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Discussion: (37 comments)

  1. Seattle Sam

    There is a strong argument that coveting what others have is as old as Moses.

    1. There is a strong argument that those with first access money will get more of it. Thanks, Ben.

  2. The arguments that the middle class is better off anyway are not strong. In fact, toss out research paid for AEI or performed by Burkhauser or Winship and Mr. P has bupkis. (The CBO study looked at multiyear household income and at household consumption as better measures of economic wellbeing and found only modest improvement.)

    Nor is mobility as rosy as Mr. P wants us to believe. The Harvard study, noting a strong geographic factor in mobility, states “We found a significant correlation
    between both measures of mobility and local tax rates.”
    Those are the taxes the Rs are attacking in virtually every state.

    1. mesa econoguy

      So – without doing any math – here is Toad’s contention:

      If we dismiss everyone who disagrees with me, there isn’t much evidence against my (demonstrably false) belief that mass hordes of people have been elevated from poverty over the past century.

      Classic Dunning-Kruger effect.

      1. “Strong” in my definition would be something other than the same two researchers over and over and over and over, bother of whom use date through ’07, which we see now is not indicative.

        1. mesa econoguy

          There are plenty of refutations to Piketty & Saez.

          Do your homework, dumbass.

          1. Such as…

          2. mesa econoguy

            Again, do your homework.

            Don Boudreaux & Russ Roberts have blogged about this extensively.

          3. The poor scholarship belongs to Mr. P, who keeps trotting out the same two studies. You want me to do his work for him?

          4. mesa econoguy

            Whatever, moron.

          5. Note that Mesa does not contrapuntal research. His specialty is name calling.

      2. Past century?

        To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and to refute it, without ever having actually refuted the original position

        1. mesa econoguy

          Well put, Toad, you are the resident straw man subject matter expert.

          Now, please explain why you dismiss contrary evidence out of hand, like all leftists.

    2. mesa econoguy

      PS, you should probably study this map again, dumbass:

        1. mesa econoguy


          People respond to taxes, dumbass.

          1. A 21st century economy runs on smarts.

          2. mesa econoguy

            Absolutely true, but it is not by itself an economic feature.

            You can have the smartest people on the planet, and their economic actions can be stifled by state action.

            Economies do not run on regulation, as we are currently proving.

          3. So a 21st century economy runs on smarts, but smarts itself is not an economic factor?

            holy crap. Is there a B team in the house at least?

          4. mesa econoguy

            You and your leftist comrades think it runs on unicorn farts and sunshine, apparently…

    3. mesa econoguy

      Your foundational argument seems to be that economic actors do not respond to taxes.

      I invite you to refute 2500+ years of contradictory evidence, plus current evidence, in your cause.

      1. Yes indeed, feudal Europe is a case in point.

        1. mesa econoguy

          And you would be wrong, again.

          God are you stupid.

    4. Agreed, Poor scholarship.

      However, Good scholarship isn’t really why the AEI exists.

  3. mesa econoguy

    The problem with the 1% getting richer is that leftist policy has fully achieved that, thanks to ZIRP and redistributive failures.

    Leftist economic intervention always fails, and this is yet another example.

    1. Lloyd Morris

      Ande the fract that the rising inequality occurred during a period of rising Republican control, diminishing regulation, and rising right-wing control of media has nothing to do with it? Abnsurd!

      The arguments on this website are full of “straw men” and absent information to the contrary. There’s nothing objective about thbis guy’s argumentation. It’s designed to serve a political end.

      1. mesa econoguy

        during a period of rising Republican control

        Featuring those well-known Repugs Harry Reid, Nancy Piglousy, and Barak Obama?

        I recommend cutting back on the drinking before noon.

        diminishing regulation

        Factually incorrect.

        rising right-wing control of media

        Please stop drinking before noon.

  4. Ok but aren’t these supposed to be the “job creatgors”?

    1. Good point. The “job creators” are doing the opposite of creating jobs, which should show up on the job evaluations — and yet they never seem to lose their jobs.

      Kind of ironic, like Wall Street massively rewarding themselves while sinking main street, and this after collapsing the world economy; they steal from main street up and through the collapse, and then demand bailouts from these very same victims to keep their million dollar bonuses going. True meritocracy indeed.

  5. Only the 1% truly believe we are living in a meritocracy — the rest of us know better by now, at least those with half a brain or more.

    The premise that “you work hard and you get ahead (become wealthy)” is so ridiculous in the face of current facts, anyone could debunk such propaganda. For instance, 10s of millions of US workers all of sudden became lazy and immediately lost their job skills after the financial collapse so that they had to be thrown out of work and onto welfare (not become wealthy because they were not working hard enough). The opposite is of course that the “job creators” have done such a great job of creating jobs, that they deserve to take 93% of all the profits (they work 400 times harder than and are at least 500 times smarter than everyone else, so they deserve to take it all — winner take all, you know).

    Maybe, just maybe, it is really the “job creators” who have the biggest “skills gap” of all and are the laziest of all, and their propaganda is just a way to conceal such — that the truly idle, the true “takers,” are really themselves “taking” it all while contributing very little.

    1. Seattle Sam

      Yeah. And the superstars of the NBA are the laziest of all. I doubt they work any harder than anyone else. They’re just “taking” from those that sit on the bench or don’t make the team.

      1. They sure aren’t doing anything to benefit society — just look at all the negative trends that continue to worsen no matter how well they play, in case you have not been paying attention. Really, in the grand scheme of things, who could care less that some 30-year-old adolescent can slam dunk. How does that make the world any better?

        And, yes, the “take” of the CEOs is even so much more egregious, often orders of magnitude more than NBA players, and even for far less; at least NBA players have some talent.

  6. G.L. Simons

    “Should the Top Marginal Income Tax Rate be 73%”
    We have been at war for over 10 years. What was the top marginal rate during WWI and WWI?

    Historically, America experienced growth with higher (70%-94%) Top Marginal Rates. As soon as they started decreasing the rates — the nation experienced ups-and-downs leading to the current obliteration.

    If the 1% is so “rich” now — where are all the jobs for the nation’s unemployed. They are not rich — it’s called phantom wealth, #s on a balance sheet with no assets to back it up. Like the 30:1 ratio — when WS Banks loaned $30 for every 1$ they actually had.

  7. Where is mesa econoguy? We haven’t heard from him in a while.

  8. TexasMom2012

    Can anyone tell me why it is considered by some that it is greedy for the high wage person to want to keep the money they have worked hard to earn but not greedy for those slackers who sit on their lazy @sses to demand that the government seizes wealth from other citizens to give them food stamps, Medicaid, free phones and other forms of welfare? Really, who is greedy here? The worker or the spoiled welfare recipient who demands more from the worker?
    My husband worked two jobs to pay his way though college. I went through college mostly in night school so I could work and pay my way. We avoided drugs and prison unlike many welfare recipients. Why exactly should we pay more of our income to support people who made poor life choices? We have our own family to support! Heck we can’t even deduct my eldest son’s college expenses… Enough with the greedy people who want to seize at the point of a gun that which others have EARNED. While they are perfectly happy to promote the truly wealthy, like the Kerrys and the Kennedys and the Pelosis and Reids… Who do not pay most of their taxes on salaries earned but rather on investments. The 1% do not pay taxes and never will. Taxing the top 1% of wage earners never touches the generational wealthy, it merely prevents others from accumulating wealth.
    Some of us have children with disabilities that we need to provide for after we pass and increasing taxes makes that more difficult. In fact, looks like hubby will have to take that overseas assignment of six weeks on, three weeks home, thanks to ORottenCare. Just another tax on struggling Americans. Spit. Sorry, rant off.

  9. How about this:

    Theft and the initiation of force are always evil. No “research” is required to know this. So, the only legitimate answer is to leave each individual alone to live their lives without theft and coercion. Voluntary association and cooperation will always produce peace and prosperity for all who will participate and take personal responsibility for their own lives and property.

    By what legitimate authority does anyone propose to steal from some and “give” to others, for any reason?

  10. There is a strong argument that certain political parties have much to gain by being able to confiscate vast amounts of wealth from people unlikely to vote you into power and redistribute it to the much larger number of people who are likely to vote you into power.

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