Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Efficient Income-ish Tax
My main problem with the income tax is not its "fairness", because we all have different understandings of what that word means. I don't like taxing income because it discourages something that is inherently good, work. Could you imagine putting extra taxes on green technology, healthy food, or charity? I do understand, though I may not agree with, people's desire for a more progressive tax system. Now if only there was a way to tax the rich at a higher rate without taxing them for being rich! Well according to economist Greg Mankiw, a 6-foot American earns $5,525 more a similar worker 7 inches shorter. Some possible explanations include self-esteem or better nutrition, but either way this could collect the needed tax dollars "fairly" without encouraging people to work less. Is taxing someone's height more absurd than taxing how much they work, how much they drive, or how much they smoke?