Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The Economic Efficiency Case For Progressive Taxation
Mark Thoma makes the case for a progressive tax system. It will make sense to many economists because it improves economic efficiency. It is presented as a problem that resembles the tragedy of the commons. Unfortunately, its an argument that will have about as much affect as the tragedy of the commons has in a society dominated by individualism. It makes perfect sense if everyone wants to maximize efficiency, but our divisions run deeper than that. We are divided by philosophy, as well as by income, and politicians do their best to exploit those divisions. This is particularly true in the GOP. Its strategy has been to magnify the differences in our value systems, and to run divide and conquer political campaigns in which they are the protectors of family values, religious values, and the American value system. For the GOP, there is no commons.