Monday, August 01, 2005

Flat Tax

A good discussion is on right now on the flat tax. It is on the Dennis Prager Show. Just click here and then, when new screen pops up, click "Listen Live."

Dennis is interviewing Steve Forbes, author of Flat Tax Revolution. The flat tax discussion is on from 10 am - 11 am (PST). In other words, for another 30 minutes from time this posts. Go listen.

What do you think of the flat tax?


Anonymous said...

William, do you think it is right for Oprah to have billions of dollars while many people in America have to dig in the trash to find something to eat? What should be done to help the millions of children that are presently starving to death and dying from easily treatable diseases in the African country of Niger? Are the billionaires in the world doing their part to help or are they a big part of the problem? What would you do, William, if you were so fortunate as to inherit $1,000,000,000? Income taxes should be progressive: the more you earn the greater percentage you should pay. There is such a thing as being too wealthy, you know. After a certain point, riches become obscene. The extreme concentration of wealth by so few is immoral and destructive to society. The wealthy don't have to work to survive; they can just cash their dividend checks and live off the fat of the land - the labor of others. Do you believe there should be a class in society that doesn't have to work and can live like royalty? Then their children will inherit their vast dynastic riches and not work either, generation after generation, ad infinitum? An example of this is the Kennedy family. A society, like the U.S., that tolerates such wealth and income inequality as well as a lazy leisure class is degenerate. For a Catholic perpective, I suggest you read, "Economic Justice" by the late theologian, John A. Ryan.

W. said...

Interesting you should mention Msgr. John A. Ryan. I just read about his views. I am working on a paper dealing with justice and equality (and thus freedom) and came across some of his work, namely, "The New Deal and Social Justice" and his book Distributive Justice. I would say I differ with him somewhat. Somewhat, not completely.

I do not think he gives the authoritative Catholic perspective. Obviously, the teaching has developed since his time. However, I do not think he had things right based even on his time. That said, for a "Catholic" perspective we should turn to the Catechism and Pope John Paul the Great's teachings.

In addition, since the social teachings are still developing, we should apply Thomistic principles and philosophical and theological analysis to the issue of justice, all the while staying in sync with what has been said. That is what I attempt to do in my paper. I will figure out a way to post the whole paper somehow. It is long so maybe I will start a new blog for longer papers and link to them in a post. Give me a couple weeks.

That said, I think you are wrong in your analysis above. There is such a thing as private property and having claim to goods you have produced. There is also universal destination of goods, but I do not think Oprah is in jeopardy of violating that with her amount of wealth. There is still plenty to go around and the beauty of wealth is that it is not limited, just at times bound to the amount of creativity and capital in the market.