What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Matthew Yglesias wonders why the government can't decide that those making yearly salaries in excess of $10 million are unworthy of such obscene levels of compensation and, in the service of "egalitarianism," couldn't simply apply "arbitrary limits" to tax away this excess wealth:

What if we had a 95 percent marginal tax rate on income over $10 million? What dire consequences would flow from this? Perhaps a certain outflow of top-flight baseball talent to Japan. But I don't see this leading to any kind of economic calamity.

Yes, what could possibly go wrong? And why, since 1980, has every country with a functioning economy lowered top marginal tax rates if there are no negative effects of massive government wealth distribution? Besides, says Yglesias, a confiscatory tax policy would be something of a relief to a great majority of the upper classes:

But my strong suspicion is that at the end of the day most of the super-rich would ultimately find it a relief to get off the treadmill of status-competition and the not-quite-so-rich would be thrilled to see their betters cut down to size.  

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  • emerson||

    What's wrong with this idea, Moynihan?

    If there's one lesson that economics teaches us, it's that incentives don't matter.

  • Ska||

    Yo, fuck Matthew Yglesias.(Apologies to Xeones, but I couldn't resist.)

    Alright, I know I'm not going to make $10MM a year (barring a fucking miracle) in salary. But really, other than my company's shareholders, why is it anyone's business? What if I own an S-Corp? Why the fuck should anyone be telling me what my fair wage is other than me and the people paying me?

  • Xeones||

    How about a 95% tax on stupid people? Matthew Yglesias alone could bail out California.

  • Xeones||

    Ha! Ska, i was typing that, and then i reconsidered. A man tips the hat.

  • Mike M.||

    You've got to admit, it's pretty clever of socialists like Yglesias to set the arbitrary limit at 95% instead of 100%.

    This way they can say "We're not setting a national salary cap. We don't want to confiscate ALL of it, just the overwhelming majority of it".

  • ||

    Not to insult the professional writers amongst us, but it looks like this boy has spent most of his life in the rarified atmosphere of liberal philosophy and has never actually worked a real job.

    I find his ideas amazingly easy to dismiss from mind.

  • wow||

    Yes and of course we should also cap the profits on private companies. Because of course we wouldn't want any small-business owner to get the idea that he could have a business that earns over 10 million a year.

  • ||

    But my strong suspicion is that at the end of the day most of the super-rich would ultimately find it a relief to get off the treadmill of status-competition

    We're talking about people who would brag about how deep their graves were dug; they'll never get off the treadmill of status-competition. Yglesias is a dope.

  • JP||

    emerson's post pretty much says it all.

  • ||

    My strong suspicion is that most of the "superrich" to whom he refers would like to see Yglesias strung up by his thumbs, and used for batting practice by Barry Bonds.

    I would.

  • creech||

    We're already on this slippery slope. If $10mm, why not $5mm? and so forth. The practical argument is, of course, incentives matter in investment and creation of jobs. A good number of Americans no longer care about the practical matters, and even fewer care about the morality of confiscating one's earnings in the name of equality.

  • ||

    Holy crap! Yglesias --- you're a genius! How come nobody's ever thought of this before?

    Oh... wait a minute.

  • ||

    But my strong suspicion is that at the end of the day most of the super-rich would ultimately find it a relief to get off the treadmill of status-competition



    The man went to Harvard in philosophy. After observing academia, does he not understand that status-competition can thrive even without being based on salaries? Japan pays CEOs less compared to average workers, but if you pretended that there was more social equality and less status-competition, I'd laugh.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Interesting post on Cafe Hayek today:

    "This tax-code provision [Sec. 162(m)] was created in 1993. It prohibits firms from deducting from their taxable incomes amounts above $1M paid to top corporate executives unless these excess amounts are compensation for meeting performance-based measures."

    http://www.cafehayek.com/hayek/2009/03/section-162m.html

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    What's strange isn't that you're hearing this argument but that you're hearing it now. The reason this recession is so awful is not that the poor and the middle class got hit -- that happens every time. It's that the rich got hit, and they're not spending nearly as much as they used to. If anything proves the basic idea of trickle down economics, this recession is it: Everybody's suffering because there's less trickling down from on high. How is it going to help to make sure there's even less money flowing?

  • ||

    "emerson | March 27, 2009, 4:32pm | #

    What's wrong with this idea, Moynihan?

    If there's one lesson that economics teaches us, it's that incentives don't matter."


    How is this true? Doesn't matter to who?

    Your post is meaningless.

  • ||

    But, Tim- don't you see? *Everybody* will suffer. And that's what's really important.

  • ||

    Jesoo Christo Moynihan, are you trying to get us off to a drinking weekend early this week??

    What a fucking lunatic. I don't want to live in his world.

  • ||

    Henry, meek sarcasm. Sarcasm, this is Henry. You two got some stuff you need to go discuss.

  • ||

    Henry,
    Ask you mother for a quarter so you can buy a clue.

  • Zeb||

    Just cap it at the federally defined poverty level. The rest can be distributed as needed.

  • ||

    I just don't get how it's at all moral to talk about taking people's property away by force. If a dictator took over America and made all the federal lands his own personal property, okay, I could see forcibly taking the property back. But someone who earned the property/money and didn't use force to acquire it?

    I know the leftist view is that wealthy people only get their money off the backs of the oppressed, but that's a lot easier to say than to prove. The fact that capitalism rewards jerks too much and critical workers not enough does not justify a system that rewards nobody but the political class. And, for the most part, people who strive to achieve financial success get it here, even if we can't all be multi-millionaires.

  • Henry||

    fair enough...my apologies if he was being sarcastic.

  • ||

    But my strong suspicion is that at the end of the day most of the super-rich would ultimately find it a relief to get off the treadmill of status-competition

    Yglesias is terminally clueless. A Jewish mother and a roll of quarters couldn't save him. Let's do the humane thing and pull the plug.

  • dotdotdot||

    It's simple, Tim. Since the superrich aren't spending, there is no trickle. The government therefore must force the superrich to trickle by seizing their incomes and spraying it around. It's like a golden shower for all of us!

  • ||

    It's truly frightening how good/clever/intelligent the Monty Python kids were.

    Every time I read one of these stupendously idiotic proposals to "fairly" [drink!] redistribute wealth, I am beset by a vision of John Cleese, in the guise of Dennis Moore, highwayman, standing in front of a group of stage coach passengers, fastidiously re-allocating their possessions.

  • ||

    I swear that the prevailing emotion for many on the left is the desire to see rich people be brought down. Not to elevate anyone or to achieve some sort of egalitarian state. Just to live in a constant state of schadenfreude, as Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, and anyone else who dared to make too much money are crucified along I-95.

  • ||

    But not kindly old Grandpa Buffett.

  • nicole||

    I don't and haven't read much of Yglesias, but I've seen several of his posts linked in recent weeks and it's been my highest level of exposure to him. And just about every one has been nauseating and frightening.

    For all the talk about the greediness of the rich causing the current mess, no one seems greedier or more covetous than the progressives and populists screaming for 95% tax rates. It's sick.

  • Frankenstein||

    Salary caps -- BAD!

  • ev||

    P brooks is correct. The Monty Python troupe were way too smart for their own world. Anyone who can make a joke about Latin grammar is brilliant. They, along with the Spinal Tap troupe are the most brilliant, ahead-of-their-time comedians ever.

    Anyway.

    "at the end of the day most of the super-rich would ultimately find it a relief to get off the treadmill of status-competition." That is so flagrantly bullshit I don't understand. Does he think Keeping-Up-with-the-Joneses is not real? Does he understand that people, on the whole, love status? Prestige? Acknowledgment? These things don't exist?

    What a fucking cockbite.

  • T||

    But not kindly old Grandpa BuffettSoros.

    FTFY.

  • ||

    I believe Yglesia has just set a new bar for impenetrable stupidity.

  • ||

    Yglesias should STFU and stick to the singing career.

  • ||

    Clicked too soon.

    Apparently, it has never occurred to him that anyone making in excess of $10M a year who actually wants to get off the treadmill can do so. Any. Time. They. Fucking. Want.

  • ||

    Frankenstein | March 27, 2009, 5:14pm | #

    Salary caps -- BAD!


    Um, yes. Blog post explain why.

    *torch*

  • ||

    But my strong suspicion is that at the end of the day most of the super-rich would ultimately find it a relief to get off the treadmill of status-competition

    All I ask is the opportunity find out personally.

  • Paul||

    The question to follow up with in these debates is always very simple. Why not $1 million? Do any of us know anyone who couldn't "get by" on $1 million? In fact, I would go as far as arguing $500,000. Who couldn't "survive" on half a million dollars a year? If Yglesias can't agree to that, then he's intellectually dishonest.

  • ||

    Tim Cavanaugh,

    No, what's fucked up is that this recession is living proof that in a free market the rich don't always get richer and the poor don't always get poorer.

    Rather, if we let them, sometimes the super-rich blow themselves up by lending all their money to poor people to buy houses with.

    It's the complete opposite of the argument that Marx makes that capital always only gets more concentrated in the hands of a tiny few.

    In this case, massive amounts of capital got dispersed into the housing market, causing a massive overbuild of housing, which has made housing prices vastly more affordable for millions of poor people, and wiping out millions of rich people.

    If we would allow these banks to go bust, it would be the greatest wealth-equalizing event in a century.
    But no, in fact it turns out that it's the socialists, of all people, who want to keep the rich from going bust! Because they suddenly decide that the world needs concentrations of capital after all!

    Implosions like this as the dynamic by which capitalism enables social mobility. If we would let it.

  • Paul||

    and the not-quite-so-rich would be thrilled to see their betters cut down to size.

    Cutting your 'betters' down to size? So, what the fuck is this guy talking about? So the economy now just comes down to the thuggish behavior of cutting someone you don't like down to size. What a Nazi.

  • ||

    I'm not one of those libertarians who is always singing about the Laffer Curve, but if you apply 90% taxation to the most productive members of society, it would be brutal to gov't revenue. A tectonic shift by these people from a focus on income generation to tax avoidance would be quite ugly for those who believe this would be a positive for tax revenue.

  • ||

    R C Dean,

    Indeed. For all of those making more than $10 million/year, please, let me ease your suffering. For a nominal fee, I will gladly offer my professional services to relieve you of your excess funds. After years of studying the masters of Western and Eastern philosophy, I have the inner strength and stoicism to endure the horrible pain of great wealth.

  • Paul||

    Implosions like this as the dynamic by which capitalism enables social mobility. If we would let it.

    Nope, Obama isn't going to allow capital to mobilize it, he's going to make it mobilize. From your bank account to AIG's. But I hear Obama is outraged...OUTRAGED at the $165 million in bonuses. And he's going to Do Something About It just as soon as he finishes wiring another $22 billion to AIG.

  • Doug||

    I like the idea that the popularity contest winning government officials know better than the superrich (generally the most competent managers of money by definition) how to dispose of wealth in excess of $10B.

    I don't agree with the priorities of the Gates foundation, I think they could handle more fundamental problems in Africa and distort their healthcare system significantly less.

    BUT I know that Gates will do more good with his and Buffet's money than the government would.

  • Paul||

    I'm not one of those libertarians who is always singing about the Laffer Curve, but if you apply 90% taxation to the most productive members of society, it would be brutal to gov't revenue.

    Starve the beast, I beleive is what the progressives call it.

  • Paul||

    Starve the beast, I beleive is what the progressives call it.

    Shit! Yglesias is on to something! TAX THE $10 MILLION NOW! I'm on board.

  • ||

    Mmmmm. Hope. It sure is voracious, ain't it?

  • ||

    Either we are free, or we are not free. We either own the product of our own labours, or we do not.

    And if we are not free, and the just reward of our efforts negotiated to mutual benefit in an open marketplace are extracted from us at the point of a gun to be given to others against our will, then we are by definition slaves.

    Whether slaves to corrupt and monied men who force labour, or slaves to those unable or unwilling to make their own way makes no difference.

    Man's natural state is freedom. Any system or institution that seeks to subvert that is unworthy to exist, and should be thrown off by any reasonable people.

    I'm paraphrasing a bit, but..

  • mark||

    If anything proves the basic idea of trickle down economics, this recession is it: Everybody's suffering because there's less trickling down from on high.

    That can't be true. I work for a company that sells products only rich people would consider, and it's going gangbusters right now. I think people are suffering because of mis-allocated capital or something. Don't worry, we'll all be suffering soon when our FRN's turn out to be worth a whole lot less and the prime rate starts hitting double digits. Also, what Hazel Meade said.

  • Mari Dupont||

    Yglesias' blog is where my libertarian "no barriers to entry" principles break down. My newly revised policy is that unless you have held a non-journalist job in the non-academic private sector, you are forbidden to ever write about tax policy, business incentives or psycho-economics.

  • anon||

    corruption would be rampant, for one thing... talented people will find a way to be paid, on the books or off. The competition will just shift to non-monetary compensation - graft, perks, cheating, etc.

    Of course the main reason the government would like this is because it makes people more likely to have to compete in such non-monetary terms; graft, perks, privilege, muscle - the well connected in government already have a corner on those markets. Knock the market-based capitalists down a peg, turn them into cronies.

  • ||

    the not-quite-so-rich would be thrilled to see their betters cut down to size.



    Ah, yes. Now the trees are all kept equal, by hatchet, axe, and saw...

  • ||

    Henry | March 27, 2009, 4:55pm | #

    "emerson | March 27, 2009, 4:32pm | #

    What's wrong with this idea, Moynihan?

    If there's one lesson that economics teaches us, it's that incentives don't matter."

    How is this true? Doesn't matter to who?

    Your post is meaningless.



    He was making a joke...its meaning was to make people laugh.

  • ||

    The problem with starving the beast is that the pilferers will simply re-define rich down to $5m, then $2m, then $1m, then whatever you've got on you.

  • ||

    I hear Hazel Meade

  • ||

    He forgot to remind everyone to declare the pennies on their eyes.

  • ||

    M. Chaney, nice nod to Rush.

    Pro Lib, I dont know if vengeance is the prevailing motive on the left, but it is right up there, I'm sure. I harbor some of it myself, and we all know how I am generally level-headed.

    anon, you said: "corruption would be rampant, for one thing... talented people will find a way to be paid, on the books or off. The competition will just shift to non-monetary compensation - graft, perks, cheating, etc."

    There was a list on the morning news of congresspeople that have taken campaign contributions from employee pacs of bailed out companies. In february.

  • ShelbyC||

    I sure hope Matt doesn't need a heart operation on the day after his surgeon hits the $10 million mark.

  • ||

    Why does he assume that the average rich person is as consumed by status and envy as he is?

  • Moorlock||

    "And why, since 1980, has every country with a functioning economy lowered top marginal tax rates if there are no negative effects of massive government wealth distribution?"

    Your syllogism here presumbably being:

    * Every country with a functioning economy lowered its top marginal tax rate

    * Every country's tax-regulating authorities enact their policies to effectively and consistently reduce the negative effects of their massive government wealth distribution

    *** Ergo...

    Put explicitly like that, it makes Yglesias's comments look pretty reasonable in comparison.

  • LarryA||

    I'm not one of those libertarians who is always singing about the Laffer Curve, but if you apply 90% taxation to the most productive members of society, it would be brutal to gov't revenue.

    That's your problem. You think taxes are to raise funding for government programs. They aren't. The purpose of taxation is to "encourage" (force) the peons to act the way government knows is best for them.

    The technical term is "social engineering."

  • ||

    I think rather than wasting time with Iran, Obama should make rapprochement with the rich. Leftists can release their anger and dance in joy and peace with the wealthy and the capitalistic. At long last, America can purge itself of its guilt and pursue wealth and economic hegemony over all the good little boys and girls of the world.

  • ||

    Apparently, it has never occurred to him that anyone making in excess of $10M a year who actually wants to get off the treadmill can do so. Any. Time. They. Fucking. Want.

    Or relocate themselves and their businesses to a country not run by fucking morons.

  • Jason||

    Or donate to their Congressmembers' campaign fund for a little consideration in the tax bills...

  • Brandon||

    It's little wonder so much diarrhea flows out of this man's mind. I count 10 different multi-paragraph entries posted to his blog after 11:44 PM today. Who can produce that much content in one afternoon and have much of it come out intelligently?

  • MNG||

    "And why, since 1980, has every country with a functioning economy lowered top marginal tax rates if there are no negative effects of massive government wealth distribution?"

    I keep looking at this sentence, and I keep wondering, what the fuck is it saying? Can someone explain simply what the fuck this sentence is saying? Thanks

  • MNG||

    As the House Liberal now that joe is gone, I'd like to say that I have no earthly idea who the fuck this guy is Moynihan feels the need to periodically abuse. Really. Who is he?

    As to the man point, I think any serious liberal since Rawls would think it is daft to do what he is saying (what good would come of it?), though of course we would apply a progressive tax to any such income earners.

  • ||

    why, since 1980, has every country with a functioning economy lowered top marginal tax rates if there are no negative effects of massive government wealth distribution?

    Because, in every country with a functioning economy, the wealthy enjoy significantly disproportionate political power, and thus skew tax policy in their own interests.

    I dunno, seems pretty obvious to me.

  • anarch||

    Tim, a perceptive man once said (in a Cherman eggsent): "Nobutty mindz to suffuh a liddle bid, so long ez ze ozzerz don't heff it too goot."

  • ||

    MNGAs the House Liberal now that joe is gone, I'd like to say that I have no earthly idea who the fuck this guy is Moynihan feels the need to periodically abuse. Really. Who is he?


    Um yeah, that guy Mathew Yglesias, total nobody.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Yglesias

  • ||

    A couple of posters have alluded to the rich going elsewhere if their taxes are too high.

    It does happen.

    Even the modest - modest in Yglesias' terms - differential in taxes in the upper range between Canada and the United States has produced a huge flight of capital and talent from Canada to the US.

    Whenever I question my left-leaning acquaintances "Would you rather receive (in taxes) 30% of $1 million or 40% of nothing?" the usual response is "nobody should make that much." In their minds, being wealthy is equated with being evil.

  • ||

    And why, since 1980, has every country with a functioning economy lowered top marginal tax rates if there are no negative effects of massive government wealth distribution?



    Er... bribed legislators? By the people who have the money to bribe 'em? It's not like they don't take 'donations'.

  • Brad Fults||

    Creepy Atlas Shrugged nostalgia.

  • ||

    in re P Brooks

    My favorite Dennis Moore quotes:

    "This redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought"

    "It's absolutely pointless if you are going to cheat"

  • ||

    Or relocate themselves and their businesses to a country not run by fucking morons.

    Er....looks at map...ummmm....

    Monaco? Are inbred morons OK?

  • ||

    How about a 95% tax on stupid people? Matthew Yglesias alone could bail out California.

    While the idea of parting a fool with his money is appealing on some level, I doubt that this particular fool has very much money to begin with.

    -jcr

  • The Bahamas, and many other ju||

    Welcome, rich Americans! We love you here, come enjoy the beaches and the banks. Our government officials know which side their bread is buttered on.

  • ||

    Um yeah, that guy Mathew Yglesias, total nobody.

    The wikipedia page you linked to would certainly support that description.

    -jcr

  • JB||

    Let's start getting real about this. Obama is a dickless fuck like Yglesias unless he institutes a 90% tax on Democrats.

    It's about time those good-for-nothing fuckers started paying their share and putting their money where their mouths are. They constantly whine about how taxes are not high enough. Fine, they can have their wish and pay higher taxes. Any registered Democrat gets taxed at a 90% rate.

    Fucking hypocritical cunts.

  • Craig||

    It's not often that the grasping, greedy leftists show their cards so openly. Don't forget it -- they want your money, because they want to spend it. "Over $10 million" or "over $250,000" or whatever is just a warm-up, so they won't scare off the more weak-kneed among them.

    Tax slavery must end.

  • ||

    Yglesias grew up in Manhattan, went to an elite private school, then Harvard, and now works in DC as a writer. His experience is about as typical as a Rockefeller. He might have a different view about competition and money if he had gone to some crappy public school, got beaten up regularly, and fought his way up. At least people like Megan McArdle or Barack Obama have known failure and struggle.

  • Ryan||

    I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned, but we have done this before. When JFK took office the top marginal rate was 90%. That lion of the left cut that rate to 70% (!)

    The result: the top earners share of federal taxes rose from 11.6% to 15.1%. (Not sure how "top earners" is defined here, just grabbed stats quickly from link below.)

    http://www.heritage.org/research/taxes/wm327.cfm

  • ||

    Here's a question for the Yglesians out there in the bolognasphere:

    What about lottery winners? Who (aside from Paris Hilton, perhaps) could possibly be less deserving of large sums of money than lottery winners? They probably used money more appropriately spent on their babies' nourishment than to buy tickets for a get-rich-quick scam. Lottery winnings should be taxed at ninety-nine per cent!
    Or more.

  • ||

    I always thought someone with a better grasp of fiction writing could come up with a neat story about a world in which the people must live their lives exactly as they tell others how to live theirs. I bet we'd have far fewer hypocrites and more people would become libertarian-minded.

  • ||

    Is'nt Matthew Yglesias the MOST OVERRATED BLOGGER EVAH ?? Pardon the all caps indignation, but if there is one blogger who consistenly raised the question "why the fuck does this guy have this much name recognition"? ,it has got to be him.

    If there is one blogger on the left who gets consistently called out for his incredible stupidity it has got to be him - i cannot the remember the number of posts that i ve read where people demolish his hare brained arguments ( I have NEVER read Yglesias directly).

    When i see people like Yglesias, i always think - why God why ? why does this idiot get paid so much money for his idiocy and no one else does. It is unfair i say - confiscate his wealth and distribute it to all other idiot bloggers who dont have his name recognition.

  • ||

    I always thought someone with a better grasp of fiction writing could come up with a neat story about a world in which the people must live their lives exactly as they tell others how to live theirs. I bet we'd have far fewer hypocrites and more people would become libertarian-minded.


    I think it would be interesting to have a game where everyone gets to say exactly what they would do if they were dictator of the world, and then get other people to critique it. Chances are, 99% of the people would absolutely hate everyone else's perfect world once they got into the nitty gritty of specific rules and such. Couse, you would have to force the participants to come up with the details covering every aspect of life.

  • ||

    Hazel

    FWIW, if I were dictator of the world, I'd tell everybody to fuck off and find their own answers to problems.

  • ||

    This philosophically immoral idea should be rejected outright. On a practical level it fails as well. Lets institute this tax in 2010 and see how much is collected. Then lets look at 2011 and so on. The "take" will diminish as the most productive stop bothering to produce, find new ways to restructure or evade, or simply leave for friendlier economic climes. We will all become poorer. Morons like Yglesias believe that the host will tolerate parasites year in and year out.

  • ||

    MNG sez As the House Liberal now that joe is gone

    And thus you will stay until the head of the House gives you a piece of clothing.

  • B||

    Hell Matt, what could go wrong you douchebag. I mean, what says liberty and freedom more than making a person work more for the government than he does himself.

    These people are unfuckingbelievable. Why do so many people take seriously the notion that the government is entitled to take whatever the hell it wants, with no limits, out of your paycheck whenever a majority of 535 people in Washington say so? And they call this freedom? These people don't have a fucking clue.
    This is the kind of bullshit "logic" that will eventually cost the Democratic Party their majorities, once again.

  • B||

    "I keep looking at this sentence, and I keep wondering, what the fuck is it saying? Can someone explain simply what the fuck this sentence is saying? Thanks"

    It is a typed sentence. It can't speak thus it is not saying anything. Besides, you are too fucking dumb to understand anything that isn't bashing the jews anyway.

  • ||

    Hey guys lay off of Henry. I read Emerson's post and thought he was serious, too. Since I don't post here very much I didn't pick up the sarcasm either. You never know with the commie trolls lurking around. They say the dangdest things....

  • ||

    I wonder if a 95% marginal tax rate is the hope and change that Hollywood leftists and the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett were looking for?

  • ||

    Actually, I could see where having the Democrats seize on this idea and promoting the heck out of it would be a wonderful idea--if you want a Republican landslide in 2010, that is. Trying to snag those bonuses with bogus targeted taxes is shady enough--if the Democrats tried to bring back the 90% tax bracket it would effectively write every Republican attack ad between now and November 2010--and the attacks would continue even after the inevitable abandonment and shunning of the idea by saner minds. As dumb as Harry and Nancy are, I suspect they're not dumb enough to cut their own throats by endorsing Little Matt's economic illiteracy.

  • ||

    I wonder if a 95% marginal tax rate is the hope and change that Hollywood leftists and the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett were looking for?

    Dammit, don't you see that this simply cuts the compensation of Manny Rameriz and A-Rod down to what they actually contribute?

  • TallDave||

    What do you expect from the guy who calls Atlas Shrugged a "stupid book" with "stupid ideas" from a "stupid woman?"

    Matthew Yglesias is a moron.

    But my strong suspicion is that at the end of the day most of the super-rich would ultimately find it a relief to get off the treadmill of status-competition

    Dear God, who ties his shoelaces?

  • ||

    I think I've had enough of this tone deaf conflation of what's really happening here. The caps on salaries apply to government funded corporations and no one else. When will the laughable dishonesty of you Ayn Rand lunatics end?

  • ||

    oh, and Ayn Rand was terrible writer, a worse philosopher, and a perfectly hideous cult leader. But she was one of the world's greatest smokers.

  • D.R.M.||

    Yglesias-suggested marginal federal tax rate: 95%

    Ontario-and-Canada combined top marginal tax rate: 45.11%
    BC-and-Canada combined top marginal tax rate: 48.65%

    Consequences:

    Toronto Stock Exchange replaces NYSE, NASDAQ.

    "Vancouver" replaces "Hollywood".

    "Ottawa Valley" replaces "Silicon Valley".

    Alberta replaces Texas as center of world oil business.

    CFL replaces NFL as dominant North American football league.

    Toronto Blue Jays and Expos meet in the World Series every single year.

  • ||

    Hey guys lay off of Henry. I read Emerson's post and thought he was serious, too. Since I don't post here very much I didn't pick up the sarcasm either. You never know with the commie trolls lurking around. They say the dangdest things....

    One of the things we like to do around here is create spoof trolls that mimic what an actual left-liberal commenter might say, yet subtly parody them at the same time. This art has gotten so finely honed that at times, it becomes difficult to tell which ones are real and which are fake. Take daveychuck, for instance.

  • ||

    A 95% rate? Why let the evil rich escape so lightly? Let's have a 110% rate, and if that doesn't work, a 150% rate, until equality is reached. See beyond 100%, comrade!

  • ||

    CFL replaces NFL as dominant North American football league.

    I might start watching football, again.

  • ||

    What always gets me is how these people refuse to read even their own history. Lefty heroes are usually the noisiest in their dash across borders when their take is threatened by taxes (from the Beatles leaving GB in the late 60's to Bono leaving Ireland to Alec Baldwin now threatening to leave NY), though by the time they clue in the smart money has already left.

  • ||

    Who make more money but work (practise) less than baseball players?

    Right!!! Obie's good friends in Hollywood! I wonder how much BS is going to give to Uncle Sam to redistribute from her latest farewell concert tour.

  • ||

    "no one seems greedier or more covetous than the progressives and populists screaming for 95% tax rates."

    Ain't that the truth.

    Somehow they can't see the definition of greedy and covetous is to take money one didn't lift a finger to earn from someone who spent 80 hours a week and gave up who knows what to acquire?

    Well, those "progressives" (progressively using their political power to steal more and more from the productive parts of society) probably think they did work hard and earn it. They won the election, after all.

  • ||

    Yglesias cannot honestly be that stupid.

    People with money spend a lot of that money to make more money - often with new businesses. This creates jobs. Spending any of it at all creates and preserves jobs.

    I know this, you know this, Yglesias knows this. The problem is that he and his fellows simply think this is wrong, due to both the zero sum fallacy (and resulting cries of "unequal distribution of wealth") and the disproportionate power the wealthy may have the ability to exercise.

    When it comes down to it, they're willing to burn it all down and drag the world into poverty to correct the "injustice" of it all.

    I'm not having any of it. There is nowhere left for freedom-minded people to go; I'm standing my ground and fighting. If they insist on turning my country into a socialist banana republic, then one group or the other will not be around to see the end of it.

  • TallDave||

    Yglesias cannot honestly be that stupid.

    Oh, trust me, he can.

  • rhhardin||

    It's that the rich got hit, and they're not spending nearly as much as they used to. If anything proves the basic idea of trickle down economics, this recession is it: Everybody's suffering because there's less trickling down from on high.

    That's not trickle-down; it's not dimes falling from the pockets of the rich.

    Trickle-down is the fact that ditch diggers working with heavy equipment earn more than ditch diggers working with shovels.

    The difference is capital, and capital is extra money, and extra money is what the rich have.

    If capital goes on strike, as today, then trickle-down stops.

    It's not consumption spending by the rich, which continues just fine.

  • ||

    socialist banana republic

    Now what on earth could this mean? How many banana republics do you know of that are also socialist?

    The term "banana republic" more aptly applies to what GOP rule gave us... rule of, by, and for an elite clique whose power depends on keeping the peons uneducated.

    The problem with our form of capitalism is that the idea that you can come from nothing and become fabulously wealthy via your own strength of will is a big lie. It takes lots of capital--or the ability to borrow lots of it--to make money. Not hard work, but preexisting wealth. That may be somebody's idea of a fair, pragmatic capitalist system, but not mine.

  • JB||

    Tony,

    You are absolutely clueless. How did Bill Gates build his wealth?

    People rise and fall here all the time. I know plenty of kids who grew up lower middle-class and are now doing well. I also know plenty of kids who grew up well-off and now don't even have jobs and are struggling.

    You just want to make excuses because you are lazy and project your laziness onto other people. You get all in a tizzy over poor people, but instead of actually doing something about it, you get online and spout because you get off on it.

  • ||

    Haven't we been here before? Didn't the US and Britain have top marginal rates in the 90% range? Didn't the lowering of those rates to current levels lead to the greatest economic expansion in the history of the world?

    Why does the left get to be the smart ones when they never learn?

    BTW: Yglesias will feel better when those who don't "deserve" they're pay because they are not as "worthy" as he, get brought down. Makes socialism look like a childish reaction to communal envy.

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