Let me accept the premise that when you raise taxes on people, not only do you not discourage work effort, but that you also encourage it. That is the folk view of many people new to economics. I can see why folks might think this – for them, they might have a “target” income in their heads, and then spend as much effort as they need to make sure that they get there.
Let’s not dispute this. Instead, let’s go back and ask what this has to do with taxing the rich more? What exactly does this say about taxing the rich more? As far as I can see, such an argument could just as easily be used to defend very repressive regressive taxation! Seriously, if work effort is not discouraged, indeed if it is encouraged by increased taxation, isn’t there considerable inequality in leisure time between the low income and high income? Isn’t the problem among the lower income population that they do not work enough? SO by taxing them more, not only do you discourage them from being the shirker that I was in choosing teaching as a profession, but you also don’t lose any tax revenues since they’ll all just work harder to “make up for it.”
It’s incredible how easy a time people have justifying taxing the rich using this line of thinking and not considering the logical implications of it.
Here are the previous entries in the series: