Taxes and the Total State

Biden has proposed a rather draconian tax initiative: you can read some of the details and an analysis here.  It will be justified, of course, by claims about “asking the rich to pay their fair share”, and “equity”…and I’ve already seen arguments that no one should be concerned about this unless they are very high income or soon expect to be, and that there aren’t many people in that category.

Some responses are obvious: Taxes originally targeted at high income levels have a way of migrating downward through the income levels–the income tax itself is an example.  The capital gains rates are in reality much higher than they look, because of the effect of inflation on asset prices.  Corporate income tax increases can affect everybody, regardless of income levels, in their roles as workers, consumers, and/or investors. And there is the matter of fairness–true fairness, not faux fairness:  it is not truly fair, democratic, or even civilized to assume that because there is only a small number of people in a given group, the rest of the society is entitled to do anything to them that they feel like doing.

But there is also, I think, an even more important point to be made.  A tax structure like this Biden plan–with its likely extensions and increases over time–acts to prevent the establishment and sustainment of individuals and families wealthy enough to act as a countervailing force to the government–media–academic complex.  I think the kind of people who inhabit the Biden administration, and who dominate today’s Democratic Party, do not like to see power & influence centers outside of this complex.  They really, really don’t like it, for example, that someone like Elon Musk can bypass their censorship efforts by buying and running a social media company.

Woodrow Wilson disliked the whole idea of separation of powers within government, which seemed to him to violate some kind of organic principle.  Totalitarians of all kinds have striven to eliminate alternative centers of loyalty and influence within their overall societies.  As Benito Mussolini put it:  “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”

Whatever your current and expected income and wealth levels–if you value the continuation of America as a free society, then you have a dog in this fight.

This is Interesting

UpSmith is a startup focused on solving the shortage of skilled workers, as seen by employers, by addressing the problems of skill development and career mobility, as seen by employees.  As part of this effort, UpSmith wants to work on improving the image of skilled-trades jobs.

Can make an important contribution if it succeeds.