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## fullfrontal's Profile

Name:
fullfrontal
Hometown:
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Joined:
Jan 25, 2011

### Re: Back to the Drawing Board?

I would think the mass of a tachyon would be imaginary.  For the mass to be 0, you'd have to have sqrt(1 - v^2/c^2) to go to infinity.  Which leads to v^2 moving toward negative infinity. O_o

Of course, this is all assuming that Einstein's equation for mass are still valid.

### Re: Back to the Drawing Board?

From what I understand, nothing that has happened here has broken anything that Einstein has brought us, so long as that neutrino did not travel slower than the speed of light before it traveled faster than the speed of light.

I think in order to understand this stuff, you have to accept that when two people traveling at different speeds are asked to measure the speed of a beam of light, they will produce the same answer, unlike the case where you throw a baseball inside a moving car.  Someone outside the car will measure the ball at a different speed than someone in the car.  The time/space/mass changes all derive from this idea.

Having said all that, I don't know how the twin paradox would actually work out.  I don't think you can look to SR to explain what will happen when they reunite, since once you turn around, you're no longer in a non-accelerating reference frame, which is a condition for SR.  But before the one twin turns around to go back, I am sure they both "see" that the -other- twin has aged slower.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

Wait a minute.

This topic use to be "We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes."  Now it's "Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?"

Did I just get censored...?

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Scott Reusser:  Kudos to full-frontal for raising the issue and taking the arrows.

Thank you, Scott.  I knew taxes would be a pretty emotional issue so I knew I'd take a lot of flak.

I just hope none here are too upset that I've come out to question a bedrock principle that we share.  It's easy to accept something as true because we believe it with all our hearts, but you might find something out there that contradicts your ideas.  And we shouldn't ignore it.  We should examine those anomalies and see if we can't square it with our beliefs.  I think the folks who brought up the AMT did a great job of that.

As long as we can connect our theories with practice -- to coherently explain historical phenomena, we'll be able to present a good case to other people.  I hope this conversation made people question themselves for a moment and then come out a little stronger.

I know (after the fact) that this topic wasn't put together the best way possible, so I really appreciate all your patience.  You've all been wonderful.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 James Lileks: I'd be curious to hear fullfrontal's opinion on the Estate Tax. It's pretty high now, but it doesn't stop anyone from dying. (It was higher years ago, and people still died.)

I didn't know there was a conservative sacred cow belief relating death and taxes.  If I did, I might have found a way to take a shot at that too.

I think the death tax is pretty morbid.  I think it should be handled at the state level.  I think it destroys wealth.  I think if I were to read a book on taxes, income and estate would be covered in separate chapters.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Michael Tee1. I could care less what businesses do. I care about individuals and whether they are tethered to and serve a leviathan government...2. As pointed out not just by Hayek, et al. the government is the last place you want to put your money...3. Lastly, it is not income where the government has a shortfall. It is over-spending...

I completely agree with you on points 2 and 3.

And I think the people who brought up the 1969 AMT have made a good point that illustrates the need for a more simple tax code.

I agree with you on most of point 1; on individual freedom.  But I think businesses are just as important.  They are what provide the jobs.

The fact that there were 155 families in 1969 that broke the 91% barrier and paid nothing speaks to my question.  The tax shelters and the deductions is something that the rate don't show.  How did this impact business growth?  I don't know -- never seen that quantified.  Makes me wonder how Ray Kroc handled his taxes...

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Michael Tee: Ack. This post starts from the leftist perspective that what the government does is good and should be funded. Once you buy that...welcome to indentured servitude.Again, as Hang On posted, what are the effective tax rates?

I didn't make any sort of assumption that government did anything.  I just looked at numbers and said, our assumption about high taxes killing businesses is wrong.

According to pictures here, the very top tax earners then were paying roughly 70%.  It doesn't go into the 50's, but I think the early 60's is close enough, since the tax structure is still the same.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Ottoman UmpireMy understanding (from here) is that, from 1981 through 2000, federal tax revenues: increased every year except for a slight (2.8%) dip in FY '83 in inflation-adjusted dollars, decreased in '82, '83, '91 and '92, but increased every other year as a percentage of GNP, fluctuated between 17.3% and 20.6% Or, to address your specific assertion:  total revenues from 1981-1988 were \$5.75 trillion; from 1973-1980 they were only \$2.89 trillion.  This isn't inflation adjusted, but the point still holds.  How do you conclude that "it was actually worse?"

My original response to this didn't go up...

Long story short, I goofed on the math.  I also didn't take the time to add up the individual rows; I took the endpoints and calculated rates.  Third, my numbers seem to also include state and local revenues (my numbers are really higher than yours).  So there was a lot wrong with my analysis.

I conceded this point in comment #28.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Jerry BroaddusAs Kenneth pointed out, the markets in the post war period were not the same. McDonald's was created in a market without Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Quiznos, and Arby's. General Motors gained share in a market without Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, KIA, and with a weakened BMW and Mercedes.I'll grant that in a market with no organized competition, a high tax rate is less burdensome. If I own the only game in town, I'll stay in business or start a business even with much higher taxes.How you gonna arrange that? · Mar 5 at 9:59pmEdited on Mar 05 at 10:05 pm

There was still competition, albeit not as much as today.  McDonald's had White Castle, and GM had Ford; with White Castle being more established than the upstart (GM was already market leader at that point).  Thomas Sowell talks about an elderly couple who pours all of their savings into their new franchise McDonald's, and put the money in their pockets into the cash register for change.  This is the kind of risks people were taking back then on the new concept of franchising.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Ottoman UmpireOr, to address your specific assertion:  total revenues from 1981-1988 were \$5.75 trillion; from 1973-1980 they were only \$2.89 trillion.  This isn't inflation adjusted, but the point still holds.  How do you conclude that "it was actually worse?"

I made a mistake.  What I did was take the first and last year of each term and compute the rate of growth.  I erred on the math of Reagan's term, stating it was a 25% increase, instead of a 33% increase, which is the same as the previous 8 year period.

Your data presents constant dollars in the center column, but the numbers that it presents are drastically different than my sources.  Your source says that the government collected \$1,250 in 1981, while mine claimed \$1,950.  I think mine also added state and local taxes as well, which would be another flaw on my part.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 fullfrontal: "During this period, we saw an incredible postwar growth and a fundamental transformation of American life.  This period gave us McDonalds, mass homeownership (without a Great Recession), commercial television, mass air travel and our first tastes of consumerism, despite what we would today consider bad tax code."According to our theory, this should not have happened with really high taxes.  But it did.  How can we explain what happened? · Mar 5 at 8:07pm

I recall someone mentioning that (forgive me if I get this wrong) "half the world's industrial base was destroyed, the other half was us." · Mar 5 at 8:29pm

You're right.  And I did consider adding that feature, but I figured it was irrelevant to what I was trying to get at, which was why people did anything at all with 91% marginal rates, and not asking why they didn't simply move to Canada, which makes it more important today to rates lower than it was after the war.  I just assumed that there was no where else to go.  But it's a good catch you got.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Jerry BroaddusYou certainly implied that high taxes caused the growth. You stated that it was your thesis that higher taxes improved productivity.

"My thesis is that people got more productive in the face of very high income tax rates."

I can see where the confusion would be.  I should have said:

"My thesis is that people were plenty productive in the face of very high income tax rates, despite what we might think they would have been."

 Jerry Broaddus If rates were half again higher than they are now, my business would be very, very different. I would likely close the doors and go to work for someone else. I would not work as hard for my employer as I do for myself. And, I would not have the ability to employ others.Is this going Galt? Does it matter?

It does matter, since people were able to build entirely new industries in a much stricter tax environment.  I'm trying to get at 1) how they did it, since you would have had major problems under those rates, and 2) what their motivation was if 70% of their earnings were eaten by the tax man.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

Kenneth

 fullfrontal: We've already done that.  Reagan's cuts in the 80's reduced marginal rates significantly, and the government did not increase revenues from the previous 8 years.  In fact, it was actually worse. · Mar 5 at 7:30pm

Flatly untrue.

Out of curiosity, fullfrontal, how old are you? What do you do for a living? · Mar 5 at 8:32pm

Edited on Mar 05 at 08:33 pm

Sorry, I misspoke (or mistyped).  I meant to say that the rate of growth was not as good as the previous 8 years.

'73 to '80 went from \$1,450 to \$1,950.  About a 35% rise.

'81 to 89' went from \$1,950 to \$2,600.  About a 33% rise.

But you got me, because in the other thread I had it at 25% rise, which is very wrong.  I apologize for the error.  So I concede that half of my argument to you all.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Jerry BroaddusYou contend that the growth was caused by high tax rates. I contend that the far lower levels of spending by the government made growth possible despite the high marginal rates.  · Mar 5 at 8:28pm

I never said that the growth was caused by high taxes.  I'm saying that there was a period of ridiculously high taxes, and yet we had all this growth in business.  Because of this, I'm challenging the notion that Kenneth's wife would work less in a high tax environment.  People certainly didn't stop working after the war, not did they believe that they were slaves.

I'm not advocating for higher taxes, I'm advocating for a review in what we think taxes do.  I'm trying to kill the idea that anyone actually "Goes Galt" in practice as much as they do in theory.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Dan HolmesMaybe not.  Raising taxes is the only way we're going to save ourselves from economic ruin?  Lowering taxes may not necessarily increase gov't revenue, but raising them doesn't necessarily do so, either.  Since when is the goal of tax policy to optimize gov't revenue, anyway?

I think governments want to maximize economic freedom and revenues.  It's a pair of Adam Smith's guides to taxation.

I understand that the nature of our present predicament isn't tax based, but spending based.  So what I mean by compromise is to be prepared to trade lower taxes for lower spending, so everyone has something to lose and gain.  I'm not sure how that would work out in reality, since that combination doesn't happen very often, but I don't think that we should make rock bottom taxes into idol worship.  I certainly don't want to make taxes the Republican version of the Democrats' unions.

### Re: Do We Need to Reconsider Our Position on Taxes?

 Jerry BroaddusYou believe that we get more productive in the face of confiscation of a larger portion of our productivity? And you wonder where I'm going with this?What do you think productivity means?By definition, confiscation of a share of the output reduces productivity. · Mar 5 at 8:02pm

"During this period, we saw an incredible postwar growth and a fundamental transformation of American life.  This period gave us McDonalds, mass homeownership (without a Great Recession), commercial television, mass air travel and our first tastes of consumerism, despite what we would today consider bad tax code."

According to our theory, this should not have happened with really high taxes.  But it did.  How can we explain what happened?

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