A long-termist’s view on taxing the rich

Now, I’m obviously not a socialist, nor do I believe in all people being equal. Some are quite a bit smarter than others, some are way more hardworking than most. And if one works smarter or harder, one deserves “more”. I also am a strong believer in capitalism in the sense that it’s the only economic system that takes the character flaws of most humans (greed, laziness, vanity) and make those flaws work for the common good. Those flaws invented the wheel, irrigation and the internal combustion engine. Greed and vanity have always been the counterforce to laziness, and in their perennial fight either more and better stuff gets made or better systems and organizations get created. Communism can never work, because it relies on people being altruistic (examples from history: the USSR, Cuba, DPRK). Altruism always runs out, eventually. Capitalism takes people for who they are, and turns their natural urges into productivity. That’s why it works.

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Socialism, brought to you by people with $3000 watches (and no pitchforks)!

If you thought socialism might be brought about by large, angry crowds with pitchforks, hellbent on redistributing your unearned wealth, you’re out of sync. There’s a much more acute danger of the majority of the world going socialist (well ok, state capitalist – it’s more flexible as it gives more leeway for crony shenanigans) by way of central monetary and fiscal authorities buying up an ever larger chunk of global assets.

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