Hey Lou, thanks for contributing. It’s refreshing to have business owners in on the conversation. Two questions about your comment:

First, it sounds like higher taxes actually led to a positive outcome for you? Sounds like you now find your work more rewarding, and you’re saving money. This strikes me as a positive structural change to the economy.

I understand there may be concern for your past employees who had to find new jobs, or maybe you feel your lesser contribution via taxes demonstrates a problem in my discussion above, but I’m not so sure. Finding a new job isn’t inherently bad, especially if that job wasn’t rewarding to begin with. Since their jobs were propping up a situation which was keeping you from being in the more rewarding position you’re in now, I don’t think the loss of that employment pyramid is much to lament.

In terms of your contribution to public funding, this also seems manageable. Tax codes can respond to structural shifts in the economy. If higher taxes caused more situations like yours, tax codes could be adjusted to take more from sole proprietorships, so people like you get to stay in these roles they find more rewarding than previous arrangements, and they’re still contributing to the public fund (of course, this fund has to provide visible value for people like you not to feel that the higher taxation is simply theft, which is why I like UBI).

Second, you ask where the incentive is to grow business. I’d ask why there should be one? I think the incentive for domestic policy should be to increase US aggregate well-being, and growing business is not a clear method of doing so. The idea that contributing to aggregate economic growth in the US improves the lives of all is a very near relative to trickle-down economics, a theory that I believe has been as fundamentally refuted as can be in the world of academic literature, would you agree?

But if you’re asking where’s the motivation for people like you to pay higher taxes, I’d say it’s in the streets of NYC, San Francisco, the fields of rural America, and so on. Poverty, strife, and a general paucity of basic human needs is everywhere. It’s in my friends with student loans the size of Mt. Everest, crippled for life by a system disingenuously designed. I won’t continue the rhetoric, you get the idea.

A main issue I see is that we as a population no longer trust the efficiency of taxes. Do you feel that the taxes you pay are fair? If you were to be taxed more, would you feel that you’re providing more value to the country, or just being stolen from? Again, this is where I think UBI offers a robust solution — it’s a visible product of people like you paying higher taxes (among complementary funding methods, of course).

What’s your take on that argument? Would love to hear your thoughts. It’s much more informative than living in an echo chamber and writing to people who agree with these ideas.

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Interested in many things, like consciousness, meditation & economics. Sure of nothing, like how to exist well, or play the sax (yet). More: www.MusingMind.org.

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