April 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

Yet Mr. Piketty has no interest in expanding capital ownership: It doesn't even make his list of inferior alternatives, and he dismisses capitalized pensions with a few uncharacteristic rhetorical slights. Like others on the left, he seems to have concluded that the only way to promote economic equality is confiscatory taxation--redistribution of capital returns rather than wider distribution of capital ownership. After Marx's idea of comprehensive state ownership of the means of production proved to be hellacious and tyrannical, progressive attentions turned in a different direction. They would leave ownership--with all of its risks and tribulations--alone, and control its rewards through taxation and regulation. -- Christopher DeMuth

UPDATE: I emailed this to a friend of the blog. While we're ripping off Mr. Murdoch, this link should be good for seven days. (I recommend it highly.)

Quote of the Day Posted by John Kranz at April 8, 2014 10:55 AM


I rather liked this line:

"The statist intellectual imagines redistributing capital profits while leaving owners with the losses, but the opposite--profits for owners and managers, losses for taxpayers--has been frequently observed in the wild."
Posted by: johngalt at April 8, 2014 5:57 PM

It is a very interesting article. He makes a pretty interesting case.

I would really like to see some details on how we would go about capitalizing the masses. There was talk of a "stockholders Republic" back in 50s, and that didn't really pan out.

I would be very interested in a long form essay version or policy paper version of his take.

Posted by: T. Greer at April 9, 2014 3:57 AM

DeMuth references both President Bush's call for ownership in Social Security accounts and the 100x more radical Chilean model. I don't know that there is no model so much as no will: W was going to let people keep a microscopic part of their SS withholding and we were promised Armageddon.

I'm in -- if he writes more, I'll read it. But I think there is a more fundamental question of whether we seek to let labor share in the benefits of capital or do we empower the government to redistribute those gains.

Posted by: jk at April 9, 2014 10:20 AM

Who doesn't remember the term "ownership society." That is the alternative to the redistributionist welfare-state dystopia to which Democrats, Progressives and other leftists tell us we should all "aspire." But the message seems to have been forgotten, or at least is no longer forcefully advocated.

Posted by: johngalt at April 9, 2014 12:44 PM

Step 1: Teach small children how to win at Monopoly.

Posted by: dagny at April 10, 2014 2:20 PM | What do you think? [5]