The elected officials of your country spent taxes to create an environment that was perfectly…

I think the issue you have to contend with, really, is to think that I’m a man in my late 30s writing on the internet about economics. Do you suppose that in all my years I haven’t come across one of the many libertarian hot takes that taxes are impediments to the full flourishing of the human spirit? That the issue here is not that I haven’t come across the perspective before but that such opinions are like yeast and that it’s essential to clean them out of unrelated comment threads before they get everywhere?

I mean, I disagree with the late night undergraduate genius of direct polling on tax allocation, but it’s also irrelevant because the piece was about the levying of taxes, not how they’re spent.

If you don’t disagree with taxes “in principle” then it must make sense to you that their impacts are a matter of politics. As a rule those who are serious about such things tend to agree that optimal tax policy should hit rents and unearned income and try to avoid discouraging productive activity. As I pointed out, the marginal productivity theory that axiomatically justifies high executive pay is, in the most generous analysis, lacking in empirical evidence, and at worst outright false. The evidence is far more on the side of those, like me, who see the high remunerations of the management class as simply being a case of institutional capture and rent seeking.

The proposal above simply tries to put a check on this growing parasitic class of nouveau-aristocrats by giving shareholders a real dollars-and-cents guide to how much the executive class is worth. Are they worth more than a 5% or a 10% tax cut? It’s arguable that some are. Perhaps Steve Jobs was. But are all of them? Really?

As to whether the UK welfare policy was optimum to produce JK Rowling’s art, it was certainly sufficient, because we have the Harry Potter books. The question is, would we have more or less art to consume under different sociological structures? How many great books haven’t you got to read because their authors had to “go and get a proper job”? How many mediocre books have been published because access to the spare time required to produce them is rationed to those whose parents have means?

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