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Changing the world
one mind at a time
Writer's Block: Change of Law 
24th-Sep-2008 05:17 pm
If you could change a law from any time in history, which would you change and what impact would this have?

I've been debating on how to answer this since I saw a few answers on my f-list earlier this morning.

My gut reaction would be Levitcal law could use clarification, if only so I could better understand how "You will not boil a goat in its mother's milk" equates to "You shall not eat cheeseburgers unless the meat is actually vegiburger."

However, thanks to my genetics, part of my personality (well-hidden, I might add) is an 80 year old Scottish Calvinist from the late Reformation who makes Kinsey's dad look like a whore and a hedonist. Therefore, I can't use Levitical law because to change them would be to change the really awesome things that came because of them. It's a bit like people arguing original intent over the US Constitution. Seriously. Torah/Biblical/Koranic law and the US Constitution all have the bad habit of being argued about based on what peaople many many years ago were thinking when they wrote it. Now, to go off on a tangent here, in all of these cases, these laws were written down by men, some a long time after the laws were passed down orally, or in other cases written down by committie. So you'll forgive me if I don't buy into anyone's argument over original intent, given that both sides can show compelling documentation proving their opinion is the correct one.

Anyway, my next idea was tax code, but given how hard it is for me to balance my checkbook without just checking my balance on-line, I'm the absolute last person who should even dabble in any kind of econ activity.

So, my final answer would have to be Hammurabi's Code. (I probably mis-spelled that horribly; it's been ages since I last studied Mesopotamian Antiquity.) The concept of "Eye for an Eye, tooth for a Tooth" remains concealed within a lot of modern criminal law, which wouldn't bug me so much if it were enforced unilaterally against everyone. I'm sure we can all point to anecdotal evidence of people getting a hell of a lot less punishment because of who they are vs some nobody locked up for life for the exact same thing. for all our talk of equal opportunity, I sometimes feel that justice is enforced in a way that really does undermine the principles of equal justice under the law.

But that's my opinion, and my heart bleeds.
25th-Sep-2008 12:39 am (UTC)
You know.. you could have done the tax code... by enacting the Fair Tax, you wouldn't even have to WORRY about taxes. No tax returns. I wish more people actually understood how the fair tax worked, and would just take a little while to seriously look at it.

Most every argument i've heard about it, involves the arguer changing the proposal around first and then arguing against it based on those changes.
25th-Sep-2008 02:23 am (UTC)
I really don't have the concentration to get through the whole proposal. I tried a while back and ended up giving up. Economics has always been one of my weak points in academia.

Really, the whole reason I avoided tax code is this. I have no real suggestions on how to fix it. My problem with it basically breaks down to "I'm making about what I made at my highest payment level again right now, they're taking more out of my paycheck in payroll deductions, and I'm still owing the government at the end of the year." Which is why I'd love to know how those "tax cuts" helped me personally.

I have no idea if Fair Tax discusses that at all, but that's where my issues are.
25th-Sep-2008 02:32 am (UTC)
Yah.. see the Fair Tax eliminates the IRS and Payroll taxes altogether. It's replaced with a consumption tax on new goods. So you buy a new car, you pay tax on it (not just state tax, but federal sales tax) but that tax is included in the price so it's transparent (just as corporate taxes are already included in the price.) You buy a used car, you don't pay tax on it. Every month you get a pre-bate from the government to reimburse you for the tax you'd expect to pay on basic necessities (for example for a family of 4 this equates to about $400 that they think you'd spend... so for one about $100) I'd be lucky to spend the amount they think I would on neccities like food and TP... much less enough to pay tax on that much! hahaha...

I mean that's the gist of it. If you go to Fairtax.org, I think that they have a pretty simplistic explanation of how it works... but basically, people like us who buy almost nothing significant new, are relieved of most of our tax burden. We take home our entire paycheck, and even with the embedded tax, prices probably won't go up because corporate taxes are eliminated...
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