Re: Dave's Denial

From: Dave Long (
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 10:37:52 PST

> But we don't have theoretically-pure progressive taxation. Again,
> that's the heart of the argument, and something you haven't done
> anything to debunk.

I haven't debunked it, because I agree with
you on that point. The disagreement is that
I don't call regressive systems progressive*,

A'/ Regressive tax systems perpetuate/increase wealth gaps.
4'/ Regressive taxes perpetuate and increase the Matthew effect.

Going back to wednesday:
  How does a universal consumption tax (or any
  regressive tax system, for that matter) act to
  remove wealth gaps?



> ... working as we do with ideas, smarter = harder.

Smarter does not refer to intelligence here (see
also Rohit's "Rage to Master" thread), but to the
ability to redeploy one's limited resources such
that they are more effective.

Working with lumber, working smarter means not
schlepping 2x8's to places where they don't
need to go.

Working with ideas, working smarter means not
bothering with cleverness in situations where
it won't matter.

> You really can't rely on luck.

Never said one could. Luck and smarts are
potential ways to increase income besides hard
work. Hard work is very important**, but it
isn't the only variable.

> At least, that was true except during the bubble.

What is the difference between conditions
during the recent tech bubble and current
or future conditions?


** I might agree that "success is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration",
   but substitute "financial gain" for "success" and I disagree.


* Why do I care so much about the semantics?

If a group of well-meaning people, who wish to
reduce wealth gaps, believe that
        - progressive taxes perpetuate and increase wealth gaps
then it would be reasonable to also believe that
        - progressive taxes are evil
and hence a regressive tax, such as
        - fairtax (universal consumption) is good
and they could create positive change by implementing it.

However, if it is instead true that
        - regressive taxes perpetuate and increase wealth gaps
then, despite good intentions, they would have
collaborated to inadvertently create a system
much worse than the alternatives.

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