[extropy-chat] Tax Burden Gap
mlorrey at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 20 22:36:18 UTC 2004
They need it. Think of all the plastic surgery, status symbols (cars,
watches, jewelry, clothing, etc) they need to buy, and the agents they
need to pay for to keep up their life styles...
--- Kevin Freels <megaquark at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I would like to take a moment to recognize the huge gap in cincome
> the beautiful and the ugly. Attractive people do have higher incomes.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Matthew Gingell" <gingell at gnat.com>
> To: "ExI chat list" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 1:02 AM
> Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] Tax Burden Gap
> > J. Andrew Rogers writes:
> > > Class mobility, a function of wealth rather than income, matters
> > > least as much as the distribution, as this is what provides much
> of the
> > > motivation to dare great things.
> > Social mobility is a function of the ease with which individuals
> > accumulate wealth - it's the integral of net income with respect
> > time, plus or minus a constant for what an individual starts off
> > with.
> > We can look at income distribution in terms of how many people
> > been able to achieve great things, that is take it as the end
> > of the analysis rather than the initial condition. How many
> > opportunities for advancements exist on various points on the
> > distribution: Do we have a society in which most people find it
> > possible to improve their lot somewhat, or do we have a
> > winner-take-all society in which enormous rewards accrue to a few?
> > If nothing else, I think it should be pretty clear that our
> > steep income distribution curve suggests something peculiar is
> > on with our allocation of human capital.
> > > Very wealthy people contribute a lot to society by being able to
> > > risk very large sums of capital on things that interest them,
> > > including many things that the government will neither have the
> > > will nor the interest to fund regardless of merit. This money
> > > builds the companies and pays for the research that generates
> > > majority of the technology we enjoy today.
> > A wealthy society with a healthy economy will find useful ways to
> > employ its wealth, regardless of how it's distributed. My pension
> > fund is every bit as interested in a diverse portfolio of risk /
> > reward tradeoffs as is the Rockefeller family fortune.
> > > The engine of innovation is powered by private capital, and one
> > > thing history has shown is that in hindsight most government
> > > "innovations" were either unnecessary, expensive, or
> > > irrelevant.
> > I don't see how this assertion relates to the rest of your
> > but it's true as far as it goes. (With lots of qualifiers for the
> > provision of public goods, funding activities with positive
> > externalities, etc.)
> > > If you have nothing but a middle class, who provides the capital
> > > required to have a strong economy?
> > The market provides the capital. In any economy wealth is going to
> > seek a return, and the banking system and financial markets will
> > ways to offer it. That's true whether "wealth" is million checking
> > accounts or a single trust fund.
> > > The irony is that progressive income taxes destroy class
> > It would indeed be ironic if it were true, but it's difficult to
> > a sensible case that it is.
> > Matt
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"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-William Pitt (1759-1806)
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