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Author Topic: The Fleecing Act  (Read 1586 times)

Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2020, 11:26:25 PM »
Is there absolutely any evidence of any political movement, in the past, being snuffed out by the fee?

Has there ever been anybody that you remember walking away from Talossa because the party fee prevented them from forming a party and as a result made them throw in the towel?

Or are you indeed just trying to score the easy political points and low hanging fruit of "we will lower your taxes"?
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2020, 11:38:53 PM »
You missed the implication that the fee disproportionately impacts young, poor and non-English speaking people, which is not only completely without evidence but a nasty little attempt to make those of Leftish disposition in the government feel guilty. Notice how it's phrased as an aside, or a throw-away, as if it were something obvious that his opponents just don't care about.

If only AD could make a suggestion or a political argument without somehow attempting to shame, anger or emotionally manipulate his collocutors. But it's been 14 years and nothing changes. Whenever AD says something particularly nasty like that in future, I think I'll just post this image.

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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2020, 11:55:32 PM »
This is why we can’t have nice things.

With respect, Cresti, lo these many years ago I wrote to you asking whether you could do anything about AD's nasty, provocative way of arguing, and your response was, paraphrasing only slightly, "you [Miestra] are just as bad". That's why we can't have nice things.

"Both sides do it" has ruined US politics and it ruins Talossa.

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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2020, 12:00:24 AM »
Is there absolutely any evidence of any political movement, in the past, being snuffed out by the fee?

Has there ever been anybody that you remember walking away from Talossa because the party fee prevented them from forming a party and as a result made them throw in the towel?

Or are you indeed just trying to score the easy political points and low hanging fruit of "we will lower your taxes"?

No, I don't have any direct evidence that any "political movement" was unable to pay the Cosa fee, and I have no direct knowledge of anyone walking away from Talossa because they couldn't pay.  I'm not sure how likely it is that such a thing would happen.  It's a small amount of money, and the people who are unable or unwilling to pay are almost certainly not going to say that it's standing in their way.  But it's common sense that if you ask people to pay money for a thing, that's going to discourage some people from doing that thing.  I mean, are you seriously saying that no one's ever been discouraged from starting their own party based on the fee?  If you're 14, finding a way to send a stranger money over the Internet can be disheartening, I would imagine.  If you're living in Sikkim, maybe it's not easy, either.  And so on.  Purely as a matter of basic reason, we have to admit that this probably plays a role in decisions some folks have made over time, right?

The points I'm trying to make are that:

A. It is wrong-headed on a basic principle to try to discourage people from doing a fun thing, out of the hope that they will do something else that you prefer.  You can't block people from the Cosa to try to force them to do provincial politics.  You can't block people from politics to try to force them to write poems.  It doesn't work.

B. It is wrong-headed as a basic principle to tax people for doing one of the main things people like actively doing in Talossa, because clearly that's a big draw and we should be encouraging that.  If we need to do it, okay, but if we don't -- then it makes no sense!

You missed the implication that the fee disproportionately impacts young, poor and non-English speaking people, which is not only completely without evidence but a nasty little attempt to make those of Leftish disposition in the government feel guilty.
You offered to pay out of your pocket for anyone who said they couldn't pay, which is great.  And for a lot of people, it's not a lot of money and they'd be happy to give it for a good cause (ahem, such as a GoFundMe).

But for a lot of people -- people who are not in the fluent English and globally affluent majority of Talossan citizenry -- it's not nothing.  Those people deserve a mention and that problem deserves to be acknowledged.  If the inequity makes you feel bad about the situation, great!  That's what's supposed to happen with inequity!  Let's be bold and eliminate the fees, instead!  We don't need them!

You know how you send money to someone in China?  You send it on your phone or through Alipay or something else like that.  It's the same in a lot of places!  Can we accept Alipay?  Are we going to ask people to do wire transfers instead?  No, that never happens.  People send checks from American or European banks, or they use a western-friendly service like PayPal.  And teenagers usually don't have the ability to do that in most households, even in affluent areas, unless they're from lucky families!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 12:03:30 AM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2020, 12:15:03 AM »
Look, I don't want to exaggerate or make this out to be the end of the world in terms of inequity -- that was an aside, elaborated upon only on demand.  Not a lot of Chinese teenagers are Talossans, and so we're not talking about a huge injustice being perpetrated on an oppressed underclass.  Our niche appeal, Internet base, and English language gives us specific demographics.  But we're just talking about a lot of teenaged Talossans and Talossans with less means over the years in aggregate.  There have been people affected by this.  I'm not going to pretend it's a pressing social justice issue, but neither should we pretend it doesn't matter in terms of who has access to Talossan fun.

The more central issue remains the main one I have been discussing: we shouldn't charge people to do the fun stuff unless we need to.  Because if you do, they'll tend to do less of that stuff in the long run.
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #35 on: August 06, 2020, 12:21:33 AM »
The registration fee doesn't block anybody from getting involved in politics, though.  I mean, you are providing the perfect example of how open our legislative system is to all citizens.  Anybody can come to the Hopper and debate just about any Bill whether they are in a party or not, whether they are officially a politician or not.

The fee doesn't even stop people from being in a party nor does it stop them from sitting in the Cosa for a party.

It was also said earlier that with parties, the cost can be spread over multiple people.  The FreeDem fee, for example, is rarely paid by the same person twice.  The most recent fee wasn't even paid by the party leader as someone else volunteered.

So, really, for the party registration fee doesn't really prohibit anybody from anything.
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2020, 12:41:17 AM »
For years and years, people have told me that the problem with Talossa is "too much politics". AD, on the other hand, thinks running in elections is "the fun stuff" to which there should be no impediment. They can't both be right.

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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2020, 07:22:57 AM »
The registration fee doesn't block anybody from getting involved in politics, though.  I mean, you are providing the perfect example of how open our legislative system is to all citizens.  Anybody can come to the Hopper and debate just about any Bill whether they are in a party or not, whether they are officially a politician or not.

The fee doesn't even stop people from being in a party nor does it stop them from sitting in the Cosa for a party.

It was also said earlier that with parties, the cost can be spread over multiple people.  The FreeDem fee, for example, is rarely paid by the same person twice.  The most recent fee wasn't even paid by the party leader as someone else volunteered.

So, really, for the party registration fee doesn't really prohibit anybody from anything.
Yes, much of our system is open.  For free -- by right of your citizenship -- you can talk about things, support an existing party and hold its seats, or even run for office as a senator.  We're now proposing to eliminate the third one.  That's bad.  But you should also be able to start a new party for free, if we can manage that.  Looking at the budget, we can manage it easily.

I have thought of a couple of examples, as it happens.  As I recall, Nicola Casalmac'h wanted to form a Pirate Party with her brother, but opted not to do so because of the party fee (or maybe simply opted not to continue it because of the fee -- this was ten years ago or so).  And didn't Tariq Zubair also complain about paying a party fee, and instead joined an existing party?

The party registration fee isn't some huge barrier, but it is a barrier.  We should get rid of it, if we can afford to do so.  We definitely shouldn't start taxing other things unless we need to.

For years and years, people have told me that the problem with Talossa is "too much politics". AD, on the other hand, thinks running in elections is "the fun stuff" to which there should be no impediment. They can't both be right.
Imagine you you're a farmer growing crops and you've been having successful year after year with your wheat, but your corn isn't growing well.  Will it help your corn grow if you plow under your wheat fields?  No, of course not!  If you want corn, the solution is to a better job of growing that, not to harm the thing you're growing well.  You might still be sick of wheat, but you gotta eat.

I mean, honestly, can't we learn the lesson by now that you can't force people to be interested in stuff by banning them from the things they want to do?  When has that ever worked?  When we barred new citizens from the Cosa, did provincial government take off?  No.  Instead it's so anemic that some provinces have talked of merging to try to get together enough people who are interested.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 07:26:48 AM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2020, 09:41:25 AM »
The Rt. Hon. Senator Éovart Grischun S.H.

Distain and Minister of STUFF and Interior
Senator of Vuode

Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2020, 09:45:56 AM »
The Rt. Hon. Senator Éovart Grischun S.H.

Distain and Minister of STUFF and Interior
Senator of Vuode

Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2020, 09:55:37 AM »
The Rt. Hon. Senator Éovart Grischun S.H.

Distain and Minister of STUFF and Interior
Senator of Vuode

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2020, 03:09:54 PM »
I mean, honestly, can't we learn the lesson by now that

Alex, we're not schoolchildren, we don't have to accept your authority about what "the lesson" is here. You don't speak from any position of success or accomplishment in politics, or even from the historical record of what Talossa was like in your "good old days". For those who came in late: Talossa was not significantly more active in Alex's Good Old Days, nor more fun, than today. It just gave Alex more of a platform.

Anyway, I honestly believe that preventing the fragmentation of the party system and expecting people who want political power to cough up the equivalent of a sandwich every 8 months for it is a good thing. Everything else you're saying is assertion phrased in a condescending voice, I just disagree with your basic premises, so debate is otiose.

To be fair, though, there are other ways of preventing the fragmentation of the party system; and it's not ideal that the difference between a legislator and a common prole is willingness to cough up $10 and nothing else. So, how's about this; I'll support removing the Cosa registration fee once (a) we have reliable sources of revenue to replace it; (b) we establish a Real Cosa-style system so you need more than your own vote to get a seat.

Quote
When we barred new citizens from the Cosa, did provincial government take off?  No.  Instead it's so anemic

And here's another example - provincial government has always been anemic, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.


« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 03:18:15 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2020, 03:48:17 PM »
To be fair, though, there are other ways of preventing the fragmentation of the party system; and it's not ideal that the difference between a legislator and a common prole is willingness to cough up $10 and nothing else. So, how's about this; I'll support removing the Cosa registration fee once (a) we have reliable sources of revenue to replace it; (b) we establish a Real Cosa-style system so you need more than your own vote to get a seat.

It seems, based on this, that you are in pursuit of two principles: reliable revenue (good, I'm on board with this, and congrats we're already there), and republicanism (ie, only sizable parties should be permitted to be in the Ziu, not small parties of one or two people)?  Why is the latter a good thing?  Isn't one of the best aspects of Talossa that we're small enough so that anyone can get to participate in stuff like legislating, even if they only represent themselves or one or two other people?

Quote
When we barred new citizens from the Cosa, did provincial government take off?  No.  Instead it's so anemic

And here's another example - provincial government has always been anemic, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.
...it's always weird when you vigorously support my point, but yes, thank you.  Banning new citizens from the Ziu hasn't helped at all.
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Offline Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2020, 03:56:08 PM »
Sorry for chiming in again (not even sure why I do that, I'm completely neutral on this topic), but:

republicanism (ie, only sizable parties should be permitted to be in the Ziu, not small parties of one or two people)

I dont understand how discouraging one-or-two-man bands is related to not having a hereditary monarch. Is this some semantic quirk that I'm too European to understand?


EDIT: Since provincial governments have been mentioned, I have to ask: whats the point of having them in the first place? Like, I get having provinces, I suppose, but what do the provincial governments actually... do? They have leaders and assemblies and all these structures that, in the end, don't do anything for the entire term until the next election rolls around. Am I missing something?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 04:00:29 PM by Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial »
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: The Fleecing Act
« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2020, 04:00:58 PM »
Quote
and republicanism (ie, only sizable parties should be permitted to be in the Ziu, not small parties of one or two people)?

I scratched my head about what you meant by "republicanism", but then I realised you probably meant it in that weird US sense (not used anywhere else in the world) when it means "limits on democracy". But New Zealand, not a republic, has a threshold of 5% of the popular vote for a seat in the legislature. Other countries - Germany, Israel, Italy - have seen the issue with promoting party fragmentation and have also imposed thresholds, which encourage broader parties and alliances between parties.

A Real Cosa of 20 MCs would have an effective quota of 4-5 votes, which IMHO is probably slightly too large for Talossa. But the quota for Cosa elections should be at least 2 votes, this I firmly believe.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 04:09:17 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan
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