Compendium: Taxation and the Work-Standard (Pt. III of III)

The past two parts of this SMP Compendium should be obvious by now. Taxation under the Work-Standard is going to operate according to a different set of parameters than how they are normally conducted under Liberal Capitalism. The purpose of any Tax will not be an excuse to finance the costs of the State; the State already has the means to sustain itself because of the Work-Standard. Its purpose must also not be an Intent of trying to redistribute “Private Wealth” and “Common Wealth,” ‘Private Property’ and ‘Common Property’ respectively, because those conceptions of Property are predicated on the existence of Kapital. In a Socialist nation-state under the Work-Standard, Progressive Taxation and Regressive Taxation will become redundant.       

This leaves taxation policies to be restricted to the State promoting certain behaviors and dissuading others. Here, the Intent pertains to the flourishing of the Totality. Two examples were stated from the purview of Federal Socialism in Part I. Those examples are “Sonderabgaben” (Special Charges) for supporting the development of newly-emerging domestic industries and Taxes that discourage dependency on foreign imports. The latter technically falls under the purview of Real Trade Agreements (RTA). Whether those Taxes are going to be levied as “Tariffs” needs to be negotiated with the other nation-state. The terms which govern that portion of the RTA in question can be discussed alongside the terms which also govern the “People’s Surcharges.”   

Granted, the Sonderabgaben, People’s Surcharges and Tariffs are not the only ones which could be considered permissible under the Work-Standard. For as stated earlier, all Taxes need to be conducted with a specific Explicit Intent in mind. A recent Blog post for The Fourth Estate alluded to a few examples that are worthy of mention here.

One example dating as far back as Ancient Rome as the “Aes uxorium” and more recently by the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries is a “Childlessness Tax.” In the Soviet Union alone, a Childlessness Tax was levied on men aged twenty-five and older who were unmarried and had no children. Those affected by the Tax had their incomes reduced by up to 6%; those earning below the average median, university students and military recipients of certain prestigious awards are exempted. The Intent of this policy was to compel young men into marrying and raising families at younger ages because doing so meant not having to pay the Tax. In a world where birthrates of Western countries (and more recently, developed countries) have fallen to unsustainable levels, such a policy could be revisited.

Could a Childlessness Tax be feasible in countries like Germany or Japan, two countries with some of the lowest birthrates on Earth? That question can also be asked about other countries experiencing the same issue like Hungary, Poland, South Korea, Greece, Latvia, Finland, Sweden and France. Before any serious consideration of a Childlessness Tax can be signed into law, investigative scrutiny into their ‘pro-natalist’ policies are necessary.

From the outset, the pro-natalist policies of those nations look pretty until one realizes how shallow their essences truly are. What is really occurring with those pro-natalist policies is an expansion of Welfare Capitalist Incentives. The psychological and psychic conditions of Kapital are at play once again, except it is now literal. The choice between “to give Pain and receive Pleasure” and “to give Pleasure and receive Pain” finally has sexual overtones as a kind of ‘Kapital’.

One example to be mentioned here is “Baby Bonus.” A Liberal Capitalist government pays the family for the costs of conceiving or adopting a child. There is the “Children’s Allowance,” which is redundant in the Work-Standard’s Paygrade Scale because it involves issuing a fixed amount of Kapital to children, teens and young adults. A good analogy for Americans is basically Social Security for the underage. Another includes “Paid Maternity Leave” and a similar variant, “Paid Paternity Leave,” where a newlywed couple receive a fixed amount of Kapital from their government to cover the costs of caring for newborns.

These arrangements are actually wasteful, counterproductive and do not really address the real costs of raising the next generation. On top of other Welfare Capitalist programs like childcare and healthcare and the costs are definitely going to pile up by dint of growing inefficiencies. The inefficiencies are far more than the limited amount of Kapital in existence or an unproductive bureaucracy. It also includes the very fact that these payments are so tiny that it is senseless to expect a newlywed couple to rely on those payments alone.  

The Prussian or Federal Socialist way of doing things is to include Paid Maternity and Paid Paternity Leave on top of the newly-wed couple’s Paygrade. Their Paygrade is going to have enough for them, their children, their parents (if retired) and anyone else living at their house. It is unnecessary to include anything more than what is already included in that Paygrade. As for the healthcare, childcare and educational costs, the State will cover them. The Geld originated from the large influxes of Arbeit contributed to the Life-Energy Reserve by hospitals, nurseries, kindergartens and schools. Medical and nursing, childcare and educational professions are all high-tier contributors of Arbeit under the Work-Standard.

With the financial matters taken care of, all that remains are the social and political Intents of childbearing.

Women who raise more than three children will receive a medal by the State. This medal is a three-class one that is awarded in bronze to the mother shortly after childbirth, preferably the birth of her fourth child. She receives the second class of this medal in silver following her sixth child and a shiny golden one after her eighth. Such medals did exist in the Soviet Union, the “Order of Maternal Glory” and “Order of the Mother Heroine” from 1944 to 1991 and the Soviets were not the only ones. In France, there is the “Médaille de la Famille française” (Medal of the French Family), which is still awarded over a century after its inception in 1920. And in the Third Reich, there was the “Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter” (Honor Cross of the German Mother).

The social factors which bring honor to childbearing for young women will depend on the Socialist nation-state’s promotion of religiosity, providing access to quality housing, and the assured encouragements from the Totality. Family and friends are not enough. No woman, no matter the circumstances in her life, should ever have to be discouraged from this noble endeavor. The State can start by addressing any potential disparities in Paygrades when she marries her spouse, who may either have a higher or lower Paygrade. Shall her Paygrade be adjusted to that of her husband, or shall the couple share a higher Paygrade? Since the Paygrade is on a per-household basis, the State will combine their Paygrades as one to symbolize the sanctity of their marriage. That Paygrade will last until the hour of death; a divorce may alter the terms, but so will one of them deciding to remarry with somebody who has their own children (a problem in Western countries).

Another example is the “Church Tax,” which the State levies to members of a religious congregation to sustain the upkeep of parishes, convents, monasteries and cathedrals. This sort of policy is suitable for nations considered part of the Catholic world (which also happens to constitute a decent portion of the Western world), where a significant portion of the population consider themselves as members of the Catholic faith. Since Catholic deacons and priests, nuns and monks, sisters and brothers, monsignors, bishops, archbishops and cardinals rely on other sources of income, the laity can help finance the construction and upkeep costs of institutions devoted to the Catholic education of the youth for instance.   

In the Catholic faith, the clergy and religious pursue their Vocations with Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. They are far more attuned to the Intents of Command and Obedience because of what their Vocation expects of them in service to the Totality. However, the Catholic Church continues to view Socialism with suspicion because the ecclesiastical authorities remain convinced that all Socialisms are Marxist. They remain oblivious to the fact that the Marxists themselves have their Dogmatists and Revisionists, their disagreements over “Socialism in One Country” and “Permanent Revolution.” Nobody understands it yet, but Socialism is not supposed to be a Science; it is supposed to be part of a nation’s way of life.

If there is any hope for the Catholic clergy to support Socialism, it must be one in which they are confident that the People’s Party of the Socialist nation-state will not persecute them for their beliefs, confiscate their parishes, cathedrals, schools and universities, as well as allow them to practice the Catholic faith undisturbed. The same can be said for other religions, especially if the nation-state implementing the Work-Standard happens to include large religious minorities. Rather than promote Secularism or Scientific Atheism, it would be best that a consensual pact is struck between religious congregations to freely practice their faith and receive State support as citizens of the nation, but not implement policies which impose one faith on all.

It helps immensely that clergymen and religious contribute even more Arbeit when compared to teaching and medical professions. The clergy and religious are used to receiving Paygrades as part of their Vocations, so it is understandable to receive enough for their ascetic lifestyles. The State and the Totality should give these people the honor they deserve and the sacrifices they are willing to make under the Work-Standard.      

Certain Taxes should be levied on goods and services with the potential to harm the Totality. Those include alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, and cannabis. It is better to restrict access than to illegalize them outright because the contributions of Arbeit from those involved are low-tier when compared to the Arbeit of school teachers, university scholars, medical doctors and nurses. When compared to the clergy and religious, the contributions of Arbeit are abysmal.  In the United States and early Soviet Union, alcohol was prohibited on moral grounds.

There were instances of Americans keeping secret stockpiles around to earn Kapital. La Cosa Nostra, the “American Mob,” rose to prominence as a result of Amendment XVIII in the infamous “Prohibition.” Prohibition was only repealed because of Amendment XXI voiding Amendment XVIII. Alexander Hamilton’s fears about the integrity of the Bill of Rights within Federalist Papers No. 84 and 85 had become a reality in the 20th century.

And in the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev tried raising Taxes on the Price of alcohol from 1985 to 1987. The Taxes reduced rates of alcoholism and increased life expectancy by reducing the amount of potential Revenue for the Soviet central government. A similar decision can finally be done under the Work-Standard. The costs of those Taxes can be sustainable if sufficient alternatives exist. With the influence of the clergy and religious and the support of the Totality, there will always be plenty of Meaningful Work around for good-paying Vocations.

The implications of the Work-Standard concerning taxation policies raises serious questions about the Quality of Arbeit. Why should the clergy and religious, the medical and teaching profession contribute more Arbeit and thus more Geld? Why should alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, and cannabis be contributing less Arbeit and thus less Geld? The significance deserves its SMP Compendium entry because of relevant entries related to “Work-Productivity,” “Solidarity” and “Economic Socialization.” Since those three variables are still perceived as three separate topics, an entry combining all three will put the Quality of Arbeit and Quality of Geld into perspective. Doing so will also provide greater clarify over the dynamics of the Total Economic Potential (TEP) and the Total Financial Potential (TFP).



Categories: Compendium, Economic History, Philosophy

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  1. Neither Utopia nor Dystopia: “Never Forget” – The Fourth Estate
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