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posted by janrinok on Monday December 11 2017, @10:06PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the my-cold,-dead-animal dept.

Like tobacco, carbon emissions and sugar, we can expect the harm to human health and the environment caused by the production and consumption of meat to be mitigated by 'sin taxes'in the next five to ten years.

"Sin taxes" on meat to reduce its huge impact on climate change and human health look inevitable, according to analysts for investors managing more than $4tn of assets.

The global livestock industry causes 15% of all global greenhouse gas emissions and meat consumption is rising around the world, but dangerous climate change cannot be avoided unless this is radically curbed. Furthermore, many people already eat far too much meat, seriously damaging their health and incurring huge costs. Livestock also drive other problems, such as water pollution and antibiotic resistance.

A new analysis from the investor network Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (Fairr) Initiative argues that meat is therefore now following the same path as tobacco, carbon emissions and sugar towards a sin tax, a levy on harmful products to cut consumption. Meat taxes have already been discussed in parliaments in Germany, Denmark and Sweden, the analysis points out, and China's government has cut its recommended maximum meat consumption by 45% in 2016.

Would you pay a "meat tax" or would you change your eating habits?


Original Submission

Related Stories

U.S. Cattlemen's Association Wants an Official Definition of "Meat" 80 comments

The U.S. Cattlemen's Association has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop an official definition for terms like "meat" and "beef", as plant-based alternatives to meats continue to grow in popularity and lab-grown/cultured meat may be coming soon:

Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are combining plant-based ingredients and science, rather than animals, to create fake-meat burgers and other products that taste like the real thing.

Now U.S. Cattlemen's Association is looking to draw a line in the sand. The association launched what could be the first salvo in a long battle against plant-based foods. Earlier this month, the association filed a 15-page petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an official definition for the term "beef," and more broadly, "meat."

"While at this time alternative protein sources are not a direct threat to the beef industry, we do see improper labeling of these products as misleading," said Lia Biondo, the association's policy and outreach director. "Our goal is to head off the problem before it becomes a larger issue."

[...] While these foods are commonly dubbed "fake meat," there's a little more to the meat-substitute market than that. The Good Food Institute, which advocates a sustainable food supply, breaks it down into two categories: clean meat and plant-based meat. Clean meat refers to "meat" grown in a lab from a small amount of animal stem cells. This kind of meat isn't on the market yet, but it's in development. Plant-based meat is anything that mimics traditional meat but is made mainly using plant ingredients.

Here's an idea: define "meat" for the Cattlemen's Association, then tax it with an exemption for "lab-grown meat".

Related: Lab-Grown Pork Closer to Reality
Lab-Grown Chicken (and Duck) Could be on the Menu in 4 Years
Inside the Strange Science of the Fake Meat that 'Bleeds'
Impossible Foods Just Raised $75 Million for Its Plant-based Burgers
Cargill, Bill Gates, Richard Branson Backed Memphis Meats Expects Meat From Cells in Stores by 2021
Meat Tax Proposed for Sake of Human and Environmental Health.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday December 11 2017, @10:21PM (28 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 11 2017, @10:21PM (#608479) Journal

    I'd go with another option: grow my own.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by VLM on Monday December 11 2017, @10:46PM (3 children)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 11 2017, @10:46PM (#608503)

      Hunt and fish, too.

      towards a sin tax, a levy on harmful products to cut consumption

      The real definition is its a tax on something politically incorrect meant to make it difficult to be holier than thou AND oppose it. A way to generate tax revenue by hacking screwed up culture.

      Germany, Denmark and Sweden

      Not countries recently known for good judgment. In fact, the opposite. That doesn't prove its a bad idea, but if the idea comes from people with a history of bad ideas, its probably not good.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by frojack on Monday December 11 2017, @11:32PM (2 children)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 11 2017, @11:32PM (#608536) Journal

        Its really the vegans at work, they've slowly working toward this for some time.
        Cattle are no worse than the large herds that used to roam the planes of many continents. But they do offend the vegans.

        Besides, with the recent discovery of massive natural gas leaks that have been going on for centuries, I doubt the 15% figure is accurate any more.
        http://www.denverpost.com/2016/07/11/flammable-water-not-gas-leaks-colorado/ [denverpost.com]
        http://www.theobserver.ca/2015/06/25/analysis-confirms-gas-leak-at-lambton-shores-golf-course-is-naturally-occurring [theobserver.ca]

        The rule is you have to blame this on mankind, and if you can make someone pay, then its OK.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:54AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:54AM (#608604)

          s/planes/plains
          (For those trying to improve their vocabularies.)

          Cattle are no worse than the large herds that used to roam the planes of many continents

          Got a citation WRT those earlier critters being fattened at a feedlot on taxpayer-subsidized corn which had been fertilized with taxpayer-subsidized petroleum-based fertilizers?

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:17AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:17AM (#608619)

            s#s/.*/.*#&/#
            (For those trying to improve their sed skills ;)

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday December 11 2017, @11:16PM (17 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday December 11 2017, @11:16PM (#608526)

      grow my own.

      Totally my first reaction as well.

      If the people of the world want to pack themselves into high-rise cities, fine, let they eat paste.

      One of the benefits of owning and caring for your own land is the harvesting the "fruits of the land." Now, if I want to commercially exploit my land and sell beef into the cities, then, sure, tax the hell out of that.

      If, however, I just want to live on my land and take my own animals for food... I don't think that's leading to any environmental crises, in-fact quite the opposite. If the people in the cities each owned enough productive land to support their own personal beef habits, the effect would be the same - at some point, the city either stops eating meat, or stops growing.

      Of course, if they do pass this meat-tax we are going to have all kinds of interesting poaching going on... Squirrel: it's what's for dinner.

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday December 12 2017, @12:28AM (13 children)

        Hippie isn't bad stew meat if you boil all the dirt and grease off it first. Kind of like possum.

        --
        When responding to comments, please do not use phrases like "just how stupid can you be". Some take that as a challenge.
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:41AM (1 child)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:41AM (#608574) Journal

          if you boil all the dirt and grease off it first

          Idiotic - that's what gives the stew the flavor.
          Do it and the stew will not be in any way different from one made of Maccas-fattened stock.

          (grin)

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by MostCynical on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:51AM

            by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:51AM (#608635)

            Cockatoo and rock stew. Serves 2.

            Boil cockatoo and rock until rock is soft.
            Throw away cockatoo.
            Eat rock.

            --
            Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:45AM (8 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:45AM (#608576)

          A pressure cooker is the only thing that works on Red Neck.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:53AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:53AM (#608585)

            Use the grill. Maybe chewy, but good for you to try different textures once in a while.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:04AM (6 children)

            Nah, the trick to redneck meat is you gotta marinate it heavily in beer before slaughtering. Shouldn't be especially difficult.

            --
            When responding to comments, please do not use phrases like "just how stupid can you be". Some take that as a challenge.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:57AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:57AM (#608607)

              If that was effective, wouldn't all the pre-processing suffice?
              25 Best "Hold my beer and watch this" Memes [me.me] 8-) More [google.com] 8-D

              before slaughtering

              That too is often self-inflicted. (See above.)

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:08AM (4 children)

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:08AM (#608639) Journal

              Nah, the trick to redneck meat is you gotta marinate it heavily in beer before slaughtering.

              So THAT is what makes the redneck meat so expensive.
              How many kegs of beer do you need per head?

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
              • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:18AM (2 children)

                It varies by weight but at least five kegs and as many days.

                --
                When responding to comments, please do not use phrases like "just how stupid can you be". Some take that as a challenge.
                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:26AM (1 child)

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:26AM (#608649) Journal

                  I think I'll stay with with Wagyu steaks, thank you.
                  At about $400-$600/kg [beefcentral.com] price in the top range, is still more affordable than redneck.

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday December 12 2017, @11:33AM

                    Well now, that depends. It's not that uncommon to find a redneck weighing in at over 200lbs that's not overly fatty. If you're hunting them instead of buying them that drops the overall cost to around $3-4/lb if you only use the proper meat. Mind you, this does not account for the cost of five days or so of chewing tobacco or snuff. Make sure you grab their stash when you bag them or that'll add a bit to the cost as well.

                    --
                    When responding to comments, please do not use phrases like "just how stupid can you be". Some take that as a challenge.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:40PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:40PM (#608713)

                That depends on whether you use beer or Budweiser.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:11PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:11PM (#608742)

          Remove the hair. I know there is a lot, but trust me you have to.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:38PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:38PM (#608913)

          Lur: Whoa. Must be something in that hippie I ate.

      • (Score: 2) by number11 on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:38AM (2 children)

        by number11 (1170) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:38AM (#608571)

        If the people of the world want to pack themselves into high-rise cities, fine, let they eat paste.

        One of the benefits of owning and caring for your own land is the harvesting the "fruits of the land." Now, if I want to commercially exploit my land and sell beef into the cities, then, sure, tax the hell out of that.

        If, however, I just want to live on my land and take my own animals for food... I don't think that's leading to any environmental crises, in-fact quite the opposite. If the people in the cities each owned enough productive land to support their own personal beef habits, the effect would be the same - at some point, the city either stops eating meat, or stops growing.

        Reasonable. Of course, there are also costs associated with living in the boondocks with a ton of space. So perhaps we should let those people pay the full cost of the roads, power grid, internet, transportation for food and goods they don't grow, etc., instead of subsidizing them up the wazoo. At some point, an equilibrium will be achieved between the rural people who can have cheap meat and lodging, and the city people who can have cheap everything else.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:41AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:41AM (#608573)

          Yup. A good start would be getting rid of all the rules and regulations telling them they can't do that.

          Lord knows we wouldn't want them durn rednecks gettin' all uppity and independent...

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:10PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:10PM (#608794)

          Agreed that rural (especially US) area are subsidized on the infrastructure front - roads being the big one, but everything else is also more expensive when you're spread apart, too. However, the stress reduction that comes from not dealing with idiot neighbors close on all sides would be well worth the cost, IMO.

          The point about the rural lifestyle is that they aren't grinding the ecosystem into grist for the mill, at least not as thoroughly as capitalist cities. Any city radically deforms the ecosystem of its urban area, even if they do provide green spaces and bird feeders. The reason I call out capitalist cities is that they drive the production of goods for the cities to the lowest possible cost, which results in maximal hiding of costs in ecological exploitation of the areas that supply the cities with food, concrete, steel, asphalt, energy, etc. These costs are hidden in pollution, destruction of habitat, depletion of resources like fresh water, etc.

          --
          My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by qzm on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:58AM (2 children)

      by qzm (3260) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:58AM (#608609)

      Their estimates for AGW have long long ago been debunked, why is this crap still being published?
      They make NO allowance for the short half-life of methane in the atmosphere.
      They nicely forget that Dairy contributes significantly more than meat production.
      There is no allowance for the carbon SINK that is grasslands (yes, shocking, that carbon they eat wasnt sitting there for millions of years)

      Basically they are making up completely false numbers, then trying to use it to push their personal dietary views.

      They are probably mostly pissed that their big push from back in the day that red meat was the cause of all heart problems was also been debunked.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:35AM (#608625)

        Their estimates for AGW have long long ago been debunked, why is this crap still being published?

        Except they were not, it is only that you believe so. Granted, the estimates weren't confirmed either.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:42PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:42PM (#608916)

        All science related to AGW is so politically charged that it is more akin to religious faiths.

        Both sides of the debate conveniently leave out data which doesn't support their thesis, and when one side doesn't they end up looking like John Scopes defending evolution against William Jennings Bryan. Fair, balanced, ethical debate supported by facts is a well proven way to lose in the court of public opinion.

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:53AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:53AM (#608636)

      Tax inspectors and collectors make a great BBQ. Just sayin.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:25PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:25PM (#608808) Journal

      I'd go with another option: grow my own.

      I'll switch to delicious nutritious Soylent Green, thank you.

      (how did this site get the wrong color?)

      --
      The opposite of Pro is Con. The opposite of Progress is ___gress.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday December 12 2017, @11:20PM

        Go here [soylentnews.org], switch the option under "Select Theme" to "NV" or "VT100", scroll down, hit Save. Our data indicate that offering green alternatives isn't enough to get people to actually use them. They must be forced. Preferably under threat of death or imprisonment.

        --
        When responding to comments, please do not use phrases like "just how stupid can you be". Some take that as a challenge.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:23PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:23PM (#608481)

    what's new with that?

    Yes some populations adapted to survive the deprivation [cornell.edu] but europeans did [couriermail.com.au] not [blogspot.com].

    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by VLM on Monday December 11 2017, @10:50PM (1 child)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 11 2017, @10:50PM (#608509)

      Germany, Denmark and Sweden

      Those countries are already trying to ethnically cleanse the whites and replace then with arabs, so white people not being able to survive the diet in those screwed up countries is not going to be seen as a problem, if you know what I mean. That data will probably be used to support the plan, not oppose it.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:00PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:00PM (#608516)

        Crazy is as VLM does.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Monday December 11 2017, @10:30PM (2 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday December 11 2017, @10:30PM (#608488)

    Oh, yes, I still have 4 canines and a whole set of tastebuds.
    Meat is already expensive, but there's a nice piece of steak waiting at home. I've got low electric and gas bills, I drive a very sober car, I earn the right to my dead cows!

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday December 11 2017, @11:29PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday December 11 2017, @11:29PM (#608532)

      A (potentially) interesting thought experiment I did the other day: calculate how much citrus acreage my family personally consumes. We buy and drink a lot of orange juice, maybe 2 gallons a week on average. So, ~100 gallons a year, and how many oranges does it take to make ~100 gallons of juice? It works out to something between 1 and 2 acres of orange grove (of course distributed around the globe) that my family "leases" from the juice production industry at a price of about $600 per year. Pretty damn good deal including harvesting, juicing, distribution and warehousing, especially considering that county taxes on the acreage we own in "juice country" run about $300 per acre for empty land, though the grove owners pay less than $30 per acre due to "Ag exemptions."

      So, run that same thought experiment on beef, and the average red-blooded, burger eatin', middle class family probably consumes about one good sized cow a year, and that cow needs forage that runs somewhere in the same region of 1 to 2 acres, but I think the retail price runs more like $2400 for 800 lbs of burger meat... but somehow the ranching families in juice country manage to cry poor to the counties, they don't even break even on their cow-calf operations, they just do it as a hobby.

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:45AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:45AM (#608577)

        Check your math at auction prices. Those little cow-calf operations are being quite deliberately driven out of business. Don't forget the costs of animal handling systems, fuel related to haying and various veterinary costs and specialty supplements and all the costs attendant slaughter (if you can even get a slaughter house to acknowledge you exist for under 100 head) ... the whole thing is a much bigger mess than you seem to think.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:31PM (21 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:31PM (#608489)

    We can graze cattle, sheep, and goats on land that is unsuitable for farming. We often instead feed them soybeans and corn. Only one of those ought to be taxed.

    Instead of taxing all meat based on antibiotic use, just tax the meat produced that way... or ban it.

    I expect the concept of "animal cruelty" to come up, and maybe it is the driving force behind this. If we are going to care about that, then tax or ban halal slaughter.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:09AM (20 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:09AM (#608565)

      The problem, whether cattle is grazed on grass or fed soybeans, is that cows eat a lot of solar power (and release a fair amount of methane) - so, for every person on the planet who consumes 1/4lb of beef per day - 100lbs of beef per year, there's about 6000 square feet of productive pastureland (or 100,000 square feet of desert scrub, or 1500 square feet of intensively farmed soybeans, etc.) that has been converted to feed the cows that go into those burgers. 6000 square feet per person, times 350 million Americans = 75,000 square miles of productive farmland just to feed the beef cattle. The US has about 550,000 square miles planted in crops, ~125,000 sq mi in feeder corn 'cause 'muricans don't just eat beef.

      As the world shifts toward western tastes in food, that 0.35B number is potentially shifting up by a factor of 20, and we just don't have enough farmland for that, no matter how you slice it, irrigate it, or fertilize it with guano.

      'salright tho - the great Orange is colonizing the Red Planet, said so in a tweet recently. Sadly, even if Mars were terraformed right now and producing as much food per acre as the Earth, that only roughly doubles our available living space - and a factor of 2x is not going to do much at all against an exponential growth rate.

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by number11 on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:47AM

        by number11 (1170) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:47AM (#608581)

        The problem, whether cattle is grazed on grass or fed soybeans, is that cows eat a lot of solar power (and release a fair amount of methane) - so, for every person on the planet who consumes 1/4lb of beef per day - 100lbs of beef per year, there's about 6000 square feet of productive pastureland (or 100,000 square feet of desert scrub, or 1500 square feet of intensively farmed soybeans, etc.)

        Cattle is certainly the worst case for North American meat production. Pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits don't consume anywhere near as much resources (which is why those are the sort of animal raised by farmers in poor countries). I find that I've pretty much switched to pork and chicken because of the cost, though I still eat a lot of meat. I've gotten used to it. Probably don't eat beef more than once or twice a month.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DrkShadow on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:00AM

        by DrkShadow (1404) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:00AM (#608588)

        We can graze cattle, sheep, and goats on land that is unsuitable for farming. [...] just tax the meat produced that way

        so, for every person on the planet who consumes 1/4lb of beef per day - 100lbs of beef per year, there's about 6000 square feet of productive pastureland

        Are you intentionally being dumb?

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:01AM (3 children)

        by Arik (4543) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:01AM (#608590) Journal
        You're pretending an acre is an acre, but surely you realize that's not true?

        Much of the land used for cattle is used because it's unsuitable for most other crops. You can't just turn 1,000 acres of grazing land into wheat or broccoli or whatever, typically. And where you see cattle kept on land that IS suitable for other things it's normally a small operation, mom and pops have to use the land they have. Big Agribiz can and does move all the cattle out to a big plot of land that's otherwise useless or nearly so.

        So what you have would not only have little effect, what effect it would have would be drive even more small farms out of business. Probably not the direction you really want to go, all things considered.

        --
        - Sig not found. Self destruct initiated. Please clear the area.
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:21PM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:21PM (#608724)

          Something like 25% of central Florida ag-land is used for cattle grazing. This is land suitable for citrus, vegetable and all sorts of other production, but since the Lykes Brothers want to use it for cattle, it's used for cattle (along with several other large - for Florida - ranching concerns.)

          Hawaii finally gave up cattle on the big island, mostly because it's more cost effective to import than grow locally. Similarly they gave up sugar back in the 1970s... more social issues around that one, but basically, (Hawaiian) people can make more money changing sheets in a hotel room than they can harvesting sugar cane.

          And, what part of:

          6000 square feet of productive pastureland (or 100,000 square feet of desert scrub, or 1500 square feet of intensively farmed soybeans, etc.)

          is pretending that an acre is an acre?

          --
          My karma ran over your dogma.
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:47PM (1 child)

            by Freeman (732) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:47PM (#608814) Journal

            Assuming XYZ person / company owns the land, and it's not zoned for XYZ thing. Leave them alone. Complaining that a company / person that raises cattle on land that could be used for something else is the definition of busybody. I could use my land to raise goats (not enough room for cattle), or plant a garden. I could even do both, but I find I like gardening better. Plus, goats can get out of most fences and I've had perfectly good strawberries go to some fairly thankless goats. Purely subjective to my whims. That's what the "American Dream" used to be, you can do what you want where you want, within certain acceptable parameters, and hopefully do more than just survive.

            --
            "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:45PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:45PM (#608919)

              Not complaining, quite the opposite, but pointing out that not all cattle are ranched on land that isn't suited for other things - quite the opposite.

              --
              My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:28AM (13 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:28AM (#608623) Journal

        of productive pastureland

        Which is productive because you're feeding cattle with it. If you aren't, then it isn't productive pastureland. A good portion of such pastureland is not viable farmland. Globally, there's about twice as much land devoted to pastureland as to farmland.

        and a factor of 2x is not going to do much at all against an exponential growth rate.

        Then it is fortunate that humanity is not growing exponentially. Time to update your understanding of reality.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:14PM (12 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:14PM (#608797)

          Time to update your understanding of reality.

          I believe history. Most people who try to predict the future fail, the ones who use history as a guide fail less often.

          --
          My karma ran over your dogma.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday December 12 2017, @06:16PM (9 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @06:16PM (#608835) Journal

            I believe history. Most people who try to predict the future fail, the ones who use history as a guide fail less often.

            Excellent. So you do know that there have been two parts of history where population growth wasn't exponential? That is, everything prior to 1500 AD and after 1950 AD? The former due to humanity routinely hitting carrying capacity and the latter due to a global, massive decline in human fertility, a trend which continues today?

            Also, historically, demographics has been one of the easiest things to predict about the future. It still fails on time scales past a century or two, but it's not like predicting what technologies will be sexy in 50 years or what fads will be hot in 10 years.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:34PM (8 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:34PM (#608910)

              So, while the best curve-fit for population growth since 1950 might not be exponential, I'd call an increase of 3x in 70 years to still be worringly fast - and I'll note that all these graphs that show an inflection point turning over to decreasing growth rate have always shown such a point in the future, a future that has not come yet: https://www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/worldpopgraph.php [census.gov]

              When China instituted "one child" they managed to slow the growth rate, but still grew 40% in 35 years. And that's still only representative of about 20% of the world population.

              The trends that these "think tanks" put forth for slowing growth are predicated on the idea that the developing world is going to emulate present day US and European trends when they start to experience improved economic prosperity - but what's to say they don't emulate what the US and Europe did when they first started getting their improved economic prosperity?

              The future is never knowable, but what I do know is that 7 billion people spread around the globe under hundreds of separate nations are hard to control, and have all the same basic animal tendencies as human animals have had for the last thousand years. So, unless we manage to effectively starve the vast majority of the world population with resource limitations like prior to 1500, or provide them with sufficient DINK incentives to dissuade them from prolific procreation, there's a pretty good chance that the bulk of the world is going to behave like humans always have when they get enough to eat, free time on their hands, and a lack of war to fight. Many potential solutions to the problem, few of them pretty or socially acceptable by today's standards.

              --
              My karma ran over your dogma.
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday December 12 2017, @09:48PM (7 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @09:48PM (#608955) Journal

                So, while the best curve-fit for population growth since 1950 might not be exponential, I'd call an increase of 3x in 70 years to still be worringly fast - and I'll note that all these graphs that show an inflection point turning over to decreasing growth rate

                At this point, you are merely arguing from ignorance, namely, that there could still be some unknown parameter that messes things up. Such things happen. For example, demographic predictions changed substantially (with Africa peaking out later at a higher population) when HIV treatments became available. But it's a surer bet with demographics than other sorts of predictions.

                The future is never knowable, but what I do know is that 7 billion people spread around the globe under hundreds of separate nations are hard to control, and have all the same basic animal tendencies as human animals have had for the last thousand years.

                Yes, most human populations aren't under control except at the individual level. People are animals, sure. And yet we have massive decline in human fertility. Your model is not working.

                So, unless we manage to effectively starve the vast majority of the world population with resource limitations like prior to 1500, or provide them with sufficient DINK incentives to dissuade them from prolific procreation, there's a pretty good chance that the bulk of the world is going to behave like humans always have when they get enough to eat, free time on their hands, and a lack of war to fight.

                We already know that assertion is false. Try again.

                Many potential solutions to the problem, few of them pretty or socially acceptable by today's standards.

                We don't need many solutions, we just need solutions that work. We have those - developed world wealth with empowered women who have alternatives to making babies.

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday December 12 2017, @10:14PM

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @10:14PM (#608969)

                  Your royal we amuses us.

                  The empowered women argument sounds nice... travel a bit in Latin America, Asia, and even the UK and tell me just how empowered the women are there? Better than 1800, sure, but "in control" of their reproductive destiny? Hell, half of the US wants to ban abortion clinics, and a quarter want to ban all contraceptives. If even one quarter of the world is running on misogynistic power trips, that's going to be 2 billion people soon, and as they continue to proliferate their attitudes will gain in popularity.

                  We on this side of skepticism will begin to believe the predictions of population control when a few sustained years of population decline have happened, the Earth is already too damn crowded for sustainability - singing "kumbaya, every little thing gonna be alright" is simply ignoring the root cause of the sixth mass extinction event.

                  --
                  My karma ran over your dogma.
                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday December 12 2017, @10:24PM (5 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @10:24PM (#608974) Journal
                  Sigh, I should have read your other reply [soylentnews.org] before responding. My apologies for coming in strong.

                  Moving on, to summarize, here's my opinion on this overall matter. We want the world to be a mess because we have solutions looking for a problem. For example, the meat tax idea is one such. They want it so they're coming up with health and environmental rationalizations a priori to justify this. But like most such things, there just isn't a problem that needs fixing here.

                  We have done some things right, sometimes spectacularly so. It's amazing that after the tremendous conflicts and surprisingly beneficial resolution of the last century, that the idea that we're doing well is such a radical concept. But humanity has never been comfortable with prosperity or security. It's always looking for the worm in the apple. Even a slight amount of relative deprivation (for example, when one does less well than one's parents in some developed world countries over the past few decades) is seen as the wheels falling off the car.

                  My view on this is that in order to understand the world and its problems, we need not only to understand what we are doing wrong, but also to understand what we are doing right. Too often, assumptions are made without looking at the overall context. That can result, for example, in creating greater problems to solve lesser problems (and explains my continued [soylentnews.org] opposition [soylentnews.org] to climate change mitigation). It can result in crazy ideas which solve nothing.

                  In particular, I realized that we could fall asleep at the wheel and do more to solve poverty and overpopulation in an ethical manner than any deliberate population control scheme could, and that most of our striving to intentionally make the world better is mere wriggling on the hook, to little effect. Of most of the rest of that striving, we would do better by resisting them than not, such as the meat tax or outlawing strong encryption.

                  Anyway, that's where I'm coming from on this.
                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 13 2017, @03:51AM (4 children)

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 13 2017, @03:51AM (#609073)

                    meat tax ... there just isn't a problem that needs fixing here

                    So, at a population of 2B, I wholeheartedly agree. At a population of 60B, the point is moot, we're screwed even without meat farming. Somewhere in the middle, meat matters, and we're in the middle now. It's not a problem yet, but it could become one if total population settles in around 20B or so, regular consumption of Tuna for the Japanese, filet mignon for the top 10% income earners (and pretenders), brisket for Texas, etc... if those trends spread to Asia and South America along with relative wealth parity with the US, the environment just can't produce enough to sustain that.

                    Even a slight amount of relative deprivation

                    Born and raised in Florida, over the last 50 years I have personally witnessed what happens when population of an area increases by a factor of 3 - and the relatively amazing thing, to me, is that the world population has tracked that trend fairly closely, Florida's population isn't growing much faster than the world at large. Empty spaces are shrinking, becoming much more fragmented. Places that used to be enjoyable are now smothered in a sea of humanity and development. There's still open space, but so very much less than when population was 1/3 of what it is today - and if you roll back another 20 years to when my father was born, there is another factor of 2.4 in population growth in just those 20 years, yes: the baby boom, but also a very clear demonstration of how tomato fields become suburban housing, forest and swamp become tomato, citrus and cattle production, and only the really really bad lands are left to nature.

                    We've got more money, faster cars, shopping malls, restaurants - none of that is lacking compared to 1950 or 70, what is in deprivation now are natural spaces, living coral reefs, beaches without condominium development, oceanfront without McMansions.

                    we need not only to understand what we are doing wrong, but also to understand what we are doing right.

                    We've been doing an amazing amount of "right" in the last 50 years - so much less war, so much more automation, mechanization, efficient labor and transportation, communication, education - by the old metrics we're killing it. Unfortunately, the old metrics don't measure environmental destruction, and on that side of things we're approaching an asymptote: as the untapped resources approach zero, the crisis will ramp up a hyperbolic curve. I don't think we're much past the corner of that hyperbola today, but I do think we're on the wrong side of it.

                    crazy ideas which solve nothing

                    No shortage of those, but in my mind the craziest idea of all is laissez faire: hands off the wheel doesn't work when the individual actors making decisions only see a millionth of the big picture. We're doing better at communicating the global picture to the masses, but it's still coming through a distortion of the presenters on both sides of the issue - neither seems capable of stepping back from Scopes Monkey trial levels of rhetoric and posturing.

                    In particular, I realized that we could fall asleep at the wheel and do more to solve poverty and overpopulation in an ethical manner than any deliberate population control scheme could

                    Possibly... I realized that we passed a point, perhaps 20 years ago, where the present course with "hands off the wheel" is going to devastate the world I was born into into an unrecognizable state. If you can withstand some hippie commie presentation of documentary video about what we've accomplished with industrial progress in the last 10 years, try watching Chasing Coral [chasingcoral.com]. It's just a bunch of dead rocks at the bottom of the ocean, what do we care, right? I snorkeled on those reefs in the 1980s, and they're 99% destroyed now. Sure, the corals are sensitive and we are passing their tipping point - they've died out before and come back, yes they have, but not on this scale since the last ice age, and then it was because of falling water levels instead of rising temperatures.

                    AGW is just one piece of the problem that is packing too many people on the surface of the earth. Hands off won't solve it, or many of the other problems. Population reduction would make almost all of these problems trivial, virtually self solving without regulation. Without some kind of population capping, no amount of technology - not even unlimited clean energy from controlled fusion, can sustain 3x growth every 50 years for the next 500. If we reach that level of mastery of physics, we may well colonize the asteroids and beyond, but there is one area of progress that has been virtually stalled for almost 40 years now: manned spaceflight.

                    So: meat tax? Meh, maybe tax it like alcohol and see what happens. Pragmatically, I'll tell you what happens in the US: the Beef industry laughs the proposition straight out of Washington D.C.

                     

                    --
                    My karma ran over your dogma.
                    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday December 13 2017, @07:34AM (1 child)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 13 2017, @07:34AM (#609129) Journal

                      No shortage of those, but in my mind the craziest idea of all is laissez faire: hands off the wheel doesn't work when the individual actors making decisions only see a millionth of the big picture.

                      They don't need to. For example, if natural beef causes a lot of problems, then it'll get more expensive naturally and those billions of individual actors will see only the millionth of the big picture that matters, namely, how much they're willing to pay for beef that causes problems. Markets are very powerful for communicating problems of scarcity or unusual costs to those involved directly in the trade. Things like pollution are more difficult, but we seem to have fixed that.

                      Meanwhile we could have top down people make ham-handed decisions that make the problem worse. That would be better than laissez faire, right? /sarc

                      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 13 2017, @01:03PM

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 13 2017, @01:03PM (#609197)

                        The markets aren't going to communicate the true cost of beef until the forests are gone, converted to pasture. While that conversion is taking place, the cost of beef is subsidized by the sale of tropical hardwoods - tropical hardwoods that take hundreds of years to grow and used to house a tremendous biodiversity. Cow pastures grow cows, grass, fire-ants, and not much else.

                        It's great for the people living in the age of exploitation (us) - gonna suck for the next generations.

                        --
                        My karma ran over your dogma.
                    • (Score: 2) by gottabeme on Wednesday December 13 2017, @10:06AM (1 child)

                      by gottabeme (1531) on Wednesday December 13 2017, @10:06AM (#609166)

                      Your argument seems to go like this:

                      1. Producing beef requires X resources per eater, when consumed at a rate of Y beef per eater.
                      2. The number of beef eaters is increasing.
                      3. At some future point, there will not be enough resources to produce enough beef to meet the extrapolated demand.
                      4. Therefore we should artificially restrict beef consumption now.

                      It does not follow. This is what the law of supply and demand solves. As beef demand increases, beef supply decreases, and beef price increases. The back-and-forth feedback continues as production and consumption incentives are adjusted.

                      If beef were to eventually become too expensive for most people to eat (as can be said now of many foods), so what? Isn't that what you (they?) want anyway?

                      Why don't you just be patient and let it happen naturally? But this reveals the true motive: it's not about the beef at all.

                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 13 2017, @01:09PM

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 13 2017, @01:09PM (#609200)

                        The problem is the externalized costs and temporary subsidies of beef production today. The subsidies (sale of timber when converting forest to pasture, for one - tax incentives for ag-conversion of wild spaces for another) are temporary, and serve to ramp up demand in the short term, demand that will persist into rising prices. The externalized costs include the destruction of biodiversity, pollution emitted in the process of production, and more that I'm not in the mood to dig up because, yeah, everybody here is right, meat is a small thing in the bigger picture. Whether each human needs 1 acre of productive land to sustain their consumption, or 10, is really moot - soon enough the population will rise to a level where the market forces start the squeeze.

                        If we could manage to start that squeeze before we totally consume the available resources of the planet, it would be good for our children, and amazingly good for theirs.

                        --
                        My karma ran over your dogma.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:24PM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:24PM (#608901) Journal
            Speaking of history, we have some recent history [soylentnews.org]. At first, I was grumpy, why did Joe forget that we talked about overpopulation and the recent (since 1950) decline in fertility and birth rate globally? Well, it was because that part was hidden inside an EPIC thread [soylentnews.org]. Good times and a bunch of interesting ideas bouncing around in there.

            So the takeaway should be that Malthus's model doesn't work in our current world. It's broken. Globally from the developed world on down to the poorest African country, we see huge drops in human fertility and birth rate to the extent that population growth has been almost linear (which indicates declining exponential rate over that length of time) for seven decades. While it's tenuous, we're seeing predictions of global negative population growth globally in every continent and country by 2100 (perhaps several decades earlier, with Africa being the last holdout) without any sort of disaster, disease, or other calamity needed to drive the population reduction.

            At this point, we should be thinking about how to expedite the process rather than sin taxes on irrelevant behavior some people don't like.
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:36PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:36PM (#608911)

              Thank you for also taking the time to restate your opinions, khallow.

              --
              My karma ran over your dogma.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:36PM (19 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:36PM (#608495)

    They tax my paycheck, they tax again on whatever's remaining when I buy something, they tax my water, then they tax what goes down the sewer after drinking my taxed water. They probably taxed me when I was born, and they'll probably tax me when I die. Tax tax tax fucking tax tax. OK, I'm done, time to light up a non-taxed doobie.

    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday December 11 2017, @11:02PM (2 children)

      by Gaaark (41) on Monday December 11 2017, @11:02PM (#608517) Journal

      The solution to one of those taxes is pee-cycling!

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channelling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 2) by Spook brat on Monday December 11 2017, @11:36PM (1 child)

        by Spook brat (775) on Monday December 11 2017, @11:36PM (#608538)

        The solution to one of those taxes is pee-cycling!

        Nope.

        In my community they assume that all water entering the home leaves via the sewer. They simply make the effluent volume for tax purposes match the water intake, which eliminates (heh!) the need for a gauge on the sewer flow. No effort is made to account for things like irrigation, which is a major portion of water use in my city. So recycle your pee all you want, you're still getting double taxed for it - both times on the way in.

        Of course, you could look at it another way; if you figure out a way to pee directly into your sewer line w/o needing to flush you could get free use of the sewer by drinking most of your water elsewhere. Of course, get too aggressive about this and they'll get mad at you for not "doing your part" to contribute to the water line maintenance. I guarantee that they won't let you connect to the sewer w/o connecting to city water as well...

        --
        Travel the galaxy! Meet fascinating life forms... And kill them [schlockmercenary.com]
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Tuesday December 12 2017, @12:03AM

          by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @12:03AM (#608546) Journal

          Damn! Now you make me want to find a way of 'burying' myself in the sewer system: if you have to pay for it anyway, it's a cheap funeral. BAWOOOOOSH, "bye Daddy!"
          :)

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channelling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @12:20AM (15 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @12:20AM (#608552)

      tax me when I die

      Oh look, more of this horse shit. 90% of Americans will pay ZERO estate taxes when a parent dies. If your parent left an estate large enough to qualify for estate taxes YOU CAN FUCKING AFFORD TO PAY THEM.

      So, from everyone who actually has to WORK for a living, please, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Thanks.

      Tax tax tax fucking tax tax.

      OK, then don't ever do any of the following:
      + Drive on public roads
      + Call the police
      + Call the fire department (unless you live out in the sticks where a "fire protection fee" is required, in which case feel free to call if you have paid that fee)
      + Go to the doctor/hospital with health insurance (Health insurance is subsidized by the government)
      ++ Feel free to go if you plan on paying 100% out of pocket
      + Put your kids into public school
      + Purchase food at a grocery store (it's all been inspected by the FDA)
      ++ You can still buy food at a farmer's market/out of the back of a truck
      + Purchase medication at a pharmacy (FDA again)
      ++ You can still purchase "medication" on a street corner or out of the back of a truck
      + Purchase alcoholic beverages from a liquor store (FDA again AFAIK, but I could be wrong on this one)
      + Monetary transactions involving a bank or credit union (FDIC)
      + Own a house connected to a municipal water supply
      + Own a house connected to a municipal sewer line
      + Own a house with trash/recyclable pickup service
      + Hunt or fish anywhere that requires a hunting or fishing license
      + Do I need to continue?

      So, to summarize: STFU, GTFO, and go live in Somalia. You will pay ZERO taxes there. (Unless you consider the warlord-of-the-week's "protection fee" a tax, in which case, I can't really help you.) Otherwise, STFU and help pay for the society you're living in you fucking leech.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday December 12 2017, @12:35AM (8 children)

        Do I need to continue?

        Yep. I'm not interested in a third of that and actively oppose another third of it. Regardless, taxes are not collected here on a voluntary, usage-based basis. They're collected under threat of death or imprisonment. So your entire "but you get stuff" argument is irrelevant.

        --
        When responding to comments, please do not use phrases like "just how stupid can you be". Some take that as a challenge.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:45AM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:45AM (#608580)

          The IRS is equipted with AK47s, right?

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:07AM (4 children)

            Dunno. They sure bought a hell of a lot of ammo over the twenty-teens though.

            Regardless, try not paying your taxes and see what happens. I guarantee you'll meet up with armed men wanting to imprison or kill you, depending on your reception to the idea of imprisonment.

            --
            When responding to comments, please do not use phrases like "just how stupid can you be". Some take that as a challenge.
            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:32AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:32AM (#608602)

              The flat tax seems like a good option, paired with probably a few other things. Know why we can't easily play around with such models? The insanely rich don't want to rock the boat.

              • (Score: 2) by Zinho on Tuesday December 12 2017, @06:28PM (2 children)

                by Zinho (759) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @06:28PM (#608845)

                I thought the problem was that legislators from the Democrat party consider a flat tax "regressive", and prefer the current system of tax percentage increasing with income?

                As I understand it, the reasoning goes that poor people are already spending the largest fraction of their income (compared to the middle class and the rich) for essentials like food, housing, and transportation. There simply isn't much left for them to give taxes from. A flat tax would spread the class divide further.

                --
                "Space Exploration is not endless circles in low earth orbit." -Buzz Aldrin
                • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:28PM (1 child)

                  by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:28PM (#608905) Journal

                  I thought the problem was that legislators from the Democrat party consider a flat tax "regressive", and prefer the current system of tax percentage increasing with income?

                  Interestingly, many plans that claim to be a "flat tax" are some of the most deviously *progressive* systems I've ever seen. Basically, you do a flat tax with an exemption -- for example, you might pay a 50% tax rate, but pay no taxes on the first $50k earned. So if you earn less than $50k, you pay nothing; if you earn $100k, you pay 25%, if you earn ten million, you pay 49.5%. That's the best proposed tax plan I've ever seen, assuming reasonable values for the exemption and percentage. Wipe out all other exemptions and brackets and replace the whole tax code with one simple equation -- taxes owed = (total income - 50k) * 50%

                  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @10:41PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @10:41PM (#608989)

                    That's no longer a flat tax.

                    It's a two-bracket progressive tax.

                    You might as well do away with income taxes at that point and use sales taxes, with exemptions for basic necessities such as food and medical items.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:14PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:14PM (#608743)
        • (Score: 2) by https on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:55PM

          by https (5248) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:55PM (#608924)

          It's OK if you don't want to be a citizen, you do you better than anyone. But you really should be honest with yourself (and others) about it.

          You are mistaking government for business. This is the fundamental error made by neoliberals, neocons, and fascists. While both normally deal with money and services, they have different reasons for existing. I repeat, money is a different raison d'être than service.

          --
          Offended and laughing about it.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:36AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:36AM (#608569)

        + Monetary transactions involving a bank or credit union (FDIC)
        The FDIC is funded by bank premiums not taxes
        + Own a house connected to a municipal water supply
        + Own a house connected to a municipal sewer line
        Paid through user fees not tax
        + Own a house with trash/recyclable pickup service
        Paid through HOA for private pickup

        Do I need to continue?

        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:59AM

          by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:59AM (#608638)

          Maybe where you live. Not where I live. Rates and taxes all the way.

          --
          Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:24AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:24AM (#608622)

        Right idea but your number is WAY off.
        It's more like 99.95 percent.
        The current threshold is $5.5 million--or $11 million for married couples. [google.com]

        Reactionaries (who consume the crap coming out of Faux Noise|Breitbart) like to call it The Death Tax.
        (Dead people don't pay taxes.)
        A better name would be The Spoiled Rich Kids' Tax.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @07:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @07:23AM (#608666)

          The trouble isn't just that.

          It's that it amounts to a corporate giveaway.

          If it's a family where the assets are mostly liquid, they shrug their shoulders, take a short term loan secured with some bonds or something, and pay it off. Done.

          The real screwups are the land rich/cash poor family farms that aren't incorporated, and get torn up. This is an actively supported mechanism for breaking those up because of a pro-corporate bias in the government. The families have to sell their single major asset at firesale prices, or go into deep debt (that will probably break them) just to satisfy the tax man.

          I'll support estate taxes the very nanosecond they force all corporations to pay the exact same taxes, at the exact same rate, every 30 years as counted from their date of incorporation. Non-profits and co-ops as well.

          Until then it's a pro-corporate shakedown and we shouldn't support that.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:33AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:33AM (#608651)

        + Put your kids into public school

        I recommend not doing this regardless of your political views, because our public school system is an absolute abomination. Private schools are usually not much better. Homeschooling and self-education is preferable, if you put in the effort. Even people who receive a low-quality education about evolution because their parents are religious loonies might be better educated in other areas.

      • (Score: 2) by AndyTheAbsurd on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:43PM

        by AndyTheAbsurd (3958) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:43PM (#608733) Journal

        + Purchase alcoholic beverages from a liquor store (FDA again AFAIK, but I could be wrong on this one)

        Just so you can get it right next time: Bottled alcoholic beverages fall under BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives). The fact that booze falls under BATFE is why your alcoholic beverages aren't required to have nutritional information labels on them. (And of course alcoholic beverages served at restaurants fall under what local departments inspect restaurants in that area.)

        --
        Please note my username before responding. You may have been trolled.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by caffeine on Monday December 11 2017, @10:40PM

    by caffeine (249) on Monday December 11 2017, @10:40PM (#608500)

    What is the bet that the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (Fairr) plans to made a tidy profit from taxing guilt.

    I think the finance sector is having a negative impact on society. We should set up an investor network to promote a tax on the finance sector.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:47PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @10:47PM (#608505)

    We tax the hell out of booze - so people make their own.

    Meat is surprisingly easy to produce if you're at all a creative sort. Rabbits? Chickens? Even the humble guinea pig? And let's not forget aquarium fish.

    And if you think that people are motivated for booze, just wait until you start cutting at their meat sources.

    Oh, and then of course all the CSAs out there just fattening a few steers. Where do they get them? *jeopardy theme music plays* Why, Alex, I'll take the dairy industry for $400. And if you think you have a fight on your hands now, wait until all the paediatricians point a finger at you for cutting off one of the top supplies of calcium for growing kids, for trying to tax the crap out of the dairy industry. Not trying to tax the dairy industry, you say? Bad news, chums, part of the reason that milk is so affordable now is precisely that they can sell their byproducts (i.e. surplus calves) at a decent rate.

    Seriously, this is just a wealth of unintended consequences waiting to happen. Are they going to give tax breaks to the poor for staving off diseases of malnutrition? Or is pellagra just part of a brave new world now? Did somebody tell these mental giants how much plant material you'd have to produce and distribute to replace the meat sources of amino acids? Or micronutrients?

    And what's good for a latte-sipper in a cubicle is radically inadequate for a field labourer. Historical records counting things like the caloric allotment to soldiers a couple of hundred years ago amounted to over 3,000 dietary calories daily. Put that in Richard Simmons's pipe and smoke it.

    And even if you just stuff your fingers in your ears and ignore all the dietary and economic consequences, what do you think will happen politically when entire regions that have strong meat economies, but are unable to produce much in the way of desirable plant products, find themselves in the economic crosshairs? This is practically tailor-made to alienate them. Good luck telling them how much you love them all over again.

    Yeah, the Good Idea Fairy's fingerprints are allllll over this one.

    If I hated the hell out of the democratic party, I'd be champing at the bit for them to champion this cause. As it is, I think that they have too much good sense.

    ... I hope that they have too much good sense.

    I doubt the republicans are that stupid.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:05PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:05PM (#608520)

      I doubt the republicans are that stupid.

      "I find your lack of faith, . . . disturbing." Shou-hsouuuh, shou-hsouuuuw.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:19PM (#608528)

        Good point.

        Rephrase: I doubt the republicans are unaware of which side their bread is buttered on this topic.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Monday December 11 2017, @11:27PM (1 child)

      by bob_super (1357) on Monday December 11 2017, @11:27PM (#608530)

      > Are they going to give tax breaks to the poor for staving off diseases of malnutrition?

      This is the US. The poor die because they are lazy people who make bad choices. Cut my taxes, and I may give some money to my church, so after its brand new high-tech building is done, what's left may help feed some of the white poor. The black poor get "meat" in Jail, the brown poor will get meat once bulldozed back into Mexico.

      (/s for Poe's Law)

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by infodragon on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:22PM

        by infodragon (3509) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:22PM (#608806)

        You are giving to the wrong church if that is the case! The church I go to/give to/volunteer time to is in an old building, we don't have a paved parking lot (we've been saving donations for that specific project for years.) We put on big meals as often as we can to help out the homeless and working poor. We operate a bus to bring kids in, for most of them it's the only time the ever see anybody care about them! Feel free to ask them, after a couple generations of kids bused in the numbers add up and their stories are both inspiring and soul crushing! We also sponsor an addition program that I personally volunteer for, we've been helping long before the opioid epidemic entered the public consciousness. Those are the highlights, there are many more where that came from!

        We also send money abroad to help out some extremely destitute, organizations with 3%-5% overhead (volunteers who care make sure the resources go where they're supposed to go.) The worst of the worst in the US live like kings compared to what I have personally seen in Honduras. Take a drive from San Pedro Sula to La Esperanza, I dare you! There are many places in the world worse off than that!

        If your church is building big shiny palaces it's not church, it's a country club with a religious theme that should never be granted non-profit status.

        In short if you're going to give money to any institution, do your due diligence!

        --
        Don't settle for shampoo, demand real poo!
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Gaaark on Monday December 11 2017, @11:09PM (6 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Monday December 11 2017, @11:09PM (#608521) Journal

    I'd like to see a tax on junk food, used to bring down the price of raw fruits and veggies.

    'Real' food is more expensive than junk food, and this is wrong. It makes eating junk the food of the poor. Pricing junk up above veggies would make it more cost effective to feed your family decent food.

    #TwinkiesTax!

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channelling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:47AM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:47AM (#608632)

      I don't find that to be true.
      It's been quite some time since I paid more than $0.50/pound for veggies|fruit.
      ...and in that case it was an elective choice; there was other stuff cheaper.
      I often get produce for as low as $0.20/pound.

      At Thanksgiving, the price of canned veggies gets good.
      I picked up some 14oz/15oz cans for $0.37 (quantities limited).
      For most of the year, the best price I can find is $0.49--and a portion of what's in the can is water.

      Processed/junk food is definitely more expensive than buying whole food in the produce aisle.

      ...and it hasn't been mentioned yet but meat is not necessary for good health.
      The only nutrient you can't get from a plant-based diet is vitamin B12.
      An egg or dairy product now and then can supply all you need.
      (Your body is amazingly frugal with the B12 it gets.)

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @07:30AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @07:30AM (#608668)

        Incorrect.

        You can get B12 from various plant-related, most notably some fungal sources.

        The problem is you can't get enough for the whole world. Not if you flattened every forest in Canada.

        We could go vegan, worldwide, tomorrow. A lot of people would just plain die of malnutrition, that's all.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @10:27AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @10:27AM (#608688)

          I've heard that myth and I went looking for corroboration.
          I didn't find any.

          What I did find, instead, refuted the myth.

          B12 in Plant Foods - by Jack Norris, Registered Dietitian - Last updated: October 2015 [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [veganhealth.org]
          plants have no B12 requirement for any function, and therefore have no active mechanisms to produce or store B12. When B12 is found in them it can be due to contamination which is not reliable.
          [...]
          no fermented plant food in Western countries has been found to contain relevant amounts of vitamin B12 analogues

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:34PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:34PM (#608776)

            Try again.

            http://www.southmill.com/mushrooms-myth-facts/ [southmill.com] (April 2016)

            Even if you think that's too low an amount, it's a hop, skip and jump in breeding terms from being adequate.

            The bigger point: B12 isn't the real problem in the sense of some insurmountable challenge. It's a sideshow compared to the agronomic reality of production quantities of plant-based nutrients versus world population.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:37PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:37PM (#608778)

            Fungi are not technically plants, so that might account for the discrepancy between what you and the parent AC are arguing about.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungus [wikipedia.org]

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:24PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @08:24PM (#608900)

              The point that the researcher in my link was making is that production of B12 by a CO2-breathing non-animal would be an investment in resources with zero return for the organism.

              ...and any B12 found in|on a non-animal is contamination (from an animal source).
              From the AC responder's link:

              The majority of B12 is in the surface of the cup of the mushroom

              ...so, that appears to be settling from the air.

              There has also been speculation that microorganisms can produce B12 via fermentation.
              The researcher in my link investigated that and found no substantiation for that claim.

              ...and, if you were really old (as I am), you would remember a time when we were taught there were only 2 kingdoms: plants and animals.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:13PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:13PM (#608523)

    Eating meat in moderation is good for you. Taxing will only line someone's pockets and not much else. Look how much tax is on liquor and people still drink plenty of it.
    But if they're going to consider some eating habit a "sin", why don't they add a fast food tax. It will save the health system a lot of money.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:29PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11 2017, @11:29PM (#608534)

    Even if this were a good policy, which it isn't, and the assumptions were true, which they aren't, it's something that appeals to absolutely no one. Even self righteous hippies eat meat, or most of them do.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Hartree on Tuesday December 12 2017, @12:22AM

    by Hartree (195) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @12:22AM (#608554)

    Chicago enacted a "soda tax", ostensibly to discourage drinking all that horrible sugar laden stuff.

    Guess how long that lasted? (Especially when evidence was uncovered that it was done just to collect more revenue.)

    It'll be lucky to get out of committee, let alone last until the next election cycle.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/10/10/why-chicagos-soda-tax-fizzled-after-two-months-and-what-it-means-for-the-anti-soda-movement/ [washingtonpost.com]

  • (Score: 2) by chromas on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:08AM (3 children)

    by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:08AM (#608564) Journal

    Sin-tax error! Don't read on meat!

    • (Score: 2) by chromas on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:11AM (2 children)

      by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:11AM (#608566) Journal

      *tread. That'll teach me to proffread only once.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:51AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:51AM (#608582)

        Deed you aksoolly ment "thread"?

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by jelizondo on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:09AM

        by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @02:09AM (#608593) Journal

        That'll teach me to proffread only once.

        proofread: With some practice you'll get the hang of it.

        :-)

  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:57AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @01:57AM (#608587)

    Ultimately, to get to a sustainable population level, we should have a tax on air, similar to the property tax. Failure to pay results in forfeiture.

    Finally, an effective solution.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:18PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:18PM (#608746)

      Ultimately, to get to a sustainable population level

      You mean a level defined as "sustainable" by you or some bureaucrat? No thanks, now get off my liberty, and fuck-off!

      USA can easily sustain 10x it's current population at the lifestyle level of your hipster friends. But since no real person wants to live like this, we will just continue carrying on as we did before, and close the borders to the hordes who would turn this country into the same level of mess as where they came from.

  • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:00AM (1 child)

    by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:00AM (#608600) Homepage Journal

    In general, sin taxes are the correct reaction once a behaviour is deemed undesirable. People are very passionate about eating meat, so perhaps it is a bad example, as emotions flair. A better example could be the power industry: if society deems fossil fuel consumption a poor choice, taxing carbon sources is the best method of reducing this consumption. Subsidizing the alternative is costly and not sustainable. Creating artificial rules such as quotas or out right bans are prone to loopholes and abuses.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:53AM

      by Arik (4543) on Tuesday December 12 2017, @03:53AM (#608603) Journal
      "A better example could be the power industry: if society deems fossil fuel consumption a poor choice, taxing carbon sources is the best method of reducing this consumption."

      Utter nonsense. If society deems it a bad choice then society would enforce that judgement by social tools - ranging from ridicule to ostracism.

      Society is not an entity that levies taxes. That's government, an entirely different beast, which has the same relation to society that deer ticks have to deer.
      --
      - Sig not found. Self destruct initiated. Please clear the area.
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