About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Buffett Rule

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration will "launch an effort Monday to prevent millionaires from paying taxes at lower rates than middle-class Americans as part of its package of ideas to reduce the federal deficit."

First of all let me say that the Obama administration knows that this "effort" is absolutely political. There is no possibility that such a bill will pass the house.

Second of all, this "effort" confirms the extreme tax and spend mindset of Mr. Obama and his friends. The last thing Washington needs is more revenue. The last thing entrepreneurs need is more taxes.

Third, consider if you will how the value of the dollar has fallen over the years. Not too long ago a "millionaire" was a truly wealthy individual. A million dollars used to be an astounding amount of money. Now, not so much. Game shows regularly award million dollar prizes. Upper middle class housing is commonly priced just shy of a million dollars. Many upper middle class white collar workers earn a hundred thousand dollars or two a year. Many upper middle class households have two such high income workers. Many work for the government. Many, many have net worths approaching a million dollars.

"Millionaire" has a certain cache, but in real terms a million dollars today is chump change -- well, not exactly chump change, but certainly not enough to classify one as "rich."

The tragedy of all this is twofold. Rapid inflation of the dollar is good for government (it collects more taxes) and good for the friends of government (they are the first at the government feeding trough). It also makes members of the upper middle class feel wealthier than they are. Moreover, it kills the prospects of the lower and lower-middle class, who experience rising expenses and falling wages. In short, inflation deepens the "class gap," which is not the gap between "rich" and "poor," but the gap between the "connected" and the "unconnected." "Depression" nowadays means partying at the top and economic backpeddling by those near the bottom.

The second tragedy is that Obama seems to have no clue about how his policies and rhetoric exacerbate the conditions described in the paragraph above.

This man must be defeated in 2012. But more importantly, he must be replaced by a true, free market advocate such as Gary Johnson or Ron Paul. If not, true poverty awaits all of us except those at the very top.  

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