70%解决方案

伯克利——通过曲折的互联网链条——普林斯顿大学的克鲁格曼引用俄勒冈大学的汤马(Mark Thoma),汤马则是从《经济展望杂志》上读到——我获得了一份萨伊兹(Emmanuel Saez)的文章——他的办公室和我相距不过50英尺,与诺贝尔奖获得者戴蒙德在同一层。萨伊兹和戴蒙德指出,正确的北大西洋社会最富公民的边际税率应该是70%。

这是相当醒目的估算——过去三十年来,该地区一直流行着减税狂热——但戴蒙德和萨伊兹的逻辑是相当明晰的。最富阶层把持和控制着如此之多的资源,以至于他们实际上已经餍足了:在他们的财富中加上一点或拿掉一些对他们的幸福没有任何影响。因此,不管我们赋予他们相对于其他人的幸福多大的权重——不管我们称他们是劳苦功高的产业掌门人,获得如此高位实至名归,还是认为他们是寄生于社会的窃贼——我们都不能通过增加或降低他们的税率来有所影响。

这一观点的一个不可避免的推论是,当我们计算什么才是适合最富阶层的税率时,我们不应该考虑税率改变对他们的幸福的影响,因为我们知道这种影响是零。关键问题应该是改变他们的税率对其他人福利的影响。

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