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Maslow is unpopular around here and in various other
places, so please don't take this as meaning that I agree
with the hierarchy of needs.
VAT, as we call it in the UK, is a percentage tax
levied on "luxury" items, which unaccountably include
sanitary towels but not caviar (at
some point, I haven't
checked recently). According to Maslow's hierarchy of
needs, things which are considered luxuries by some
become necessities for others when other needs are
The proposal is therefore that rather than paying a set
price for things, VAT is charged to the consumer
to their Maslow needs. Consequently, someone who is
economically at the bottom of the pile will be charged
for everything which is not absolutely necessary for life,
for them only the likes food, clothes and shelter are
rated. It will cost them more to visit the theatre,
have secure accommodation, such as padlocks or paying
a locksmith, buying a burglar or smoke alarm and the
because to them those things are luxuries.
up the income/asset scale, locks, alarms, personal
alarms and so forth become zero-rated.
people are allowed friends without paying the friend tax
poorer people must pay, and of course the same applies
sexual relationships (but some people might say those
Yet richer people do not need to pay tax on
their feelings of accomplishment, so if they do a
particularly good job at work, they will be paid the full
whack for that achievement because it has become a
for them. Poorer people who, say, clean the toilets
well and are proud of that accomplishment will lose
as a result because to them that's a luxury and must
therefore be taxed.
Moving on up, the 1%, super-rich, whoever, will not be
charged for any creative hobbies or work. Hence naive
outsider artists will be taxed for their creations, whether
or not they sell them, but the likes of Damien Hurst and
Tracey Emin will be allowed to sell their art without
If anyone can tell me what the heck this idea is trying to
say in allegorical terms I would be most grateful. Oh,
fishbones are fine BTW because it's quite nasty isn't it?
Happening now ... [8th of 7, Jul 31 2017]
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||This is a straight lift from notes of the recent Conservative
Party away day policy brain storming session, yeah?
||Well it did occur to me that it was something of a well of
||Interestingly, longitudinal experiments / studies show that
Tories tend to prefer the wire mother.
||Ooh, ooh, I can tell you; Maslow's original idea was itself
politically regressive. This idea is just a small exaggeration of
those existing tendencies so as to make them more visible, like
any good satire.
||Thanks [pertinax] and actually yes, this has changed my
mind about what Maslow's hierarchy is about. There's an
element of the idea that the privileged are somehow so
much more sensitive than the rest of us and that the poor
hardly know that they suffer.
||Wait a minute, [bigsleep];  just said what's changed - namely,
his mind. And what's a Maslow surplus? A surplus of what over
what? Sorry, don't mean to be aggressive, but your anno seems
at cross purposes with the preceding ones. Could you explain
||Only with a semi-automatic weapon, apparently...
// Apple and Google and big industry you dimwits //
||You expect anyone to believe that ? "Everyone" knows that it's the Vatican and Qatari jihadis behind it all ... it was in the National Enquirer, so it must be true.
||Joe Public is hacked off because representative democracy is failing to deliver. What a surprise. Maybe it's time to ditch the second-milennium "representative" bit and implement continuous semi-direct democracy? Oooh, but all the vested interests wouldn't like that.
||Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
||The only people who think politicians are necessary are politicians. Anyone else see the flaw in that ?
||You could flip this and make it a progressive tax, if one is
on their way to achieving 'self-actualization' they shouldn't
mind taxes kicking in on food and shelter, etc.
||// he // - I prefer "it".
||Maybe politicians are the only people who realise they're
necessary because of Dunning-Kruger, but I would tend to
agree with you [ of ].
||Surely some of them are trapez*?
||Yes, but Focaccia came up with some seriously nice designs...
||//something of a well of despair//
||If you'd like to drink from a different well, [nineteenthly], you could
try White's biography of Jean Genet. At first glance, it might not
seem like an optimistic book, since it charts a man's progress
from being an unpleasant person to being an unhappy one.
However, it offers (unintentionally) two interesting counter-
Maslow points. One is that Genet seems to have started by "self-
actualising", long before securing his other needs. The other,
which is more important, is that in middle age he seems to have
switched quite abruptly from being a psychopath to not being one
- rather to his own annoyance. Maslow reckoned this was
impossible, but it seems to me entirely feasible when you
compare it with Wittgenstein's transition from his earlier to his
||Re. politicians, I think a bit of devil's advocacy is called for here. I
don't like my chances of surviving long in a state of anarchy, so
I'm glad that institutions exist. Existing, they must be run by
someone, and if we go for pure direct democracy, that will tend to
be dominated by people with nothing better to do. (Trotskyists
used to approve of this as "democracy of the committed" - i.e.,
themselves). If those people aren't politicians, then they can't be
voted out. Hence, there should be politicians.
||Conceded, there is something very wrong with the kind of
politicians currently on offer. This something can be delineated
by comparing diachronically three taxonomies of politicians, viz.,
by Benjamin Disraeli, Anthony Wedgewood Benn and John &
Jackie Kennedy. What this comparison shows is ...
||Sorry I'm out of time. Will have to explain later.
||The idea of making luxuries well outside the means
of poor people sounds good to me, the minor
indulgences add up. however when faced with price
taxgs 2 or 3 times what we can afford we tend to feel
less tempted. I for example am tempted to buy
clothes that cost 3 days pay but would feel no such
but in a very stoic way can reject buying a coat that
costs a months salary.
||As for the rest of the idea that was just nasty.
||Asimov described this decades ago ...
||// As for the rest of the idea that was just nasty //
||No, that's unfair. It wasn't just nasty; it was also specious, badly reasoned, and impractical.
||There are other errors, but those are the principal ones.
||Birth rates in many advanced (?) nations have already fallen well below parity. If it weren't for immigration, populations would be falling. Japan is a notable case, where the demographic is shifting rapidly towards an elderly population, causing considerable concern.
||Oscilloscopes are much nicer things than children, so it's hardly a surprise.
||// The idea of making luxuries well outside the means of
poor people sounds good to me //
||It reminds me of shaming poor people for eating lobster
once a year.