Crab Bucket

Harvey_Rritt commented on the “Acting White” post in a way that made me think a moment:

Terry Pratchett calls it the Crab Bucket. It is a perfect expression. (He does that.) When a crab starts to get out of the bucket full of crabs, the others, awaiting death by live steam, pull the escaping crab […]

Distortion

@Pete, who wrote: “at the same time, [Adam Smith] saw the need of government as an interventionary force to prevent excesses that worked against the general public interest” In the material you quoted, and elsewhere, he argued strenuously against exactly this. It is precisely such government interference, “[t]he proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce,” that he warned required “great caution” because of the involvement of crony capitalism. […]

FairTax 5: Amended

I had suggested that the FairTax would best be implemented through an amendment process, to make certain that there was no temptation to do sales AND income taxes. This actually is required in the FairTax bill: the 16th amendment providing for income tax must be repealed before the FairTax law takes effect, so it guarantees that there will be no double-taxation. […]

FairTax 4: Losses

Tbe original poster wrote: “As a side-issue vaguely related to this, does anyone else detect a surge in the entrepreneurial spirit with people coming up with new ideas, putting them up on kickstarter, getting prototypes made through 3D printing or other means of manufactury, and not having to go through major corporations?” No. (I explained.) […]

FairTax 3: Draft and Poor Cards

The discussion ranged to include a possible permanent exemption from income tax for those who have served: “It COULD be a great incentive to get people to join, since we don’t have a draft.” […]

FairTax 2: Incentives

Another commenter in the FairTax discussion, and my reply:

[Y]ou’d expect conservative media to support a policy that shifts the tax burden off the rich – the opposite is the case. The Wall Street Journal ran a piece not so long explaining why “fair” tax is an bad idea. It was unexpected to say the […]

FairTax 1

A discussion I’m involved in on the MENSA site had one member independently think up the idea of replacing the income tax with a sales tax. He and I are very far apart politically (something he noted during the discussion), but I agree with him on this. There has been a proposal that is continually refined to accomplish exactly this, and it would end the IRS for good. Here’s their website, FairTax.org. And then the arguments started… One commenter needed the IRS: […]

Gas Attack

Charles Krauthammer has written favorably of adding more taxes to the cost of gasoline:

For 32 years I’ve been advocating a major tax on petroleum. I’ve got as much chance this time around as did Don Quixote with windmills. But I shall tilt my lance once more.

NB: 32 years ago, Dr. Krauthammer was […]

Presidential Economy

Do presidents really have an effect on the US economy? That question was put to me. Here’s my reply. The Clinton era was an utter and complete financial disaster — to the point where Republicans won the midterms in a landslide, and were able to force through tax reductions and other Federal constraints. […]

The Lochner Era

The Lochner Era is a period of time in the history of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) from 1905 to 1937. This period is described as horrible judicial conservative activism by progressives, and some nominally conservative folks too. Others describe it as a valiant defense of the Constitution and free enterprise from the rise of virulent progressive regulatory schemes. I’m in the latter category. […]

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