The tax system in this country is pretty complicated, and nobody knows how well people understand their place in it. David Brooks once claimed that 19 percent of Americans thought they were in the top 1 percent of the income distribution in 2000.
A more accurate interpretation of the polling data he was referring to suggests that 19 percent thought they would benefit from tax cuts to the top 1 percent. This is almost equally implausible.
In the economic worldview of the Left, one can only "benefit" from a tax cut if it is a cut to taxes one pays directly. If the government were to cut, for example, corporate taxes, and corporations passed along the savings to their customers, there is no benefit for the customers from that tax cut, even though the customers were blindly paying for the corporate taxes all along. No, there are no benefits in that situation in the worldview of the Left.
What about taxing the rich? How can we all benefit from taking money from the rich? What could the rich possibly provide to the rest of us by spending their own money, as opposed to having our beloved comrades in government spending it instead?
Would you rather pay for "bridges to nowhere", corporate bailouts for failed companies, and payoffs for large campaign donations? Or would you rather let the rich spend their money on the extravagance they have earned, thereby promoting manufacturing jobs in such sectors as private jets, yachts, expensive cars, and other such "conspicuous consumption"?
Neither option may seem preferable, but consider the second one. Luxury item manufacturing promotes the creation of jobs. Good, steady, well-paying jobs.
But back to the New York Times editorial. It was written by Nancy Folbre. When you click on the link to her name, the following description of her comes up:
Nancy Folbre is professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Her research focuses on the interface between feminist theory and political economy, with a particular focus on the work of caring for others.
Feminist theory. Economics. There are two fields that belong together...if you want to be a bad economist, or a smart feminist.
Don't get me wrong, I fully support women's rights, and I believe most women are actually superior to men in many important ways. That said, "feminist theory" is a joke degree, and an excuse to hold a political grudge. Mix that with economics for a truly special brand of stupid that is not as rare as it should be. The kind of stupid that sounds smart, but is really short-sighted, and fails to think beyond what is in front of it. THAT may arguably be the most dangerously stupid kind of "economic" knowledge possible.
Nancy, I will NOT call you "Dr. Folbre". You frankly are not intelligent enough to be referred to as a "doctor" of anything. If you are an example of what passes for a "professor" at the University of Massachusetts, then I know not to send my kids to your "school" (I use the word school loosely, since it may be more of an indoctrination camp, if you are exemplary of its' staff).
Nancy, go back to school. Read some Sowell, some Friedman, some von Mises. Just do anything to increase your knowledge please.
What you wrote in that New York Times piece was an embarrassment to economists everywhere.