Income Equality, and How Not to Achieve It

The WSJ has a post up explaining just how much income redistribution the federal government is doing already and what it would take to give every family an “average income.”

Many people believe the “rich” can afford to pay higher taxes since they command a disproportionate share of the nation’s income. However, the current amount of redistribution already takes 21% of the top quintile’s [20%] income. That would have to soar to 74% to make every family in America “average.”

I’m in that top quintile. I’ve gone back to work from retirement, but if the feds were to start taking 74% of my paycheck (on top of what Maryland takes), I’d find a way to be less productive so that I could keep at least half of what I make. Given that many, if not most, other high-income earners would do much the same thing, the amount of money available to be taxed from us would go down, which would drive the tax rate up, which would drive more earners to be less productive, which would result in the need for a further tax increase, which would …

The problem with socialism is that it always runs out of other people’s money.

—Margret Thatcher

5 thoughts on “Income Equality, and How Not to Achieve It

  1. Marxists just never seem to grasp the fact that taxes change the behavior of those who are taxed.

    Even while telling us that higher taxes won’t change behavior, the same idiots keep declaring “sales tax holidays” at certain times of the year to get people to go out and spend more…

    Marxists must practice and suffer from cognitive dissonance to remain Marxists…

  2. Somehow, when I offer to quit my job so I have no income, and let someone else give me half of what he makes (including the value of benefits), no one wants to take me up on the offer.

    I don’t know why. I’m just offering them the chance to make our incomes equal.

  3. income equality isn’t achievable or even particularly desirable. People all have individual systems of values, which inform the skills they develop and their willingness to employ them in productive labor. Likewise, people have priorities which inform how they invest any capital they happen to possess. If they bought a car with money someone else invested in apple, the outcomes of those decisions should obviously not be the same. We live in a world with limited resources, and thus complete fulfillment of all desires by everyone can not be achieved, and to the extent that anyone tries to achieve that end, they will only reduce the wealth in the world by reducing the efficiency of labor allocation in meeting mans various wants and needs.
    People who argue for income equality are really arguing that the ant and the grasshopper are both entitled to an equal share of the ant’s labor. Which is clearly idiotic even to small children.

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