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PIKETTY, DENMARK AND HAPPY TAXPAYERS

May 27, 2016

PIKETTY, DENMARK AND HAPPY TAXPAYERS

This is my response to an internet professor’s invitation today to comment on the lower taxes mantra of the Chamber of Commerce which I thought worthy of a blog of my own. Here was my response.

Piketty notes in his book (Capital in the Twenty First Century) that, inter alia, it is not taxes per se that ignite negative reactions from taxpayers, but rather in the manner in which the proceeds are allocated. Thus he further notes that Denmark has very high taxes but that their allocation provides for many necessities you and I pay for in a “market” economy. What he didn’t write but what I have read elsewhere is that in a recent poll the Danish were high on the list of “the happiest people in the world.” Here we tax ordinary people and give the proceeds out to Wall Street monopolies and the rich via “carried interest” and other such exemptions in how income is treated, low estate taxes etc. and rate well down the happy list. The Danish are socialists and government is highly responsible in allocating tax proceeds to the needs and wants of its people; here we allocate our tax proceeds disproportionately to the rich. The highly-taxed Danes are happy; we are not. Draw your own conclusions. One of mine is that we resist higher taxes because we (rightly) fear that the sold out members of the (mostly) Republican party will just give more away to those who don’t need it and further impoverish ordinary taxpayers in the process. I think the solution rests with replacement of those in Congress who loot our treasury in favor of their patron friends on Wall Street. As for the Chamber of Commerce’s mantra of lower taxes, my first question would be “For Whom?” The Chamber, of course, is just a money-grubbing front for the rich at our expense, so we can safely ignore their incessant propaganda. They do Goebbels proud.

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