Meaning of a 70% Income Tax Rate

Several Democrats have proposed a top income tax rate of 70% on incomes over $10 million.

Samuel Hammond argues that it is NOT about the optimal tax rate, soaking the rich, the rate in the past. It is a symbolic attack on the legitimacy of wealth accumulation itself.

Its goal is not about tax-fairness or raising revenue efficiently (which it fails at on both counts). Its goal is to popularize a strict egalitarian view of wealth accumulation as prima facie evidence of personal corruption. If that view catches on, it would represent a major setback in the public’s understanding of the differences, both normative and economic, between productively acquired wealth and rent seeking.

The Democratic Socialist’s economic model is Scandinavia. But we in the U.S. have our own economic model, and culture based on our own history. We are more individualist.

With the countercultural rebellions of the 1960s and 70s, followed by the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s, the left and right eventually reverted back to America’s historically more individualistic ethos of self-expression and entrepreneurship.

In Scandinavia, the dominant conformist zeitgeist is called the Law of Jante, a reference to a fictional Danish town that enforces being ordinary in every possible way. “Tall poppy syndrome” is perhaps the closest concept in American vernacular, although it doesn’t do the oppressiveness of Scandinavia’s egalitarian milieu justice. Excessive ambition is frowned upon while non-conformists are treated with suspicion, as illustrated by the expression, “You are not to think you’re better than us.”

The cost of this strict egalitarianism. In Scandinavia, the rich stay rich and everybody else is stuck. They’re economic opportunity is a snapshot frozen in time. Nobody can rise up because they are taxed too much to save anything that can be invested.

In short, Ocasio-Cortez’s focus on soaking the small number of Americans who make more than $10 million in a year has earned her socialist bona fides while ironically sparing — if not threatening to entrench — the closest thing America has an to emerging nobility. That’s not radical. Far from it. It’s conformism to the most mundane progressive politics imaginable.

We are Americans. They are trying to force 300+ million people to behave the way they deem worthy. No. Move to your utopia. Leave us alone. These people are tyrants and must be stopped.

Hammond’s piece here.

Default Economic Theory vs Austrian Economic Theory

Which explanation is more accurate?

Default:

The default market standard is a market working perfectly and peopled by rather dull individuals who can only respond to “given” market prices, wages, and interest rates – both currently existing and ‘rationally’ expected.

 

Austrian:

The default standard for Austrians is a market currently filled with all manner of errors, both of commission and omission, but populated by creative individuals who, although each has knowledge and information only very limited and local, identify opportunities to profit by arranging for markets to work better if never “perfectly.”

Can there be anything that is perfect? Of course not. But that is what the Default camp uses in their theories and economics courses. If does not reflect reality. There is a problem of limited knowledge.

Investment Creates Jobs

John Tamny:

 

Businesses don’t exist to create jobs. If readers doubt this they need only try to raise start-up funds with “creating jobs” listed at the top of their business plan. Lots of luck finding investors when your goal is costs, as opposed to returns.

Crucial here is that the desire for returns among investors is what indirectly leads to copious hiring. Workers enable the returns that entice those with means to delay consumption in favor of the investment without which there are no companies, jobs, and progress.

 

People need to invest first before jobs are created. Invest in start-up as above, themselves to enhance their usable skill-set, in ideas, innovations, physical structures, machines, processes, stocks, bonds.

Onward:

Up front, Lowry’s focus on wages is rooted in a surprising conservative belief that compensation has long been stagnant in the U.S. Ok, but if the latter were even remotely true then it would also be true that the U.S. would not presently be showered with imports from around the world. Stated simply, a law of economics (Say’s) embraced by conservatives disproves a popular conservative narrative of the moment. We’re only able to consume insofar as we’re able to produce first. That wages are supposedly stagnant in the U.S. is further evidence that the economic statistics followed by economists and pundits aren’t worth their attention.

Its the measurement of wages and income that needs fixing.

This one’s a keeper. Read the whole informative thing.

Elon Musk’s Achievements

Agree with Stuart Varney:

Elon Musk doesn’t give a hoot about what people think of him or say about him. He took a lot of heat for smoking marijuana on camera. He was ridiculed for his wild, middle of the night tweets. Lots of name calling because of his behavior. I think its time for a re-evaluation. I think its time to look at the man’s achievements, rather than his public image.

Like him, or not, Elon Musk is surely the prime example of a brilliant entrepreneur.

Amazon.com is not a Monopoly

A monopoly raises prices and provides mediocre service in a market with no competition. Amazon is fighting for sales, profits, and market share. It is competing against Walmart, Alibaba, and hundreds of e-commerce sites that specialize/focus on particular market segments, such as CB radios for off-road vehicles operates by small business owners.

Business Wire:

Amazon is offering a sneak peek of its plans for Black Friday and, with deals across 30 categories, there is something for everyone this holiday. Now through Black Friday, customers will find deals on items including toys, electronics, fashion, beauty, kitchen, sporting goods, and more, in addition to Amazon Devices and products from small businesses and entrepreneurs, at amazon.com/blackfriday. Customers can expect to find incredible deals across a wide selection of top holiday products throughout the duration of the “Turkey 5” – those five popular shopping days starting at midnight PT on Thanksgiving and continuing through Cyber Monday. Black Friday will feature more than 30 Deals of the Day and thousands of Lightning Deals. Customers will find new deals every day, all season long.

Discover all of the great Amazon Black Friday deals at amazon.com/blackfriday or shop anytime, anywhere with the Amazon App (to download, visit amazon.com/mobileapps from your mobile browser). Customers shopping with the Amazon App can also set Watch a Deal alerts to ensure they never miss out on a hot holiday product, and even use AR view, a new augmented reality feature, to view thousands of items in their space before they buy. Voice Shoppers can shop select Black Friday deals, starting as early as 5pm PT, Wednesday, Nov. 22 – just ask Alexa.

Obamacare was Not Designed to Fail

A conservative critique of ACA, aka Obamacare, is that it was designed to fail so Democrats could instead implement a single-payer health care “system”. Here’s a column by the respected Larry Elder.

I disagree with that view. ACA was the Democrats’ attempt at using government bureaucracy to administer health insurance and resulting health care. Democrats, following progressive ideology, do not trust the market process. Progressives believe they are smarter than the rest of us and can allocate resources better and fairer than market processes. Note also some conservatives believe this as well. People in government, whether (modern) liberal, conservative, or middle-of-the-road take simply cannot give up the power and control that government provides them. They could be in an elected or appointed capacity.

The market process consists of individuals making decisions, voluntarily interacting with one another in commercial transactions, trial-and-error, competition, choice, and experimentation. You can see from this description how some failures will occur with market processes. But it also allows for many more successes, inventions, and improvements.

If health care cannot be administered by government bureaucracy while letting some limited individual decision-making as the ACA allows, it certainly cannot be distributed by freed market processes. Its too important. Government has to completely take over.

But the Democrats have been pushing, with some Republican help, for bureaucratic administration, which consists of unelected government employees issuing rules and regulations that do not have to be implemented legislatively. Adding language in legislation gives the appropriate government agency the rule-making power.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is one such agency. It reports into the unelected bankers at the Federal Reserve.

 

Let Democrats Make Case for GOP Tax Cuts

Huh? John Tamny starts off with a story about Kentucky Fried Chicken in Ghana:

“The food is just…When you taste it you feel good.” Those are the words of Daniel Awaitey, a 27-year old Ghanaian.  He was talking to New York Times reporters Dionne Searcey and Matt Richtel about his favorite restaurant in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.  That restaurant is Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Me: Is this what Democrat’s mean by equality:

In a perfect world every American, and certainly every American politician, would read about Daniel Awaitey.  He comes from a country that’s long been defined by equality in the sense that most have been equally poor in ways that the most destitute Americans couldn’t reasonably comprehend.

Tamny quoting Jeffery Tucker on McDonalds:

[T]he original McDonald’s was just one branch in San Bernardino, and the founders were too narrow-minded, squeamish, and lacking in vision that the situation proved ripe for a go-getting promoter like Ray Kroc to come along and franchise the idea.”

Kroc saw global possibility where McDonald’s originators saw a small business serving a tiny portion of America’s population.  Thank goodness Kroc envisioned what no one did, and better yet, acted on it.  McDonald’s didn’t attain a $100 billion market capitalization by exploiting people as much it got that way by virtue of serving the needs of a world desperate for a taste of much more than American food.

How do these quotes fit into the tax cut issue? Find out Here.