About Patrick


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Registered Apr 03, 2005

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Patrick's most recent comments:

  • On Mon, 3 Aug 2015, 7:46am PDT in Time to get rid of the Constitution and replace it with something more modern, Patrick said:

    One more idea for our new constitution: high inheritance taxes. It is very common among Republicans to argue two contradictory things:

    1. everyone should rise or fall on their own efforts (meritocracy)
    2. it is wrong to tax inherited wealth

    But inherited wealth is the exact opposite of meritocracy.

    Many people pay lip service to meritocracy but get very het up about inheritance taxes, or death taxes as they like to call them. It is often said that inheritance taxes represent double taxation but in many cases that isn't true; for middle-class people, their biggest asset is usually their home on which capital gains tax is not paid. Similarly, business owners only pay capital gains tax when they sell; by definition, if they are passing a company on to their heirs, they have not sold.

    If one assumes that an economy functions best if the most talented people rise to the top, then inherited wealth rigs the deck. There is a lottery effect; if your parents owned property, or die early (before they spend their savings on nursing care), then you have a big advantage over others who may be just as hard-working or talented. Wealthy people already pass on a lot of advantages to their children; they can afford better education, and a better environment at home (more books, quiet places to study etc).

    History, as well as fiction, suggests that being born to inherited wealth is not normally a spur to greater effort; instead, life is devoted to social display or indolence. The world hardly needs a new class of Bertie Woosters.


  • On Sun, 2 Aug 2015, 4:18pm PDT in Time to get rid of the Constitution and replace it with something more modern, Patrick said:

    Dan8267 says

    I would write a new, far more encompassing bill of rights that included privacy rights and body rights.

    OK, so start writing! Please post your new constitution in this thread.

    I have some ideas for it:

    * publicly funded elections
    * absolute prohibition on secret courts
    * absolute prohibition on national security letters
    * a right to privacy in all your electronic communication unless you are specifically named as a suspect in a crime
    * specifically affirming that corporations and unions are not legal persons. only "natural born" humans are persons.
    * prohibition of income tax and sales tax, to be replaced with a land value tax and tax on radio spectrum

  • On Sat, 1 Aug 2015, 4:45pm PDT in Saved By Landlord-Warden, only $7 more! ( was: ..rent increase), Patrick said:

    I'm more impressed by bitcoin now that it's being demanded in extortion payments:


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