Friday, December 17, 2010
The Reality Behind Soak the Rich Class Warfare
2. According to a study by Prince & Associates, less than 10% of today's multi-millionaires cited "inheritance" as their source of wealth.
3. A study by Spectrem Group found that among today's millionaires, inherited wealth accounted for just 2% of their total sources of wealth.
The implication of the blog piece is that there is liberal agenda beyond redistribution in targeting the wealthy for higher rates of taxation - class warfare, perhaps, or some kind of retribution for an immoral capitalism that allows such wealth accumulation. Well there are liberals who think such things I'm sure, but this one will go with the majority in believing that since "the market" is amoral ('fairness' is not a concept of Economics), it is the government's responsibility to bring moral concepts like fairness, human well-being, and greater equality of opportunity to bear on society, bringing that society to a better place on the "moral landscape" (Harris). What tax rates are optimal to produce the greatest fairness may of course be hotly debated, but a single rate for all is not likely to be it, and a different rate for those who inherited their wealth woudl indeed be immoral, but I don't know of anyone advocating that! Unlike Willie, we tax in support of social goals not because we love tax collection.