“Why should I be forced to pay for someone else” argument

TheGrandmaster We Are Better Than This

Taxes must first flow into the Treasury, and then out to a group of individuals, rather than being forcibly paid directly from one group to another. Only some insureds have insurance claims in any given year, but every insured benefit from the existence of that insurance. This is why Grover Cleveland was wrong in 1887, and why there was so …

Need, Want and Luxuries

TheGrandmaster What Every Economics Student Needs to Know

Wants and Basic Needs Although the convention is to consider demand exclusively in terms of “wants,” it is essential to distinguish between three sources of demand depending on the type of goods demanded (necessities, comforts and social necessities, and luxuries): (A) Necessities are goods that fulfill basic survival needs, such as food sufficient to avoid hunger, safe drinking water to …

Befitting the rich vs everyone

TheGrandmaster The Price of Inequality

While the advocates of these policies may claim that they are the best policies for all, this is not the case. There is no single, best policy. As I have stressed in this book, policies have distributive effects, so there are trade-offs between the interests of bondholders and debtors, young and old, financial sectors and other sectors, and so on. …

Welfare, Unemployment, and Basic complaining

TheGrandmaster People's writings, The Price of Inequality

Nikki at the Williamsburg Office was an Independent, but claimed she was leaning Republican. Her main justification was no different than many others, some form of what they see as “Welfare.” Unemployment was her main boogieman. We need not attack whether it’s a large or small portion of spending; that doesn’t matter to them. In their mind, it’s wrong because …

Taxation is a part of world history

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, First Line of Defenses, Sapiens

In 221 BC the Qin dynasty united China, and shortly afterwards Rome united the Mediterranean basin. Taxes levied on 40 million Qin subjects paid for a standing army of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and a complex bureaucracy that employed more than 100,000 officials. The Roman Empire at its zenith collected taxes from up to 100 million subjects. This revenue …

MOT – Growth and Social Value

TheGrandmaster Myth of Ownership

Anyone who advocates the tax policy that is, simply, “best for economic growth” or “most efficient” must provide not only an explanation of why the favored policy has those virtues, but also an argument of political morality that justifies the pursuit of growth or efficiency regardless of other social values. Location 150 Level 9 – Awesome, and directly applicable to people …

WABTT – Welfare

TheGrandmaster We Are Better Than This

The federal government’s income security programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), Supplemental Security Income, unemployment insurance, the earned income and child tax crs, family support, child nutrition, foster care, and miscellaneous tax crs.4 Impressive though this list may sound, our government’s total outlays for all of these programs combined is much smaller than many observers realize. …

WABTT — Fairness Explained the best

TheGrandmaster We Are Better Than This

The income tax in this respect operates as a kind of insurance policy. Following the famous metaphor of John Rawls, imagine that we are all sentient disembodied beings, waiting to be born. We know the full range of possible paths that any new life might take, including the great probability that we will end up struggling to make ends meet. …

Foreclosure of terrible choices

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, The Myth of Choice

First, we should work to ensure that economic need is not a source of coercion. As we think about the range of bad choices people are forced into—to work for an employer who puts employees at risk, to sell sex for money, or to buy cheap, fatty food—many of the most problematic choices are brought about by simple economic need. …

Government “Intrusion” allows freedom.

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

Rights are costly because remedies are costly. Enforcement is expensive, especially uniform and fair enforcement; and legal rights are hollow to the extent that they remain unenforced. Formulated differently, almost every right implies a correlative duty, and duties are taken seriously only when dereliction is punished by the public power drawing on the public purse. There are no legally enforceable …

Pay for contribution

TheGrandmaster The Price of Inequality

What happened in the midst of the crisis made clear that it was not contribution to society that determined relative pay, but something else: bankers received large rewards, though their contribution to society—and even to their firms—had been negative. The wealth given to the elites and to the bankers seemed to arise out of their ability and willingness to take …

TIH – Ceo Pay and Meritocracy. Pay based on contribution.

TheGrandmaster The Invisible Handcuffs

Based on an extensive survey of major corporations, Michael Jensen, professor emeritus at Harvard’s Graduate School of Business, found 94 percent of all contracts for chief executives prevent them from being fired for unsatisfactory work without a big severance package. Remarkably, in 44 percent of the contracts, this protection included those convicted of fraud or embezzlement. This should be a …

AL 5 – Aggregation of exchanges

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, Anti-Libertarianism: Markets Philosophy and Myth, First Line of Defenses

The fact that you or I have certainly not consented to the specific pattern of distribution which has resulted from the constant repetition of two-person exchanges is (or, maybe, should be) of importance to us in a way it would not be if we were the isolated inhabitants of a state of nature. Just like you complain you have no …

Cost of Rights – Progressive Taxation

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

Admittedly, the quality and extent of rights protection depends on private expenditures as well as on public outlays. Because rights impose costs on private parties as well as on the public budget, they are necessarily worth more to some people than to others. The right to choose one’s own defense lawyer is certainly worth more to a wealthy individual than …

Choices are a result of context

TheGrandmaster Free Markets and Social Justice

I claim that the term “preference” is highly ambiguous and that people’s “preferences,” as they are expressed in the market domain, should not be deemed sacrosanct. On the contrary, market “preferences” are sometimes a product of background injustice or of social norms that people do not really like. Acting as citizens, people should be permitted to change these norms. I …

MTO 10 – Growth as the only important factor

TheGrandmaster Myth of Ownership

Anyone who advocates the tax policy that is, simply, “best for economic growth” or “most efficient” must provide not only an explanation of why the favored policy has those virtues, but also an argument of political morality that justifies the pursuit of growth or efficiency regardless of other social values. Level 10 – Awesome, and directly applicable to people who …

MTO 7 – Born into a system supported by the public

TheGrandmaster First Line of Defenses, Myth of Ownership

The conventional nature of property is both perfectly obvious and remarkably easy to forget. We are all born into an elaborately structured legal system governing the acquisition, exchange, and transmission of property rights, and ownership comes to seem the most natural thing in the world. But the modern economy in which we earn our salaries, own our homes, bank accounts, …

MTO 6 – Private Property is legal convention.

TheGrandmaster First Line of Defenses, Myth of Ownership

Private property is a legal convention, defined in part by the tax system; therefore, the tax system cannot be evaluated by looking at its impact on private property, conceived as something that has independent existence and validity. Taxes must be evaluated as part of the overall system of property rights that they help to create. Justice or injustice in taxation …

Democrat Basic Philosophy

TheGrandmaster First Line of Defenses, People's writings

Well, this question comes down to Are we selfish users who take everything we can and never acknowledge an obligation to anyone other than our own pleasure or advancement? Or are we moral human beings who feel a sense of community with others and are personally distressed by the misfortune of others around us and strive to remedy injustice? Which …

TheGrandmaster The Great Courses - Foundations of Economic Prosperity

Lecture 6 – National Prosperity If a country invests in basic scientific research, it lowers the cost for private sector firms to invest in related applied research and as a result, leads to overall more investment in research and development, which leads to a more innovative economy, which leads to a more prosperous national Economy. So if you’re concerned about …