Milt’s Wise Words, Part 3

Posted: November 8, 2012 by GeeOhPeeved in Current events, Economics, Milton Friedman, Political Philosophy
Tags: , , ,

Always nice to hear a bit more from Friedman, eh?  Seems he’s always relevant.  Time for #3.

The recent election is proof-positive that a majority of voters buy into the free lunch myth.  Be it healthcare, birth control, mortgages, education, or any of a list of other ridiculous things, everybody seems to think somebody else should have to pay for something they want.  They don’t know who should pay for it, but it certainly isn’t them.  Hit up the rich, the corporations, tax the hell out of people who do things I don’t want, etc.  Every one of them has some group of evil “others” who should pay for whatever they desire at that moment.  Friedman speaks often of greed, when referencing people working towards their private interests.  I think he’d agree that this sort of greed, the desire to take from others what you want for yourself without earning it, is sickening and destructive.

As to corporations, every liberal’s favorite punching bag (second possibly and only to “the rich”), it’s important for people of all political persuasions to be aware of the fact that businesses are, as taxpayers, legal fictions meant to facilitate the increased taxation of those who own them, either wholly or in part.  If congress would like to tax those who own a stake in a company, it should go about it in an honest manner, instead of claiming to tax the business itself.  As Mr. Friedman says, that money doesn’t come out of the pockets of the legal fiction that is the company, but from those of either it’s shareholders or employees.  Both sides of the aisle are guilty when it comes to this particular mistake, though.  Even Herman Cain, whom I hoped would get the Republican nomination, included a 9% tax on “corporate income.”  If you’d like to tax business owners at twice the rate of everyone else,  don’t disguise it as taxing business.  Either way, corporate taxes are sent down the ladder, whether it be employees through lower wages, or to the customer in the form of higher prices for goods and services.

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