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Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

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Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Old 04-09-14, 04:29 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
So now parents have kids to help society? Really?
That's not what I said. I said that the presence of children is a prerequisite for a healthy society. Parents having and raising kids is a prerequisite for the presence of children.

I (of course) agree that people have children for their own reasons and I agree that altruism is rarely (ever?) one of those reasons. Also, it's clear that children aren't cost free to society. Again, speaking financially, what is the NPV of a child? I speculate it's positive.
Old 04-09-14, 04:32 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

If you could chart that NPV, I'd bet it would be trending down.
Old 04-09-14, 04:33 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

How about we compensate you for raising the next generation of doctors, scientists, etc, but if your kids become criminals you have to pay it all back
Old 04-09-14, 04:33 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
If you're going to reward the parents who raise productive children, surely you must also penalize the ones who produce problems for society. And who makes the judgement?
Great question. Also, impossible to answer for the reasons I mentioned before.
Old 04-09-14, 04:33 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Also I should be compensated for every year I don't have a child, since I would make a bad parent.
Old 04-09-14, 04:34 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
If you could chart that NPV, I'd bet it would be trending down.
Are you saying children born today have a lower NPV than those born years ago? Give the radical increases in worker productivity over the past century, this seems unlikely.
Old 04-09-14, 04:45 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Are you saying children born today have a lower NPV than those born years ago? Give the radical increases in worker productivity over the past century, this seems unlikely.
The cost of education has skyrocketed, especially higher education. I don't believe the quality of that education has increased proportionately, if at all. Higher education is a business now more than anything. I worked in the industry for almost 15 years. Education incurs a massive expense and increasing debt for those who wind up working jobs who can barely afford to pay off that debt. Eventually that bubble will burst and it will hurt more than housing market bubble.

What do you base your increased worker productivity on? I work with a lot of white collar employees who are shitty at their jobs. Just today I finished in an hour what it was taking someone with the same resources almost 2 days to do.
Old 04-09-14, 04:52 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Are you saying children born today have a lower NPV than those born years ago? Give the radical increases in worker productivity over the past century, this seems unlikely.
If productivity has increased because of technological improvements and automation, wouldn't that devalue the human components -- at least those that don't contribute to technological improvements? And are you accounting for the comparative costs of raising children from scratch as opposed to importing fully grown workers from other countries?
Old 04-09-14, 04:54 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
What do you base your increased worker productivity on? I work with a lot of white collar employees who are shitty at their jobs. Just today I finished in an hour what it was taking someone with the same resources almost 2 days to do.
The BLS. Any metric you care to name. To start with, this first chart in this article:
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...loyment/37021/

The trend is accelerating. Since 2009, worker productivity in the US has grown faster than it ever has before.
Old 04-09-14, 05:02 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

This "idea" takes the cake. I didn't think anything could be worse than Obamacare. But this notion is!

Certainly NOT. By not having children, you are less of a burden on the system, therefore should not pay as much into it. And, I still pay my property taxes, city taxes, etc which are supposed to even the 'kids' variable out among tax-paying citizens, anyway.
Old 04-09-14, 05:03 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
The trend is accelerating. Since 2009, worker productivity in the US has grown faster than it ever has before.
I won't pretend to understand the fine points of that article. All I can say is every job I've been in, it seems like the people who don't pull their weight outnumber the ones who do.

Also, is it possible to know if the cost of creating employees from child birth through adulthood has not increased at a faster pace over the same time period?
Old 04-09-14, 05:05 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Wasn't there another Slate contributor who said that all parents who choose private schools should instead send their kids to public schools in order to raise the overall standard?
I think some some of these columnists don't really believe what they're proposing but just want to say something controversial to get their name circulating. Why should someone be penalized for being responsible and not having kids? If you're having kids you should be financially and mentally able to provide for them.
Old 04-09-14, 05:05 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
If productivity has increased because of technological improvements and automation, wouldn't that devalue the human components -- at least those that don't contribute to technological improvements?
Are you saying that technological innovation happens in the absence of humans? The source of increased productivity is human activity, either through working harder or finding better ways to do things.
Old 04-09-14, 05:40 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Are you saying that technological innovation happens in the absence of humans? The source of increased productivity is human activity, either through working harder or finding better ways to do things.
No, that's why I said, "at least those that don't contribute to technological improvements" -- see, it's right there in the bit you quoted. The people who invented barcode scanners increased productivity in supermarkets tremendously, but that doesn't mean cashiers are more valuable now than in the 1950s.
Old 04-09-14, 10:28 PM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Let's play Devil's advocate because it's fun.

Let's keep it solely on financial and societal terms. Parents like me invest heavily in our children. This is not an inconsequential expense, I assure you. These children, if they're properly educated and raised, eventually get productive jobs, pay taxes, build housing, invent stuff, become doctors, fix sewers, found companies, cure cancer etc, etc. It's undeniable that any society needs children to thrive. Without children, things go to shit surprisingly quickly.

So, parents are spending a lot of their money and time on what is assuredly a fulfilling activity (raising children) and just as assuredly helping society as a whole. Also, the better job they do at raising kids, the more it helps society. Should parents be compensated or at least recognized for this? Alternatively, people who don't have kids will benefit from other people paying to raise kids, should they have to pay (nominally) for these benefits?

You have to admit, it's a tricky question.
Not a tricky question for me and I have a daughter that I will be investing in and supporting in every way you describe. To me this isn't the intent of the tax code to give you a little something back or recognize you. This is the exact problem with the tax code, we've over complicated it so that everyone is fighting over who gets what sliver of the pie. We have to debate on special deductions for this group because they own a home, but now this group wants a deduction because they rent, and it just goes on and on with every special interest.
Old 04-10-14, 09:28 AM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
No, that's why I said, "at least those that don't contribute to technological improvements" -- see, it's right there in the bit you quoted. The people who invented barcode scanners increased productivity in supermarkets tremendously, but that doesn't mean cashiers are more valuable now than in the 1950s.
I'm still confused about what you're saying. Regardless of why average worker productivity has increased, it has increased. Even adjusting for inflation workers today produce more GDP per hour worked than at any other period in history (on the order of four times more over the past 60 years). If we assume a constant discount rate, the NPV of the GDP an average worker today will produce over their lifetime is far higher than the NPV of a worker in any previous time. That's my point. The previous poster was saying people are less productive today, I was disagreeing.
Old 04-10-14, 09:36 AM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
I would think we would avoid the aging problem Japan has here in the US since all these obese children likely won't make it to their late 60's anyway. USA! USA! USA!
Ouch...
Old 04-10-14, 09:55 AM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Don't we already get tax credits for having children? I pay less tax with 1 kid than I did with none.
Old 04-10-14, 10:05 AM
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Re: Should you pay more taxes if you don't have kids?

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
Wasn't there another Slate contributor who said that all parents who choose private schools should instead send their kids to public schools in order to raise the overall standard?
I think some some of these columnists don't really believe what they're proposing but just want to say something controversial to get their name circulating. Why should someone be penalized for being responsible and not having kids? If you're having kids you should be financially and mentally able to provide for them.
I think you're missing the point. The argument here assumed most parents are financially and mentally prepared to have kids. We're talking about the future, don't confuse this with giving more tax breaks to parents or punishing people don't have kids. When we're old, our welfare will be paid by the younger generation (our kids). So, there's a valid point of raising a tax abiding citizen to replace the aging workers than not doing much to contribute in that area.

Of course, the underlying assumption is that people without kids are not contributing much as those who do. I think this is where people find the article ridiculous or nothing but stirring up troubles.

In general, I think as tax abiding citizens, we're all contributing equal shares to our society. If we take care of ourselves, we don't need to rely on the future generation to take care of us. Raising kids is a joy of life that can't be compared to anything else we do in this world. Please do not confuse this with "making babies," which leads to more digressions and crude jokes.

Parents always want the best for their kids, I don't think any of them want to see their kids burdened with our debts. So, I sincerely believe that people with kids actually willing to pay more taxes if it leads to a happier life for their kids. As for people without kids (intentional choice), such thought probably never occur to them.

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