2009-03-10

Daniel Hamermesh for higher income taxation

So far, socialist thinkers like Mr. Hamermesh have failed to convince me that income inequality is a problem, or that taxation of income is the way to deal with it.

I find it frustrating how articles in favor of income redistribution frequently start by saying "income inequality has grown", but do not waste any time dwelling on why, in fact, income inequality is supposedly a bad thing.

Lacking any effort to even justify their opposition to income inequality, one gets the impression that proposals of income redistribution are driven by envy rather than prudence.

Second, even if income inequality is a problem - a claim for which I have so far seen few credible arguments - then it is not by any means a foregone conclusion that the way to fix this inequality is to impose the most intrusive government measure in the developed world: a tax on people's income, requiring people to report on every nickel they receive.

Do socialists ever consider how enormous an intrusion into people's lives the income tax is? To they ever consider whether it's really worth having this intrusion, for the stated goal of income equality, when that goal isn't even being achieved? And most likely is not going to be achieved, regardless of how high or low the marginal tax rates are?

Mr. Hamermesh - first and foremost, it would be worthwhile if you could tap into your economic expertise to show us why income inequality is supposedly a problem. Then, you should also show how the income tax is the best way to solve this problem, and how the stated goals are worth the enormous sacrifices people have to make to comply with it.

My guess is, you can't show either.

No comments: