Political PvP (Private vs. Public): Regulation and Taxes



obama-signing-executive-orders

President Obama signing executive orders.

This article continues a series on the conservative view comparing the private sector versus the public sector. Some of our public servants, it seems, have some sort of strange dyslexia that takes ‘Taxes’, and ‘Texas’, and concludes that Taxes clearly should be very large!

In the last article about trade, a position was presented that trade generally has value to all parties involved in the trade. However, a company who gets too powerful, if not regulated, can squash ALL of the competition. If such a company is producing something that is a necessity, they no longer have to be concerned about whether they are giving good value. People can’t just stop buying it. Thus they can use people’s needs to enslave them, and drive them deeper into slavery. Also, unregulated companies do at times have the capability of causing real ecological damage that effects not just them or their customers, but causes health problems to the people who are near their facilities. Companies do sometimes get so caught up in maximizing their profits for the short term, that without regulation they would cut corners on safety issues. Conservatives have a wide variety of degrees to which we agree or disagree that each of these things should be regulated, and if so, to what degree, and should it be done by the Government. In general terms however, I think it is safe to say that most agree there are some things that should be regulated, and that such regulation should be kept to a bare minimum.

Starting again with the notion that trade causes all sides of a transaction to gain value. If you add up each person’s perspective of what value they gain, that amount is the absolute upper limit on the cost of regulation and all taxes before people start losing value, and the trade stops. Also, if the regulation and taxation take too much value from one side of a trade, then it may make it so that person loses value, and they will refuse or eventually become incapable of taking part in the trade. Even when regulation and taxes does not take all of the value out of the trade, if it takes some value out without putting more value back in, then the trade becomes less important to the people trading, and taken on a massive scale, our economy recedes.  Thus, we need regulations to have some value benefit to each party involved, perhaps over a different time frame than they would get otherwise. The short term cost of such regulation and taxation must not overwhelm the short term value gain for any one party.

You may notice that I said the cost of regulation and taxation. The taxes that must be paid in order to do the trade… sales tax, FICA, Medicare, federal income (both employer and employee portion), state income, local option taxes, tariffs, and any ‘mandatory benefits’ – all contribute to the tax burden on the trade. Take that tax burden, and add the regulatory burden, that is the extent that trade is being hindered. Conservatives want to minimize this hindrance to trade so that we can get about the business of being a prosperous nation: producing and distributing the things that are of value in abundance to the people who value them. Then do the same with other friendly nations to the extent their governance allows it.