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These Things Were Actually Published, Part 2


Forbes has decided to give a platform for some Deep Thoughts more commonly thought by particularly solipsistic and intellectually marginal 13-year-olds:

Here’s a modest proposal. Anyone who earns a million dollars or more should be exempt from all income taxes. Yes, it’s too little. And the real issue is not financial, but moral. So to augment the tax-exemption, in an annual public ceremony, the year’s top earner should be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In fairness, it is a modest proposal in the Swiftian sense, although it’s clear from the surrounding context that Binswanger doesn’t understand this. Anyway, you laugh, but by 2020 I assume every serious candidate in the Republican presidential primary will have to be committed to this idea.

It gets even funnier, with the worst cherry-picked bad example ever:

Imagine the effect on our culture, particularly on the young, if the kind of fame and adulation bathing Lady Gaga attached to the more notable achievements of say, Warren Buffett. Or if the moral praise showered on Mother Teresa went to someone like Lloyd Blankfein, who, in guiding Goldman Sachs toward billions in profits, has done infinitely more for mankind. (Since profit is the market value of the product minus the market value of factors used, profit represents the value created.)

What’s great about this is that it’s far easier to explain what benefits Lady Gaga provides to people than it is to do the same for Lloyd Blankfein. I mean, give Ayn Rand this, her capitalist overlords were at least people who made and created stuff rather that pocketing cuts of the deals made by others. What would the public lose, exactly, if Lloyd Blankfein’s taxes went up? And citing Goldman Sachs after positing that every economic transaction must by definition be mutually beneficial is particularly special.

I look forward to the forthcoming Forbes column “Woody Johnson, America’s greatest self-created hero, and if you tax him you’ll be sorry — who will raise money for failed Republican candidates and give his inheritance to awful QBs then?”

Update (djw): From this guy’s wikipedia page we learn that: “Since 1997, he has operated a fee-based email discussion group on Objectivism.” If you were a con-artist, how much would you pay for those leads?

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