Moral Hazard and Unintended Consequences – Ep. 482


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More Market News after Powell’s Congressional Testimony

The markets have been pretty quiet over the last couple of days, so I really don’t feel like spending a lot of time on today’s podcast talking about the markets.  I probably will have more to say, maybe on Thursday when I’ll probably do another podcast because Jerome Powell is making his way up to Capitol Hill tomorrow and Thursday to testify before the House and the Senate. My guess is that some of his comments may move the markets; the currency markets, the gold market, maybe even the stock market. I’ll probably have more market-oriented commentary to give you on Thursday.

Laffer Curve for Dummies

But there are a few things on my mind, which is why I wanted to take some time today and record this podcast.  One has to do with Art Laffer. Of course, Art Laffer gained fame back in the Reagan era. He came up with the “Laffer Curve” that he supposedly sketched out on a napkin one day and showed it to Ronald Reagan.  The Laffer Curve basically says that when you reduce taxes, or lower marginal tax rates, you actually end up collecting higher tax revenues because you incentivize people to work more, they earn more, and then they pay more taxes even if they are paying taxes at a lower rate. Obviously, the Laffer Curve bends at some point, because if taxes are zero, you collect no revenue and if taxes are 100%, you also collect no revenue.  Because if you’re going to tax somebody 100% of their income, they’re not going to work at all. Nobody is a complete idiot – they’re not going to work for nothing. So at a 100% tax rate and a 0% percent tax rate the government collects exactly zero taxes. So somewhere along that curve is an optimal point where you would have the tax rate that generates the most amount of revenue.


Peter Schiff is an economist, financial broker/dealer, author, frequent guest on national news, and host of the Peter Schiff Show Podcast.



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