[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 91 points 3 weeks ago

Just today I saw this list of the largest tram networks in history: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_tram_and_light_rail_transit_systems_ever

The largest existing one is Melbourne, at a little over 250 km of tramways. Los Angeles at its peak had over 1700 km of tramways.

Truly insane what we tore up. A crime against humanity.

[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 90 points 3 weeks ago

Good solution is to tax land. The land value tax cannot be passed on to tenants, both in economic theory and in observed practice.

Plus, it's just a super good tax. Progressive, hard to evade, super efficient, incentivizes density and disincentivizes sprawl. It's so good that economists of all different ideologies agree, from free-market libertarians like Milton Friedman to New Keynesians and social democrats like Joseph Stiglitz.

We should be taxing land, not labor.

radical rule (lemmy.world)
trains rule (lemmy.world)
[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 50 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

In Bibi's eyes, every day that Hamas continues to exist is a good day. If Hamas ever ceases to exist, Israelis might go back to questioning his corruption charges.

[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 84 points 4 months ago* (last edited 4 months ago)

It certainly doesn't help that it's literally illegal to build enough housing across the vast majority of urban land (at least in the US and Canada). Nothing like good ol' fashioned manufactured scarcity to guarantee line keeps on going up.

It's the mother of all regulatory capture, where our local governments (who are supposed to represent the needs of the people) have passed so many frickin laws to systematically manufacture and maintain the artificial scarcity of housing that keeps these ghouls' investments so wildly profitable. Restrictive zoning that makes townhouses and duplexes literally illegal? Check. Arbitrary and pseudoscientific parking minimums? Check. Setback requirements so everyone is legally required to have a massive resource-consuming, space-wasting front lawn whether they want it or not? Check.

Utter insanity.

[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 55 points 4 months ago

Ah, but that says not to kill people. It says nothing about killing rats! /s

Seriously, though, that's exactly why we're so capable of committing atrocities: we dehumanize each other until we consider it acceptable to kill. Portraying Jews as rats and subhuman is exactly how the Holocaust happened, and portraying Palestinians as subhuman is exactly how Israel is currently doing what they're doing.

[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 39 points 4 months ago* (last edited 4 months ago)

When you're a thin-skinned fascist conducting ethno-religious cleansing, any criticism must be met with absolute resistance. Fascism requires extreme black-and-white thinking and complete rejection of nuance.

We see the same pattern in the US with the MAGA movement, where even dyed-in-the-wool conservatives like Liz Cheney get demonized for "betraying" their "side". Facts and nuance are rejected, and the only thing that matters is team loyalty.

[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 111 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Me, who's not in web dev:

[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 113 points 6 months ago

One of my roommates in undergrad was from China, and whenever he went back to China to visit his family, we literally couldn't contact him because all the messaging apps/services we use are blocked in China.

Another family friend of mine lived and taught in Macau as a professor for a while, and he explained how he had to get a VPN just to access the regular internet.

Any government that locks down access like that is not one worthy of admiration. It's insane that people defend the CCP.

[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 59 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

It's funny how people always use play it like "oh, it's just differing opinions" when what they're actually defending is indefensible malarkey like nazis and tankies. They know if they made a meme saying we should "try to understand" nazis and tankies, they'd be downvoted to oblivion. And so they hide behind a shield of "differing opinions".

These cretins have a right to post nazi and tankie shit on their own instances -- them's the beauty of the fediverse. But I also have a right to not want hate speech, genocide denial, and Hitler/Stalin/Mao simps polluting my feed. It's not mere "differing opinions" when one person's opinion is "Holodomor didn't happen, and if it did, the Ukrainians deserved it" or "Holocaust didn't happen, and if it did, the Jews deserved it" or whatever apologia they wanna peddle.

[-] Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world 56 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

As an example:

Imagine, for the sake of argument, both white people and black people have a 50% chance of possessing weed (not that weed should even be criminalized, but you get the idea).

Now also let's take a group of 100 people, assuming 80 are white and 20 are black. Given the above weed possession rate, we can say there are 40 weed-carrying white people and 10 weed-carrying black people.

Now imagine cops last year searched 20% of the total population, 90% of those searched being black and 10% being white. Thus, last year, 18 black people were searched and only 2 white people. Of these searched people, 9 black people were caught in possession of weed vs 1 white person.

Thus, the newspapers can now publish "9 black criminals for every 1 white criminal!", and so the police decide to continue mostly searching black people this year.

Same underlying crime rates, but searching one demographic more skews the resulting arrest record and seemingly justifies further discriminatory enforcement.

submitted 7 months ago* (last edited 7 months ago) by Fried_out_Kombi@lemmy.world to c/196@lemmy.blahaj.zone

Let the rant begin:

I think it's an absurd idea that things like labor are taxed at all (via income taxes), when labor is a productive activity. Meanwhile there are so many unproductive or outright harmful activities that don't get taxed nearly enough! Land speculation, carbon emissions, other forms of pollution, monopolistic control of finite natural resources, etc.

Further, even from a solely economic point of view, taxing things discourages them and distorts the market. Taxing carbon is a known way to reduce carbon emissions. Why don't we choose to distort the things we want to be distorted anyways, like pollution and rent-seeking behaviors?

Further, there is ample evidence to suggest we genuinely don't need income taxes to fully fund our government. I (and many others) are in favor of 3 main types of taxes:

  1. Land value taxes
  2. Pigouvian (or externality) taxes
  3. Severance taxes

Land Value Taxes

A land value tax (LVT) is a levy on the value of land without regard to buildings, personal property and other improvements.[1] It is also known as a location value tax, a point valuation tax, a site valuation tax, split rate tax, or a site-value rating.

Land value taxes are generally favored by economists as they do not cause economic inefficiency, and reduce inequality.[2] A land value tax is a progressive tax, in that the tax burden falls on land owners, because land ownership is correlated with wealth and income.[3][4] The land value tax has been referred to as "the perfect tax" and the economic efficiency of a land value tax has been accepted since the eighteenth century.[1][5][6] Economists since Adam Smith and David Ricardo have advocated this tax because it does not hurt economic activity, and encourages development without subsidies.

LVT is associated with Henry George, whose ideology became known as Georgism. George argued that taxing the land value is most logical source of public revenue because the supply of land is fixed and because public infrastructure improvements would be reflected in (and thus paid for by) increased land values.[7]


In 1977, [Nobel prize-winning economist] Joseph Stiglitz showed that under certain conditions, beneficial investments in public goods will increase aggregate land rents by at least as much as the investments' cost.[1] This proposition was dubbed the "Henry George theorem", as it characterizes a situation where Henry George's 'single tax' on land values, is not only efficient, it is also the only tax necessary to finance public expenditures.[2] Henry George had famously advocated for the replacement of all other taxes with a land value tax, arguing that as the location value of land was improved by public works, its economic rent was the most logical source of public revenue.[3]

Subsequent studies generalized the principle and found that the theorem holds even after relaxing assumptions.[4] Studies indicate that even existing land prices, which are depressed due to the existing burden of taxation on labor and investment, are great enough to replace taxes at all levels of government.[5][6][7]

Pigouvian Taxes

A Pigouvian tax (also spelled Pigovian tax) is a tax on any market activity that generates negative externalities (i.e., external costs incurred by the producer that are not included in the market price). The tax is normally set by the government to correct an undesirable or inefficient market outcome (a market failure) and does so by being set equal to the external marginal cost of the negative externalities. In the presence of negative externalities, social cost includes private cost and external cost caused by negative externalities. This means the social cost of a market activity is not covered by the private cost of the activity. In such a case, the market outcome is not efficient and may lead to over-consumption of the product.[1] Often-cited examples of negative externalities are environmental pollution and increased public healthcare costs associated with tobacco and sugary drink consumption.[2]


A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. By correcting a well-known market failure, a carbon tax will send a powerful price signal that harnesses the invisible hand of the marketplace to steer economic actors towards a low-carbon future.


Severance Taxes

Severance taxes are taxes imposed on the removal of natural resources within a taxing jurisdiction. Severance taxes are most commonly imposed in oil producing states within the United States. Resources that typically incur severance taxes when extracted include oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, and timber. Some jurisdictions use other terms like gross production tax.


The key to Norway’s success in oil exploitation has been the special regime of ownership rights which apply to extraction: the severance tax takes most of those rents, meaning that the people of Norway are the primary beneficiaries of the country’s petroleum wealth. Instead of privatizing the resource rents provided by access to oil, companies make their returns off of the extraction and transportation of the oil, incentivizing them to develop the most efficient technologies and processes rather than simply collecting the resource rents. Exploration and development is subsidized by the Norwegian government in order to maximize the amount of resource rents that can be taxed by the state, while also promoting a highly competitive environment free of the corruption and stagnation that afflicts state-controlled oil companies.



Specifically, I suggest that much of the increase in inequality is associated with the growth in rents — including land and exploitation rents (e.g., arising from monopoly power and political influence).


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