Friday, July 13, 2012

This is a response to "Thank god for taxes" by Andrew Leonard

Wow, someone on $150,000 a year does five extra minutes work and he wants to pin a medal on their chests. For that amount of cash I want a lapdance, not just a photo album. You criticise yourself for "bad parenting" for letting an album burn, but you're enabling the crippling debt that will rob your children of years of their life. What is wrong with you? Everything you claim you want, better education, lower taxes on the poor, better infrastructure services, all these are being sacrificed to overpay a politically connected group of high income earners. And you call yourself a leftist.

Let's start with your economic fallacies, first of all it's not the fault of globalisation or Walmart that you won't spend the money on a grill that won't burn your house down. That's your fault.

Secondly you dishonestly try to link the health insurance mandate to your mortgate provider requiring home insurance. The worst your mortgage provider could have done is refused you a mortgage, he couldn't have demanded money at gunpoint like the government. These are not the same things. Not that health insurance as currently practiced in the USA is anything like actual insurance in the first place.

Then we go on to your

own private stimulus package. Wow, it's only been 160 years since Bastiat explained the broken window fallacy, way to keep current. Does Salon pick it's economic commentators for ignorance? No your disaster did not create lots of benefits, it just diverted labor and capital from providing other benefits.

The most startling claim in your article is that you "got your money's worth" out of high taxes. It is startling because nothing you say shows this to be true and everything you say shows it to be irrelevant. Suppose it were true that you, and everyone else whose house caught fire, got their money's worth. What about the other 90% of the people that didn't?

But even this claim is dubious. The cost of firefighting services should be about $75/year* or $1875 for the 25 years you've been there. Are you saying that you haven't paid much more than this in excess taxes?

Of course my $75/year figure is based on the fees a city firefighting service charges for fire protection outside city borders. Private firefighting firms might well be cheaper as they don't have to pay the absurd costs of firefighters salaries and pensions. That you what someone does doesn't mean that they deserve more money. Would private firefighters take the same care with your scrapbook? Why wouldn't they if it meant positive publicity and word of mouth?