Current Essays

Asymptotic Taxation On:2008-11-20 16:16:30

At this present time of the failure of greed-is-goody, unfettered capitalism and panicking banks; this time when you can bank on panic, and on international meetings filled with powerless wailing from the most powerful economies; it behooves us to mount up and gallop to the rescue.

Yes, if you haven't noticed, capital has been decapitated yet again, and yet again the gnomes have screwed up, and lost their gnomons---though yet again most of the perps will walk away with too much pelf.

For American minds that don't stretch much past the GAD of 1929, it should be illuminating to study the notorious South Seas Bubble and all it's bubbly friends in and around the year 1720 to see just how early and how repetitively this sort of thing has happened. If you don't believe me, try to spot the difference between some greedy and foolish eighteenth century twit investing in, as it says in the Historical Register for 1720, "a company for carrying out an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is" and his twenty-first Century equivalent who does the exactly same with some complex financial instrument of equal transparency---actually don't bother 'cause we all know they'll both fall flat.
And, of course they never learn, and so, since those frothy early days it's just got worse, and the bubble blowers and the wealthy snots have just got have-ier and the have nots got not-ier and everyone seems to get greedier.
And you know the vast and ungovernable pay differentials that drive the whole pig-troughery thing, boil down in the end hardly at all to merit but mainly to luck---the one in a grillion who wins a billion in the state lottery being certainly morally, and probably meritoriously no different from the business-person (or the star for that matter) who makes a billion by equally chance concatenations of this subregulatory sphere.

So, as capitalism lies a-dying (yet again), it ought to beg us (but probably won't) to win yet another one for the Gipper by doing away with leering Reganomics (and rueful Thatcherism) because we no longer want Joe the Dumber to decry any attempt to ameliorate those vast differentials, but instead we want Asymptotic Taxation!
You can look up the formal and proper mathematical definition of an asymptote (if you're that way inclined) but basically it's just a line or a curve that's approached by another curve that seems to rather fancy it as they head off together into the setting sun of infinity, only they never do quite get together.
Asymptotic Taxation is just like that only even more chick-flickily romantic.

This is how the little sweetie works:
Starting with a tax rate of 0% at some value, say $10- or $20,000, and one indeed that might well vary according to such parameters as family size, each successive portion of income is taxed at a slightly higher rate according to a simple mathematical formula (I leave the actual formula as a homework exercise for the listener) constantly approaching (though never quite getting it together with) 100%---so that by the time you've passed the gates of really high income you are buffeted by rates in the high 99.999 percents.


Apart from being good and fairly fair and reasonably moral and more or less adhering to the highest Christian and Moslem and Communist and other good principles, asymptotic taxation is sexily mathematical and regular and simple and you can even sing about it...
[sings, sort of]
Asymptotic taxa-ation
It will be the salva-ation
Of this and every other Na-ation
And other nice things that end in a-ation
Dooby-dooby doo-a-ation
Cheerio for now
Richard Howland-Bolton (a-ation)

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