ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Economics, Business and Finance
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 12th August 2018, 11:51 PM   #1
AlaskaBushPilot
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,001
Economics and Taxation in Religious Communes

I have had occasion to look at different religious communes, ones that are successful in gaining tax exempt status from their local government right up through the feds.

Hutterites, Amish, Menonites, some ghastly examples like Jim Jones or I suppose the giant Scientology.

As I understand the requirements, you have to pool your money. You can't have a fake religion that is really a trade society to evade income and property taxes. You work, and instead of earning a market wage you get a really nominal allowance for toothpaste and razors.

You work as assigned by the religious leaders and incomes from church operations are allocated by the church authority. It might be elders, it might be a charismatic leader or an LDS patriarch with a hundred children.

But the important thing is the tax advantage. No property tax, state or locally. No income or sales taxes. The church is going to build your house for you or provide the housing. The food. The rich entertainment, bible study morning noon and night!

The average burden on US workers is 36%. So in terms of all the wages that get pooled together in the commune, you have 36% more of it to spend on commune construction or furnishings or more to invest in Church corporate operations and investments.

The U.S. average is a 24% rate for corporations. So again, this is a tremendous advantage for profit, reinvestment, and growth.

In a community such as the Hutterites, they're doing corporate farming, some for use in the community and some for trade. They're hard workers and don't drink or do drugs so they are very productive. The Heaven's Gate people were working on computers. Regardless, none of your trades will be taxed.

One of the drastically different things in these communes is children starting working much earlier. Regardless of how a person feels about it emotionally, what strikes me is the tremendous increase in labor productivity.

These are small settlements scattered widely all over the country, many different sects. But small enough to police for those shirking work and civic duties. You attend a barn-raising or the preacher excoriates you on Sunday.

In very rough terms, a little society's population is going to be about 1.5 times more productive towards after-tax community income, I'd say. Easily.

I have not really thought about how powerful an incentive this is. No wonder they have no problems with food or provisions, dentists and doctors, clothing, housing, care of the elderly, etc. The ones with any kind of work ethic at all.

Now, here's the problem. The money looks real good. The problem is the religion. That looks really, really bad. So no thanks.

Last edited by AlaskaBushPilot; 12th August 2018 at 11:54 PM.
AlaskaBushPilot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th August 2018, 05:33 AM   #2
Drewbot
Philosopher
 
Drewbot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,341
We have a large Amish community in Clare county, Michigan, we see the barn raisings on Saturdays, quilt sales along the roads, fresh pies.

What most don't know about, is the drug sales.
They can grow things on the back 40 that no one knows about.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2-amish...for-drug-deal/

I wonder what the tax implications of Amish Uber are...
http://www.wnem.com/story/38813253/a...with-his-buggy
__________________
"I dont call that evolution, I call that the survival of the fittest." - Bulletmaker
"I thought skeptics would usually point towards a hoax rather than a group being duped." - makaya325
Kit is not a skeptic. He is a former Bigfoot believer that changed his position to that of non believer.- Crowlogic
Drewbot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th August 2018, 08:05 PM   #3
AlaskaBushPilot
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,001
That's pretty crazy!
AlaskaBushPilot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Economics, Business and Finance

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:46 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.