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March 28, 2009

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PD

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

It's always fun to decide for other people what they'd like.

Less fun to actually ask them, I suppose.

Elliott

I think Crown already has Obama under contract for a third book.

bad

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.

I nominate Matt to a spot in the Obama cabinet dedicated to providing that welcomed relief to the super rich while simultaneously filling the Treasury coffers to full and overflowing. Geithner needs help, right?

Yeah, that's the ticket!!

Fresh Air

Is it too early for Jonah Goldberg to stop calling this idiot a "smart liberal"? Julio isn't smart, even for a liberal.

Also, we need to pass a law that prohibits people who have never held a real job outside of scribbling or academia from commenting upon economics, management or finance.

God. I want to drive nails into my forehead after reading this tripe.


bad

Also, we need to pass a law that prohibits people who have never held a real job outside of scribbling or academia from commenting upon economics, management or finance.

Hell, Fresh Air, we need to keep those same idiots out of the White House.

verner

The thing that truly makes me howl every time I see Matt and others of his Journolist ilk commenting on how much working productive people should make, and how much tax they should dole out, is that not a single one of them would last a week at a real big boy job.

Heck, they can't even write a thought without first coordinating it with their 300 friends.

bad

Our very own Fascist Hyena was schooling libs earlier today over at Tapper. Maybee rocks as well.

LUN

verner

Here's who pays Matt's salary:
The Center for American Progress is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The institute receives approximately $25 million per year in funding from a variety of sources, including individuals, foundations, and corporations. From 2003 to 2007, the center received about $15 million in grants from 58 foundations. Major individual donors include George Soros, Peter Lewis, Steve Bing, and Herb and Marion Sandler. The Center receives undisclosed sums from corporate donors.

I think we should start that 95% rate on Soros, Bing, Lewis and the Sandlers first.

bad

I think it's hilarious that the uber cool, progressive young moron-listers have the same ideas for taxing the rich as my elderly mother, and the same understanding of the consequences of doing so.

Impressive

bad

Whatever his salary, he's greatly overpaid.

bgates

Wile Y Glasias, super genius.

Let's set a ceiling on income. That way nobody who is not already rich can ever become rich. Nothing says "commitment to egalitarianism" like creating a permanent aristocracy.

AL

One revealing thing to my American friends:

Only wide-base taxes, like 20% VAT and fuel taxes in Europe, or sales/consumption taxes in US could sustain wide safety net and socialistic re-distribution schemes. Income taxes on rich just does not cut it.

Point to note: Social Security in US is fueled by regressive and universal payroll taxes. That’s why it is working for last 70 years.

Jim Ryan

These are people driven by resentment to lie awake at night thinking about how they might control other people. In the morning they label their liberty-championing critics "fascists."

If you don't really have anything to offer society, there's nothing left for you but to draw up schemes for remaking society in ways that punish people you resent and use as pawns people for whom you have contempt. If you can persist in imagining that the schemes are for the good of the pawns, you never really have to confront your own resentments and uselessness.

PeterUK

The revolution is eating its children, Fancy Nancy's ratings take a hit.The public are turning on the Democrats on the very issue the Democrats sought to deflect blame - bonuses.

PeterUK

"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 super-rich giving it all up to become lighthouse keepers or goatherds was to be the subject of my new book.However,the work slimmed down from a book to a pamphlet,from a monograph to a paragraph.It seems the cook,housekeeper, maid,chauffeur,hairdresser,personal trainer,business manager,personal assistant,nail technician,laundress,makeup artist,masseur,forgive me if I haven't mentioned you,I love you all, wouldn' fit in the lighthouse,and the Prius couldn't get up the mountain to the goats.

PeterUK

"Is it too early for Jonah Goldberg to stop calling this idiot a "smart liberal"? Julio isn't smart, even for a liberal."

He isn't smart,even for a mollusc.

clarice

Good Morning, Mr. PUK. Isn't TM adorable when he's on a froth?

Verner:"I think we should start that 95% rate on Soros, Bing, Lewis and the Sandlers first" Nice thought but you can be sure there'll be some special tax dodge written in just for them about which Matt and the other Soros tit suckers will never comment .

Extraneus

It just dawned on me what all these lefty thug-wannabes, who always want to see someone "cut down to size," must have in common.

Cecil Turner
But I don’t see this leading to any kind of economic calamity.
Good grief. Can't he just ask somebody who was alive during the 60's? Or maybe a Brit? Or maybe just ask yourself some basic questions:
  • if you prohibitively tax income are you punishing the rich, or those who are trying to become rich?
  • if the plan is to balance the budget on the backs of those earning $10+ million with a confiscatory tax, how many folks are going to bust a hump for that 11th million?
And let's take a couple datapoints from the past on "luxury taxes" like the famous yacht surtax:
According to a study done for the Joint Economic Committee, the tax destroyed 330 jobs in jewelry manufacturing, 1,470 in the aircraft industry and 7,600 in the boating industry. The job losses cost the government a total of $24.2 million in unemployment benefits and lost income tax revenues.
And though not quite a tax issue, the recent "egalitarian" pressure against private jets is having similar predictable results:
North American private jet makers, from Bombardier to Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft, have announced thousands of layoffs as they report a lag in new orders and a rash of cancellations for the status-symbol company planes.
Aren't we all feeling a bit better off now? Or, wait, weren't those the "high-paying, high-skill jobs" we were looking for?

And you wonder why a significant proportion of the voters in this country would rather have a soccer mom who learned how to be a common sense executive by doing it, rather than an Ivy League-educated wunderkind thinking "deep thoughts."

PeterUK

Good Morning Clarice,I love it when lefties play Igor to the multimillionaire socialists.
The reason why MSs want to propagate socialism never enters their heads.The MSs are more Philippe Egalite, Duc, D'Orleans than social benefactors.

Bill in AZ

Aren't we all feeling a bit better off now? Or, wait, weren't those the "high-paying, high-skill jobs" we were looking for?

Not to worry - Obama, at least here, is create tons of new jobs that can't be outsourced. Leaning on a shovel, especially when you have to be union to do it, is high pay (err... relative to other similar jobs), and it does take some skill to lean and not fall over.

Donald

I want three things in life: Get rich, Bang Nordic Supermodels (Seixon has been no help on this, I'm disappointed and frustrated), and to umpire a state championship baseball series as crew chief. That's all. The way this is going, I won't get rich, which of course means no Nordic Supermodels, and worst of all, THE BASTARDS ARE GOING TO DESTROY INTERSCHOLASTICS SPORTS BEFORE IT'S ALL OVER. Damn. I want a revolution.

MarkJ

Matt Yglesias-ovich, Russia, 1918:

"Hey Vladmir, I've got this great idea. Let's nationalize industry, tax the rich out of existence, turn farmers into government employees, and build an entire society on the writings of an obscure German scribbler who never worked an honest job in his life. I mean, hey dude, what could go wrong?"

Pagar

Fancy Nancy's Ratings
Meanwhile Reid is described:

Not only is the Senate Majority Leader a hypocrite, he also is deluded enough to think that others have not caught and will not catch him on his hypocrisy
http://www.redstate.com/pejman_yousefzadeh/2009/03/27/worst-senate-majority-leader-ever-2/

Remember there is an election that will make a difference in Washington on Tuesday.

Tuesday is the date of the historic special election in New York’s Congressional District which is composed of several counties in the Albany, N.Y., suburbs.
IMO, if the Republicans can't pull off a win here, and with Obama poised to feed 5.7 billion to his civilian security force, I can't see the Republicans ever winning another Congressional seat.

clarice

PUK--The MSs don't like to see anyone gaining on them so they toss some crumbs to pols and scribblers to soak the rich---meaning those only about 5 or 6 paces behind them--not THEM for pity sakes.When the Kennedys repatriate their trust from Tahiti or--if that's impossible-- voluntarily pay taxes on it as if they had, I'll listen to what they yammer about what more we taxpayers should be doing for the disadvantaged.

Charlie (Colorado)

Can't he just ask somebody who was alive during the 60's?

I'm presuming that he doesn't listen to the Beatles® much either.

verner

PUK:The MSs are more Philippe Egalite, Duc, D'Orleans than social benefactors.

yeah, nnd look what happened to him!

PeterUK

Clarice,
This is an indirect putsch. Although Louis Phillipe got the chop in the Terror,his family did quite well. Citizen Yglesias is merely cannon fodder for the barricades.

DebinNC

Boston College uninvites Ayers.

PJ

Shorter MY: The wealthy will greet us as liberators.

rse

Glenda -

I left you an education reference at the end of the Paul Ryan thread that's quiet now.

PeterUK

Verner,
There are always risks,the revolution eats its children,but Louis Phillipe's son was the last King of France.
The MSs are gamblers on a titanic scale,what is a head wagered against Ruler of the World?

clarice

Here's a rather brilliant video:

http://www.nmatv.com/video/1901/Belligerence

clarice

(If you simply type in an url, you cannot post..ditto if you cut and paste and try to post it..)

memomachine

Hmmm.

Maybe I'm clueless but if the plan is to tax all income over $10 million at 95% wouldn't this be an incentive for such people to simply -emigrate-?

And wouldn't it be rather easy, especially in these economic times, for someone with such wealth to emigrate to another country?

Somehow I don't see many countries telling a billionaire that they aren't eligible to fast-track their immigration in under an hour.

Porchlight

Hey! Rasmussen took away the nifty graph showing a photo of Obama and the "strongly approve" and "strongly disapprove" trendlines. It's been on the page daily since January and was there at some point last week, I'm sure of it. (Here is an example from earlier in March.)

Maybe the WH objected and Scott obliged.

Rasmussen Presidential Approval Index

Porchlight

Shorter MY: The wealthy will greet us as liberators.

Excellent.

Charlie (Colorado)

Clarice's URL.

Charlie (Colorado)

And wouldn't it be rather easy, especially in these economic times, for someone with such wealth to emigrate to another country?

Not as easy as it used to be. That certainly happened -- Monaco was popular. The Brits used to have "tax exiles" who couldn't come back to the country for more than two or three weeks a year, lest they become British residents under the law, and the taxman arrive saying -- as the song said -- "one for you nineteen for me."

But under US law, unlike the last time I lived out of the country, a US citizen is liable for US taxes even if not resident. You have to renounce your citizenship, and for tax purposes that's not easy either.

MayBee

Let's rethink this a minute.
Perhaps it is better if we take their money in taxes rather than letting them unburden themselves by donating to Center for American Progress.

Then Matt Y's current job would cease to exist, and he could get a nice taxpayer funded job at the DMV.

Charlie (Colorado)

Porch, that page has the graphic now. Sounds more like a horrible webmastering accident; colliding files, maimed GIFs and JPGs scattered about the accident scene.

Danube of Thought

"What dire consequences would flow from this?"

Notice that the man is entirely uninterested in what, if any, beneficial consequences would flow from it.

Pagar, it's my understanding that the Republican is trailing slightly in the polls concerning that NY special election. But I suspect turnout may make a difference.

clarice

When France instituted confiscatory taxes on the very rich, they moved to Switzerland. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that even very stable countries like Costa Rica would welcome billionaires willing to repatriate there.

Charlie (Colorado)

Perhaps it is better if we take their money in taxes rather than letting them unburden themselves by donating to Center for American Progress.


Shyeah. The phrase "government grant" should make you question that one.

Charlie (Colorado)

Costa Rica is already a popular place to retire.

PeterUK

From the link by Clarice.

I can think of a scene from "Deliverance" which would suite the words,

"LEADERS WHO RAM THROUGH A PORK FILLED PACKAGE WITH THE PROMISE OF SOME GENUINE STIMULUS"

better than the one used.But then this is a family show.

Porchlight

Porch, that page has the graphic now.

Wow, so it does. Sorry about that. I refreshed it several times before writing the comment. Maybe it just takes a little while to generate the graph each morning.

MayBee

You have to renounce your citizenship, and for tax purposes that's not easy either.

It's not, but the main difficulty is hiring tax lawyers to keep the IRS at bay, something the fabulously wealthy can well afford.

A few years ago, my friend was told it would cost him about $300,000 in legal fees for probably three years. He couldn't afford that, but Steven Bing could.

MayBee

This reminds me (in a mirror-image sort of way) of one of my favorite scenes in literature/moviedom from Sense and Sensibilities.
John and Fanny Dashwood manage to convince themselves they would actually be doing his step sisters a favor by not sharing his inheritance with them as promised. It is so much easier to be poor!

narciso

Even with Rasmussen trimming thetrendlines, the fact at least one or two compartments of the USS Obama's handling of the budget,
seem to flooded, going down from 44-39% support. Now the fact that the support is still that high is indications, the brain
slugs are still active, from Gallup's survey
reported in the L.A. Times, as linked in Goldstein's Protein Wisdom, I l know that will still go down the memory hole with Conrade Ogilvy and the chocolate ration. The point is the Jay Leno appearance and the subsequent "Address from the Leader" is not helping his case.

Fresh Air

It just dawned on me what all these lefty thug-wannabes, who always want to see someone "cut down to size," must have in common.

Tiny peckers?

Charlie (Colorado)

Tiny peckers?

But full-sized loons.

matt

Comrade Yglesias always has our best interests at heart. He is the People's Great Leader and knows all, so we must not question his wisdom or we will need to be reeducated and recognize our capitalist roader tendencies.The running dog lackies of the imperialists must be put down by the People's righteous anger.

Oops, you mean he's funded by the same uberrich democrat cabal as the others? Soros? Corzine? Pelosi? Boxer? Feinstein? Kerry? Kennedy?.... hmmm,better think again, Matt......

narciso

Rest assured, when the Revolution comes, they'll be the first to be up against the firing squad. He's of Cuban background, and
Jewish, you would figure either would give
him a clue, why this idea won't work.

Rick Ballard

I am growing concerned about constant exposure to the Voices of the Moronacracy here at JOM. I don't know about others but when I read a leading Moronist I can hear brain cells dieing, screaming in agony, after every sentence.

Secondarily, where is the thrill of victory in a mental duel with a halfwit? If I were involved in making hiring decisions assessing valuation of credentials I suppose the determination of the appropriate discount rate for an Ivy League liberal arts graduate would be of some minor interest but once you hit 80%+ further assessment would seem superfluous.

It isn't as if any of the Moronists have any accomplishments aside from the ability to type to examine.

verner

I LOVE Costa Rica. It is a gorgeous place. Trouble is, it's right next to Nicaragua, so I don't know how much longer it's going to stay that way.

Jeff G

Tom alluded to this, but let me just add that this is coming from a guy who would scream bloody murder were Harvard ever to start admitting, say, 2 of every 3 applicants, and in so doing cheapen the status of his own educational accomplishments.

Such as they are.

verner

In all honesty, If I were hiring, I'd toss all Ivy League resumes into the garbage. All the IL breeds is cookie cutter conformity, a sense of entitlement, and breathtaking arrogance.

bad

Jeff G., Harvard may put up some tents and flood the campus with students to try to recoup funds lost under Larry Summers' excellent financial leadership.

Donald

Hey Jeff!

clarice

Jeff!!!Let's Hang Up That Welcome Banner!!

Mustang0302

Lil' Matty:

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.

Ain't he precious?

Can't wait to see his "betters cut down to size".

Patrick R. Sullivan
According to a study done for the Joint Economic Committee, the tax destroyed 330 jobs in jewelry manufacturing, 1,470 in the aircraft industry and 7,600 in the boating industry. The job losses cost the government a total of $24.2 million in unemployment benefits and lost income tax revenues.

A point understood by Shakespeare. As I was just telling The Illusionist, in Henry VIII, Act I, scene 2, his queen is telling him that the people are near rebellion over a tax levied by Cardinal Wolsey to pay the costs of the wars in France. The Duke of Norfolk chimes in with:

Duke of Norfolk. Not almost appears,

It doth appear; for, upon these taxations,

The clothiers all, not able to maintain

The many to them longing, have put off

The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,

Unfit for other life, compell’d by hunger

And lack of other means, in desperate manner

Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar,

And danger serves among then!

Henry VIII. Taxation!
Wherein? and what taxation?
My lord cardinal,
You that are blamed for it alike with us,
Know you of this taxation?

Turns out he does, and the king is not pleased:

By my life, This is against our pleasure.

[snip Wolsey's posturing]

Henry VIII [to Wolsey]. Things done well,
And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
Things done without example, in their issue
Are to be fear’d. Have you a precedent
Of this commission? I believe, not any.
We must not rend our subjects from our laws,
And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
A trembling contribution!
Why, we take
From every tree lop, bark, and part o’ the timber;
And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack’d,
The air will drink the sap.
To every county
Where this is question’d send our letters, with
Free pardon to each man that has denied
The force of this commission: pray, look to’t;
I put it to your care.

My emphases in the above.

clarice

Patrick, what an interesting insight and thanks for the cite to the illusionist and a very very fine essay by him.

Rick Ballard

"I'd toss all Ivy League resumes into the garbage."

Verner,

IMO, there's a large distinction that must be made between the underwater basketweaving majors (Yglesias, Obama, ad nauseum infinitum) and the science and engineering majors. An Ivy League chem major has probably received an excellent education that might be worth a premium to an employer. A liberal arts major has received a level of indoctrination which truly sets them apart - at the short bus stop.

Neo

What if we had a 95 percent marginal tax rate on income over $10 million?

The Democrats would lose Hollywood.

Gmax

Why did he pick on baseball players and not basketball players? Is it safer to rail about predominantly white overpaid and ridiculously pampered athletes in lefty world but no so much so for dedicated Democrat constituencies?

clarice

Well, having paid for one Harvard degree I take exception to that , verner. But my son majored in biochemistry. And he learned a lot about managing operations from his extracurricular ectivities there-
But I tend to agree with Rick about most of the liberal arts and social sciences courses and majors.

DrJ

Thanks, Rick -- I was going to make the same comment. The people from the Ivies (and I'll include MIT in that mix) that I met in grad school were uniformly very talented and well-schooled. They were arrogant, sure, but we all were. It happens when you get the best of the best.

Patrick R. Sullivan

There are a lot of interesting posts at The Money Illusion. Scott Sumner is a macroeconomist with some very unusual ideas.

He's only been blogging for several weeks now. Anyone interested in macro--Hi, Charlie--would do well to start at the beginning of his blog and read a couple of his (sometimes long) posts every day.

verner

Clarice, I should have been more precise. The IL produces some great scientists, as do many public universities. And I'm sure your boy is a fine, brilliant man. I was thinking more of the liberal arts and social sciences.

You know the type I mean. The ones who subscribe to the Ivy League dating service listed at New York Review of Books.

GreySwan

High taxation on the wealthy leads to lower investment because they have high savings rates. Also, 95% tax rate is simply immoral. In fact, anything above 50% must be immoral since you are working more for someone else than you are yourself -- slave labor.

A80

I've known a few rich people. Some are bastards (male and female), but most are just regular folk.

But what always impressed me about them was they were very smart in the sense that they knew how to make money. That's how they got rich. Almost all started with nothing and worked their way up.

And, almost all, work very hard to give a lot of their money away to charities, foundations, scholarships, etc.

Yglesias is just trying to sound the class warfare clarion, despite the fact, at least to me, he's probably rich.

I guess I'll psychoanalyze for moment and say that he, and his ilk, don't really know what they want, but think they know what what they see. They see poor people who should be helped. But what they don't see is that poor people are being helped by government, charities, foundations, churches and just regular people every day.

I see it every day. You would have to be blind or cloistered to think otherwise.

But, since, some people have money, and others don't, those that have money should be punished.

I don't. I want them to have the ability to make new investments to help the economy and generate new jobs -- and to continue to give to worthy causes.

It's what I would do if I were rich, but I don't believe that Yglesias sees it the same way. And that's being charitable.

He wants you to do what he thinks is correct and damn the consequences. And, somehow, he will have a dacha on a lake to make him feel important.

wombly

Why do you morons call them 'liberals'? They are not liberal at all. They are very rigid, closed-minded, and angry. Call them leftists.

By calling them 'liberals' and 'progressives', you are already conceding defeat to them.

wombly

Globalization was first about manufacturers/exporters competing with each other (Japanese autos and electronics).

Next, it was about individuals in white-collar jobs competing with each other (software outsourcing).

Now, it will be about Governments competing with each other on Tax rates.

In this era, capital and labor are so mobile that they will flee high-tax places. This is already happening in California, where Silicon Valley is slowly but steadily trickling away to Asia, never to return.

Governments will have to compete for business, based on tax rates and other incentives. While other countries are cutting rates, we have leftists that are raising our tax rates in order to chase away the private sector (which is what they want).

Ag80

I swear I posted something here, but it didn't show up. So forgive me, this is a test/

BobM

A 95% marginal tax rate is the "one for you, 19 for me" from one of the best protest songs of all time:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct8HYm10tlI

Roy Mustang

If were super wealthy, I would welcome a 95% income tax. It would keep those ruffian "new rich" that worked their way up from joining my country club. After all, unless they tax my wealth, a 95% income tax won't affect me at all.

SEE

Hmm. Anyone want to bet how long a 95% tax rate would be in effect before Hollywood, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley were all abandoned in favor of Canada?

The combined marginal income rate (including federal income tax, payroll tax and provincial income tax) in Ontario is 45.11%.

Stephen Macklin

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

I cannot imagine a more vicious mean-spirited sentiment. People who are driven by such naked envy and hatred have serious psychological issues.

Brian Macker

I'd be open to the suggestion that we tax socialists at 95%. Just so long as all the socialists want to and they leave the rest of us alone.

johnmc

Funny how even intelligent people don't understand the difference between rich and wealthy. Rich is a Kobe Bryant pulling down $25m a year. Kobe gets injured, his long term prospects for staying rich degrade. Wealthy is a Buffett that does not have to work. He stays wealthy because his investments yield far beyond his ability to spend it all.

Rich is based on income/work that our tax system taxes heavily. Wealthy is based on investments that receive a much preferred tax treatment. Yet people rail and covet against the rich but seldom against the wealthy.

Most odd.

Paddy

I think that our politicians get rich on what they pull down. Recent events make strict term limits a necessity.

Tom Bowler

BONUS THOUGHT: I refuse to look it up but I recall that both Bill and Hill took book advances of about $10 million. I think Obama can do better, but if $10 mil is his target he just might sign such a bill. Remember the key rule - "rich" is a bit more than our pols pull down.

Keep in mind that Bill, Hill, and Obama are not grubby little business types, so different rules apply. Books are works of art! If presidentials and near-presidentials can't make $10 million on their art, it's only fair that the taxpayer subsidize them. Besides, it's only $10 million.

jt007

I would support a 95% tax on the earnings of all pension eligible politicians after leaving office. That would include all presidents. What dire consequences would flow from this? Perhaps a certain outflow of scumbag Democrats to places like Saudi Arabia. But I don’t see this leading to any kind of economic calamity.

Bill Clinton has made over $100 million since leaving office. Al Gore has made more than that. Tom Daschle was driving around in a free limo and earning $1 million from a law firm despite the fact that he wasn't a lawyer. They are prime candidates for my proposed tax.

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