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Showing posts from May, 2017

Systems are Self-Defensive Organisms

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English: Schematic diagram of the hexon of a virus capsid (Photo credit: Wikipedia) "The surest way to incur the wrath of a government agency is to demand they do their job," a friend from the "justice system" told me.

I'm finally cynical enough to agree and I was pretty cynical before this year.

Once you have a "system" in place, it exists to defend itself. It's like corporations... but with even less oversight. Who controls the system? Other parts of the same larger governmental system? The federal government oversees states, to a degree, but then what?

Though recourse generally exists through courts and legislatures, it's hard to change the bureaucracy.

When Tax Cuts Increased Revenue

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History of top marginal income tax rates in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia) One of more popular / infamous posts here on Almost Classical is "The 90% Tax Rate Myth." It explores the differences between marginal and effective rates and explains that when the marginal rate was 90% or higher, the effective rate remained relatively consistent, between 40 and 50% throughout the twentieth century. Even in most of Europe, effective rates stay close to that same range, indicating something of a natural ceiling for effective tax rates.

No serious economist would propose a tax rate of five or ten percent for the highest income earners. The actual debate among economists is where tax rates produce the greatest revenues with the least detriment to risk taking and entrepreneurship. In current academic papers, the debate on the highest marginal individual tax rate ranges from 35% to 60%, with most studies finding 45% works well as an effective tax rate on the top ten percent…