexit.

The Scottish wanting independence from the UK, yet remain in Europe are even more crazy than anyone who voted for Brexit. There will  be a hard border, when there was none before and Scotland do far more trade with the rest of the UK, than the EU.

Yes Brexit is a clusterfuck. I think there should be another referendum. In fact, there should be two separate ones:

Firstly one with the following two questions:

When the UK leaves the EU, do you want membership of the:
  • single market?
  • customs union?

If over 50% answer yes to either of the above questions, then another referendum on Brexit: yes or no.

People whine about referendums: they're costly and repeating the same question is silly and undemocratic, but it's more democratic than what's going on at the moment.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2019, 05:04:35 pm »
Cameron choose to throw the dice. I don't think the EU wants a member where half the people feel they are being forced to stay against their will, that's a recipe for an even bigger disaster.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 06:39:25 pm by apis »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2019, 05:55:11 pm »
Lots of what you say about Brexit is true and yes, the UK will be worse off. However the EU is morphing into something no one in the UK and many other countries for that matter, never voted for: a superstate.  When the UK voted to join the EC, they did so for free trade, not to be part of a superstate.

The EU is what it is and it is what the member states have made it. The EU has made it clear that the four freedoms (the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons within the EU) are integral and cannot be separated or curtailed. If the UK does not accept the package that then it wants out.  Nobody gets to pick and choose. Again, this is like the man who does not take his wife the wife-swapping party. If the UK wants the package then they can be a part of the EU and if they won't accept it then they cannot. As for other countries, no one seems to have such serious problems or objections and they manage to live and solve their issues within the EU.

The whole thing needs to be reformed and cut back.


Again, it is what the member states made it and want it. If the UK doesn't like it then they can go find comfort elsewhere.


Lots of eastern Europe weren't really ready to join the EU and were only let in because the EU feared them gravitating towards Russia. Unfortunately this has caused trouble: look at the mess in Ukraine!

Well, that's a horse of another color and you are touching on another topic which I have followed rather closely. It would require rivers of ink to discuss that so I won't get into it too much except to say IMHO the mess in that area is mainly of EU making, and by this I mean Germany and other supporting countries, and not so much of Russian making. After the fall of the USSR the EU, instigated by the USA, has followed a very bad policy of confrontation with Russia when we should have had a much more realist policy of non-confrontation and cooperation.


Following EU rules which affect trade is fine. For example, we must produce food which satisfies the EU safety legislation, if it is to be exported to the EU. No one has any problem with that,

You might think that. But the UK will have to negotiate from a very weak position with the USA who will try to force the UK to accept American food which is not acceptable in the EU. So the UK has to choose what standards to enforce. American food will be cheaper and some farmers may not be able to compete. Any exports to the EU will need to be inspected and certified to meet EU standards which adds cost and delay. A country inside the EU has an advantage as it does not need this. So this is like saying "we want to have the freedom to shoot ourselves in the foot!" Well, OK, go right ahead.

The entire EU is based on freedom of movement of goods. Parts made in Spain may go to the UK to be incorporated into a motor which will be sent to Germany to be installed in a car which will then be sent back to the UK to be finished. Put tariffs, inspections and delays into that chain and it becomes unworkable.

Not to mention that the UK is not prepared for such situation. It would take many years to create the organization and infrastructure.

I think the people are really not aware of the grave consequences. They really believe everything will pretty much continue the same except now we can stop those Polish people who are taking our jobs. Ask business managers, international corporations, etc. They will tell you of the grave consequences.


but some of the rules don't affect trade. One which immediately springs to mind is the colour codes for electrical cables in fixed installations. No houses and apartments are exported to the EU, so they have no business in our building regulations and electrical standards. I can understand rules governing supply voltage tolerance and frequency, but not those affecting the fixed installation. I'm sure there are many other similar rules, but haven't looked them up.

I had no idea having the liberty to set your own colors was a freedom so important to the British people. Personally I see an advantage in having common standards but, in any case, I am not sure the EU does, in fact, set the color of wiring and it may be a canard like the regulation setting the curvature of bananas. I think there is much anti-EU propaganda. Listen to the callers to James O'Brien. He asks them "what EU law or regulation do you object to specifically?" and nobody is capable of giving a specific example. It is just hand waving and vague assertions. Brexiteers are not driven by reason but by feelings. Feelings which have been created by politicians and propaganda.


It makes sense for Northern Ireland to reunite: Northern Ireland being part of the UK is not good for either party: Brexit or no Brexit.

It may be that this mess will be the last straw needed to tip the balance.


The Scottish wanting independence from the UK, yet remain in Europe are even more crazy than anyone who voted for Brexit. There will  be a hard border, when there was none before and Scotland do far more trade with the rest of the UK, than the EU.

The Scotts would have to choose between being part of the UK and having a hard border with the EU or being part of the EU and having a hard border with the UK. Again, this last straw might be what tips the balance.


Yes Brexit is a clusterfuck. I think there should be another referendum. In fact, there should be two separate ones:

Firstly one with the following two questions:

When the UK leaves the EU, do you want membership of the:
  • single market?
  • customs union?

If over 50% answer yes to either of the above questions, then another referendum on Brexit: yes or no.

People whine about referendums: they're costly and repeating the same question is silly and undemocratic, but it's more democratic than what's going on at the moment.

IMHO having the first referendum was a colossal mistake because it created a huge problem which has divided the people and having another referendum would only aggravate the problem. Those who won the first time around would feel they were cheated. Anyone who lost would be even more bitter. The best way out is not by politicians abdicating their responsibilities and shoving them to the people (who are not educated and informed enough anyway). The best way would be for politicians to fess up and say this was all a huge mistake. Obviously this is not going to happen and the UK will muddle forward with each politician trying to save their own skin and the country be damned.

To me the notion that the UK alone could negotiate better trade deals with America, China, Japan than the EU could is just laughable. If this continues the UK will find itself at the mercy of the big powers. Already it has lost a lot of business. It will be left out of many programs, economic, military, etc. The notion that a country like the UK can stand up to the big economic powers is just laughable.

Again, this is a problem created, not by inevitable circumstances, but by politicians elected by the people and for the people. Well, I hope they enjoy what they voted for.
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Offline Zero999

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2019, 07:45:53 pm »
I agree that we can't have all of the benefits of being in the EU, without having to follow any of the rules and responsibilities. We simply can't have free trade with the EU, without freedom of movement. The leave campaign lied a lot about this.

You're mistaken that each EU member state has equal power. It doesn't. In reality Germany rules the EU. Not everyone wants ever closer union. One of the reasons why the UK is leaving is because they allowed eastern Europe to join. The EU worked well when all of the member states had roughly equal wealth. There was no mass migration to the UK from Europe before then. Although there were gripes about regulation, it was generally accepted it was a good thing.

You've also partly answered your own question regarding why the UK is fundamentally different from the rest of the EU: it once had a large empire and the fact it's an island. If this isn't so, then why is it the only country who's wants to leave? There is anti-EU sentiment in other member states, but it's nowhere near as strong. The EU needs to change and I'm not saying this because I think it should just change in the UK's favour, but for everyone.

Another thing to note is that when the UK joined the ECC, it did so on the back of  a referendum with a big yes vote. Now the same people who voted to join, have voted to leave, because the EU has become something they never voted for.

The recent referendum was because there was a growing number of people who were dissatisfied with the EU and the conservative party worrying about UKIP gaining power. It's possible that if it hadn't happened, then we would have had UKIP in power in a few years time, which would have been much worse

What laws are enforced on the UK which people don't like? The tampon tax is a classic one. The UK government wants to remove VAT on sanitary product, yet the EU forbids it. This is a stupid law. The EU shouldn't have any right to interfere with what taxes our government imposes on what. It is an internal affair, nothing to do with the EU!

I'm cynical leaving will be as bad as you say, in the long run. Lots of other countries are not in the EU and do quite well: Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. I agree it will be a massive upheaval. It will cause lots of problems and the UK will be worse off, but doubt it will really be that bad. Also note that aforementioined countries have trade deals with the EU, which don't involve being fully signed up to the single market. The UK doesn't have to accept the US food standards if it doesn't want to, but it would have to accept the increase in food prices.

The government have already proven they can't do this and had abdicated responsibility a long time ago. Another referendum is the only sane way out. The lies and electoral irregularities on behalf of the leave campaign are strong enough reasons to nullify the result and have another one. Although the majority of people would probably vote the same again, I think the result would be to remain, because a few will flip, there will be a greater number of younger voters who'll more likely vote remain and less older ones who've died, since the last one.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2019, 08:57:12 pm »
What laws are enforced on the UK which people don't like? The tampon tax is a classic one. The UK government wants to remove VAT on sanitary product, yet the EU forbids it. This is a stupid law. The EU shouldn't have any right to interfere with what taxes our government imposes on what. It is an internal affair, nothing to do with the EU!

I'm cynical leaving will be as bad as you say, in the long run. Lots of other countries are not in the EU and do quite well: Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. I agree it will be a massive upheaval. It will cause lots of problems and the UK will be worse off, but doubt it will really be that bad. Also note that aforementioined countries have trade deals with the EU, which don't involve being fully signed up to the single market. The UK doesn't have to accept the US food standards if it doesn't want to, but it would have to accept the increase in food prices.
Before you joined the EU, could Scotland have decided to subsidise sanitary products on their own, or would that have to be decided in Westminster?

It is not an internal affair since you are part of the EU's internal market. A country can't decide to subsidise certain products on their own since it will affect the entire market. You would have to make such changes on the EU level (which would be quite possible if you get majority support in the EU).

The alternative you want instead, free trade agreements, are quite different. Then you make a bilateral agreement with e.g. the US on what taxes should apply, and once that agreement has been signed it will be nigh impossible to change. In that case you would have to renegotiate the deals every time you want to subsidise something (e.g. sanitary products) and who do you think will come out on top in deals between the UK and the US/Russia/EU/China? If you decide to subsidise it anyway your country will be sued in a investment court system (something the UK have been an enthusiastic proponent of btw). Who, on average, do you think will win those lawsuits?

EDIT: Reality Check: Does the EU control UK VAT rates?
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36430504
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 10:08:11 pm by apis »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #45 on: April 02, 2019, 09:58:59 pm »
Yes, the conversation has segued to Brexit.

You're mistaken that each EU member state has equal power. It doesn't. In reality Germany rules the EU.
No, I never said all members have equal power. Obviously Germany has most power. That is the way the world is. Those who have the money have the power. The question is whether those who have less money and less power are better off associating with the more powerful or not.

The United States are powerful because they realize they are better off together than separately even though that means the weaker states often have to yield to the more powerful.


Not everyone wants ever closer union. One of the reasons why the UK is leaving is because they allowed eastern Europe to join. The EU worked well when all of the member states had roughly equal wealth. There was no mass migration to the UK from Europe before then. Although there were gripes about regulation, it was generally accepted it was a good thing.

Yes, that is the naked truth. Xenophobia.


You've also partly answered your own question regarding why the UK is fundamentally different from the rest of the EU: it once had a large empire and the fact it's an island. If this isn't so, then why is it the only country who's wants to leave?


Because it has lousy politicians?

Some decades ago I was working for an electric power company and we were discussing nuclear power and why some were for it and some were against it. Recently two different countries had held referendums on nuclear power, I forget which countries. One had approved and the other had rejected it. We all agreed that nuclear power held the same pros and cons for both countries and the only reason it had been approved in one and rejected in the other was because it had been presented differently. I mean, come on, the average citizen is nowhere near qualified to judge such a complex issue. It becomes a popularity contest. A publicity campaign. If you want to get people to vote one way or the other you do not engage in deep discussions which nobody would understand anyway, no, you get some good looking celebrity to spout good sounding sound bites.

The responsibility of politicians is to make prudent and sound decisions based on studies and advice from experts and they are not doing their job when they kcik the decision back to the people. It is an easy way to renounce their responsibility. Politicians are supposed to be leaders and not followers.


There is anti-EU sentiment in other member states, but it's nowhere near as strong. The EU needs to change and I'm not saying this because I think it should just change in the UK's favour, but for everyone.

This is one of those vague, generic assertions that no one specifies. Again, the EU is what its members have agreed they want it to be. If there was a general consensus that something should change, they would change it.

Of course any voting system or any system of representation can be criticized because there is no system that is objectively superior to all others. Countries with proportional representation will have a hard time understanding "first past the post" UK system where a party can have a huge majority of MPs with a very small majority of vote. It hardly seems fair or even democratic. So, objectively, other countries are probably more "democratic".


Another thing to note is that when the UK joined the ECC, it did so on the back of  a referendum with a big yes vote. Now the same people who voted to join, have voted to leave, because the EU has become something they never voted for.
No, the reason they voted to join and now voted to leave is because their leaders presented it to them that way. Leaders will get the people to vote for whatever they want. The great majority of the British people could not tell you the simplest thing about the EU. They will just repeat the talking points they have heard whatever leader they follow.


What laws are enforced on the UK which people don't like? The tampon tax is a classic one. The UK government wants to remove VAT on sanitary product, yet the EU forbids it. This is a stupid law. The EU shouldn't have any right to interfere with what taxes our government imposes on what. It is an internal affair, nothing to do with the EU!


I am not familiar with the tampon law but I am very cynical because lately it seems every newscast needs to include some women's issue. I have to confess the issue of tampons is not something I follow very closely. There have been complaints in Spain about the same tax and for the same reason: it is a bullshit, made-up problem that some group can take as a cause to fight for.  This sound totally like a populist demagoguery issue. I know in Spain the tax was lowered on tampons so it's not like the EU tells us exactly what the tax should be.  VAT varies a lot among EU member countries so it's not like the EU imposes the rates. I imagine there might be certain bands or ranges it allows with the objective of avoiding huge taxation differences among countries. Again, if this is unacceptable for the UK then the UK does not belong in the EU.

https://infacts.org/new-eu-plans-scrap-tampon-tax/
Quote
The aim of setting lower limits to VAT across the EU is to prevent a race to the bottom in taxation, which could encourage cross-border shopping for many items. This could distort the single market, tie up businesses in red tape and reduce government revenues. The UK was a driving force behind regulating VAT at the time, and remains in favour of coordination.
So, the some in the UK are against something which the UK voted in favor of doing. And all the blame lies with the EU. OK.

The question is whether the UK will be better or worse off outside the EU and the consensus among the better informed and more knowledgeable is that it will be significantly worse. To me that also seems to be the most intuitive answer: that union makes strength and separation means weakness and disadvantage.

The USA is strong (among other reasons) because they have remained united. Latin American countries are weak (among other reasons) because they are divided and easy pickings for the stronger countries. China now is strong because it is united and following a stable direction. Two hundred years ago they were divided and easy pickings for western powers


I'm cynical leaving will be as bad as you say, in the long run. Lots of other countries are not in the EU and do quite well: Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. I agree it will be a massive upheaval. It will cause lots of problems and the UK will be worse off, but doubt it will really be that bad. Also note that aforementioined countries have trade deals with the EU, which don't involve being fully signed up to the single market. The UK doesn't have to accept the US food standards if it doesn't want to, but it would have to accept the increase in food prices.


To me that's like saying "I'm going to shoot myself in the foot and, yes, it will be painful but I will still be able to walk (with crutches)".


The government have already proven they can't do this and had abdicated responsibility a long time ago. Another referendum is the only sane way out. The lies and electoral irregularities on behalf of the leave campaign are strong enough reasons to nullify the result and have another one. Although the majority of people would probably vote the same again, I think the result would be to remain, because a few will flip, there will be a greater number of younger voters who'll more likely vote remain and less older ones who've died, since the last one.

Well, I agree. But i think it was foolish to decide the issue with such a tiny majority in the first place. It would have made more sense to require a supermajority of two thirds in each of Scotland, Northern Ireland and England and Wales. And ask a question that was clear in what it proposed rather than such a vague question because, strictly speaking Brexit should mean out with no deal at all. Which, by the way, I think pretty much everybody knows by now would be a huge disaster so nobody wants to take responsibility for that. It's like "we're leaving but not yet..."

Reminds me of an old Mexican ballad:
Code: [Select]
Don't threaten me, don't threaten me;
When you've made up your mind to start a new life,
then just leave,
but don't threaten me.
You are old enough, you know life,
you know what you are doing.
Because you say you are leaving,
and you are leaving,
and you are leaving,
and leaving,
but you are still here;
and I am waiting for your love,
waiting for your love,
or waiting for you to forget me.
Just don't threaten me.

Seems oddly appropriate here.



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Offline Zero999

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #46 on: April 02, 2019, 10:27:46 pm »
What laws are enforced on the UK which people don't like? The tampon tax is a classic one. The UK government wants to remove VAT on sanitary product, yet the EU forbids it. This is a stupid law. The EU shouldn't have any right to interfere with what taxes our government imposes on what. It is an internal affair, nothing to do with the EU!

I'm cynical leaving will be as bad as you say, in the long run. Lots of other countries are not in the EU and do quite well: Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. I agree it will be a massive upheaval. It will cause lots of problems and the UK will be worse off, but doubt it will really be that bad. Also note that aforementioined countries have trade deals with the EU, which don't involve being fully signed up to the single market. The UK doesn't have to accept the US food standards if it doesn't want to, but it would have to accept the increase in food prices.
Before you joined the EU, could Scotland have decided to subsidise sanitary products on their own, or would that have to be decided in Westminster?

It is not an internal affair since you are part of the EU's internal market. A country can't decide to subsidise certain products on their own since it will affect the entire market. You would have to make such changes on the EU level (which would be quite possible if you get majority support in the EU).

The alternative you want instead, free trade agreements, are quite different. Then you make a bilateral agreement with e.g. the US on what taxes should apply, and once that agreement has been signed it will be nigh impossible to change. In that case you would have to renegotiate the deals every time you want to subsidise something (e.g. sanitary products) and who do you think will come out on top in deals between the UK and the US/Russia/EU/China? If you decide to subsidise it anyway your country will be sued in a investment court system (something the UK have been an enthusiastic proponent of btw). Who, on average, do you think will win those lawsuits?
No, removing VAT from tampons would not be a subsidy. It's a tax, which is totally different. What products the UK decides to tax or not, does not affect trade with the EU and therefore is none of their business. The EU's VAT regulations is something that needs to change. They're stupid. Each state sets their own level of VAT, but the EU still limits what it can be applied to. :palm:

Even if it was a subsidy, it would be on goods traded internally and apply equally to both imports, as well as UK made ones and doesn't affect the EU. Suppose the UK government decide to subsidise stationary: pencils, paper, etc, sold in UK shops and supermarkets, not imported or exported. They should be allowed to do so, as long as it applies equally, to all stationary.

Your statements about the US, Russia and China are incorrect. They have no control of what taxes and subsidies any foreign power applies to their products. For example, Australia has a trade deal with China, yet China don't tell them what they can and cannot tax or subsidise.

Scotland doesn't have any say what they tax, because they are not a separate state, but part of the UK and have voted to remain so, the same as the local government in the town I live in can't set VAT and subsidies.

Yes, the conversation has segued to Brexit.
Brexit isn't just about xenophobia, although that's part of it. The fact that Germany is the major power is a big problem, because they make the rules to suit themselves, over everyone else. Allowing the poorest countries to join was also a big mistake, because the whole point of the EU is to prevent a race to the bottom right?

Yes, the member states, oh I mean predominantly Germany, have helped to shape the EU, so that must make it perfect then?

If you think the public aren't qualified to make decisions, then why not just have a dictatorship?

The crazy thing is, I actually agree with 90% of what you're saying (the UK is better off in the EU, than alone) but I feel frustrated because you seem to lack the ability to see it from someone else's perspective. You don't understand why some people are dissatisfied with the EU and have voted to leave. There are genuine reasons to be unhappy with the EU, but I think the UK is better being on the inside, so they can continue to press for change, than on the outside.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 10:44:55 pm by Zero999 »
 

Offline forrestc

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #47 on: April 02, 2019, 10:55:15 pm »
Maybe I'm mistaken but the way I understand it, if someone in the US get cancer and can't afford the cure you leave them to die in the street basically, that's not what "helping those who truly need it" means in this part of the world?

That isn't the way the system works in in the US.   There are laws on the books which require hospitals to take all patients regardless of ability to pay.    The unfortunate part is that this significantly increases the costs for everyone else, so in effect the people who do pay are paying for those who don't.   

Those who believe we don't have socialized healthcare in the US don't understand how the system works - we still have universal health care, it's just that the 'taxation' is in the form of higher prices for those who pay.   I just wish the politicians would quit pretending that we have a free market health care system (we don't), and fix it either so it is reasonably close to free-market, or just socialize the whole thing.

 

Offline soldar

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2019, 11:19:09 pm »
No, removing VAT from tampons would not be a subsidy. It's a tax, which is totally different. What products the UK decides to tax or not, does not affect trade with the EU and therefore is none of their business. The EU's VAT regulations is something that needs to change. They're stupid. Each state sets their own level of VAT, but the EU still limits what it can be applied to. :palm:


Again, the UK voted in favor of this so I just cannot see how the UK can complain about something the UK voted for.


Your statements about the US, Russia and China are incorrect. They have no control of what taxes and subsidies any foreign power applies to their products. For example, Australia has a trade deal with China, yet China don't tell them what they can and cannot tax or subsidise.


I do not think anyone has said China has direct control over how any other countries tax anything. But trade negotiations are complex and hard and more leverage is better than less leverage. When the Eu negotiates with China a trade agreement there will be long and hard negotiations where many issues will be discussed and agreed. I will put a lower duty on your chicken exports in exchange for you allowing me to export thingamagigs at half rate. And I will let you invest up to 49% in my country's tech companies in exchange for technology transfer. etc. The EU has leverage that the UK can never hope to have on its own.

Yes, the member states have helped to shape the EU, so that must make it perfect then?


I never said the EU is perfect. It is what it is. The UK government or any other government isn't perfect either but nobody suggests getting rid of it. The question is whether it is better to have the EU or to not have it. I say it is better to have it than to have wars regularly every few decades. But that's just me.

If you think the public aren't qualified to make decisions, then why not just have a dictatorship?


I am not in favor of dictatorships, I am in favor of good governments and these seem to be few and far between these days all over Europe.

The crazy thing is, I actually agree with 90% of what you're saying (the UK is better off in the EU, than alone) but I feel frustrated because you seem to lack the ability to see it from someone else's perspective. You don't understand why some people are dissatisfied with the EU and voted to leave. There are genuine reasons to be unhappy with the EU, but I think the UK is better being on the inside, so they can continue to press for change, than on the outside.

I am sorry if I give you the wrong impression. I know and understand that many Brits feel they want to leave but, again, I have never heard a convincing rational explanation, only feelings based on lies and stereotypes. Listen to James O'Brien's callers. He always asks them the same questions: "How is the EU prejudicial to you now? How is Brexit going to benefit YOU." And all you hear is vague assertions repeated third hand. But even if someone said "I will be paying lower tax when I buy tampons" the next question would be "do you think the price we will pay in other costs is worth the saving a bit when buying tampons?"


There are genuine reasons to be unhappy with the EU, but I think the UK is better being on the inside, so they can continue to press for change, than on the outside.
I totally agree with you.

No country, no government is perfect and the thing to do is to be constructive and work from inside to make things better and not to leave and work from outside. Engage, not retreat.

I have been very much an anglophile all my life and I admire that the British have what is objectively an outdated system of government but they make it work whereas other countries might have wonderful constitutions and laws on paper but the people cannot make them work effectively.

In my view what is happening in the UK with Brexit is out of character for the UK. The British were always very intelligent in their dealings with other countries and with their colonies and this Brexit mess is totally out of character. It is something I might expect from the French or other southern country but not from the Brits.
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Does the taxation of robotics make any sense
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2019, 11:40:22 pm »
This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The train going steadily towards the cliff and nobody has the common sense to stop it because "that's what the people voted".

I have been watching this show since the beginning.  The EU gave the UK nothing in the negotiations.  They didn't have to so they didn't.  All the EU wanted was the $39B pounds.

Were it me, I would leave on the 12th of April with no deal.  Suddenly, on the 13th, both sides would have a renewed interest in the real issues of trade and defense/security.  What's with the EU locking the UK out of the Galileo project in which they invested 1.2B (dollars, pounds or euros, I don't know which)?  That is a gigantic mistake!  Two of the ground stations are on UK protectorates, the Falklands, for one.

I really wish the UK had left on the 29th of March as intended.  Everything would be settled by now.

Really, the big issue for the UK voters was the truly stupid "Freedom of Movement" that brought everything to a boil.  The voters didn't care how Parliament got the UK out of the EU, they don't, even today, care much about the Withdrawal Agreement, they simply want to be gone and rid of "Freedom of Movement".

Brexit is the most significant political event of the 21st century and probably of the last 100 years.  I wish the UK well.
 


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