Chris… All I need to do is watch the pattern unfold: The press takes something about Trump or something he says and adopts the most inflammatory interpretation possible. They then run around finding people who will express outrage at their interpretation. They then report the outrage like it is breaking news. Why would Trump feed the beast with his taxes? Clearly a large enough segment of the population don’t care.

Now, to different valuations… You must not have kids in college. When you go through the financial aid ringer, one of the things you report is the value of your house. And there is a spelled-out criteria and method to do so. So for the purposes of financial aid, a property might be valued one way. For other reporting purposes, it might be valued a different way. There is nothing remotely unusual about any of this.

Now to public goods. You expose what I call the “first claim fallacy.” The government does not have first claim on anyone’s income. So a tax deduction is not a subsidy. Nor is it “public support.” A tax deduction/credit simply means you keep more of your own money. You seem to think that tax policy “increases [a business owner’s] compensation.” That is nonsense, of course, if the business owner, and not the government, has first claim.

Now on income inequality I think we have some area of agreement. It is easily the biggest problem we face as a society. But it was not, and is not, caused by fiscal policy (e.g. taxation) again, because the government does not have first claim on the produce of anyone’s work. Income inequality is about monetary policy first. Those in closest proximity to government and banking enjoy the benefits of newly created money far more than those further removed. There is a fiscal side to this, but it only exists because of an unrestrained money supply. If you track the public debt and income inequality you will see a nice, tight correlation. This is because the public debt is largely issued in Treasury Bonds, which generate fees and commission at their origin, when they move from the primary market to the secondary, and every time they are traded on the secondary market.

Income inequality and an excess of money in politics grows from the same root — unrestrained money feeding unrestrained public debt. Solve the money problem and unrestrained debt is no longer possible. Solve the unrestrained debt and you kill off the money laundering cycle that is U.S. Treasuries, bond market fees and commissions, income inequality and campaign cash, spendthrift politicians (from all sides) creating more Treasury Bonds…

Lastly, earned vice unearned income is a false dichotomy. Dividends are “earned” by putting capital at risk. If we could rip out the weeds of speculation, roots and all, we could get back to a place where dividend income actually incentivizes saving and investment, which (again, if speculative products were not competing with productive investments) spurs wealth-creating productive uses of a restrained money supply.

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I am a charter member of the pocket-protector set, but old enough to make fun of them and otherwise have a healthy skepticism of tech.

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