Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The rich and taxes

So the basic supply-side economist will say that if you raise taxes on the rich, they will create less jobs. The counterargument to that is that trickle-down approaches to the economy have never worked, and that the stinking, evil rich don't create jobs even when their taxes are lowered. They instead pocket the money and make themselves richer.
Don't buy it.
Take the case of the late Larry Miller,  former owner of the Utah Jazz. Before Miller owned the Jazz, he was a car dealer, with several dealerships. But he hadn't begun with several. He began with one. As he became more successful, he added dealerships, which added jobs. In time, he bought into the Utah Jazz, and eventually became full owner of the Jazz. Under his ownership, the Jazz became more successful, which created more wealthy for Miller, but also created more job opportunities.
Miller continued his holdings as he bought into other enterprises, like the Salt Lake Stingers (now the Bees), and the Larry Miller Sports Park. All of these created more jobs.
Now, some would say that he would have done the same, even if taxes were raised. Maybe. We don't know. What we do know is this: Larry Miller continued to create jobs instead of lining his own pockets as he grew richer. Yes, he became wealthier, but his wealth helped out normal people who needed work. This is the exact opposite of what the anti-supply-side supporters will tell you. They have argued with me that the rich don't create more jobs, they just line their pockets. Larry Miller is proof that they are wrong.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Old Yeller

This past week I watched Old Yeller for maybe the 4th or 5th time in my life. What a wonderful story of friendship, growing up, and taking responsibility. Near the end, after Travis has had to put his dog down and he and his pa are sitting there talking to each other, there is a great statement made by the pa. I don't have the book in front of me but he says to Travis: "Now and then, for no good reason, life will haul off and knock a man flat." And then he goes on to say that, and I'm paraphrasing here, "life has good times too. And if we spend all our good times thinking about the bad, then it all becomes bad". I really like to look at life that way, and I thank Fred Gipson, author of Old Yeller for the lesson he continues to give me long after his death.