Why Progressive Taxation?

Discussion in 'Economy' started by PoliticalChic, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    In another thread, the interesting dichotomy came up, one group of folks stating that an individual's money is not really his, but shared with the government, while others compared taxation with theft, and the government to thugs.

    Well, taxes are, as the old saw goes, as ineluctable as death...

    ...but should they be progressive...is that a bad choice of words? OK...graduated depending on income?

    1. Professors at the University of Chicago law school, Blum and Kalven examined and found very little support for progressive taxation as “the possible rationale for desiring to lessen economic inequalities within the confines of a private enterprise and market system,” and found, on the contrary, that since there have been enormous increases in wealth, even among the poorest, and yet the issue of inequality has become more outspoken, “It initially appears that what is involved is envy, the dissatisfaction produced in men not by what they lack but by what others have.” Blum and Klaven, jr., “The Uneasy Case for Progressive Taxation.”

    2. The argument is advanced based on a) improvements in the general welfare, and b) allowing the degree of inequality results in injustice between individuals.


    a. Whose ‘general welfare’? Instead, the welfare of one group is improved at the expense of the welfare of another group. What are the additional benefits that the wealthy receive for the surrender of wealth?

    b. As to the injustice between individuals, this presupposes that the income of the wealthy is undeserved, in the sense that it was due to factors such as monopoly, fraud, duress, and chance. First, these charges must be supported, and then, some correlation shown between the amount of such income and the rate of progressive taxation. Otherwise, the implication is that all persons with large income had the same proportion of undeserved income…


    3. Where in this discussion is the question of personal responsibility in achieving success or of the free market’s hand in distributing rewards? Or is the assumption that these factors don’t exist? Why not presume that the richer person merited his wealth?

    4. The explanation is that the weakness of the economic basis for the tax pales in comparison to the political basis.

    a. As government taxes more and subsidizes more, a greater portion of society’s wealth passes through its hands. Individuals and families have less income to dispose of as they see fit. “…redistribution is in effect far less a redistribution of free income from the richer to the poorer, as we imagined, than a redistribution of power from the individual to the State.” Bertrand de Jouvenel, “The Ethics of Redistribution,” p. 73
     
  2. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    Probably because serious audits of just how the wealthy come by their income would really find a great deal of corruption.

    That..and the founders never intended private industry to lead to an neo-aristocracy.
     
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  3. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    They really never intended taxation to be used as a tool of expropriation and redistribution.
     
  4. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    Probably not.

    And I am also pretty sure there were a good amount of them that never intended to let women and blacks vote or own land..but heck.

    Sometimes you roll with the punches.:lol:
     
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  5. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Probably not nothing...Otherwise they wouldn't have gone out of their way to make all direct taxes apportioned to the states for collection.

    The nonsense about blacks and women is non sequitur and a non-starter.
     
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  6. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Toothy, you are wrong on so many counts.

    1. I hope you read more than the title, because you haven't responded to any of the points....

    2. The vast majority of millionaires earned their money, they didn't inherit same....unless their name is Kennedy.
    I'm assuming that the same is true of the 271 billionaires in the country. BTW, the next closest nation has about a score of billionaires.

    Imagine how rich you could be if you set your mind to it, rather than belly-achin' about other folks.

    3. And here is where liberals and conservatives seriously part company.....you guys always think the worst of others. "probably....would find.....blah, blah, blah..."

    BTW, they have this new thing, you seemingly never heard of...the IRS?
    Sort of obviates your point.

    4. "...private industry to lead to an neo-aristocracy..."
    An aristocracy is based, usually, on hereditary status...and, as I pointed out in #2 above, that is not the case in the US.

    5. I hope you can get your mind around this: taxes is - are?- what keep folks from becoming rich....see, one is taxed on earnings, so if you own lots of stuff, like stocks, you aren't taxes on it- them?
    Taxes hurt those trying to become rich, not those who made it already.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  7. WorldWatcher
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    WorldWatcher Gold Member

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    >

    Personally I greatly dislike the whole system we've saddled ourselves with.

    If I were emperor of this country I'd scrap the whole IRS, scrap all the tax laws, scrap the deductions for this, the credits for that, the exemptions for something else. Scrap the hidden taxes when the same thing is taxed multiple time at each stage of production, tax revenue for the government that the average consumer doesn't even know they are paying.

    Replace it with a Constitutional Amendment that would bar all levels of government from instituting any kind of property, income, or hidden taxes on everything.

    Each level of government would be allowed exactly one tax based on end user, a sales tax. One Federal tax, one state tax, and one local tax. That's it and merchants would be required by law to print each separately on the receipt so citizens would know exactly how much of their money goes to each level of government.



    >>>>
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  8. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    The problem with your theory is that they had to amend the Constitution in order to collect the income tax. If the founders had been smart enough to see an aristocracy arising out of private wealth, and had intended to prevent it, they would not have prohibited direct taxation.

    Just saying.
     
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  9. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    Balzac said it first and it was just as false then, as it is now.

    no, they didn't , ( your use of aristocracy here is a hoot too) they didn't really believe in royal and/or classist wealth, it was that whole Locke, Rousseau thang......upward mobility driven by individual merit, not feudal style handouts, you know, and whiz bang stuff like that...hello.
     
  10. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    Why progressive taxation?

    Because there is an enormous amount of randomness in life.

    "Work hard and you can own a BMW. Work hard and be lucky and you can own a Gulfstream." - Nassim Taleb.
     

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