[p2p-research] Building Alliances

J. Andrew Rogers reality.miner at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 19:39:51 CET 2009

On Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 9:29 AM, Paul D. Fernhout
<pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
> Taxes are often talked about in terms of incentives and disincentives, as
> theory. Your comments buy into that premise. From there, endless economists
> will create a flurry of fancy sounding mathematical statements to show why
> the rich need more money.

The basic political problem with tax structures is that their
real-world properties are very poorly aligned with ideological
preferences at a pretty fundamental level. We can't change the
function, only alter the parameters, and yet many tax policies are
essentially an exercise in willful denial that the function even
exists.  These functions are extremely robust across every
socio-political construct for which we have empirical data. This is
not particularly surprising since the similarity between
thermodynamics and economics is more than superficial at the
theoretical level.

The vast majority of people are in deep denial about the necessary
tradeoffs of their preferred tax structure, whichever it may be.

> If you look at taxes from a human rights perspective, as well as a way to
> control for systemic risks resulting from concentration of wealth, then you
> get to the same practical suggestion (tax the rich a lot on a progressive
> scale) but for different theoretical reasons.

Concentrations of wealth are extraordinarily useful for real progress.
It is how most really great ideas get funded.

J. Andrew Rogers

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