Monday, October 22, 2007

Time for Another Boston Tea Party?

It seems that Robert Reich, the former Labor Secretary in the Clinton Administration has proposed a redistributionist tax strategy for "the rich:"

What’s fair? I’d say a 50 percent marginal tax rate on the very rich (earning over $500,000 a year). Plus an annual wealth tax of one half of one percent on net worth of people holding more than $5 million in total assets....If the Democrats stand for anything, it’s a fair allocation of the responsibility for paying the costs of maintaining this nation.

Reich calls it a fair allocation, I call it highway robbery--taking 50% of someone's money at gunpoint (and face it, that's what the government does, don't believe it? Try making a lot of money and then not pay tax on it and see what happens) is basically theft. It's not fair allocation, it's not "redistributionist" strategy, it is theft, plain and simple and it should be illegal. Sure, I'll go along with citizens having some obligation to pay a modest share of taxes (what about the fair tax to accomplish this?) to pay for roads, national security and other government necessities but the idea that one can be taxed at such a high rate deserves a swift and severe response from those in this country who believe in economic freedom; luckily there are some people out there who realize this type of tax is more than about money, it is about the freedom to practice one's profession without penalty for success. A commenter at Megan McArdle's blog points out:

....Let's face it. A patent attorney makes big bucks because there aren't that many folks that are very good electrical engineers or PhDs in chem/bio, plus have a law degree, but the market demand for good ones is very high. Supply is tight, demand is high. Same for other highly paid professionals.

Between the two of us (my partner and I), we make close to $500k/year. But we both came from lower middle class families (we both worked our way through school and had huge student loans...our families too poor to help), so it isn't like we're "fat cats."

You start banging us any harder in taxes, we'll quit working so hard. Might just say "f--- it" and retire. We won't be the only ones. That'll make our talents even more scarce and increase the wages of those that remain.

Moreover, what is the incentive for a young kid today to work like a dog, go into debt to learn the skills needed to provide what the economy needs so badly as shown by market wages.

And we'll sit here and wonder why China and India leap ahead of us and our economy/standard of living stagnates....

Another dissenter at McArdle's place has the right idea:

I'd sell my business and retire (at 42) if such taxes were enacted. I'd forfeit my citizenship and move to Ireland or the Cayman Islands, too.

Where is Milton Friedman when you need him? Is this a premonition of what is to come if the Democrats are in power? I sure hope not or it may be time for another Boston Tea Party of sorts by those of us who believe that economic freedom is imperative to a free society.


Blogger rdkraus said...

Face it. Reich is just being honest about what Democrats want to do. They think your stuff is their stuff to do with as they please.

10:47 AM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

And to think the Boston Tea Party - and the whole American Revolution - was over a tax level far below what us regular shlubs pay now.

Tea, anyone?

11:26 AM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger MikeT said...

The reason that Americans put up with these abuses is our wealth. Americans mistake our high standard of living for actual freedom. In fact, I think that is quite possibly the biggest mistake that most libertarians make. Being able to go out and buy a lot of cool gadgets, have a few cars, own a home and all of that--that's not freedom. An accomplished engineer or lawyer in China can do all of that too, but we would never mistake their life for freedom, now would we?

11:38 AM, October 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are "free" to move about within the confines of our country (although not so much anymore) and to basically live and work where we please (although not so much anymore).

Free? Not so much anymore. Elect all democrats across the board, let them regain and hold absolute power, and we will have much less over time.

To each his needs, from each his ability. Just what in the hell does anyone think that really means, anyway?

Like Jefferson said, a little revolution every now and then.....

12:16 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

There's a reason Ron Paul is able to hang in the Presidential race, and it doesn't revolve around his position on Iraq.

12:19 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger roger said...

I don't like to hear this "tax the rich" stuff so do not get me wrong here.

I am no expert on taxes or economics. It seems to me that someone earning a million a year compared to me earning $65,000 are most likely using more resources and using more infrastructure than me.

This is why I never saw anything wrong with progressive taxes. You are not punishing people for being successful but, having them pay for what they use getting there.

Also, clouding what seems fair is the fact that if the million dollar earner gets 50% taken away, he has 500,0000 left. Almost 10x what I had before taxes.

I know these are simplistic observations but, it is part of the situation you are dealing with when you argue about what is "fair."

Like I said, I am not on the "tax the rich until they are dead" side, especially when "progressive" keep lowering the threshold of what is means to be "well off." I just need someone to explain why my simple way of looking at the issue is wrong and how we determine the correct balance.

1:28 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger serket said...

Where is Milton Friedman when you need him?

Rolling in his grave.

Then you have a Democrat proposing a gas tax hike. Plus I wonder how much taxes will be raised to pay for free healthcare. I have no idea how the DNC has convinced people that they are for the poor. Perhaps Cham can explain why someone wealthy or otherwise would vote for the Democrats from an economic perspective.

Miket, you make good points. I heard we have the highest corporate tax in the world. It is amazing with these socialist tax policies that we are still so wealthy. I imagine it causes people to think raising taxes is good.

2:22 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Joseph said...

"It seems to me that someone earning a million a year compared to me earning $65,000 are most likely using more resources and using more infrastructure than me."

I wouldn't assume that. They're driving to work, just like you. They shower, just like you. They book a flight, just like you. If they use more gas -- they already pay for that. If they use more water -- they already pay for that. If they fly first class -- they already pay for that. What extra resources do you think they'd be using?

"If the million dollar earner gets 50% taken away, he has 500,0000 left. Almost 10x what I had before taxes."

And half of what he had before taxes. Why bust his butt to earn $1,000,000 when he could take a far less stressful job to just earn $500k in the first place? You want to leave rich people every incentive to do whatever they do that makes them so valuable. At least, I do.

Just because someone earns a lot more than you do is no reason to take their money. Even if you leave them with far more than you have, you've still taken away a large portion of what was theirs. That doesn't sound very "fair" to me.

If you earned $75k, would you want someone earning $25k to take away 1/3 of your earnings? After all, you'd still be earning twice as much as them.

2:58 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...


If the rich guy makes $1 mil and you make $50,000, and you pay $5,000 in tax and he pays $100,000, is that unfair? The amount of public infrastructure they use is probably very close to the same as you. But at it's heart it's a moral issue. If you take a gun and rob a rich man, is it fair? Why is it suddenly fair if 50% of Americans agree with you to rob the rich man? Don't get me wrong, we need some taxes, but if we limit government to public goods we would be spending less than 15% of GDP on taxes instead of close to 40%. At that level, we wouldn't need any income, capital gains, or payroll taxes.

It can be done. Our country had no direct taxation until 1913 and we did very well for the first 137 years. Since then we've had a Depression and massive inflation.

2:59 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


I am not really sure what you mean about people making more money using "more resources and infrastructure." What if a person is a writer or working on their computer at home using no gas and little in the way of resources. What if it they use less resources etc. than you? According to your taxation theory, then you should be the one paying more in taxes if what you pay is based on what you use.

And the truth is, the people making the top incomes are already paying almost all of the taxes in this country. People who don't make much don't pay much if anything except for SSI and Medicare and only 7.5% if they are employed as their employer pays the rest.

3:28 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Danny said...

Does these punitive ideas come from Mr Reich, becasue he is angry about his stature? Does anyone think that mabe this desire to punish the rich i s a reaction to his suppressed anger?

3:48 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger dadvocate said...

government necessities

Part of the problem is that the definition of governemt necessities has gone way beyond necessities.

Don't forget all the hidden taxes on gas, tires, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and God knows what else.

highest corporate tax in the world

I don't know if we do or not but corporations don't pay taxes. Consumers pay taxes. Whenever the government raises corporate taxes, the corporations simply pass the extra expense onto the consumer.

miket does make a good point about China. No matter how you dress it up, how many flowers you plant or bright paint you use, a prison is still a prison.

3:51 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger David said...

I think the reason we're hearing more populist rhetoric like this is a general feeling that social mobiity has been reduced. The guy making $50K will have a very different outlook on these topics if he believes that he, or his kids, have a realistic shot at $200K some day.

I'm not sure how much of the perception (that social mobility has been reduced) is a reflection of reality versus just a perception. I do think that the insane level of credentialism that has been developing is a major inhibitor of mobility. If people need a masters degree for a job that once required a HS diploma, it puts a lot of people out of the game.

4:45 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

I think most Americans wouldn't recognize China as a prison if they were wealthy. The American Dream isn't to be free, it's to have material wealth, and a lot of Chinese and Indians are returning home these days.

4:46 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger roger said...

(If this comment is repeated, sorry, I though my second comment got lost. It is too long anyways. Summary: I believe "trickle down economy" is the proper model, just hard to argue in some circles).

Thanks, those are some of the comments I want to hear. I am trying to point out why it is hard to get sympathy from the lower and middle class and even upper middle "progressive" and so easy for tax hikes to get passed.

Helen et al., your probably right about the writer example.

I think what I mean by resources and infrastructure is, using a successful writer like Steven King for an extreme example, is that wealth does not get created out of nothing.

Books are printed by converting trees, water, mineral etc., transported on our highways, promoted, book tours made, stores stocked etc.

Overall I understand that all the people employed because of Mr. King's success probably works out best for the economy; however, King and his publishers do get the lion's share as individuals and appear to have benefited the most from all those converted resources. It makes them easy targets for taxation.

The "works his ass off" kind of arguments, although valid, don't really work well because many people feel they work hard and do not reap the same rewards as others.

I guess what I wanted to hear was someone to explain the "trickle down" economy in a new way that did not have the same negative connotation that I could use when dealing with the "tax and spend crowd."

I am on the same page as most of you but, I am missing some footnotes

5:05 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Northernal said...

This is also known as the 'Subdivide America' plan because it would force many owners of large rural properties to subdivide and develop in order to pay their taxes. Those who are close to large cities or in areas that are otherwise highly desirable would be especially vulnerable. So if you hate that undeveloped land you pass by on the way to work and would really like to see a new subdivision or a mall there instead, then you should support this tax.

5:44 PM, October 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tax money is confiscated before one even receives his paycheck. Every sales and usage tax one pays after that, is paid with money that has already been taxed. At the middle of April, we fight like hell to keep what we can, one more time. And if we don't know the ins and outs, the government gleefully takes us to the cleaners. I know this is not news to anyone, but it still infuriates me. Confiscated S.S. money that is guaranteed to be there, was long ago put into the general fund, and won't be there. The Government is incapable of handling its monetary affairs. Yet, they make up the [financial] laws we must all abide by. What a hoot. What a shame. What a crock!

Hating the rich and re-distributing income bothers me. There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. We all get that, rich or poor. What one does with that time is up to that individual. 3% of the population, on average, has a library card. It's free! The contents of a library are free to borrow! The cumulative knowledge of mankind is at hand, free!
There are librarians there to help you, if you don't understand the Dewey Decimal System. Free!

All men are created equal. After that, it's up to each and every one of us. The reason one is rich, one is poor, one lives in a huge house, and one lives in an 8x10 cell is what's between his ears. Always has been, always will be. Emotional IQ as well as intelligence IQ.
A fair tax is a killer idea. If it's fair. That is, as long as fairness is not the same as beauty, being in the eye of the beholder.

I am far and away from being wealthy. I believe in paying the goose that lays the golden eggs. It is good to help those who cannot help themselves. Food, clothing, roof over the head, help to get back on your feet. Then the "training wheels" need to come back off.

My, all of a sudden, I feel much better.......

6:18 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I'd rather somebody tell us why the rich seem to be getting richer at a much faster rate than everyone else. The richest 1% earned 21.2% of all income in 2005 up from 19% in 2004. Americans in the bottom 50% of wage earners saw their share of income shrink to 12.8% down from 13.4%. It can't be that the poorer group is getting lazier and working few hours. It won't be long before the only group having any income worth taxing will be the very rich, everyone else will be living in a cardboard box.

6:51 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Who is living in a cardboard box? Even the poor in this country have cars, TV's and a roof over their head. What we call poverty here is anything but.

7:26 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

As I said, it won't be long before. Can't wait to see what happens when the energy companies jack up the rates again this winter with everyone teetering on their credit card debt.

8:20 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger tomcal said...

I'm already there. The only high income people paying the taxes are those who love what they do so much that they would pay to do it.

I don't love my job that much. As soon as I've got a comfotable time cushion, I go back to my humaniitarian activities, which I enjoy, but which don't produce much revenue for the gov.

1:19 AM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger Bruce Hayden said...

The reason that the rich are getting rich faster than any one else is because they contribute more at an increasing rate.

This sounds a bit elitist, but it is reality. I read a book recently called something like The Winer Take All Economy, and it pointed out that in many areas there was less and less room for those almost as good, as our economy goes national and global. It used to be that every county could somewhat support a couple of reasonably good signers. Now, that money is going national, to the best at that level, leaving little left at the local level. The pyramid is getting steeper for this reason.

But this isn't universal, or rather, its effect varies a lot depending on the good or service. Thus, it is esp. egregious for entertainers, but much less so for providers of services that are by nature fairly local.

The other dynamic is that the bulk of wealth is being earned through education and brains. The best and the brightest contribute more to the economy than anyone else does. It is not surprising that a lot of the really rich in today's society made their money in high tech, bringing previously undreamed of goods into our lives. Bill Gates is one of the richest man on the planet because his company was able to provide usable computers to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

And lest you think that they should pay extra for being allowed to do this, keep in mind that many of these people do much more for humankind than if the government had a lot more of their money. For example, Bill and Melinda Gates through their foundation are likely to do more to eliminate Malaria in Africa than anyone else or any government or agency. Similarly, Paul Allen has been funding any number of innovate ideas, including backing the X-Prize for space flight. The reality is that many of these people have much more money than they could ever dream of spending, and as a result are spending it intelligently to better our world - much more intelligently than any government could.

3:22 AM, October 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this very blog it has been stated, and agreed with, that Americans have more leisure time than in times past. What gets done with that leisure time? Watch "blah - blah of the rich and famous?"
Post our anger and confusion on blog sites? (self deprecating humor!)

A high school graduate comes away with enough basic knowledge to learn how to work a 9 to 5 job. Not how to create 9 to 5 jobs for others. That comes from somewhere else, doesn't it? Ford started in a garage. Jobs and Gates saw a desk top in every house before I even knew what one was. Wait.....there wasn't one! Apple started in a garage too. Did high school teach them that? The difference there is Jobs wanted to control it all. Gates let someone else build the capital intensive part, and concentrated on the software to run it all. Looks like that was the better idea. It also created MANY more jobs, than Jobs' ideas. Many more millionaires, too. The fact that Apple is a much better desk top than an IBM clone doesn't seem to matter. Huh. Gates was a college drop out. But I digress.

The amount of knowledge one needs to know today, multiplies in a matter of a few short years. People with jobs requiring higher education still need to stay on top of things. In what I do, not that it requires genius, because it doesn't, I still have to stay on top of changes. To keep the manufactured products we have current, and adapt them to more modernized equipment, making needed changes and improvements to stay with it. Otherwise, bye-bye product, bye-bye job.

Long gone are the days one can graduate from high school (or not) and go to work for a company for life, make great wages, and retire well. Detroit, for instance. The answer to that, gimme more money, and benefits, or I'm gonna strike!
There was a time that was necessary, but how useful is it now, overall? The best welder in the plant doesn't get paid any more than the worst, if they have equal time in on the job. But if I own the company, I have to employ them both.

When a rising tide raises all boats, doesn't it take the price of a loaf of bread up with it? The "masses" end up no better off, just dealing with larger numbers.

Some people want more, and are willing to do what it takes to get more. Some people just have a passion, and a great idea, and the drive to make it all happen. Some people want more, but want more for doing the same thing over and over for years. Gimme. Some people spend 5 million dollars (or more) of their own money to land a $150,000 a year "service job", elected by those who want more, without having to give more, or make themselves worth more. That leaves me suspect. Oh yeah, they're in it for the people.

Am I brainwashed? Sure am. Brainwashed with the thoughts that it's up to me to better my life. For everyone to have the same, much must be taken from a few, and spread between many. That thin, nobody gets jack. Yeah, that's fair. That equal stuff? It's about opportunity. Perfect? No. Better anywhere else? Anyone can answer that question. Look to our southern border, your family tree.

That rich bastard has a mansion! A Bentley! A friggin' megayacht! Yep. Built by architects, engineers, carpenters, roofers, electricians, etc.(Gasp! private business owners!) Maintained by painters, lawn services, cleaning services, detailers, etc. What does the guy hollerin' "gimme!" do? Well, he's somewhere down the line, working for someone who owns a mansion, a mega yacht, a Bentley, or a small business. All the above have those same 24 hours, same 7 days. The difference is what's between the ears. How do you regulate that? What laws can make that equal? What laws, what type of government will ever make outcome equal?

Gee, waking up early and drinking a whole pot of coffee sure makes me mouthy.

6:41 AM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger Patrick said...

I like Dr. Helen's blog, and am fairly conservative generally, but taxes are an issue in which I do not quite "get it." Let me explain my flamingly liberal position:

If someone making 500K sees their taxes increase, all it means is that they must put off your purchase of a second home for a couple years. Not very painful. Their lifestyles still rock. Contrast this with someone working hard manual labor - if their share of taxes increase significantly, they must make real sacrifices, like less food or clothing or childcare. That is VERY painful. Progressive taxation seeks to equalize the amount of pain and sacrifice that each worker endures, not the amount of money.

Also, be honest, examples above of hard-working engineers with multiple degrees paying off student loans do exist, but are not that representative of the wealthy. A lot of the well off people I meet have inherited a boatload of cash, or have somehow made a lot of money through connections or luck or via the trophy-wife pathway. Sorry, that is my experience. I actually have no problem with people like Bill Gates having a lavish lifestyle, as they have contributed enormously to society. But to those readers who think that most wealthy have high IQs and high work ethic, unfortunately not.

8:15 AM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


I don't care if someone inherited millions and is sitting on their fat ass, no one has the right to rob them of the inheritence and distribute that to others without their say so. You and the government do not have the right to decide for that person that they do not get a second home etc. This is about property rights, the right to keep what is yours without it being taken from you by a government that decides it wants it. It doesn't matter how lavish one's lifestyle is or how angry and jealous you are that others have money. If you do your own taxes and look at what is actually paid by someone making little money, you will know that people who don't make much money do not pay much in taxes --in fact, with earned income credit, they can actually make money.

8:28 AM, October 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why manual labor is harder than mental labor and sometimes it seems like that's what the beef comes down to in these kinds of discussions. Sitting down and concentrating on a problem without getting up to watch tv and talk on the cell phone proves to be much harder than many people can manage.

Reminds me of the Bertrand Russell quote, "Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so"

"via the trophy-wife pathway"

I'd like to hear more about this theory that men get rich because they marry beautiful women. I thought it worked the other way around.

8:33 AM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

Bruce is right on one half of why the rich are getting richer. Think of a company like Coca-Cola or a star like Michael Jordan. If 3 billion people in China, India, and a few other nations are poor, they can't buy much Coke or MJ shoes. Once they become wealthy, the cost of making an extra Coke or another shoe is not a lot. The extra workers needed to make the products are going to get the same wages as everyone else. But the people at the top, the owners of Coca-Cola or Michael Jordan, can make a lot more money because they have more customers. Basically, there is more opportunity to be rich these days, if you work hard and have a good idea.

The other reason the wealthy are doing well is because of taxes and inflation. Obviously, one way to do better is to save a lot of money and invest it. Unfortunately, the poor are forced into a SS plan that does not invest money. Although the wealthy are taxed a lot, taxes get passed through to the consumer. Finally there is the cost of inflation, which one must be smart enough to invest around.

Finally, many Americans are making really stupid choices in their personal lives. Many "rich" households consist of a married couple who worked hard and saved. How many people choose to become single parents? How many fail to save, and worse, go into debt for consumer goods?

8:42 AM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger Radish said...

all it means is that they must put off your purchase of a second home for a couple years.

OK. But who the F are you to insist that they be forced to make that decision?

9:42 AM, October 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet Jesus. The answers aren't in Government schools. They aren't in taxing the rich. Most people are sitting on the right answers, standing on the answers.

How did Gates arrive at his "lavish lifestyle"? Brain power. Thought. Ideas. Action. Didn't Warren Buffet buy his first piece of property (a ranch) at 11 or 14, something? Is that evil - or smarter than the average bear? Paper route money!

Did I expect all that has occurred in my life? Naa. The good and the bad? Naa. Should someone else be forced to give up some of his income to me because of it? Naa.
I got ten bucks, I give a buck. He has 1000 bucks, he gives 100 bucks.
That's considered a "fair tax". I don't quite agree with that, but it's closer than what we have now.

11:00 AM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger Patrick said...


I was not trying to touch a nerve as much as I apparently did. If you want to attack progressive taxation from a purist libertarian standpoint, okay. However your rebuttal in no way answered the point I raised in my earlier comment: taxes paid by the wealthy reduces their ability to pay for luxuries, while taxes paid by the poor reduces their ability to pay for necessities. No, I am not a happy to pay an additional $10,000 in taxes, but would it crush me? Honestly, no.

By the way, I am in no way bitter that others have nicer lifestyles as I have a fairly nice lifestyle that I am quite pleased by. I make about 300K per year, which should impress exactly nobody, but I offer as information for you to interpret any bias I may have.

Re. the "trophy wife" comment I made earlier, I am referring to the fact that wealthy men tend to marry attractive women. So these women have a very lavish lifestyle not because of their hard work/brilliance/ingenuity, but because of their looks. Although over-the-top, cartoonish examples (ala Donald Trump) are not that common, lesser examples are ubiquitous. Just look around. I acknowledge that raising children is hard, but I am stunned by the number of women that once the kids are in school, feel no need to get a job.

Obviously there is a disparity of wealth in any free society -- I have no problem with that. In fact, as I read somewhere, I would not want to live in a society where cabdrivers make the same salary as surgeons, and I would sure as hell not want to have surgery in such a country. But I do have a problem when people toss the term "hard-earned" around too easily. Perhaps you should visit my neighborhood -- the only people working hard are the Mexicans doing the landscaping.

12:02 PM, October 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am stunned by the number of women that once the kids are in school, feel no need to get a job.

So you think that these women are exploiting men by not working and you are going to help these guys out by taxing them so much that they can't afford to support the women.

12:41 PM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger Patrick said...


I did not really explain myself properly in my second comment, duh. I was originally thinking of *former* trophy wives, now divorced, forever supported by the divorce settlement with no need to work.

1:17 PM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger serket said...

br549:A fair tax is a killer idea. If it's fair. That is, as long as fairness is not the same as beauty, being in the eye of the beholder.

The lower the income you have, the higher percentage of it that you spend, so it does seem unfair. I support the flat tax.

2:13 PM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger King Kull said...

I believe there is an adjunct to this tax discussion regarding growing 'income' disparity.

Folks generally agree that the rich are getting richer. But declining taxes of the last 20 years encourages more people to claim their treasure as 'income' to the IRS.

So how can we know how much of this 'income' is just redirected cash flow? If taxes on the rich go up, not only will some people just stop working so hard, the megarich will move their income somewhere else.

At least then everyone will feel happier because the income disparity statistics will come back into line. And the higher tax rates will help us all feel better that we're giving the rich what they damn well deserve.

2:15 PM, October 23, 2007  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Trickle down.

My son got a full ride at Rockefeller U. (University of Chicago).

In other words the Rockefellers and others who donated to U. Chicago put my son through school. He did them and me proud. Graduated with honors.

Nice trickle.

Our current rate of long term economic growth is 2.3% a year.

Not much eh? Think again the $25,000 a year guy will be making $75,000 (at today's dollar worth) in 50 years.

Suppose by lowering drags on the economy (taxes, etc.) we got that up to 3% long term. That would be $100,000 in 50 years.

Suppose we really cleared the decks and got it up to 4% a year. The $25,000 a year guy would be making $175,000 in today's dollars in 50 years.

Would inequality be worse? Probably. So what. The rich (if they want to stay rich) invest. The greater the capital investment the more labor is worth.

11:20 PM, October 24, 2007  
Blogger Patrick said...

I'm so glad I held on to my Irish (now EU) passport.

4:39 PM, October 28, 2007  
Blogger an unrepentant kulak said...

br549: Beautifully put -- thanks for that! Hope you don't mind my quoting you.

11:44 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Tim said...

Where do you get the idea that there are not many "Good electrical Engineers"? You must be one of the "Ultra-left wingers" that bitch about everything! Speaking of Taxing the hell out of the rich, its the rich that is supplying the jobs here in the U.S.! GET OVER IT!

6:18 PM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:02 PM, March 15, 2009  
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