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Higher Taxes Don't Make Capitalism "Work Better"

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by James E Miller of Mises Canada,

“Would Capitalism Work Better With Higher Taxes?”

That’s the title of a new Globe and Mail editorial written by Doug Saunders. The question is innocent enough. The article treads lightly on the topic without ideological moralizing. The dilemma of how to make capitalism “work better” is a common trope in mainstream rags. Saunders wants to come off as a moderate thinker who’s just trying to do what’s best for everyone. I suspect there’s something more sinister behind his motives.=

Anyone who understands the basics of capitalism knows taxation acts as a hindrance. There is no question about this. Capitalism is the free trading of goods and services; taxation is the violent extortion of the gains of voluntary trade. Anything that gets in the way of the capitalist process necessarily hinders it.

In no possible way will higher taxes make capitalism “work better.” Those who claim otherwise are either one of two things: ignorant of what capitalism is, or insidiously plotting its demise. I suspect Mr. Saunders knows what he is doing. In his piece, he gives slight deference to the orthodox view that higher taxes create a disincentive to produce. He even cites the fact that the James Bond flick Moonraker was shot all over the globe, except for the place where the Ian Fleming story takes place: England. The producers did everything they could to avoid paying Britain’s top income-tax rate of 83%. Hardly anyone could blame them for taking such measures. Even the Beatles and the Rolling Stones departed their home country for places with a softer tax burden.

Saunders understands this but it affects him not. He is convinced data disproves the idea that people want to keep more of their own income. Like any good news columnist, he has an academic to back him up. Thomas Piketty, a French economist, has focused much of his latest work on diving into the historic trends of income inequality. He discovered that wide income inequality acts as a large deterrent to raising living standards. Saunders, being the susceptible stooge waiting for an excuse to flex his statism, now has a scholar to throw in everyone’s face. Of Piketty’s theory, he writes,

“normal market economies, if left to themselves, will always enter a dangerous spiral in which previously existing wealth will grow in value much faster than either wages or sales.”

For Piketty, in unfettered markets, the rate of return on capital putatively outraces worker income. This is bad because it necessarily puts the rich capital owners in a privileged position when compared to the lower classes. The buildup of “dead wealth” is acting as an anchor on economic growth since too much capital remains underutilized. Therefore, Piketty proposes a number of methods to jolt life back into the capitalist class by forcing them to put their assets to work. Saunders is all for this approach and says it’s “bound to become mainstream policy sooner or later.” The only problem is, this approach to economic micromanagement has been in use since the days of Keynes. There’s nothing novel about using government authority to rid the rich of their wealth.

The underlying basis for the Piketty view is the positively Keynesian idea that idle resources are somehow bad; that if machinery, factories, plant equipment, and other forms of capital are going unused, then people are losing the opportunity to work. Economist William H. Hutt destroyed this entire notion in his The Theory of Idle Resources, where he pointed out that unused capital is never really worthless. There is always the possibility for future use. As he wrote,

“[R]esources may, however, be held up for some more wanted employment in such a way that they are not actually idle. The process of investment in them, or of continuous receipt of ‘availability’ services is still present.”

The idea that sitting capital is somehow a benefit to the wealthy is asinine. Sitting, functionless capital doesn’t get a return. It must be put to work. If it appears to be out of use, there is a good reason for it. Either the owner sees no profit opportunities presently or has bigger plans waiting to be implemented.

Economic central planners tend to think they know how to best use other people’s property. Their goal is accounted for in aggregate terms rather than individual preference. They see resources as things that exist to employ others. The very concept of personal ownership screws up their plans; so they attack it in the name of curing unemployment.

In Piketty’s work, he does his best to come off as friendly towards markets and claims to be apprehensive about increasing the size of government. But even so, his worry over capital’s dominance is tainted with Marxist thinking. His solution to the wealthy becoming too powerful is, according to Saunders, “targeting inheritance and extremely high salaries with deterrent taxes.” He even claims that inheritance – that is passing down the fruits of your labor to your children – actually “contradicts the basic principles of capitalism.”

If handing down your own property to your loved ones contradicts capitalism, then so does profit-making in general. People don’t invest, produce, work, and risk their wealth to make sure the trains run on time for everyone. They do so for their own benefit. The same goes for inheritance; which by its nature is a long-view approach to accumulating wealth.

Holding capital does not exact significant harm on the lower rungs of society. On the contrary, it provides the very basis of elongated production methods that produce intricate goods. Without the capitalist, there are no funds to pay workers. The capitalist, as economist Richard Ebeling writes, “saves, forgoing consumption or other uses of his wealth, and those savings are the source of the workers’ wages during the production process.” Punishing someone who saves capital for a later date is a good way to guarantee the stagnation of rising living standards. It’s hard enough for producers and investors to foresee consumer wants; academics and pundits are necessarily in a worst position to decide.

So do higher taxes make capitalism better? The answer is unequivocally “no.” But that won’t stop statist apparatchiks like Doug Saunders from cherry-picking data and sources to make the case for higher taxes. There can be a number of reasons for low economic growth. Low taxation and capital-hoarding businessmen are never one of them.

 

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Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:12 | 4651112 svayambhu108
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ERRATA: Highest tax 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:28 | 4651170 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

let's just say, for a moment, that taxes are 100% of everything you earn, everything you own, everything you sell

fine. you'll just be homeless. along with the rest of the population.

and that will teach the cruel taxers a lesson, because you have nothing left to tax.

but guess what.

there are still plenty of dungeons and machetes to go around.

so remember: pay your taxes!

hugs,
mistermugabe 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:49 | 4651225 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

1.) The tax code is nothing more than a vote buying scheme.   I'll lower your taxes, and you will then vote for me.

2.) The tax code is nothing more than a device to keep the oligarchs in power.  Ever wonder why Uncle Warren Buffet only pays himself $100k/year in income?  Because he can get into a much lower bracket by paying capital gains taxes on his stock ownership.  Couples making $250k/year pay a much higher % of their incomes in taxes which keeps a lid on their upward mobility.  The .01% doesn't want any up and comers to get a cut of their power and wealth.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:33 | 4651362 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy." Daniel Webster

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:10 | 4651458 redpill
redpill's picture

It's not only the amount of tax but the type of tax.  We waste billions on compliance.   Instead we could have a single retail sales tax on new goods and services that would be far more efficient and less meddlesome.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:47 | 4651526 TimmyB
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And thus lower and middle income earners will be taxed at a much higher rate and the super wealthy have their taxes cut to almost nothing. Buy food, clothes or other necessities with your earnings---pay taxes. Buy stocks bonds, or any other investments---pay no taxes.

That's so fucking retarded that next week I expect to see a Mises article telling me how great it would be.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 16:11 | 4651724 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

How about a flat tax then, that you can fill out on a postcard.  So simple even a monkey could do it.  We could save billions on compliance that way too.  I'm much more in favor of that, as opposed to a national sales tax.  Thats just another burden on business to collect it and remit it to .gov. 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 16:43 | 4651873 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

A graduated tax can also be filled out on a post card.. Taxes are complex because so many tax breaks have been purchased from congress.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 17:40 | 4652051 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

See my post above then:

The tax code is nothing more than a vote buying scheme.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 19:28 | 4652382 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

More accurately, relief from taxes and our criminal laws is a political campaign financing scheme. 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:05 | 4651269 RiverRoad
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"The rich don't pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes."

 

Leona Helmsley  (who went to jail for saying that)

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 02:46 | 4653332 nyuszika45
nyuszika45's picture

Not really FOR saying that... only after saying that and someone taking a serious look at her finances, namely the IRS. One could be forgiving for thinking that such a statement might cause raised eyebrows and closer reviews... but that wouldn't happen in a "free" country, right?

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:42 | 4651209 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

What a ridiculous diatribe.  Obviously if the taxes are low and the tax money well spent on promoting free markets there is no problem. A justice system,  fair laws, and protection from predation are essential to free markets and Capitalism does not mean free markets.  The United States government is just another capitalist enterprise on a global scale. 

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:00 | 4651256 roadlust
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Yeah, "Capitalism" doesn't exist in the abstract, as it's most ardant junior high school proponents want to believe.  

It exists in the context of an entity powerful and socially acceptable enough to encourage mass public participation in a whole variety of abstract laws, or at least enforce them enough to have things like "contracts, patents, interest, ownership, property boundaries," and on and on, be possible. 

In this country, the question should be, "What is good for the majority of people in a civilized democracy," not what is "good" for an abstact economic theory that cannot exist outside of the modern nation/state structures that most human have organized, and/or live in.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:39 | 4651370 johnnymustardseed
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If you some how believe that the United States represents capitalism you are DELUSIONAL. This capitalism that rewards large primary dealer banks with a zero FED funds rate. Capitalism that required a 16 TRILLION DOLLAR bailout of the entire banking system. Free market capitalism that alows the manipulation of all vehicles of trade? High Frequency Trading does not represent capitalism. Tax cuts with new wars didn't work out. DON'T call what we have Capitalism.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:05 | 4651574 TimmyB
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High frequency trading is the perfect representation of unregulated capitalism. Unregulated capitalism is little more than doing what ever the fuck you want to make money no matter how it affects anyone else.

Capitalism is also GM allowing people to die rather than changing an ignition switch, tobacco companies selling cancer and a whole host of other corporations killing people so they can make another cent per share in earnings.

Stop kidding yourself as to what capitalism really is.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 17:46 | 4652070 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

I disagree.  Capitalism would let GM die, if they made inferior products that people died in.  Instead we have a government bail out of a shit company and they STILL wouldn't fix the problem.

As far as tobacco companies go, I could care less.  Unless you are a complete and utter dipshit, you know cigarettes are bad for you.  If you choose to smoke them, then the health problems you get are your problem, not the tobacco company.  Unless a tobacco company exec is holding a gun to your head telling you to smoke these cigarettes, then your point is invalid.

I like red wine.  If I die a few years earlier in life because I drink too much of it, how is that your problem?  Butt out of my life.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 22:42 | 4652752 TimmyB
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Capitalism doesn't do shit when companies make higher profits via selling unsafe and dangerous products.

Tobacco companies lied about their products for years.  They directed their advertising to children to get them hooked on the poison they were selling.  That's a prime example of capitalism. 

Ford let Pintos burn their owners to death to save less than 30 cents per car.  Another sterling example of unregulated capitalism.   Toyotas keep on accelerating and kill owners.  GM's financial problems had nothing to their decision to contine selling cars with faulty ignition switches. 

Making the most profit, no matter what, is all unregulated capitalism is about.  So what if people die as a result.  Before food safety regulations were enacted, spoiled and rotten food was sold to the puplic.  There are hundreds of other examples.  In fact, the whole reason government safety regulations were invented was that under unregulated capitalism people were dying at an alarming rate from dangerous products.  The Free Market God some here worship refused to fix the problem, so government had to act.  

Btw---if a person knowingly wishes to kill him or herself, then I don't give a shit.  But if you buy a product that you believe is safe, but the maker knows it's not, that's a problem unregulated capitalism isn't going to fix. 

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 07:41 | 4653515 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

So what about Fascism which we have in America today?

GMO crops engineered to produce poison to ward off pests, but cant be washed off, all with the FDA's blessing.

Vaccines containing Mercury, Aresnic, and various other heavy metals, all with the FDA's blessing

GM which wouldn't exist anymore without the governments blessing

TBTF&J Banks, HFT, and Dark Pools all with the blessing of the SEC

Congressional Exemption from insider trading laws with the blessing of... themselves.

The FED controlling every market in the world with our wonderful governments blessing

THAT is not Free Market Capitalism, it is some bastard Fascist/Socialist system with nothing more than the thinnest veil of capitalism which all but the most Cool-Aid drunken fanatics can see clearly through.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 17:58 | 4652108 mumbo_jumbo
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i can see johnny gets it.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:17 | 4651480 rwe2late
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Just asking:

 For "capitalists", is the question "what is good for me now?".

The ultimate capitaist good being measured in material accumulation and monetary profit. And with the seeking of such narrowly defined  self-interest one's social responsibility can theoretically end.

If others, including government, would only leave them alone, they could do whatever they want, free of consequences to any.

Thus they want to be "free" of government.

There is cognitive dissonance because they do not want government to leave others alone. They want their "rights" protected and the rights of others disregarded.

They must therefore illogically deny the role of government to any good of their status, and deny connecting the bad of capitalism to the bad status of others.

To do otherwise would mean foregoing their illusion of economic freedom (isolation) and imagined superiority,  and instead recognize their own political/economic/social dependencies and connections.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:37 | 4651643 booboo
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For "capitalists", is the question "what is good for me now?".

For starters you don't get to define words or terms.

Everyone acts in their own self interest, you just want to do it with other peoples money and hire the fucking government to do it for you because most people are to big of a fucking pussy to stick a gun in their neighbors face and take it from them. That would be GM or you in case you are wondering.

"Capitalism" ask for volunteers.

 

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:29 | 4651619 booboo
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"In this country, the question should be, "What is good for the majority of people in a civilized democracy," not what is "good" for an abstact economic theory that cannot exist outside of the modern nation/state structures that most human have organized, and/or live in."

There you go again with that DemoCrazy shit, you wanted to change the USA from a constitutional republic to a democracy and you did, now you complain because it don't work and then blame capitalism not working under a system that it is not designed to work under so you blame capitalism. A Democracy will alway degrade to fascism.

What part of democracy is not cohersive?

If majority rules in a democracy why is every democracy ruled by the minority.

If I had to be ruled let me be ruled by a King and not part time appointed caretakers (the government) hell bent on extracting as much wealth as they can before they leave office.

Oh, and fuck your democracy.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:25 | 4651605 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

It's all in the degree.  There are always happy mediums.  We're in an unhappy extreme at the moment.  I do have difficulty with "absolute" statements such as the Author makes.  There are no absolutes when it comes to humans, economics, and governance.  For example, his statement:

Capitalism is the free trading of goods and services

Completely false.  Capitalism is characterized by the constant effort to restrict free trade to gain an advantage.  That is why banker/Capitalists need go to the government to get laws passed that give them an unfair advantage.  Unions, cabals, trading blocs, corporations, patents, copyrights, etc. all exist to give one capitalist group control of markets.  I ask you this:

What good capitalist would not resort to any measures to take control of a market?

 

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 10:22 | 4653836 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

Getting laws passed to cement monopoly is the antithesis of Capitalism.

Fascism is where the government and big biz work together to monopolize industries and suppress the serfs.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:32 | 4651357 doctor10
doctor10's picture

Under the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, when enforced under  the Law, and not men, the USA for 200 years was the most fertile place in the world to sow capital.

Today, after licenses, regulation, insurance and taxation, and a debt degraded curency, capital is worthless in the USA today.

Any country, with a minimal debt-degraded currency, will have a minimum of license, regulatory, insurance and tax burden-as these are what leads to currency degradation as good money starts to leave under those circumstances.  Such a place is a better place to sow capital

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:13 | 4651124 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The more you tax something, the less of something you get. The percentages of ones taxation are merely the difference between petty theft & grand larceny.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:39 | 4651200 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Taxation is how they prevent upward mobility for the middle class in our 2-class system.  The well-connected rich or the poor get Gov money while paying shit in taxes.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:04 | 4651267 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Exactly right...that and inflation (the destruction of past, saved labor).

Its pretty funny really, the lesser & major Keynesians screaming "Dammit, you wage serfs aren't spending enough to keep us in the lifestyles we've become accustomed to! This is a social contract! This is a democracy!"

Well, actually no, assholes...not even close.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:23 | 4651323 Babaloo
Babaloo's picture

So Prof. Laffer, let's just reduce taxes to zero and we'll have an infinite amount of everything.

I like where you're going with this.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 16:51 | 4651899 nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol...unless I misjudge your sarcasm, ok then, why not tax everyones income at 100% and lets see what is bought & sold freely to be taxed.

And if you do not agree that taxation is "legalized theft", you would have to agree that double taxation is robbery.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:16 | 4651129 Debugas
Debugas's picture

it all depends on how the collected taxes are spent later on

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:42 | 4651210 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I'd rather be in charge of how my money is spent.

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 10:25 | 4653839 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

Gotta love the random downvotes on comments such as these.

I have one: "I'd rather live than be murdered by my government."

Let the downvoting begin!

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:16 | 4651130 SmilinJoeFizzion
SmilinJoeFizzion's picture

Apparently raising taxes affects the climate for the better

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:19 | 4651136 toady
toady's picture

While true, the article is irrelevant because we're not in a capitalist society. Taxes suck the life out of the middle class to enrich the .government, that turns around and enrichs the TBTF. 

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:19 | 4651138 billwilson
billwilson's picture

Hmmm ... another POS article from Mises Canada. C'mon Tyler, this is getting really boring. 

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:44 | 4651214 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Weekend Tylers.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:20 | 4651140 reader2010
reader2010's picture

"Capitalism is the free trading of goods and services;" 

==============

If that's how you define capitalism,  then capitalism has been in existence since the discovery of agriculture some 15,000 years ago. 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:39 | 4651646 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

And before. The native American tribes had a system of barter that pretty much included the whole continent.

But it was mostly between tribes. In the tribe, things were a lot closer to a share-all socialism. Even today, the Giveaway is part of a lot of ceremonies.

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 10:27 | 4653847 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

Are you implying that it hasn't, reader2010?

Did rocks not exist before Humans applied a name to them?

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:22 | 4651146 teslaberry
teslaberry's picture

THIS IS REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING BULLSHIT HERE. 

TAXATION ISNT ABOUT CAPITALISM COMMUNISM XISM BLAHISM. 

TAXATION HAS BEEN AROUND BEFORE ALL THESE BULLSHIT DIAMETRICAL-OPPOSITIONALISM PHILOSPHIES OF POLITICAL-ECONOMICS WERE NARRATED BY AUTHORS OF CLAIMED KNOWLEDGE OF ONTOLOGICAL STRUCTURES DESCRIBING HUMAN BEINGS IN EVER MORE COMPLEX MANNERS.

 

TAXATION IS ABOUT FUCKING POWER SIMPLE. 

taxation can be very good for capitalism communism xism blahism or it can be BAD . taxation is a matter of someone TAKING THEIR POWER AND PUTTING IT INTO USE TO TAKE OTHER PEOPLE'S RESOURCES. 

 

that can be a good thing or a bad thing for the general people who A) pay the tax B) don't pay the tax C) both D) neither [ people who are no where near the taxation going on ]

IT DEPENDS ON CONTEXT 

 

the capitalism versus communishm bullshit is getting very old and tiring.     there are only collapsing systems and growing systems. the idea of a 'sustainable' beautiful system that hits a plateau and gets to hang out there for a while is complete bullshit. all systems are dynamic. the larger the system is , the more dynamic it is. stability being a mere illusion of dynamic changes averaging out to whatever the 'stability' itself looks like. 

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:48 | 4651540 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Well you have to admit that giving public money to protect billionaires has worked out exceedingly well for the billionaires.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:23 | 4651150 drstrangelove73
drstrangelove73's picture

Anyone else notice the trumpeting of increasing federal government tax revenues this week for 2013?
Anyone notice how the real economy is in the crapper with record low growth and unemployment at this stage of a depression/ recession?
Anyone think the Obama media will discover this coincidence?
Me neither.
Higher taxes= lower growth.
Lower taxes= higher growth?
Everytime.
I lived through the Carter/Reagan years.this country desperately needs a rollback of stifling government regulation and an across the board tax cut for people who work.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:40 | 4651204 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"this country desperately needs a rollback of stifling government regulation and an across the board tax cut for people who work."

But, but, where will we get the money for Earned Income Credit payouts?  Think of the chirruns!  It's fo dem chirruns, ya know.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:52 | 4651237 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

And all of those OBAMAFONES!!

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:24 | 4651154 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

Fascist governments, crony corporations, and criminal banksters don't give a flying fuck about true free-market Capitalism.

"Competition is a sin, therefore you must destroy it." ~ John D. Rockefeller

"Give me control of a nation's currency, and I care not who makes the laws." ~ Meyer A. Rothschild

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:00 | 4651567 frank650
frank650's picture

Neither do the people who elect officials that enable cronyism.   

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:34 | 4651169 falak pema
falak pema's picture

captialism is not a civilization meme : its like a catapult, a means.

A civilization meme defines the essence of what living in a social network means. One law, one basic governing principle and one methodology, aka a democratic, law abiding republic.

How the democratic process (methodology) works; the degree of local to federal laws and power strctures; the power sharing between the elected and the people; the degree of individual freedom compatible with the social contract; are all parameters that have to be agreed on by the social network, on a top down AND bottom up dialogue basis. Its a recurrent process that never ends. 

How does the capitalist catapult fit in with this? Its a means to achieve production and consumption being effcient; just that and nothing else.

As for wealth creation, that requires as prerequisite we define what  "wealth" means. It  is a notion that goes beyond just economic measurement; aka the monetarised wealth yardstick.

A greater measure of wealth is what people achieve as sense of satisfaction during their passage on Earth. And that is not just a question of means of production and consumption.

Its a much bigger issue. 

A capitalist system without a clear definition of what the social contract is, is  the US system today; right down to a T. 

I'd love to see people define an efficient  catapult for the headless chickens that we have become.

Oligarchy self-serving rule and utopian, anarchy dreaming fools. 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:34 | 4651185 ThirdCoastSurfer
ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

Capitalism is the exchange of free and fair trade. Purists will argue against fair, but they are duplicitious. 

Fair then, is the penalty that the free hand imposes as punishment for violating the rules of fair. 

It is a wasteful and onerous penalty to be sure, just as a lack of fairness has polluted the oceans to the point that it's mercury content is harmful to the unborn. 

No pollution, no EPA, no banksters, no SEC, etc., etc., etc.

If you want capitalism unobstructed by taxation, learn to paly fair. 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:35 | 4651188 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

I'm still trying to comprehend the governments insistence upon a prior claim to the compensation for my labor.....

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:52 | 4651239 Neo
Neo's picture

You are a slave.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:43 | 4651192 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

The premise of the article is incorrect and all other erroneous conclusions follow.

Capitalism is NOT the FREE exchange of goods and services.

\The existence of "capitalism" is dependent on protected property rights (government enforced). The origin of taxes is essentially to protect, enforce, acquire, and expand those arguable "rights".

Capitalism is about restricting access to land,water, animals, labor, and other resources.

The more restricted the access,, the greater the profit, always toward monopolization.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:52 | 4651226 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

The existence of "capitalism" is dependent on protected property rights (government enforced). The origin of taxes is essentially to protect, enforce, acquire, and expand those arguable "rights"

Are you saying there was no capitalism in the US and there were no property rights before taxation?  That's a crock of shit.

State and federal inheritance taxes began after 1900, while the states (but not the federal government) began collecting sales taxes in the 1930s. The United States imposed income taxes briefly during the Civil War and the 1890s, and on a permanent basis from 1913.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:54 | 4651242 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

 Taxes existed long before 1900, whether US tariffs or King George's.

Also, taxes are NOT the only means govenment uses in furtherance and protection of property rights.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:58 | 4651248 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

We had a revolution over taxation.  We didn't have income tax until our new kings took over, The Fed.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:17 | 4651479 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

No, we had a revolution over paying taxes to a Government that did not represent those being taxed. Death and taxes have been consistent since the beginning of civilization.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 18:28 | 4652179 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

/ Freemason Rhetoric /?

Benjamin Franklin
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 02:32 | 4653323 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Yep.  Try, try and try again.  The truth shall set us free.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:06 | 4651272 Neo
Neo's picture

Bullshit.

None of the evils you attribute to capitalism are possible without the Government gun.

I am, though, able to transact freely with others for goods and services without government "help". Actually I would be able were it not for the IRS wanting a piece.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:25 | 4651332 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

 You miss the point that "capitalism", and the property rights of capitalism,  exist only with  government protection.

It is the fantasy of capitalism without property rights and the protection of government that is  bullshit.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 19:08 | 4652316 LooseLee
LooseLee's picture

If 'The Rule of Law' is 'protection'---then so be it...

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 17:02 | 4651941 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

Yeah right, call me when you're 85 years old and wanting some nurse to wipe your butt. I'll be glad and recite to you your demand for independence.

Just be glad your mom didn't kick you out the door when you were six months old and demand you get a job

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:58 | 4651563 frank650
frank650's picture

Monopoly power only exists when government is involved.

 

Name me one free market monopoly today.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:34 | 4651634 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

In other words, name one place without a functioning government.

No, back in the Dark Ages there was nothing like government, only armed gangs. They monopolized the ownership of the one productive resource (land) through pure armed force. You can define that as government if that's your ideology.

Commercial monopolies have always been a private attempt to end competition, organized and maintained by the private interests, bribing and intimidating government officials for that end. Government monopolies tend toward areas where there's a massive capital requirement with uncertain profit, or areas where there is little or no profit. When it is profitable, somehow it always gets privatized.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:38 | 4651197 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"So do higher taxes make capitalism better?"

Will salt or ketchup make a turd tastier?

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:38 | 4651198 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Fuck taxes. Throw the Globalist oligarchs into prisons and re-distribute their stolen wealth.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:15 | 4651298 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Isn't redistribution and fairness the sales pitch for taxation?

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:58 | 4651562 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Yeah, but you know how the kids are...

They got the gimmees.

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:39 | 4651202 samsara
samsara's picture

Martin Armstrong has an interesting comment on this.

Debt & Taxes – Wisdom from the Past

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/04/11/debt-taxes-wisdom-from-the-past/

" Ten Commandments forbids Marxism for its clearly states that you should NOT covet thy neighbor’s goods. Socialism is all about taking money from people who earn it and they call this “social justice”. "

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:43 | 4651211 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Before Marxism was born we had Kings doing the same thing. 

Why do you get stuck with the chicken bone of "marxism" in your throat? 

Ever heard of primacy of fact and logic? 

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 07:36 | 4652467 ZH11
ZH11's picture

I'd wager a large chunk of cash that the guy who made that statement has read as much Marx as he has operating instructions for the Challenger space shuttle.

Capitalism is founded on the valorization of capital through exploitation of labour power, but the guy who proved this is now the guy who is now the theif according to the guy quoting the bible as an interpretation of the world today?

All very weird.

 

 

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:44 | 4651213 massornament
massornament's picture

Oh puleez... I am not saying that there isn't massive government waste nor that the government go-to solution of raising taxes isn't out of control but just look at any social media company, any smartphone company, any computer manufacturer, and anything to do with the series of tubes that we call the internet... billions in "violently extorted" tax dollars in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and onward was spent on developing the digital computer, aerospace, aviaonics, materials research, rocket technology, satellites, networked communications, nuclear power/weapons, etc. Now look at how many capitalist enterprises are benefiting from all of that state-subsidized R&D and making millions/billions off of it. And companies like Apple and Google actively seek to pay no taxes aborad or hide their mountains of cash in offshore accounts. ZH has pointed out that most of the technologies going into your average iPhone all come from state(tax)-funded R&D in the military-industrial sector. Hell, Facebook just bought a drone company... I wonder where all the R&D for drone technology came from?

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:33 | 4651627 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

The tired old "You didn't build that" argument.

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:46 | 4651666 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Nothing tired about it. Except that Barry used it as a headfake. Along with all the other headfakes.

No, it would be nice to see everything depending on individual efforts. But it would mean ignoring a lot of the real world.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:50 | 4651233 giorgioorwell
giorgioorwell's picture

Oh, come on. This is high school level economics and  false argument, and more dangerously a distraction from the actual issues in the real world. How about not allowing the insane number of loopholes that exist for corporations so that they end up paying no taxes.  These hypothetical tax rates you are talking about are a joke to elites/corporations with armies of accountants and tax experts.

Yes, our federal government needs to be shrunk radically, starve the beast, stop fighting wars we can't afford etc, etc...but the level to which the elites and corporations pay a fraction of what you think they are paying is the main issue. 

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:25 | 4651330 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

The Fed GovT does not rely on taxes.  They have a printing press.

 

The printing press is the faucet.

Taxes are the drain.

 

Imagine someone sent their taxes to the IRS in dollar bills instead of writing a check.   The IRS would forward these old notes to the US Treasury for shredding.  The US GovT does not need your taxes.  They tax in an attempt to throttle inflation.  That is why taxes may soon rise.  Not because they need the money, they can print that.  They will tax to drain money from the economy.

 

You cannot starve the beast by refusing it its own legal tender.  The beast can print as much as it wants.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:55 | 4651240 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

This is what I hate about the Misians.  They waste valuable brain-width, bandwidth and the ability to further their thought processes (WHICH I AGREE WITH) on these stupid theoretical articles.

Deal with something that will become the boiling point!!!!

The world is falling apart, it is time for another article about the evils of minimum wage.....!!!!!

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:56 | 4651245 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

They turn the most obvious platitudes into a work of philosophy only they can/should understand. That's when they are not selling you multiculturalism and mass immigration.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:53 | 4651682 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Like any free market economic religion, it's there as lipstick on a pig. To keep people from seeing where the pig's rooting around.

Like the potboilers of Ayn Rand and the sci-fi of Robert Heinlein, it's believable as long as you suspend disbelief. In the real world, Give Me Everything Because I'm Wonderful and living all human relations at the point of a gun don't work well long term. Not very efficient.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 21:27 | 4652791 mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Yep!

There musings are like listening to someone drone on about how liquids behave in zero gravity. And worse, they get downright condescending with anyone who points out that we don't live in zero gravity.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:56 | 4651244 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Steering Wheel Falls Off - 2011 Chevy Cruze

 

Let's go beyond crony capitalism business model. Stealing taxpayer monies to make a pencil whipped GDP forecast. Excelling national debt ceiling to trick mouth feeders in believing the unicorn deflationary recessionary window is behind us. I digress.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 21:38 | 4652831 TalkToLind
TalkToLind's picture

If you want your steering wheel you can keep your steering wheel.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:56 | 4651247 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

And in other tax news...if mom and dad or gma and papaw forget to pay their taxes... The IRS can come take the money from you.

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/04/11/irs-seizing-tax-refunds-children-gr...

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:02 | 4651262 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Police: Census worker made death look like homicide to get money. I believe the IRS workers will play out this same scam.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:17 | 4651305 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Saw that, from a different source...

"A few weeks ago, with no notice, the U.S. government intercepted Mary Grice’s tax refunds from both the IRS and the state of Maryland. Grice had no idea that Uncle Sam had seized her money until some days later, when she got a letter saying that her refund had gone to satisfy an old debt to the government — a very old debt.

When Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them."

If I said Mary Grice is being treated like a debt slave, would that be razzzist? ;-)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/social-security-treasury-target-hundreds-of-thousands-of-taxpayers-for-parents-old-debts/2014/04/10/74ac8eae-bf4d-11e3-bcec-b71ee10e9bc3_story.html

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 12:59 | 4651253 Ghostmaker
Ghostmaker's picture

Your basing this entire article on the beleif that a person who earns money knows how to spend it wisely. But as we all know only government knows how to spend money in a wise fashion to help themselves and political favorites. Why rock the boat? Not to mention government needs the ability to promise free stuff to secure voters to keep in power. That is the current state of affairs in the USA.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:07 | 4651276 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

We needs the freedoms and then we can all like benefit and stuff.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:13 | 4651294 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

And how about that @6% that the Fed rakes off our taxes every year right into their own private pockets???

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:15 | 4651297 ZH11
ZH11's picture

Absolutely brilliant!

I haven't laughed at something on this site that much for ages.

It's perfect in every sense of what would be expected on this site from someone associated with the ideology of Von Mises and it doesn't fail to deliver in every way that I expected it to when I embarked on reading it.

1. Defends the wealthy getting even richer - check.

2. Picks an easy target subject and opponent - check.

3. Takes the oppurtunity to discredit other economic thinkers by misrepresenting their ideas as a rule - check.

4. Intimates that any economic thought that was not held by God himself (Von Mises) is communistic by the use of words such as Marxist and apparatchiks - check.

5. Produces alleged counter arguments that have no substance - check.

6. Rambles on about subjects he really has no understanding of - check.

All in all it's brilliant, keep them coming! 

 

 

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:19 | 4651303 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

I think your wrong ZH11. We love our country. What is happening is terribly wrong!

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:30 | 4651349 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the wages of miserly drum beating.

Well said.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:23 | 4651325 Benign
Benign's picture

Well said, ZH11

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:25 | 4651331 bjfish
bjfish's picture

Capitalism (free market system) does require property rights and the rule of law to function properly.

High taxes and corruption/cronyism are themselves a violation of property rights and rule of law (respectively).

It is often gov't that creates the problems (i.e. monopolies, disincentives, etc.) rather than the solutions.  Not to mention the tangled web of regulations that choke actual productive activity.

CLEARLY, we would prosper more with less gov't.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:30 | 4651346 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Almost April 15th and time to pay the taxes Amurika!

Remember, Ukraine needs your hard earned money!

So does the IMF, and warlords in Africa!

Let freedumb ring! (or thump, or clunk).

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:33 | 4651361 ThomasMalthus
ThomasMalthus's picture

You have to give credit to libertarians for being stupidly consistent.

 

My only wish is that I too could have a nut job following that gave ideological cover and enough public support for my crony capitalist ends and line my pockets.  I'd feed them all sorts of propaganda to keep them well enraged and deluded.  

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 13:42 | 4651374 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

The purpose of higher taxes is to control behavior.

The Communists want to control you by taxing you into the ground.

Commies don't believe in private property or individualism for the masses.

Neutralize them all.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:16 | 4651478 BeerMe
BeerMe's picture

True capitalism has long been dead.  The U.S. is stuck with a Keynesian monster.  Keynes afterall based his theories around the destruction of capitalism.  It was all about rebellion.  Really the editorial is just ignorant to the fact that we don't live in a capatilist system.  We live in a complete statist system.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:46 | 4651535 Rising Sun
Rising Sun's picture

That’s the title of a new Globe and Mail editorial written by Doug Saunders.

 

Canadian media - socialist as it gets.

 

So Doug, here's the message you fucking nazi dog.  Go fuck yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Canada is full of these socialist morons - want some booze in Ontario - well you go to the government liquor store.  Unreal.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:12 | 4651582 GreatUncle
GreatUncle's picture

True capitalism is 0% taxes, purchase only what you need and if it does not sell then that which should fail does.

Socialism is everybody pays for everything everyone demands and not affordable and that includes having children.

We have a hybrid mix of capitalism / socialism that does now workthe socialist part drives the debt ever higher.

Those things not viable continue to prosper fed from the incurred debt.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:27 | 4651613 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Useless article. America has about as much capitalism as Japan has oil.

When your capital can't even earn 1% in the bank thanks to QE and can't keep pace with inflation, what is the point of accumulating capital?

America practises confiscation by stealth.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 16:14 | 4651752 trader1
trader1's picture

capitalism is dead.

 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 15:46 | 4651664 Ludwig Von
Ludwig Von's picture

Time to put the word in the museum. 

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 20:10 | 4651747 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Another superficial article from the Mises Institute of Canada, which seems to specialize in writing ridiculously shallow analyses, that are only slightly better than the more mainstream mud puddle ones.

Under a system where private banks make the public "money" supply out of nothing as debts "capitalism" does not operate. "Capitalism" is a sham when that "capital" can be made out of nothing as debts by private banks, to then fund all other economic activities. Under that system of privatized "money" made out of nothing, the biggest tax is the perpetual inflation of that "money" supply. Automatically, everyone who provides goods or services for that "money" suffers their share of the economic pie diminishing, while those who produce "money" out of nothing as debts find their share of that pie increasing.

Of course, I initially agree with the view that "taxation is the violent extortion of the gains of voluntary trade." However, that is only understood in a very silly way by being expressed in that fashion, because, as soon as one subtracts human beings from their environment, then they necessarily must be perceived as acting as robbers in their environment. Groups of human beings are always operating as gangs of robbers. "Voluntary trade" never exists outside of some system of involuntary trades, robberies, that sets up the context for that "voluntary trading" to occur.

Of course, higher taxes would harm the idealized operations of "free market capitalism!"  However, there has never been any such idealized world which actually had "free market capitalism," because in the real world the ACTUAL "free market" includes the "free markets" in fraud and murder. While the Mises school of economics is better than the Keynesian, it is still grossly silly regarding the degree to which it can be systematically integrated with general energy systems theories. The Mises school of economics is slightly closer to appreciating the reality of human beings than the Keynesian, but still light years away from being able to be integrated into an understanding of the natural world, as the operation of general energy systems.

"Capitalism" operates as entropic pumps, the same as everything else. However, the idealized theories regarding that tend to deliberately ignore the ways that robbery is the foundation of all entropic pumping. Indeed, one of the most extreme ways that our understanding of the world was inverted was when we inserted an arbitrary minus sign into our entropy equations in thermodynamics and information theory, which resulted in us continuing to understand everything backwards.

To understand our real economic systems one must begin with understanding that governments are the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals, which are currently the biggest gangsters, the banksters. They have applied the methods of organized crime to take control over the political processes, so that governments legalized private banks creating the public "money" supply out of nothing as debts. That legalized counterfeiting is now the foundation of the entire political economy's accounting system.

I repeat this quote one more time:

http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/NWO/silent_weapons_quiet_wars.htm

Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars

"Energy is recognized as the key to all activity on earth. Natural science is the study of the sources and control of natural energy, and social science, theoretically expressed as economics, is the study of the sources and control of social energy. Both are bookkeeping systems: mathematics. Therefore, mathematics is the primary energy science. And the bookkeeper can be king if the public can be kept ignorant of the methodology of the bookkeeping. ... In this structure, credit, presented as a pure element called "currency," has the appearance of capital, but is in effect negative capital. Hence, it has the appearance of service, but is in fact, indebtedness or debt."

ECONOMICS IS A SCIENCE, THE WAY WARFARE IS A SCIENCE! Warfare is the oldest and best developed social science, whose success was based on deceits. Economics was built on top of the history of warfare, as a science whose success was based on frauds.

The political economy is always inside the human ecology. The money system is always inside the murder system. Taxation is robbery done by the biggest organized gangs of criminals, which get to call themselves the "government," as those are directed to do what they do by the ruling classes, which currently happen to be the banksters. More importantly, it is NOT possible to sensibly use human language to describe reality in any other way, since all human realities necessarily begin as SUBTRACTIONS of parts from the Whole, after which, there are necessarily ROBBERIES across those relatively defined boundaries of those parts. Human realities are ALWAYS organized systems of lies, operating robberies.

The Mises school of economics may well be slightly better than most others. However, it continues to be grossly superficial, because it does not approach understanding human activities as manifestations of general energy systems, integrated into the global general energy systems, and it does not engage in a radical critique of the concept entropy, as the way that the philosophy of science was most perverted by the ways that the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories dominate everything, whereby they created a Bizarro Mirror World Fun House, where the biggest criminals assert that they have the legal right to engage in their crimes, while they can project the power of legalized violence to enforce their view of who does not have the legal right to do that same thing. Therefore, our whole economy is based on privileged private banks being able to legally counterfeit the public "money" supply, in a way that is a crime for anyone else to do. THAT results, in itself, in the largest TAX, and continuing distortion to the ideals of "free market capitalism." Effectively, privatizing the public "money" supply privatizes the government's power to rob, by turning that power over to the control of private banks.

In that context, the primary thing that "higher taxes" would actually end up doing is generating more revenue for the government to pay its debts to private banks. Of course, that would NOT advance the idealized operations of "free market capitalism." However, schools of economics like Mises' (and all others that I am aware of) are NOT going to be systematic in their analyses, because doing so would result in the unavoidable conclusion that MONEY IS MEASUREMENT BACKED BY MURDER, which operates inside the general context that all forms of private property are claims backed by coercions.

A more thorough understanding of human activities which is made more consistent with other basic sciences is driven through a radical critique of those sciences, because it must come to terms with the ways that the biggest bullies' bullshit was able to dominate the philosophy of science, in similar ways that kind of bullshit was able to dominate every other social enterprise.

The Mises school of economics is still presuming that there could actually exist some "voluntary trade" that was not always inside of a larger context of "violent extortion." However, the moment we perceive human beings as separate from their environment, then they automatically must operate as entropic pumps, or as robbers in that environment. To be more consistently scientific about human civilizations requires the axiom that good analysis of those situations is always going to reveal some systems of organized lies, operating robberies, because that is the direct result of being able to have operated human language to describe those phenomena in the first place. To continue that line of axiomatic analysis, the only things that exist are the dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies and robberies.

In that context, the more that people are brainwashed to believe in the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories, which are all BACKWARDS, then the more that they will fall prey to the false fundamental dichotomies and related impossible ideals that always make the opposite happen in the real world. Sovereignty is based on the power to rob, with the power to kill being the most extreme form of robbery. Everyone has some power to rob and to kill to back that up. Governments are the assembling and channeling of those powers. In theory, all citizens are members of an organized crime gang, which is their country. However, they have been conditioned to not want to understand that, and therefore, to not effectively participate. Therefore, those powers of "We the People" have been almost totally privatized, with the most extreme manifestation of that being the "money" system in which private banks are allowed to make that out of nothing as debts for everyone else.

Higher taxes, primarily ending up to pay public debts to private banks, would obviously even more destroy the idealized operation of "free market capitalism." However, the genuine solutions are NEVER going to be based on the same old false fundamental dichotomies, and related impossible ideals, which is the frame of reference that the Mises school of economics continues to operate within. Meanwhile, the overwhelming vast majority of people do not understand the monetary and taxation systems because they do not want to understand. The vicious spiral of the funding of the political processes driving governments to become more crazy and corrupt has ALREADY become so bad that our society is terminally sick.

The Mises school of economics are merely more Black Sheeple, bleating their morality, while the ruling classes become more criminally insane, while employing their Domesticated Dogs to herd the masses of Zombie Sheeple. Governments now amount to the theoretical powers of the collective flock of Zombie Sheeple being controlled by the most Vicious Wolves, to be used against the interests of everyone, in the end, because the whole process is based upon attitudes of evil deliberate ignorance, in order to enable the social pyramid systems to operate in ways which are becoming more blatantly hypocritical all of the time, since promoting impossible ideals actually makes the opposite happen in the real world!

Just like the connection between taxes and the banksters' fiat money can be traced back to 1913 in the history of the USA, while similar histories can be elucidated in other countries, the perpetually amplifying paradox is that the collect powers of "We the People" are being used to rob them blind, while they have been conditioned to not want to understand that, which is especially the case because Black Sheeple groups, like the Mises school of economics, usually provide only slightly better analysis, followed by collapse back to the same old bullshit when proposing their "solutions."

We are presently faced with an emergency of being required to adapt human civilization to having already strip-mined our planet, whereby we have been high-grading ourselves to hell, by building systems based on being able to "grow" through increased strip-mining on a finite planet. We will be forced to adapt to the limits of being able to do that, by developing some different systems of human ecologies and industrial ecologies, which would have to be integrated with the natural ecologies, IF those were to become sustainably survivable. However, at the present time, our civilization is a social pyramid system, controlled by the lies and violence of the ruling classes, in which the opposition is also controlled to stay within the same bullshit as was originally promoted by the biggest bullies that built the existing social systems.

Some of the basic reasons for "low growth" are related to the ability to continue to strip-mine the planet, after all the highest grade natural resources have already been transformed into garbage and pollution. One of the reasons for that has been the treadmill of the DEBT ENGINES, which are the current, fundamentally fraudulent, financial accounting systems, which were first developed at about the same time as the first STEAM ENGINES. Both relate back to our being able to understand general energy systems better, but both also demonstrate the ways that information theory and thermodynamics understood the concept of entropy backwards, because that was the way which the biggest bullies approved of.

Increasing taxes to pay increasing debts is a recipe for more social polarization and destruction of the natural world. However, the genuinely better resolutions of those problems requires understanding the deeper structure of how and why those systems were able to be made and maintained in the first place. Ideally, what we should do is go through a series of profound  paradigm shifts, which are intellectual scientific revolutions, which would then apply to our political economy, as I have outlined above.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 17:31 | 4652033 Polymarkos
Polymarkos's picture

Economists are like the Medieval alchemists...all promise you they know secrets of turning lead to gold, but precious few do anything useful. And one can ALWAYS find an economist to support ANY point of view...you can find some who are certain Marx was absolutely correct in all things. The more politically charged a POV, the more certain you can be of a batch of sycophantic economists making a living supporting said POV.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 17:53 | 4652092 mumbo_jumbo
mumbo_jumbo's picture

"Capitalism is the free trading of goods and services"

 

apparently the author isn't paying attention, capitalism as i see it in America, is about free money to big banks, sweetheart deals to connected industries and the military industrial complex and then the inevitable bailout when the bets the players make go bad.

that my friend is capitalism American style.


Sat, 04/12/2014 - 18:34 | 4652194 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

The Year in Crypto [30c3]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJB1mYEZPPA (59:54)

The Tor Network [30c3] by Jacob Applebaum
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NxTFDDdjd4 (1:02:47)

Through a PRISM, Darkly - Everything we know about NSA spying [30c3]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMwPe2KqYn4 (1:03:33)

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 19:05 | 4652276 LooseLee
LooseLee's picture

I say we let anyone wanting more 'inflation' (e.g central banks and their crony bootlickers---Bloomberg radio blowhards) be categorically given that wish in the form of inflation of taxation...(on an individual level only). Leave the rest of us (true capitalists and freedom lovers) alone...

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 22:33 | 4652964 BuddyEffed
BuddyEffed's picture

Income disparity is destabilizing in way. Taxes are a way level out the disparity.  The problem is, the rich have been writing the tax code to benefit themselves.   Wasn't it Marie Antoinette who said "Let them eat cake" when the masses didn't have bread?  Funny how that played out.   History will likely rhyme again on this matter.

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 23:28 | 4653094 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

Higher taxes tend to make government bigger. Those who understand business and budgets should focus on this issue, a "Government Centered Economy" is one that does not work. more on this subject in the article below.

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2012/06/government-centered-economy.html

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 02:51 | 4653335 nyuszika45
nyuszika45's picture

Aside from the problem that is inherently found in the statist progressive "Gay and Male" in Toronto, the remarkable find that an academic somewhere, anywhere might have done research to support the high tax agenda is about as validating as the academic research found to support Holocaust deniers. A sufficiently exhaustive search would surely turn up some academic, sometime that supported the idea of a moon made of green cheese; but probably only if his work had been supported by US government grants.

In the worst case, there is always the "Flat Earth Society" as a bastion of refuge for the desperate reality hating types.

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 08:36 | 4653575 new guy
new guy's picture

It is true that higher taxes do not make capitalism work better. But they do enable our noble public servants to live in a nice house with a two car garage and a pool in the backyard, and eat beef for dinner every night, and as a well deserved reward, retire at fifty to enjoy their golden years. Now doesn't that make you feel just a little bit better. I for one am happy to put my children to bed hungry every night to support our noble public servants who work so hard for us.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!