Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

To Build a Bigger Loophole

Posted: April 15, 2014 by davishipps in Uncategorized

At this not-so-festive time of the year, the case against the income tax practically makes itself. Yesterday, a friend of mine from way back put the problem this way on Facebook: “Taxes suck. Why do the middle of the road people pay the highest percentage of their income?” and then later “seriously, is there some logic behind this?”

I gave her an answer, but I thought it might be worth taking the opportunity to elaborate. The answer I gave was basically this: In a graduated income tax, the very poor pay nothing or nearly nothing by design. The very rich can afford to put their money in tax havens, and they can afford accountants and tax attorneys to make sure they get every break available. The middle of the road folks aren’t poor enough to be exempt but aren’t rich enough to get all the breaks.

The elaboration I would offer is that this is not to speak ill of the rich, necessarily. The income tax works on the premise that the government is the true owner of whatever money you earn, and that it will decide how much of those earnings you’ll be allowed to keep. The fact that the money is withheld from your paycheck before it gets to your hands makes plain that this is the philosophy in operation. The government takes money from every income-earner whether or not the person can afford it, and without regard to whether or not that person agrees with how the money is spent.

Anyone else taking someone’s money without their consent would be labeled a thief, no matter what they intended to use the money for. So, if a thief approached someone demanding money, and that person was in a position to ensure that the thief took less of their money than he otherwise might (say by having some tucked away in a safe place), why shouldn’t the victim avail himself of that position? Wouldn’t more of us do the same if we could?

This is what loopholes in the tax system are for, to allow the income-earner to keep more of their own money. Only individuals can allocate their money in ways that satisfy their wants most efficiently. Only individuals can grow the economy by producing desirable goods and services and by spending their earnings on the goods and services that they themselves desire. The goal of taxpayers should not be to close loopholes for the top earners, nor should they begrudge them the opportunity to keep their money; the goal should be to expand those loopholes as widely as possible, so that more and more taxpayers qualify to keep more of their own money. As the economist Ludwig von Mises said, “Capitalism breathes through those loopholes.”


Econ 101: Syllabus

Posted: April 3, 2014 by davishipps in Uncategorized

Here’s the full Econ 101 Syllabus:

  1. The Basics
  2. Competition and Prices
  3. Example Issue – Minimum Wage
  4. Monopolies and Cartels
  5. Interest Rates and Credit
  6. Example Issue – Labor Unions
  7. Government Interventions – Part 1
  8. Government Interventions – Part 2
  9. Government Interventions – Part 3
  10. Origin of Money and Banking
  11. The Evolution of Banking
  12. Central Banking and the Federal Reserve System
  13. Business Cycles

I hope this has helped someone understand Economics or think more clearly about these issues. Thanks for reading!

What’s Next for Roofer With a Mortgage

Posted: April 25, 2013 by davishipps in Uncategorized

Hello, everyone. It’s been 6 months since the last post on this site. Exactly two weeks before that post, my wife had our fourth child, a sweet little baby girl. Just over 2 weeks after that post, Ren announced that the radio show was going to be on an indefinite hiatus while he devoted some time to other things. And with that, we’ve pretty much been silent. Other than updating the Listen! page to reflect the hiatus and eventually creating the Reading List page that Ren mentioned on the last episode of the show, we haven’t done a thing with Roofer With a Mortgage, other than wear the hats and drink from the coffee mugs.

What often happens with websites/blogs where the project has been laid down for a while is that you’ll see an entry posted many months after the one immediately prior to it, promising to get back in the swing of things or apologizing for the absence. And then you’ll realize that the post your looking at was, in fact, written many months ago itself, with the follow-up never having been accomplished. This is not that post.

I can’t promise a steady stream of articles from now until the end of time, or even over the next few months. With the busy season at work ramping up, I don’t feel like I can even promise to try to keep up with that. However, when I finally got around to creating the Reading List page and was thinking about which short books were the best introductions to this important topic, it occurred to me that one way to promote an understanding of the subject might just be to post it myself. So I gave it a start, but without the deadline of an upcoming radio show to try and hit, I’ve dragged out and delayed the publication of the articles. In short, I let my motivation falter. So, in order to get the motivation in gear again, I’ve decided to give myself a deadline. That being said, here’s what I will promise:

Over the next few weeks, I will publish at least eight short articles on the basics of Economics. Three of these have already been written and will be published every day or two starting Monday, April 29th. After that, they will be posted as they are completed, with the last one posted no later than May 31st.

My hope is that these articles will help readers to better understand the economic issues being debated (or that should be debated) today and that it will provide a jumping off point for discussion in these areas. See you back here next week!