Is Oliver Kamm really this stupid?

Some degree of income inequality is healthy. The reason is not, as is sometimes argued by defenders of market outcomes, to provide incentives. It’s instead to provide a signalling device. If the rewards for one occupation rise markedly relative to another, then that provides information to workers that it would be worthwhile to acquire new skills. Equality of outcome in the wage distribution would, to that extent, make the economy less efficient.

What is that higher income signal to go get new skills other than an incentive?


Second, there is no consistent pattern in advanced industrial economies to suggest lower taxes on high earners stimulate consumption and growth. Sweden has a 70 per cent effective top tax rate yet its economy has performed pretty well since 2016. Far more important has been the country’s supply-side reforms to make it more worthwhile to work.

Supply side reforms being lower marginal income tax rates.


10 thoughts on “Is Oliver Kamm really this stupid?”

  1. It’s instead to provide a signalling device.

    What is this, an incentive for ants? Beep-boop the economy is signalling to me!

    Nobody gives a low-flying fuck about “information to workers that it would be worthwhile to acquire new skills”. It’s the moolah, dough, bread (which is Liverpudlian for ka-ching) that makes people drag their increasingly tired arses out of bed every morning.

  2. As Adam Smith said: “‘It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to not have their wife leave them for being a poverty-stricken arsehole. PS – fuck gypsies, lol”

  3. Personally, I think income inequality is very healthy, as long as MrsBud and I get to keep a significant portion of what we work so hard to earn. How do people think you can have income equality if you don’t have equality of effort?

  4. I think that Mr Kamm may also have forgotten the existence of the Laffer curve, and the fact that in the last couple of decades the government does appear to have proved empirically that the peak is just about exactly where they are taxing the better off.
    He’s a bit of a twit really.

  5. ‘to provide incentives . . . to provide a signalling device’

    A difference without distinction.

    ‘Some degree of income inequality is healthy.’

    I assume the writer has had a brain fart, realizing that his Leftist orthodoxy, income equality, has a problem. He is still a Lefty, he still believes income equality is good, it just needs a little tweaking, and then it will be fine.

    ‘The reason is not, as is sometimes argued by defenders of market outcomes, to provide incentives.’

    “Employers pay what they have to pay to attract and retain workers who can do what they want done.” – GC

    Market ‘defenders’ note that pay is a function of the labor market at the employer’s door. It is a localized, two party transaction. It has FA to do with incentives or signals, which are externallities to the relationship.

    The writer is a statist, wants government’s hands all over everything. The world isn’t right, but government can fix it.

  6. The way he outs it is rather interesting isn `t it , the idea of rewards operating like any other price , like Profit in a sector say( Profit is also a price ). i`m not sure its very applicable in the real world but it does have ,long term affects
    Plenty of people have concluded that their children would be better of in the Public sector over the last few year ….because when you count the pensions and benefits the rewards are so much greater

  7. @John Davis

    Gov’t should not aim to be perpetually at top of Laffer curve, they should be a good bit down lower tax rates on left with peak reserved for rare events

    Imagine how much better UK would be if in 2007/8 this had been the case



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *