Monday, April 2, 2012

Chapter 10

Taxes may be somewhat of a drag on economic growth, but not as much as it would be if there was no tax system, therefore everything that is provided by taxes were left up to individuals to take care of themselves. Taxes are clearly necessary (in my opinion) for to maintain things like our public roads, our prisons and our police force and military. I think that it is human nature to come together and combine resources, I think the "libertarians" he's referring to just want a say in what their resources support. I do agree that it is a drag on economic growth when wasted on dead end programs, or bailouts for corrupt companies. I think he makes a very good point that if everyone were to be taxed the same amount, that the service available would only be as good as the poorest tax payers could maintain.

I think in general, if a person works hard and tries hard, they will be successful, but "luck" definitely comes into play. but rather than luck, I think it can be chalked up to Who You Know and Nepotism. I think this becomes obvious with all of the employee swapping that goes on between politics and corporations.

I disagree with him that private incentives create waste, I think that the incentive are what drive people to become exceptional in their field, whether it's in money markets, the NBA, or anything else. He says that if there weren't such high incentives for winner take all positions people would be more inclined to be doctors or teachers... no they wouldn't. And if they did, wouldn't that just flood the market with doctors and teachers? No matter what job you're talking about, there's always going to be only so many positions to be filled, which is exactly why private incentives are there. the more exceptional you are, the less likely it is you will be passed over for your desired position. And who says that just because you're  talented with deriving high interest loans (probably a total misquote) that you would be any good at treating illness or shaping the way children think and learn? People are going to strive for the niches that fit their personality. Yes, maybe they could have been great at something else, but we aren't a culture the idolizes our doctors and educators, we idolize people who are rich and famous! And, we don't like to share. So why wouldn't Harvard and Yale's best and brightest want to do the same? Odds are, the reason they are able to go to those schools in the first place is because their parents held the same things in high regard as they do: money.

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