Taxation and the Rich

July 17, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

Earlier I wrote a post about Growth and Taxes in which I shared this graph


Now, I found a graph from Matthew Yglesias that shows the wealth of the very rich

Note again, when the rich are at their richest, bubbles form. When they are not, sustainable growth occurs.

Once again, tax the rich. Tax them at 50%. Pay off our national debt. Stay close to, if not above, the budget on an annual, consistent basis. We’ll have sustainable, manageable growth. Otherwise, we’re just gonna oscillate wildly once again with bubbles and their constant bursting.

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  1. One of Hugh Nibley’s favorite questions: how much is too much?

    “Having food and raiment,” says Paul to Timothy, “let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:8). We must have sufficient for our needs in life’s journey, but to go after more is forbidden, though you have your God-given free agency to do so. “Our real wants are very limited,” says Brigham; “When you have what you wish to eat and sufficient clothing to make you comfortable you have all that you need; I have all that I need.” fn How many people need to eat two lunches a day? We all eat too much, wear too much, and work too much. Brigham says if we all “work less, wear less, eat less, . . . we shall be a great deal wiser, healthier, and wealthier people than by taking the course we now do.” fn
     Approaching Zion, p. 235 – 236
      It should not take too much hard work to assure anyone of the makings of a lunch; but what is one to do after that? That is the question. Aristotle’s famous dictum in the Nichomachean Ethics I, that our proper function on earth is not just to live but to live well, to live as we can and should, reminds us that there should be no serious economic problems at the human level: after all, mice, cockroaches, elephants, butterflies, and dolphins have all solved the economic problem—their mere existence on earth after thousands of years of vicissitudes is adequate proof that they have found the secret of survival. Can we do no better than to dedicate all our time and energy to solving just that one problem, as if our whole object in life were simply lunch? “What is a man,” asks Shakespeare, “if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more. Sure he that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and god-like reason to fust in us unused.” fn And what is it to be used for? Those very popular how-to-get-rich books, which are the guides to the perplexed of the present generation, say we should keep our minds fixed at all times on just one objective; the person who lets his thoughts wander away from anything but business even for a moment does not deserve the wealth he seeks. Such is the high ethic of the youth today. And such an ethic places us not on the level of the beast but below it.

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