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September 29, 2011

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fake

*His fans weren’t “thwarted” from seeing him play at all. Tom’s claim that high taxes undermine incentives is, in this case, plain wrong.*


You could have taxed him at 99% and it wouldn't have made a difference, because his audience was what paid him. And players play for the game, the money just decides who they play for.

High taxes do not affect these people, they effect the more mobile business type, I am unsure why anyone would use the most captive wage type job as an example.

Jim

The point wasn't that high taxes might have stopped the player performing. The point is that the result of free will (the choice of the spectator to freely donate money to see a specific player perform) has to be counteracted by forcibly removing the money the performer, in order to maintain 'equality'.

Free choices can create inequality, force is required to produce equality. That was the point.

Rob

"Or they might just spend their money on inherently scarce positional goods, which third parties - who otherwise have no view on Wilt Chamberlain - cannot then afford."

How would monetary egalitarianism solve this? If the positional goods are inherently scarce then there's always going to be someone who has them and someone who doesn't, and the person who doesn't is going to be upset by this. The mechanism by which the goods are allocated doesn't seem to make much difference. Your own post here gave some examples of how tackling monetary inequality can fail to be effective.

An egalitarian might argue that this just shows that we need to tackle other sources of inequality, at which point the Wilt Chamberlain example becomes more tricky for them, as they'll have to explain how they'd tackle the most obvious inequality between Wilt Chamberlain and the rest of us, viz. his being significantly taller and better at basketball.

Rob

My link above went astray - 'here' is: http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2006/07/deadly_inequali.html

fake

*Free choices can create inequality, force is required to produce equality. That was the point.*

Yes, But it's a point that justifies itself by using an inanely stupid analogy.

Because you can't just tax at a higher those who's business is immovable (he can't take his audience with him), and then tax less those who's business is more movable.

Trying to disprove the laffer curve with a basketball player analogy, urgh, no!

CMcM

Well, wouldn't it be more precise to say something on the lines of :

"Free choice of *some* (in this example, baseball fans) can create inequality but this reflects nothing of the choices of a wider group of people who might or might not wish to see any given level of inequality exist in their society. Equality can, conceivable, be arrived at by force, but it may also be conceivably arrived at via democratic means - at least in any society where it is accept that the voting mechanism is at least as an important, if not more so, than any allocation that is purely determined by market means."

CMcM

Ok, that was appallingly proof read even by my low standards, so here it is again in English

Well, wouldn't it be more precise to say something on the lines of :

"Free choice of *some* (in this example, baseball fans) can create inequality but this reflects nothing of the choices of a wider group of people who might or might not wish to see any given level of inequality exist in their society. Equality can, conceivably, be arrived at by force, but it may also be conceivably arrived at via democratic means - at least in any society where it is accepted that the voting mechanism is at least as important, if not more so, than any allocation that is purely determined by market means."

Charles Wheeler

It's a straw man argument anyway. I know a lot of people that think the pendulum has swung too far in terms of inequality (and not just those on the left) - but have yet to meet ANYONE that thinks we should all be paid equally.

Keith

Robs point is wrong as progressive taxation is intended to offset unequal opportunity. If most people are short and bad at baseball they are prevented through no fault of their own from earning lots of money from baseball so the state corrects this inequality by taxing the baseball star. Thus paying for social services and transfer payments for the majority who lack exceptional market power due to special talents. This increases the economic freedom of the majority. Libertarians may not like it, but that is as a result of the fact they don't believe in democracy or morality. All special talents are a positional good. The doctrine that force is bad and social democracy is bad as it is based on force is incorrect. All social contracts involve force or they are not binding. A person may be free to not enter a contract at Law but once entered the contract is backed by force of the sate which is why it is a contract. No one would enter a contract if it was not backed by force there would be no point. Force allows contracts to be made and made good, it protects private property from theft, and your home from burglary and deters personal violence by the force of the state. Liberty depends on force of Law creating order; Law requires a state and the state requires taxation. Without social order no private citizen could exploit their talents on a market so the state has a claim in theory on all market income. To deny this is to embrace a revolutionary theory that you can dissolve civil society if you happen not to like the terms of social custom. Hobbes disposes of this idea in Leviathan. Once the contract of civil society is agreed we must submit to the magistrate appointed to enforce it. To conclude Bentham denies Liberty is a moral end at all. Security and subsistence is what men aim for Liberty is useless in itself. It has no value apart from the context of civil society which makes it useful. So Nozick is wrong. Bad philosophers should be put to death as the Athenians knew; corrupters of youth must die.

Keith

PS I would take American Libertarians more seriously if they did more to stop the American criminal justice system both imprisoning innocent people and executing them by creating an effective criminal appeals system.

“There is no basis in text, tradition, or even in contemporary practice (if that were enough), for finding in the Constitution a right to demand judicial consideration of newly discovered evidence of innocence brought forward after conviction.”

Justice Scalia ( with whom Justice Thomas joins, concurring )

Herrera v. Collins (91-7328), 506 U.S. 390 (1993) US Supreme court.

fake

*Libertarians may not like it, but that is as a result of the fact they don't believe in democracy or morality.*

Pretty dumb thing to say that.

Jim

@Keith: show me the 'social contract' then and my signature on it, and we're sorted. I've never welshed on a deal yet so as long as you can prove I agreed it, which I'm sure you can, I abide by what I signed (I can't remember doing so, I must have been drunk, which is weird because I'm teetotal and always have been, but hey ho....)

Rob

"If most people are short and bad at baseball they are prevented through no fault of their own from earning lots of money from baseball so the state corrects this inequality by taxing the baseball star."

The financial difference between the sports star and the spectator is a symptom of inequality, not the inequality itself. The inequality is in the skills of the individuals, and in the extent to which those skills are appreciated and admired by others. What do you propose to do about that inequality?

MrArt

Here's sports fans being deprived by high tax rates: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/04/how-marginal-tax-rates-changed-boxing.html

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