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Punishing the Industrious <– J.S. Mill


"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant."

Both in England and on the Continent a graduated property tax (l’impôt progressif [progressive tax]) has been advocated, on the avowed ground that the state should use the instrument of taxation as a means of mitigating the inequalities of wealth.

I am as desirous as any one that means should be taken to diminish those inequalities, but not so as to relieve the prodigal at the expense of the prudent.

To tax the larger incomes at a higher percentage than the smaller is to lay a tax on industry and economy; to impose a penalty on people for having worked harder and saved more than their neighbours.

It is not the fortunes which are earned, but those which are unearned, that it is for the public good to place under limitation.

— John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (1848)

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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in economic, Philosophy, Politics

 

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Grasping Government Supporters <- KAZ


Government programs are driven by greed, not altruism.

It is the selfish who demand that politicians take money from others, and redistribute it to themselves.

KAZ Vorpal, But Now You Know (2011)

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2011 in economic, Politics

 

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Clueless Central Bankers <- Mandelbrot


It is beyond belief that we know so little about how people get rich or poor, about how it is they come to dwell in comfort and health or die in penury and disease.

Financial markets are the machines in which much of human welfare is decided; yet we know more about how our car engines work than about how our global financial system functions. We lurch from crisis to crisis. In a networked world, mayhem in one market spreads instantaneously to all others—and we have only the vaguest of notions how this happens, or how to regulate it.

So limited is our knowledge that we resort, not to science, but to shamans. We place control of the world’s largest economy in the hands of a few elderly men, the central bankers.

— Benoît Mandelbrot, The (Mis)Behavior of Markets (2004)

Mandelbrot was also a brilliant mathematician, the father of Fractal Geometry

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in economic, Politics, Science

 

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Politicians: Useless for Prosperity


Atlas, Supporting Taxes and RegulationsRoaming the world as a foreign correspondent for more than a decade, I was able to observe how a variety of vastly different nations organized themselves economically.

The inescapable conclusion was that no politician anywhere on the planet has ever actually created a rupee’s worth of prosperity.

Louis Rukeyser, “Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street” newsletter, Nov 96

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2009 in Foreign Policy, Politics

 

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