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October 10, 2012 / JayMan

Here’s an idea

As long as wealthy elites continue to call for more immigration, so they can continue to reap the enormous benefits of cheap labor…

…perhaps we should then raise the taxes of the top earners back to Eisenhower-era levels, when the top tax bracket was 90%. The idea being that if they keep artificially expanding the labor pool by importing more people to compete with American workers here, and keep pushing jobs offshore so that Americans need to compete with workers abroad, then they can contribute more of the wealth this brings them. They are pushing the problem, they should pay for it. As usual, most of the post-recessionary growth has benefited the top earners:

The economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty have found that ninety-three per cent of the gains during the 2009-10 recovery went to the top one per cent of earners. Those seated around the table at dinner with Al Gore had done even better: the top 0.01 per cent captured thirty-seven per cent of the total recovery pie, with a rebound in their incomes of more than twenty per cent, which amounted to an additional $4.2 million each.

Make no mistake, neither presidential candidate wants to address the issue of immigration (I would further add that Romney’s conservative stances, against contraception and perhaps abortion as well, will only serve to accelerate the dysgenic trends in the population). It would seem that, with the way our political system works, it’s hard to get through policies that don’t benefit the wealthiest. Immigration does. Low taxes do as well. This of course means these things have little to no chance of actually changing, unfortunately.

In the mean time, this logic prevails.

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12 Comments

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  1. Nelson / Oct 10 2012 3:43 PM

    ” It would seem that, with the way our political system works, it’s hard to get through policies that don’t benefit the wealthiest. Immigration does. Low taxes do as well. This of course means these things have little to no chance of actually changing, unfortunately.”

    Or one could try “sneaking in” reform legislation through some bill conveying / protecting / preserving benefits for the wealthy. Either way, the current trend is unsustainable and patently foolish (though the beneficiaries of cheap immigrant labor and such like are blind to said foolishness); killing illegal immigration alone would infuse billions into the U.S. economy.

    Worse still, based on Steve Sailer’s series of posts on affirmative action in schools (and even my own post on the matter that you read), it seems diversity über alles is the new goal of “education reform;” if they get their way, it could make your ideas even more politically improbable. “Conform, or else.” :-(

  2. Not David Brooks / Oct 13 2012 2:15 AM

    I would further add that Romney’s conservative stances, against contraception and perhaps abortion as well, will only serve to accelerate the dysgenic trends in the population)
    —————————–

    Please explain to me Mitt Romney’s “stance” against contraception. I have not heard Romney denounce contraception or propose laws restricting it. And no, it is not a serious answer to say not wanting to force charities and private companies out of business for refusing to pay for other people’s birth control is a “stance against contraception.”

    • JayMan / Oct 13 2012 9:05 AM

      Ryan reaffirmed his ticket’s view against abortion, likely to their detriment. Outlawing abortion would greatly accelerate dysgenic trends.

      As to birth control, I think the slippery slope logic is justified. The Republican party has demonstrated their penchant for foolish social issues. If Romney wins, and if the Republicans take control of the Senate (which is a real possibility), then who knows what sort of craziness that they’ll pass. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bill trying to restrict or outlaw contraceptives roll out of a Republican Congress.

    • Angry Evil Pathetic Social Conservative / Oct 13 2012 9:06 PM

      JayMan what exactly do you mean by “foolish social issues”? You sound just like those “oh so moderate social liberals”.

      Please note that my name is a parody of everything you think about me, my religion, my faith and my entire worldview.

      The more you make fun of me, the more bitter and angrier I get.

      And bitterness is an ugly thing.

      NOTE: Mitt Romney is a flip-floper. He lies about his stances. He isn’t a true conservative. After what he did to Todd Akin do you really expect for boogeyman people such as myself to support him? Yeah right.

      Mitt Romney is a libertarian tool.

    • JayMan / Oct 13 2012 10:32 PM

      JayMan what exactly do you mean by “foolish social issues”?

      Things like this, from Half Sigma.
      This, also from Half Sigma
      Another from HS.
      This, from Steve Sailer.
      Another from Steve.

      Please note that my name is a parody of everything you think about me, my religion, my faith and my entire worldview.

      And for many in your political camp, it’s pretty accurate.

      Mitt Romney is a libertarian tool.

      I’d agree with that. He’s not exactly unique in that aspect, but that makes him undesirable as a president.

    • redzengenoist / Oct 14 2012 6:16 AM

      “The more you make fun of me, the more bitter and angrier I get.”

      And also the more hard you get, I suspect

    • sr / Oct 15 2012 12:48 AM

      I am a pharmacist. I sell a fuckload of contraceptives to conservative Republican women. Birth control isn’t just for feminists, not by a long shot.

      No way in hell are they going to put up with having their contraceptives taken away from them.

      Even the Republicans aren’t self-destructive enough to try to do that.

    • Susie / Oct 15 2012 6:33 PM

      How do you know they’re conservative? By the way, not all Republicans are conservative. Republicans are a political party with a variety of philosophies in them. Sure we have the 1-5% of women who need contraception because of something serious, but the other 95-99% just use it because they’re feminists/liberals and see the sexual revolution as good (e.g. ONS, casual sex, hooking up, serial monogamy, adultery, swinging, orgies, variety of partners).

  3. thesoftpath / Oct 14 2012 9:01 PM

    You make a good point, JayMan. If one of the purposes of our federal government is to promote the general welfare, then policies which have the opposite effect — free trade and mass immigration in a lopsided world — need to be offset with tax policy.

    Of course the main argument against high marginal tax rates is that they discourage savings and investment and reduced the incentives for innovation. Thus the high marginal tax rates of the 1950’s were rarely imposed, if only because they applied only to “earned” income (wages and salaries) but not capital gains, dividends, interest, etc. The wealthy never let us forget this.

    I’m too old to make the case anymore but I would like to draw attention to a theoretical solution to this problem long known to economists but deemed impractical as a matter of implementation. This is the idea of a graduated expenditure tax (aka graduated consumption tax) which is basically like an income tax but with savings tax exempt. Sort of like today’s IRA’s but with no limits to annual contributions and no penalties for early withdrawal.

    Such a tax could raise more revenue than is currently possible without discouraging savings and investment. In fact just the opposite. For as Thomas Hobbes once remarked we should penalize people not for what they put into the common pot but for what they take out. That’s the basic idea.

    Implementation would still be difficult though because it requires registering all bank and brokerage accounts of American citizens both here and overseas. In other words no more overseas tax shelters, secret Swiss bank accounts, shell corporations. This in turn would require the cooperation of all our major trading partners, which just goes to show that today’s economic problems are not national but rather international in scope. It would require a lot of diplomacy.

    On the up side other countries, including EU and even China need to collect their taxes and need more revenue too. Plus it would make money laundering more difficult, to the disadvantage of international terrorist organizations, drug cartels, etc. National ID’s combined with registration of all bank and brokerage accounts would go a long way towards making developed societies fairer and more law abiding.

    I might add that it would be much easier for successful entrepreneurs to acquire a family fortune under such a regime — provided they hold down their personal consumption.

    There would also be a rectification of status symbols. I’ll let you or your readers figure out why.

  4. thesoftpath / Oct 14 2012 9:09 PM

    I forgot to mention that the proposed graduated expenditure tax would give our wealthy elites an incentive to hold down mass low-skilled immigration (but not free trade or automation). I also forgot to say how that new revenue should best be spent, namely, by subsidizing wages via an expansion — a vast expansion — of the earned income tax credit. But again I’m too old to make the argument and besides I’ve learned that economics is one subject about which even educated people can seldom agree. It would take a genius like Adam Smith to persuade the majority. Which means first we have to kill all the academic economists!

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