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Which is the biggest idiot tax?
 

  20-Sep-12, 15:39   #1
Are you paying your idiot tax? 0 
awood88 
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 28 (M)
Posts: 1881
You may have heard the lottery described as an idiot tax. If not you only need to type lottery id into google to see a lot of people have. I see there are two arguments for it being "an idiot tax":

First, the chances of winning are so incredibly low you are effectively throwing away your money. A lot of people argue that the lottery is also a tax on the poor since poor people tend to buy more tickets. It even reinforces their poverty by embedding the belief that the only way to become rich is to win the lottery, so the lottery maintains the status quo of a few rich and many many poor.

The second point is that the lottery is very -ev. Not all the ticket money goes into the prize pool. In the UK much of it goes to good causes but this doesn't alter the fact that the value of your ticket doesn't get you good odds. So many argue that the lottery is an idiot tax for gamblers.

However, most lottery players wouldn't quarrel over a few million after winning the jackpot. For the everyday person rich is rich and the price of a ticket is definitely worth the tiny chance of getting super rich. Plus the ev argument dissolves when you consider no one plays the lottery to infinity and presumably most people would stop playing after winning the jackpot.

Scratch cards on the other hand don't offer as large prizes and people are more likely to carry on playing after a win. Not to belittle one of BRMs sidelines but scratch cards are very -ev so surely these are the bigger idiot tax.

But maybe people who buy scratch cards know this so who are we to call them idiots. It is their money after all and if they value the pleasure they get from the chance of winning more than the money they spend who are we to criticize? Which brings me on to smoking cigarettes. Smokers know they are gambling with their health but they see more positives than negatives so they are willing to pay for cigarettes. So who of you are proud to be being paying your idiot tax?

Ps. It's four weeks today since I started this challenge so thats nearly a month of polls

     
  20-Sep-12, 15:55   #2
  0 
zeroster 

Joined: May '11
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 51 (M)
Posts: 1372
I've gone for bottled water. Not only an idiot tax but totally immoral. Did you know that in the UK you get bottled water from Fiji. How can that be right? All that packaging and the carbon cost to fly it from Fiji.

Oh, and I'm one the idiots that pays the smoking tax.

     
  20-Sep-12, 17:44   #3
  0 
Mysik86 

Joined: Nov '11
Location: Poland
Age: 30 (M)
Posts: 773
I vote for cigarettes. Because the most stupid thing which you can buy legally. Like awood said
it's gambling with health
and there nothing more important that life and health... You may earn money, lose money, but you can't WIN health or life...

     
  20-Sep-12, 22:56   #4
  0 
jessthehuman 

Joined: Apr '09
Location: Australia
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 6441
I'll go with cigarettes just because they are literally taxed a LOT in Australia. Over here the price of a pack of cigarettes has risen so much due to tax it's now close to $1 per smoke.. I've quit smoking about 8 weeks ago now and going along fairly well.. But they're a ridiculous expense.

The idea of the super-tax is to make people less likely to smoke, but it's really just kicking a man while his down. The poor people who are addicted to smokes are still going to prioritize their smokes over all other expenses and it just hurts them more.

Regarding bottled water, I think it's certainly a rip-off. I do sometimes buy bottled water though - simply because more often than not, I prefer to drink water, so I'm not going to buy some other (flavoured) drink instead of water just on principle of not being ripped off. In saying that, I generally carry a bottle of (tap) water in my bag.

     
  20-Sep-12, 23:29   #5
  0 
grahamy27 
Joined: Dec '11
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 31 (M)
Posts: 707
well all could be said to be idiot taxes, Bottled water is extortinate and some of the big brand companies have been fined for just filling their bottles up via a water tap in their factory and then selling it at a large ROI, coca cola was one of these big co. to be fined Angry

cigarettes are taxed to the max....the governments got people hooked on cigarettes and they used to be promoted as healthy products back in the day and as a must have accessory. cigarettes kill and then you are taxed on death, inheritance tax,etc...everything just revolves around tax Aww crap!

im surprised there is no tax on our taxes

the lottery is every poor mans golden ticket to get out of the rat race

scratch cards are just a gamble, i think they are more of an addiction than anything else.

our governments tax us on everything, there are over 175 different taxes we pay on our everyday living

     
  20-Sep-12, 23:57   #6
  0 
marqis 

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1631
Posted by grahamy27:
im surprised there is no tax on our taxes

I consider VAT (value added tax) to be tax on tax, since every time you buy something, you do so, with money that was already taxed (income tax).

I think income tax is the biggest idiot tax. It's just that we're so used to it, but if you consider that four every day you work, more than half of your effort disappears into tax... That means you should work over 80 hours a week to get what you would in a 40 hour workweek without tax...

I say "disappear" but of course you get government in return, which I find to be an extremely expensive bad deal, I never signed up for.

     
  21-Sep-12, 00:12   #7
  0 
Greenmohave 

Joined: Jan '11
Location: United States
Age: 52 (M)
Posts: 3361
I'm one of those top line idiots who play the lottery, both scratch cards and the drawings. Then to make sure I'm paying my share of tghe idiot tax I not only smoke, buy all my drinking water. To think I always say that I need to save at least $100.00 a week for the chance to retire or at least do some things when I'm older since I'm already old. Anyway if I'd quit three of the four idiot items I could probably save $250 or $300. Aww crap! Aww crap! Sad

     
  21-Sep-12, 00:27   #8
  0 
jessthehuman 

Joined: Apr '09
Location: Australia
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 6441
Posted by marqis:
Posted by grahamy27:
im surprised there is no tax on our taxes

I consider VAT (value added tax) to be tax on tax, since every time you buy something, you do so, with money that was already taxed (income tax).

I think income tax is the biggest idiot tax. It's just that we're so used to it, but if you consider that four every day you work, more than half of your effort disappears into tax... That means you should work over 80 hours a week to get what you would in a 40 hour workweek without tax...

I say "disappear" but of course you get government in return, which I find to be an extremely expensive bad deal, I never signed up for.



Whilst I'm not exactly a socialist, I do agree with paying taxes.. What really pisses me off is that apart from some lousy vote (between two parties that are both pretty right-wing) I really get no proper say in how my tax money is spent.

Just a tiny example - over here Private schools get a HUGE amount of government (tax payer) funding.. I don't think they should get any. And of course heaps of other s**t I don't agree with.

I do agree with welfare, public healthcare, would like to see public dental care and we (in Aus) really need a LOT better public mental health care. There's a whole heap of stuff I would be happy to pay my taxes towards, unfortunately I get very little say in it.

     
  21-Sep-12, 05:55   #9
  0 
Mysik86 

Joined: Nov '11
Location: Poland
Age: 30 (M)
Posts: 773
Posted by jessthehuman:
... and we (in Aus) really need a LOT better public mental health care.


Hehe... come to Poland, you'll se the worst public health care...
Like we in Poland said: You must be healthy enough, to be sick Blink

     
  21-Sep-12, 09:00   #10
  0 
marqis 

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1631
Posted by jessthehuman:
Whilst I'm not exactly a socialist, I do agree with paying taxes.. What really pisses me off is that apart from some lousy vote (between two parties that are both pretty right-wing) I really get no proper say in how my tax money is spent.

That is my point. I would just like to buy my government in the shop. Compare a few, maybe trim some of the options towards my liking, and negotiate a good deal. Sort of like a health insurance, where you can leave out some of the coverage you don't need.

I'm not an anarchist. I just find my government insanely expensive, and not worth the money by a long shot...

Posted by jessthehuman:
.. and we (in Aus) really need a LOT better public mental health care.

Are you saying Aussies are mentally unstable? Blink

     
  21-Sep-12, 09:08   #11
  0 
Thawijn 
Joined: Nov '11
Location: Netherlands
Age: 26 (M)
Posts: 79
Smoking tax is the best tax exist, it demotivates to ruin your own body, and ruin other people lungs.
There will be less stinking people on the world. Nothing smells worse than someone who smokes!.

     
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