When has a liberal idea gone terminal? When Ezra Klein tries to defend that idea
What’s a media man for America to do?
Try and defend the honor of the dead idea,of course. Unfortunately, ideas, no matter how bad or clearly disproven, seldom actually die; they just go into some form of hibernation.
And defending the honor is exactly what Ezra Klein (warmly known at this site as Ezra Klaun or Extra Klaun) does with this article which uses a rich liberal, David Levine, as its baseline and not as an anecdote:
It would be one thing, Levine says, if the economy had performed so much better after taxes on the rich were cut. But it didn’t. Some of the fastest economic growth of the post-war period came in the 1950s, when the top tax rate was above 80 percent. The slowest growth came in the 2000s, when the top tax rate was 35 percent.
Even Ezra knows what Levine doesn’t… kinda (emphasis added for the kinda part):
As Doug Holtz-Eakin, a conservative economist who squared off against Levine on a panel at the Tax Policy Center, argues, the post-World War II era was good for the United States. We had a kind of global monopoly that allowed us to live large and share the wealth. But that monopoly is gone, and there’s no tax regime that can bring it back.
Yes, after World War II, the United States had quite a few advantages. Our working population hadn’t been decimated (or worse), nor had our homeland. We were not only able to feed and clothe ourselves and sell to others, but we had huge, institutional, national-level advantages. However, the massive expansion of the role and reach of the U.S. government in the post-war era lessened our myriad advantages in a sad process often called reverting to the mean.
However, if we today assume a global-leveling of the ability to produce has occurred, what would help restore a national-level advantage? Taking more money from the makers and investors, running those funds through the black-box of government (reducing its value even more), in order to transfer those riches to the takers?
The wellspring of liberal ideas is shallow, sad, absurd, and surreal.