Economics

Say no to Brandeis; say yes to Bradford

Back in 2010, I noted that the ghost of Louis Brandeis was still haunting us. It’s worse than I thought. There’s an ongoing effort among liberal intellectuals to make Brandeis to the left what Friedrich Hayek or Milton Friedman is to the right.

First The New Republic came out with a huge love letter to the ur-regulator. Now Ian Ayres and Aaron Edlin channel Brandeis in arguing for making the country’s already progressive and complicated income tax code much more progressive and much more complicated.

I’ll ask Steve Hayward to weigh in on this return of progressive intellectuals like Brandeis, but allow me to say that instead of Brandeis, what we need is Bradford, as in the Bradford X tax.

2 thoughts on “Say no to Brandeis; say yes to Bradford

  1. It’s so nice of enlightened souls like Ayres and Edlin to advocate the adoption of an automatic 100% income tax bracket (even if they don’t have the nerve to name it explicitly) for people who make more money than they approve of–it’s for the greater good, you know.

  2. Like so many other uncareful observers Ayres and Edlin mistakenly conflated the yearly income data from 1980 through 2006 with Justice Brandeis’s comment regarding accumulated wealth.

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