Obama's Hidden-Tax Heist; Fed Policy Erodes Productivity Gains

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 25, 2012 | Go to article overview

Obama's Hidden-Tax Heist; Fed Policy Erodes Productivity Gains


Byline: Richard W. Rahn, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

How is it possible that the government can spend almost twice as much as it takes in without having high inflation? The fact is that over a long period of time, it can't. In the short run, which can be a few years, the government can paper over its fiscal irresponsibility by expropriating most of the productivity gains in the private sector through regulatory and central bank actions. This is precisely what has been happening in the United States.

The reason real, after-tax, per capita incomes have been able to increase year by year for most Americans for the past two centuries is that productivity has been growing - that is, the amount of goods each worker produces per hour has risen steadily. The reason productivity rises is that workers tend to be better trained, the amount of productive capital per worker rises, and there is a steady flow of innovation, which reduces costs and improves goods and services.

To understand productivity growth, look at the advances of farm and construction machinery - which enable one worker to do more, better and with greater safety. Wal-Mart, Amazon and FedEx have made amazing developments in reducing distribution costs by instituting better equipment and systems. Magnify these individual company and industry gains throughout the economy, and the result is a steady national gain in worker productivity.

Over the past few decades, worker productivity growth has averaged more than 2 percent. Most of this gain eventually ends up in worker paychecks, with some being siphoned off to support people who are not working and pay for various government schemes. Even so, for the quarter-century preceding 2007, after-tax, real (inflation-adjusted) per capita, disposable income grew at about 2 percent per year.

Since 2007, worker productivity growth has slowed, in part because of the lack of new investment. The big change has been that real, per capita, disposable income has slowed sharply since the end of the recession, being less than 1 percent per year, which has yet to make up for the 3.64 percent loss in 2009. By contrast, in the three years after the end of the Reagan recession in 1982, real, per capita, disposable income grew by almost 4 percent per year.

The recent gains in productivity growth have been taxed away by government. The increases in taxes are all non-legislated taxes, largely invisible to most people. First, there is the inflation tax imposed by the Federal Reserve, which currently taxes away about 2 percent of the purchasing power of the individual's money each year. There is nothing new in this tax; the Fed has been in the business of creating inflation since it was formed in 1914.

What is new is the big tax on savings, again imposed by the Fed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Obama's Hidden-Tax Heist; Fed Policy Erodes Productivity Gains
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.