Thursday, July 12, 2012

Higher Taxes and More Regulation

At heart I'm a libertarian, I believe the government should interfere with my life as little as possible. But today I am advocating higher taxes and more regulation. Why? Because at some point more freedom actually results in less freedom. The richest people in this country have a significant capacity to endure higher taxes, especially on capital gains and dividends. Its ludicrous how income derived from labor is treated differently than income derived from capital. On the whole jobs are created by new, small companies not large existing ones. What large and established companies are good at is generating lots of profits and to some extent innovation. Neither of these functions will be hurt by higher taxes.

With regards to regulation, it has become clear that the only thing that the only institution that can protect us from reckless and fraudulent corporations is government. Many American corporations are so large that they control more assets than entire sovereign states! That's far too much power going unchecked. We have the military to protect us from foreign invaders, comparatively how little do we invest in protecting ourselves from domestic enemies?

To maximize our freedom and to keep markets fair we need government - or more accurately, we need a functioning government. Big banks, big pharma have advocated deregulation for years and while that has meant more freedom for them it has resulted in less freedom for us. By freedom I mean the freedom from exploitation. We have learned the hard way that we cannot trust these companies to be honest. Perhaps through no fault of their own - there will always be bad apples. I trust the vast majority of the people employed at these companies are honest. But because of their size and their impact we need to make sure they're not in a position to exploit the public.

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