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Tag Archives: Wealth distribution

A (strong) letter on inheritance taxes

High(er) inheritance taxes are relatively popular among people otherwise not unfriendly towards private property, including the great James M. Buchanan. On July 20, the FT has published a letter, from Mark G. Brennan, that claims that targeting inherited wealth as “unearned” may be but the first step on a slippery slope. It is per se quite a surprising fact, as these philosophical arguments (of a libertarian kind) seldom get into letter pages. So writes Mr Brennan: As...

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Letter to the Presidential Candidates: It’s Time to Tax Others More

Don’t tax you; don’t tax me; tax that fellow behind the tree. –Russell B. Long, U.S. Senator from Louisiana Don’t tax you; do tax me; and tax the folks that disagree with me. –David R. Henderson, interpreting the thoughts of 18 wealthy Americans. A recent open letter from 17 wealthy Americans willing to identify themselves and one American who was unwilling to do so has gotten a lot of attention. In it, they make a case for higher taxes on very wealthy Americans...

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Alan Reynolds on the Disappearing Middle Class

At this link is a 22-minute talk that economist Alan Reynolds gave at Harvard in 1987. The other participants were John Kenneth Galbraith, Barry Bluestone, Lester Thurow, and Frank Levy. There is so much content in this one short talk that it impossible to summarize without losing a lot of content. It’s also funny and you can see that many people in his audience seemed to enjoy it too. The topic is “The Disappearing Middle Class.” Notice at about the 5:30 point,...

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Henderson on AOC and Allowing Billionaires

In a recent interview, author Ta-Nehisi Coates asked newly elected Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez whether we “live in a moral world that allows for billionaires.” He clarified, “Is that a moral outcome, in and of itself?” Representative Ocasio-Cortez (henceforth AOC) answered that it is not moral and went on to say, “I do think a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because...

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