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Thomas Sowell on tax and dogmatism

There was a time when Democrats and Republicans alike could talk sense about tax rates, in terms of what is best for the economy, without demagoguery about “tax cuts for the rich.” Democratic presidents Woodrow Wilson and John F. Kennedy spoke plainly about the fact that higher tax rates on individuals and businesses did not automatically translate into higher tax revenues for the government. Beyond some point, high tax rates on those with high incomes simply led to those incomes being invested in tax-free bonds, with the revenue from those bonds being completely lost to the government - and the investments lost to the economy.

As President John F. Kennedy put it, “it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.” This was because investors’ “efforts to avoid tax liabilities” make “certain types of less productive activity more profitable than more valuable undertakings,” and this in turn “inhibits our growth and efficiency.” Both Democratic president Woodrow Wilson and Republican presidents Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush said virtually the same thing. This disconnect between higher tax rates and higher tax revenues is not peculiar to the United States. Iceland and India both collected more tax revenue after tax rates were cut. In Iceland the corporate tax rate was cut from 45 percent to 18 percent between 1991 and 2001 - and the revenue from corporate taxes tripled at the lower rate.

Related, this

You can only confiscate the wealth that exists at a given moment. You cannot confiscate future wealth - and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated.

A point that seems to have escaped the New Statesman’s class warrior Peter Tatchell. [Added via Anna in the comments.] 

And Heather Mac Donald on the parallel universe of campus ‘diversity’ spending:

The creation of a massive diversity bureaucracy to police the faculty for bias against women and “underrepresented minorities” can be justified only if there is evidence that the faculty need such policing. No one has yet presented a single example of UC San Diego’s faculty discriminating against a highly ranked female or URM candidate because of skin colour or gender. The opposite is of course the case: female and URM PhDs enjoy enormous advantages in the hiring market at UCSD and everywhere else.

As Mac Donald noted previously, UC San Diego has to scrape by with only the most skeletal diversity apparatus, including, 

The Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Centre, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Centre, and the Women’s Centre.

Clearly, that just won’t do. Catering to students’ colossal self-involvement is a full-time job. For at least 18 people. At one university. 

Feel free to add your own links and snippets in the comments.