> One possible result of such policy would be that both will turn out to be less interested.
Tax rates on the top 1% or 0.5% of earners could double over-night and those people would still have more than enough money to make their effort worth-while. We are literally talking about people who have more money than the can possibly spend on personal luxuries in their lifetime.
At some point far before the 1% mark, wealth accumulation becomes much more about personal power and legacy than anything else. These people continue working hard for the same reason that tenured professors continue to publish prolifically or retired people work hard on their lawns or hobby projects -- for love of the work, and/or because they literally don't know how not to work.
(Whether or not those people deserve to be taxed heavily is kind-of irrelevant to the fact that your hypothesis about human psychology is wrong.)
> You cannot turn the losers into winners
What is a loser? Most middle class people are of average or above-average intelligence and work hard. The only thing separating these people from e.g. Donald Trump is access to an inheritance or some other means of attaining large amounts of capital.
I'm willing to bet your average middle-class accountant or actuary would much rather (pay someone to) manage a portfolio of investments than crunch someone else's numbers.
Also, FYI, almost all computer programmers in the world -- including skilled ones -- are solidly ouside of 1% territory.
> but you can certainly alienate the surviving winners and convince them to build their next factory in China
So your argument for not redistributing some percentage of the wealth of billionaires is that they're petty assholes who will take their ball and go home? But isn't that what losers do? ;-)
As a matter of fact, globalization and national autonomy aren't inconsistent. Tax havens aren't a fact of life, they are an engineered reality created by lawyers and lobbyists.
They are not after the 1%, never have, and never will. They are after you and me, my friend. So, gear up for a good fight, because I am giving them zilch. I'd rather flush my money down the toilet.
> So your argument for not redistributing some percentage of the wealth of billionaires is that they're petty assholes who will take their ball and go home?
Yes, and that is why the factories have been rebuilt in China over the last 25 years. It is not going to get any better in the future. I don't know what they will be doing next, but it will certainly not include "redistributing some percentage of their wealth". Why would they? But then again, who cares? I don't want their money. I have my own.
In order to outsmart them, you will have to be smarter, but if you could, you would be one of them. ;-)
Oh right. Those bastards trying to close corporate tax loopholes are totally doing so because they hate me and all the money I'm not saving due to those loopholes...
> In order to outsmart them, you will have to be smarter
NO! It's really not that damn complicated. And there are even plenty of extant policy proposals for eliminating or greatly reducing tax avoidance schemes.
Public policy, most of the time, isn't rocket science. See e.g. https://www.oecd.org/ctp/BEPSActionPlan.pdf
There's a difference between globalization of unskilled labor, globalization of skilled labor, and tax avoidance. The first and second are, to varying extent, unavoidable and probably net beneficial to the bulk of humanity. The last is not unavoidable and is also decidedly unbeneficial for most of humanity.
(There's also a difference between off-shoring for the purpose of true cost reduction nand off-shoring for the purpsoe of tax avoidance. The former is far more common than the latter, although a decent amount of FDI is about tax/tariff avoidance.)
> but if you could, you would be one of them
Of course I would. But I'm not delusional and wasn't born into either connections or cash. So I do what I can to boost my odds, but I also cooperate whenever the opportunity arises.
And, if I ever do "make it", I'm sure as hell not going to become one of those "got mine, fuck you" types.
> At some point far before the 1% [from context, presumably income] mark, wealth accumulation becomes much more about personal power and legacy than anything else.
False, IMO. 99th percentile income is about $400K gross per year (for household income). Two 40-year olds raising children, making $400K between them are technically "top 1% income", but are quite far from granting buildings to their alma mater and building monuments to themselves. They are more likely worried about college tuition, retirement savings, and healthcare than they are about whether the plaque on the front of their building should be silver or bronze.