Monday, September 20, 2010

Where we are

Here is a NY Times columnist writing about "The Angry Rich". I suppose that most of them do not want to pay their "fair" share, whatever that is. And many of them are that way, of course, because they are "greedy". And they are insensitive to the many "needs" of the federal government. No need to make this up. Another member of the smart set (writing about the estate tax) notes "It's Fair, and We Need the Revenue" (in today's WSJ).

I do not suppose that these commentators consider that there may be another view. Targeted tax rates are the problem because they feed class warfare attitudes and emotions -- as the language used in the debate so powerfully illustrates. Perhaps putting human envy aside is impossible, but making it the centerpiece of politics can be dangerous. And that is exactly where we now seem to be. Trust politicians (and their acolytes) to lock this bone firmly in their jaws.


Richard Epstein covers all this and much more in this outstanding podcast.