February 03, 2019

Redistribution profiteers have a vested interest in us ignoring the wealthy already redistribute their purchase capacity.

Sir, Tim Harford writes “One academic paper produced by Emmanuel Saez (a star in the study of inequality) and Peter Diamond (a Nobel laureate and colleague of Mirrlees) estimated that the combined rate of tax on the income of high earners could be 73 per cent in the US without proving counter-productive…[for that they] assume that a dollar is 25 times more valuable to a person on about $50,000 a year than to a person on $500,000.” “The super-rich are an easy target for tax rises” February 2.

Indeed, and that‘s why those with much higher income sometimes buy shoes that are 25 times more expensive than those earning much less. But, where does that type of analysis take us? Should jobs producing expensive manually produced shoes be prohibited? Should we have dollars with sensors that measure the value we assign to them? 

The problem with all the “resolve poverty and inequality by taxing the wealthy” is that it ignores the fact that all the purchase power that the income of the wealthy contains, is immediately returned to the real economy when purchasing assets and services. 

In this sense those prescribing higher taxes on wealth are, at the end of the day just arguing, they are better redistributors than the wealthy. Are they? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. In Venezuela those redistributing wealth have clearly done so in order to get their hands on the wealth. In Venezuela we have a saying that goes “The one who cuts the cake in order to distribute the cake, keeps the best part of the cake.

PS. Thomas Piketty should visit the Museum of Louvre in his Paris, and make a checklist of how much would not have existed there, had it not been for some “filthy rich”