Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“You have put your finger on the dilemma of all government, and the reason I am an anarchist. The power to tax, once conceded, has no limits; it contains until it destroys.”     Robert A. Heinlein,    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

August 16, 2010

Quote Of The Day

by Brad Warbiany

Karl Smith on taxes vs. regulation:

On the other hand barrels of ink and the fates of political parties are determined over debates about the taxation of labor. Its a generally accepted principle of Public Economics that taxes are less damaging than regulation and in either case the broader and more uniform the restriction the less damage it does.

As such its not immediately obvious that whether we tax labor at a high marginal rate of 35% or 39.6% has larger supply side effect than whether a young entrepreneur faces a gauntlet of unnecessary classes and fees. In fact I am being too coy. I would be shocked if the taxes mattered more.

The rest is worth reading as well (discussion of health care freedom).

But the point is too often neglected. The combination of nanny-statism and corporatism leads to a government dominated by meddlesome bureaucrats, too often captured by the industries they regulate. Their actions are as harmful as those of the taxman, but far less visible.

Hat Tip: Ryan Avent @ Economist Free Exchange blog

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1 Comment

  1. It only makes sense really. If the government forces itself on the rich/corporations, they will suddenly see the power that the government wields and they will use their riches to gain control over that power.

    Comment by Matt — August 16, 2010 @ 10:47 am

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