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Problems with the Laffer Curve

Bold claims are often made for the Laffer Curve and the related Laffer effect. They are usually made by people who favour lower tax rates.

#128008 •  2 November 2012 8:49pm by Martin Brampton • Vote: Agree (309) Disagree (217)

CGT, saving and investment

It has been argued that higher taxation of capital gains will result in lower savings and in particular lower investment in productive assets. On the other hand, since capital gains (after adjustment for inflation) plainly add to the ability to spend or save, it is hard to see why they should be treated differently from income. If a lower rate of CGT could be shown to damage the economy, then there might be an argument in its favour.

#128007 •  2 November 2012 8:48pm by Martin Brampton • Vote: Agree (207) Disagree (184)

The Benefits of Capital Gains Tax

There is resistance to increasing the rate of capital gains tax (CGT). There are loud complaints from some quarters, and pseudo-academic studies from others. Is all this anything more than special pleading? A broad definition of income includes anything that increases a person's assets or allows them to consume more. Capital gains clearly come within that definition, thus providing a prima facie justification for their taxation.

#128006 • 13 October 2012 12:29pm by Martin Brampton • Vote: Agree (224) Disagree (177)

In Defence of Baby Boomers

Born in 1946, I'm one of the first baby boomers. For years, nobody has made anything much of our existence, but now we're about to reach retirement, suddenly we're under attack. Many of the attacks are couched in intemperate, vitriolic language. Yet many of the arguments are patently weak or quote distorted figures.

#128005 • 13 October 2012 12:28pm by Martin Brampton • Vote: Agree (201) Disagree (209)

The illusion of funded pensions

Some people think it is self evident that future state pensions would be more secure if they were funded. This is based on the assumption that a pension fund gives some security that is lacking in the scheme of paying pensions out of current contributions, possibly supplemented by taxation. But the idea that a pension fund gives security is a seductive fallacy.

#128004 • 14 September 2012 4:36pm by Martin Brampton • Vote: Agree (206) Disagree (190)

Thatcher's purse economics

It's as if hundreds of years' work by economists never existed. Journalists and politicians, especially on the right, seem to want to live by Mrs Thatcher's housewife's purse.

#128003 • 14 September 2012 4:30pm by Martin Brampton • Vote: Agree (217) Disagree (172)

Wealth Creators

There is a lot of misleading talk about so-called wealth creators. The phrase is used to imply that the activities of the state are parasitic upon the private sector. It is suggested that the public sector depends on drawing on taxes that are a portion of the wealth created by the private sector. Without the private sector, the claim goes, none of the services provided by the state would be possible.

#128001 • 14 May 2009 10:48am by Martin Brampton • Vote: Agree (202) Disagree (198)

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