Economist Mark Thoma writes,
“If the distribution of income is distorted by monopoly power, political power, and other market failures (e.g. taking advantage of informational asymmetries to sell questionable assets to unsuspecting customers who are reassured by triple A ratings, and so on), then taxing away some of the money and redistributing it to where it would have gone without the distortions is justifiable.”
Hm, that parenthetical sounds familiar … like a stripped-down, academic version of something you’d read on your friendly neighborhood scamblog. It’s not too much more of a stretch to skip the tax and force the recipients to pay the money back directly to the buyers via the judicial system. Same result, different mechanism.
Dear Mark Thoma, you are hereby banished from appearing opposite Matt Lauer on Today. Any more outbursts like this and we’ll revoke your Boomer credentials.
(Also, the irony of writing this post while listening to the Beatles’ 1965 masterpiece, Rubber Soul, is not lost on me.)