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In the lazy hours before Sunday dinner…
06 Sep

I have no idea of what I’m going to eat tonight. I’ll probably go along with the type of food that the rest of my family wants. It’s easy, politically, emotionally, logistically, to go along with the crowd.

On Wall Street we counsel our clients to take the emotion out of investing.  There, sometimes what’s best isn’t easy. There, I’m wired to be logical, rational. For this reason—and as a dyed-in-the-wool, free-market-loving capitalist—I can’t figure out why we accept the reality that our so-called free market is neither pure nor free. Further, as a country known for our expertise in finance and financial engineering, I’m baffled why more minds greater than mine do not question the wisdom and obvious inefficacy of taxing capital—the product of our work—as a means of funding government. In my book I argue that taxing the result of work inherently distorts both the relative value of products and the relative value of work, and that one of Congress’ most important mandates should be to design an economy and policies that enable all able-bodied people to support themselves without government payments.

It’s as if the policy gods were waiting with bated breath for me to finish it: In just the six months since I completed it we’ve been awash in a very public discussion about living wages and corporate welfare. Hopefully the movement will continue to gain steam. Online there are people who understand the importance of diminishing taxes on capital who have found each other. We must continue to talk to each other. And together we must find a way to address the traditional thinkers and the uninitiated with a message that is both inviting and sensible. With steps in the right direction like this, perhaps the ideas for an alternative to taxing capital, outlined in my book, can also gain some traction.

As I sit at home on a sunny afternoon, in a big chair with a view of hundreds and hundreds of windows risen over New York City, I see how entrenched we are in the ways of our world, yet I hold such optimism for a better practice of capitalism to take hold. There is such human potential already expressed here, but I know there is so much more to unleash. It’s amazing, really, to have such faith in the possibilities.

About the Author

Written by Stephen Taft

I live in New York City, work on Wall Street, and think about justice...all the time.

3 Responses to In the lazy hours before Sunday dinner…

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