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A guy has emailed James Fallows threatening to go Galt if Obama wins. Here is one of the responses from Fallows' readers

The runniest part is the premise that he (if he is who he says he is) will quit. The fallacy that the wealthy will just stop being productive if they are too heavily taxed is one that needs to be called out loudly and often. (I'm about to start writing to this troll directly.) Really? You're really going to just give up ALL your income because you have to pay an extra three cents on the dollar - above the first quarter million you make? Good. Do that. That will really demonstrate your refined sense of leadership.

But here's the heart of the turd that needs to be called out even more often and in a deafening roar. You, Mr. Tech Company Owner of such great import, are not - I repeat - NOT Atlas. This whole individualism myth you're so invested in is the legacy of people WHO OWNED OTHER PEOPLE. There is no such thing as independent financial wealth. No. Such. Thing.

You drive a nice car, right? Audi? Benz? Maybe a Tesla? (Unlikely.) That's your rich-guy-totem; that's how you let the world know how much of a big shot you are when you're just going out for a burger. But think for a second about that car. You can have all the money in the world, but what good does it do your over-compensative driving desires if the following people decide to "shrug": the people who mine the ore for your car's metal components, the people who process the ore into consumer grade alloys, the people who machine the metal into parts for your car, the people who assemble those parts, the people who extract the oil that fuels your car, lubricates its moving parts, and makes up its plastic components, the people who refine the oil, the people who install the components, the people who program, assemble, and install the electrical components, the people who test its fuel efficiency, driving performance, and accident safety, the people who design, build and maintain the roads you drive on, the people who work at the gas station, the people who produce the electricity that keep all of these functions happening, the teachers who shape all of these people into functioning adults, the healthcare professionals who keep them alive, the janitors who keep the hospitals they go to clean and safe, the farmers who grow the food that sustains everyone in this whole project, the people who make the heavy equipment for the farmers... Have I made my point? Atlas is everyone who allows you to enjoy the luxuries of wealth.

If there is a parasite class, its made up of people who "own capital" and "manage" and "earn" profits from the people who do real, hard, sweaty, nasty, monotonous work every day, and then after counting the profits they've reaped from the work of all those other people have the gall to complain about how hard they have it. And it's interesting that you claim to be from the tech industry. It's interesting because that is an industry that is second only to the financial "industry" in terms of pure, unabashed parasitism. Oh, you don't think so? You think you've created whatever it is you produce in some vacuum of innovation? Well, in fact the only reason that the US tech industry as we know it exists is because of corporate socialism. The government uses tax payer dollars to fund R&D via the Pentagon. They pour billions and billions of dollars into lots of cool shit. Most of it doesn't really serve a purpose, or if it does, the purpose was already being served by technologies that are far more advanced than what the rest of the world has. But when that cool shit serves a new purpose and also happens to be marketable to consumers, the government gives the technology away to the tech industry, which then manufactures its products in Asia, ships them back to the US, at which point the tax-paying American public pays for it once again. That's right. We fund the research. We create the demand. We pay retail price. You get the profit. It's a pretty sweet deal for you and your ilk. Yeah. Ilk. I can use that word too, and I swing a hammer in a factory that competes with Chinese labor, so come at me.

You have neither a leg to stand on nor a crutch to lean on. I sincerely hope you're a man of your word. Shrug. Do it. I dare you. Go to western Colorado, grind your own flour, split your own wood, dig your own grave, you heroic individual, you. The rest of us will continue busting our asses at real jobs that matter, paying taxes that significantly limit our ability to pay for things like food and unreasonably high rent for our small apartments, getting by with minimal healthcare and generally doing all the things that you take for granted. Or maybe one day we'll have had enough of people like you. And we'll shrug. And you'll see that we don't, in fact, need shareholders or executive boards to tell us how to put food on our tables, roofs over our heads, how to teach one another, how to care for one another.

You are afforded the life you have by the consent of those you hold in contempt. I advise you to not tempt us with the catharsis of withholding it.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/the-atlas-shrugged-guy-pushes-back/264588/

Edited by FaFa!
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My effective tax rate exceeded 100%. I claimed dole for prolonged periods, I still do for increasingly shorter periods.

I'd gladly work for a 96% effective tax upon an annual income of £1million. I'd have £40k in my pocket, and be some £30k better off! My living standards would be quadrupled (if not more so, what with housing costs [predominately in the form of land-rent] being a kind of FIXED TAX).

My dole cheque is like some buy off, it stops me from going bat shit crazy and getting myself locked up for doing unspeakable things - it is a sophisticated protection racket that benefits big business - oligopolistic entities!. I am not a non productive member of society on the dole though. I do do productive things, I provide services to others for below minimum wage, I have set up frameworks for business expansion for when the time comes that working for oneself makes sense, where one is rewarded for doing something productive and creating a profit. I have tested (at my own loss) a few businesses - all profitable, but not able to compete with dole as of yet due to absurd marginal deduction rates arising from an inherently dangerous tax-benefit system...

The government argued for the 50% tax to be reduced to 45% (what with 2%NI - such a tax is effectively 52% and has been reduced to 47%). And you know what I agree to some degree that lower taxes encourage work. But when the top rate of effective tax is 47% and the lowest effective tax is above 100% I predict meltdown. It is completely regressive.

Let's lower effective taxes for the rich, but let's lower effective taxes for the poorest first and ensure their effective taxes are lower than the effective taxes of people wealthier than them! We can still have a minimum safety net, and all that is - in reality, is a price floor, it drives trade and ensures profit for business. It is both good and bad, but if you combine it with low effective taxes, then you create a system/trade-machine that will produce in abundance and bring prosperity to all! It can be purely good. ph34r.gif

Edited by Self Employed Youth
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A guy has emailed James Fallows threatening to go Galt if Obama wins. Here is one of the responses from Fallows' readers

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/the-atlas-shrugged-guy-pushes-back/264588/

The immaturity, selfishness and anger in Rand's whole ethos are incrdibly depressing. Still, she was a drug addicted socio / psychopath.

The little peoples small acts of decency and kindness which hold together our race are spat upon by these people. I'd say they'd burn in hell, but they can't believe in god because that would mean someone knew better than them.

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The immaturity, selfishness and anger in Rand's whole ethos are incrdibly depressing. Still, she was a drug addicted socio / psychopath.

The little peoples small acts of decency and kindness which hold together our race are spat upon by these people. I'd say they'd burn in hell, but they can't believe in god because that would mean someone knew better than them.

Statists want "small acts of decency and kindness" to be pre-meditated, political, contrived and mandatory. Liberals want "small acts of decency and kindness" to be spontaneous, apolitical, without malice and voluntary.

Until statists understand what liberalism actually means, we will continue to degenerate on a path towards statist led fascism rather than free thought.

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The really pathetic thing is that neither the pro-Rand nor the anti-Rand elements have a clue what she really advocated. This is understandable because half the time she didn't understand herself what she was advocating. It's also understandable because most of those bellowing the loudest on either side have never read her stuff and have formed their opinions second-hand by reading the opinions of clowns like this 'small business owner' who think they believe what she believed.

Rand was anti-government. She was anti anyone who made their living governing. She was anti-religion and considered religious leaders to be witch-doctors who exploit those who believe in a religion..

In Atlas Shrugged, one of her major bad guys was James Taggart, president of Taggart Transcontinental - a moocher who couldn't run a railroad but an expert in using politics to steal from other railroad companies. Most of her bad guys are actually archetypes of the bozos we have running much of the western world. And yet most of her "followers" and "critics" think she was automatically in favour of any "businessman".

Her heroes were mostly imaginary. Historically, it is almost impossible to point to someone who measured up to her ideas of a good guy.

Her economic and political ideas were nonsense, but her criticism was often dead-on. She recognised the moochers, and she recognised the kind of actions they took to loot and steal. Anyone watching our political class in action should have been calling them looters all along.

So pathetically, the politicians she hated think they are living up to her highest ideas. And the "progressives" like Obama who should be attacking the real looters and moochers are busy attacking Ayn Rand because John Galt was one of her wet dreams.

Edited by JimDiGritz
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What the guy can't understand is the people at the top get paid more because they are harder to replace. The man that pumps your gas or works the mines are 10 a penny. It all comes down to supply and demand. Everybody is not equall economicly.

I call nuts on this theory.

You have a few stars in any industry, but the thousands of board members are ten a penny....usually got their place through nepotism, fraud or leverage.

TBH, I dont know how to work a till.

There is no reason on earth why everyone shouldnt receive the same...other than one of the deadly sins, each of which is used to justify one persons worth over another.

Edited by Bloo Loo
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I call nuts on this theory.

You have a few stars in any industry, but the thousands of board members are ten a penny....usually got their place through nepotism, fraud or leverage.

TBH, I dont know how to work a till.

There is no reason on earth why everyone shouldnt receive the same...other than one of the deadly sins, each of which is used to justify one persons worth over another.

Wow do you really believe this! What would drive some one to better themselves, to get a education or learn a trade. There has to be rewards for success.

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What the guy can't understand is the people at the top get paid more because they are harder to replace. The man that pumps your gas or works the mines are 10 a penny. It all comes down to supply and demand. Everybody is not equall economicly.

Blue Loo has beaten me to it but I join with the call for evidence for this.

As an example in the entire history of the Premier League there are only 4 managers who have been able to show a statistically significant correlation between them being in charge and what could have been achieved with any other manager in place and the same budget (Moyes, Ferguson, Wenger and Alladyce (spell at Bolton)). In other words every other manager on a multi-million salary is fairly interchangeable with no noticeable effect. So why are they paid so much?

I'm fairly sure the same is true of fund managers. There is quite a lot of evidence out there that shows,with very few exceptions (and even those can be explained away by chance, after all you can throw 20 heads on a coin in a row however long the odds) that fund managers are no better than the market in the long term and that there is almost no correlation between the performance of a fund one year and the next. In other words it seems to be chance rather than any special skills.

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And rewards for failure too, as has become so insanely obvious in the last 4 years?

I am not defending the current system I am more convinced than anyone that complete collapse of the state is on its way. I don't think the way forward is everyone earns the same regardless of what skills they offer. It should always work on and supply and demand.

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What the guy can't understand is the people at the top get paid more because they are harder to replace. The man that pumps your gas or works the mines are 10 a penny.

This is the typically British attitude towards skilled craftsmen. 'People who know how to work with steel/wood/concrete/leather/oil/lasers/DNA are 10 a penny, the real geniuses sit in offices and act like Alan Sugar'. I must admit, as this financial bubble inflated the office jockeys did very well and the craftsmen suffered. Watch out for the mean reversion...

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Blue Loo has beaten me to it but I join with the call for evidence for this.

As an example in the entire history of the Premier League there are only 4 managers who have been able to show a statistically significant correlation between them being in charge and what could have been achieved with any other manager in place and the same budget (Moyes, Ferguson, Wenger and Alladyce (spell at Bolton)). In other words every other manager on a multi-million salary is fairly interchangeable with no noticeable effect. So why are they paid so much?

I'm fairly sure the same is true of fund managers. There is quite a lot of evidence out there that shows,with very few exceptions (and even those can be explained away by chance, after all you can throw 20 heads on a coin in a row however long the odds) that fund managers are no better than the market in the long term and that there is almost no correlation between the performance of a fund one year and the next. In other words it seems to be chance rather than any special skills.

OK so say you need a engineer to design and build a bridge or a doctor to give you a heart transplant. He should earn the same as someone working the till in a shop? You can't see the problems this would create?

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I am not defending the current system I am more convinced than anyone that complete collapse of the state is on its way. I don't think the way forward is everyone earns the same regardless of what skills they offer. It should always work on and supply and demand.

well, you made the point...Id like to hear a defence.

And before you bring Steve JObs to the Dock to give evidence, he wasnt an underling...he grew that company up AS boss all the time..when he left, it began to die...they brought him back...as boss, and it began to grow....

yet every exec in Apple earns a fortune...now they appoint new ones and sack them for non performance....the old guard are truly entrenched and they are in a position to sit back, order the troops, and if it fails, they sack them...no repsonsibilty for THEIR decisions, hiding behind a hyped up range of products that for now, makes them look good....Im 100% sure that without the star, the real talent, this company is going to fall behind again...meanwhile, the irreplaceable just suck the firm dry.

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OK so say you need a engineer to design and build a bridge or a doctor to give you a heart transplant. He should earn the same as someone working the till in a shop? You can't see the problems this would create?

The problems are all in the mind.

Just about every job efficiency person yuo would talk to will tell you the pay is not the main reason people work...its job satisfaction, its helping people, its being part of something bigger than they are.

The pay bit comes in with the 7 deadly sins...Hear these sins every day from trade unions....Greed, Covetness, jealousy, pride....they are all the reasons people are ENTITLED to more than the next person.

You may not beleive in God, but the Bible has it all in there....nothing has changed with people in 5000 years....nothing at all.

Edited by Bloo Loo
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OK so say you need a engineer to design and build a bridge or a doctor to give you a heart transplant. He should earn the same as someone working the till in a shop? You can't see the problems this would create?

I never said that. I just said it was a myth that there is some special class of CEO deserving of massive pay. The evidence shows the person at the top makes little difference.

In footballing terms there are indeed very few David Moyes but there are a heck of a lot of Steve Bruce types.

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The runniest part is the premise that he (if he is who he says he is) will quit. The fallacy that the wealthy will just stop being productive if they are too heavily taxed is one that needs to be called out loudly and often. (I'm about to start writing to this troll directly.) Really? You're really going to just give up ALL your income because you have to pay an extra three cents on the dollar - above the first quarter million you make? Good. Do that. That will really demonstrate your refined sense of leadership.

Does this 'funny' guy actually see the irony of what he writes?

They should ask Denis Healey, the Labour Chancellor to learn from him what happened when you tax people at 98% (i.e. too high).

Of course 3% extra tax is not going to make people move, but probably enough to keep people from coming near or when making that marginal investment/employment decision. Every 1% movement is going to affect something at the margin.

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well, you made the point...Id like to hear a defence.

And before you bring Steve JObs to the Dock to give evidence, he wasnt an underling...he grew that company up AS boss all the time..when he left, it began to die...they brought him back...as boss, and it began to grow....

yet every exec in Apple earns a fortune...now they appoint new ones and sack them for non performance....the old guard are truly entrenched and they are in a position to sit back, order the troops, and if it fails, they sack them...no repsonsibilty for THEIR decisions, hiding behind a hyped up range of products that for now, makes them look good....Im 100% sure that without the star, the real talent, this company is going to fall behind again...meanwhile, the irreplaceable just suck the firm dry.

They will run the company into the ground if they do a bad job. That is their responsibility. They have direct competitors who will capitalise on any mistakes.

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I never said that. I just said it was a myth that there is some special class of CEO deserving of massive pay. The evidence shows the person at the top makes little difference.

In footballing terms there are indeed very few David Moyes but there are a heck of a lot of Steve Bruce types.

Well there should be no barrier stopping you getting a premier league managers job. Let us know how you get on.

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They will run the company into the ground if they do a bad job. That is their responsibility. They have direct competitors who will capitalise on any mistakes.

paid for failure...exactly. And where is this "responsibilty?"...what is the consequence of their actions...for them?

In most cases, its a parachute...golden....

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The problems are all in the mind.

Just about every job efficiency person yuo would talk to will tell you the pay is not the main reason people work...its job satisfaction, its helping people, its being part of something bigger than they are.

The pay bit comes in with the 7 deadly sins...Hear these sins every day from trade unions....Greed, Covertness, jealousy, pride....they are all the reasons people are ENTITLED to more than the next person.

You may not beleive in God, but the Bible has it all in there....nothing has changed with people in 5000 years....nothing at all.

Most people hate their job and do it to put food on the table. You are living in a dream land.

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Most people hate their job and do it to put food on the table. You are living in a dream land.

but, they could always work elsewhere..so we are told.

And why do people hate their jobs? what is it they hate?...wake me up please.

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Does this 'funny' guy actually see the irony of what he writes?

They should ask Denis Healey, the Labour Chancellor to learn from him what happened when you tax people at 98% (i.e. too high).

Of course 3% extra tax is not going to make people move, but probably enough to keep people from coming near or when making that marginal investment/employment decision. Every 1% movement is going to affect something at the margin.

IIRC the maximum income rate in the US is something of the order of 36%. Also remember that we are talking about increasing tax on income over 250k. Personally I think if people feel paying 40% odd on earnings over 250k is somehow incredibly objectionable, then frankly that country is definitely better off if they do one.

paid for failure...exactly. And where is this "responsibilty?"...what is the consequence of their actions...for them?

In most cases, its a parachute...golden....

I'd just like to say I agree with everything you have written in this thread and it is not often I get to say that.

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If anyone's interested there's some new research on altruism and self interest in this months Nature. Looks like altruism is an immediate response, driven by the immediate seeing of a need in others. Self interest is a less immediate response, calculated slow greed.

Any who, was it Erasmus who said we have just enough free will to see how deterministic our lives are?

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