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Sunday, 15 June 2014


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And Richard can have a smug gloat, because one of Laffer's influencers was a geezer called Ibn Khaldun, a muslim thinker credited with being the founder of sociology, and many other ideas on a diverse range of subjects.

You have to like the guy; anyone who comes up with a quote like this as the definition of government: "an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself" is defo heading in the right direction.


Here's Khaldun's Wiki resume


Not a brilliant economic insight, I think.

In that connection I believe it remains undemonstrated both as an empirical claim and as a theorem of axiomatized economics.

But a brilliant propaganda stroke, absolutely.

Simple economic truths and basic arithmetic will ultimately undo the Left. Meantime from one of my most favorite dead geniuses.... "Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone". Frederic Bastiat

David, I should offer congrats on your successful Culinary Crusade! You were fed, watered and bedded in one evening. Often wives don't fully appreciate what prehistoric instincts go into BBQing. Fire is involved so that means a hint of danger. This is overcome with sheer manliness which you are no doubt in possession of. Next, the small remnants of some beast is required in its rawest and bloodiest form. Naturally, as a manly BBQer, a degree of exaggeration is allowed regarding the original size and ferocity of said creature. The amount of alcohol you consume may play a role in this. When the resident female pops out of the cave with a "helpful suggestion", you are not required to obey or even listen. After all, this is your domain. The amount of alcohol consumed can play a role here too. When you finally deliver the cooked feast--you are the King..the provider and protector.

Other than that, the rules of BBQing are simple.


Laffer's big achievement was applying a standard tool of tax management to the income tax. It turns out that government revenue received from an income tax is highly volatile depending on the rates, and actually rates on the lower end of the scale produce more government income than higher rates. This totally upsets those who want want to use the income tax to achieve some (not so) noble public ends.

Of course, since it is a standard tool of tax management it applies to all taxes.

A few years ago the states won a suit against the tobacco companies, as part of the settlement they got the industries marketing data, and shortly thereafter the cigarette tax rates changed. Is it being cynical to say they were adjusted to the max revenue point on a Laffer curve?

Thanks, SoD, as ever you are an education!

Philo, according to your deeply admired(!) IRS the total personal income tax collected in 1980 from those with incomes above $200k pa when the top rate was 80% = $19m. The tax collected in 1988 on the same basis but with the rate at 28% was a tickle short of a $1billion. How much more 'empirical' and 'axiomatized' evidence do you require?

Whitewall, excellent chap, that Bastiat and he would not have been surprised in the slightest that the result of his current Presidente raising French top rates to 70% has resulted in a drop in collections as the rich French make for the borders! And may I say that your excellent description of me in BBQ-mode was spot on!

Indeed, Hank, and despite Philo's esoteric doubts it is a matter of common sense and one need look no further than one's own human nature to realise that anyone with half a brain cell will avoid tax if they can.

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