Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A Big Danger If Joe Biden Wins the Presidential Election

 As I write, the result of the presidential election has not been determined.

A big concern, among many, is that if Joe Biden is the winner, he may be influenced by some of the anti-capitalist economists around him. They will certainly call for higher wealth taxes including higher inheritance taxes.

In the clip below (4 minutes and 21 seconds), Milton Friedman explains the dangers of the "tax the wealth" attitude.



  1. As usual what Friedman gives with one hand he takes away with the other. He recognizes that taxation of any kind is a disincentive to save and without saving there is no capital, no way to improve the productivity of humans effort to improve their well being. But then he muddles his explanation by claiming we are a society of families as opposed to a society of individuals. As if the family was more important than the individual. This kind of thinking can lead to socialism and the wealth redistribution that the young man is advocating. Having the wealth to afford children and assist them financially is a form of immortality for the individual. This can be a powerful incentive for the individual and the family is a wonderfully productive way to take advantage of this incentive. But it requires a society of individual liberty and the freedom to choose. Ironically, the freedom to choose is the title of one of Friedman's books but in this exchange he seems not to fully understand that it applies to individuals.

    1. I think you're way off. Providing for one's children IS an endeavor of the individual. He was merely explaining that one incentive in relation to inheritance taxes. I get the impression you are trying to be contrary to be interesting.

  2. Not to mention all the federal judges he'll be appointing.

  3. Regarding the post about the danger that if Biden is elected he will be influenced by lefties in the party to enact a wealth tax. Possible. But Trump has been no better with his tariffs, huge government debt and inflation increases. Further, if Biden wins it will be by a very slim margin. No mandate. In fact Democrats have lost several seats in the House and there is talk of ousting Nancy Pelosi. In a recent article in The Week by Damon Linker (a Biden supporter) he quotes a Democratic legislator as stating that "...the American people are clearly afraid of socialism..." He suggests further in the article that more moderate leadership is called for. This move seems motivated by the fact that politicians are less concerned about ideology and more concerned about re-election. If Democrats are sensing that Americans are afraid of socialism perhaps there is a large enough freedom loving segment of the public to at least slow the trend toward socialism including a wealth tax.