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May 21, 2008

Economist: Tax the Living Fuck out of Harvard

Well, he doesn't say that per se.

Harvard's enormous endowment is currently untaxed in Massachusetts and some are proposing to change that.

What makes this so much fun is the Sulu-esque "delicious dilemma" Harvard's liberal defenders find themselves in -- they keep arguing that taxes penalize success and excellence and harm organizations -- but only in the specific case of Harvard itself.

The economist replies that that's true of all taxes, as he gleefully points out, for example, that the argument that Massachusetts taxing Harvard is like Florida taxing its orange industry is somewhat flawed in that Florida does, of course, tax the orange industry.

The depths of idiocy and obliviousness here are truly astounding: These people have obviously never, ever even considered the effect of taxation on any other endeavor before. They haven't had to -- living in a singular dreamworld of freedom from taxation they were free to support everyone's favorite sort of tax, the always-popular Tax on Other People and of course the special Surtax on Other People's Shit. They never had to confront the issue of taxes previously.

The notion that taxes may reduce an organization's competitiveness, effectiveness, attractiveness to consumers, etc., comes as an outright epiphany to them.

Again: Only in the specific case of Harvard. They're all presumably big fans of taxing the hell out of everyone else.

Thanks to PetiteDov.


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posted by Ace at 03:01 PM

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