Thursday, April 14, 2011

Taxing fat cats

I see that the country is returning, once again, to the debate over taxing the rich. Many of the folks who live for this issue are the same ones who couldn't care less about abortion. "Are we, or are we not killing hundreds of thousands of humans every year? Yawn--who cares, what a bore." This is precisely my attitude about taxing fat cats. Really--25 percent, 45 percent--who gives a shit?


  1. 1) Property rights beyond homestead are, second only to national territory, artificial constructs of the State -- hence are the primary source of government cost. They should be paid for by those serviced.

    2) There is an enormous conceptual and moral difference between liquid and illiquid property valuations. The non-homestead property valuation that is liquid (mark to market) is the primary determinant of how much expense the state must invest in the protection of the property right. The difference between the liquid valuation (mark to market) and the illiquid valuation is essentially the entire value of capitalism.

  2. You have an excellent point that it makes no sense to cry about an orphan with brain cancer when the Holodomor is going on. Still, I suspect much of your attitude here is that the same people who support taxing the fat cats tend to be in favor of abortion, and vice versa.

    But there's no logical connection between these issues--some ideologies, like Catholic social thought, are in favor of taxing fat cats and banning abortion, and some, like libertarianism, are in favor of doing neither. (I'm actually quite fond of many of Chesterton's arguments, in fact.) And we know you have feelings about issues other than abortion--immigration, for example, which also threatens to do great harm to this nation.

    Here's why I think taxing the fat cats is worthwhile. As Steve's said, the upper and upper middle classes don't suffer much from immigration, and find all those cheap gardeners convenient. Concentration of wealth allows the wealthy to buy access to government officials--campaign contributions, etc. The more wealth the middle and lower classes have, the more power they have (even if only because the wealthy have less), and the harder it is for, say, millionaires to exercise control over the Sierra Club when it wants to restrict immigration.

    I'm convinced that devolving power downward would result in more immigration restriction--most people who can't afford to hire a gardener agree with you.


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