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"Musical chairs" tax system

 
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A tax system that tackles income inequality: The tax system operates just like it does today, with the highest rate of tax being about 40%, but with the exception that every year the richest person in the country has to pay 99% tax. This will create a powerful incentive among the super-rich to be the second-richest person in the country and to moderate their income.
hippo, Jan 16 2017

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       This sort of thing never works. The super-rich can afford accountants and advisors to create schemes to protect their wealth - or they just become non-domiciled, or move overseas.   

       Also, there is a nasty whiff of socialism about the idea.   

       [-]
8th of 7, Jan 16 2017
  

       <sniffs whiff> hahaha
po, Jan 16 2017
  

       ... makes a note not to post THIS idea in 5 years time.
po, Jan 16 2017
  

       You say this in jest, here's the reality: a person making over $1M a year as a self employed individual, and residing in New York City pays an aggregate income tax rate of 70%.   

       In addition, he pays (as everyone does) a 13% aggregate city and state sales tax on purchases   

       Putting aside the staggering inefficiency of such a system, and the number of outright parasites living off it -- government workers whose general salaries and benefits are only possible because of this insanity, what becomes obvious is that the incentive to avoid taxes is in fact much much higher than any other way of growing income, which distorts the entire economy.   

       The real income inequality is between the stock broker who is making a $1M, and paying $700k in taxes, and the hot dog vendor who works by the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, who is making $1M and paying 70K in taxes since his business is cash.
theircompetitor, Jan 16 2017
  

       // the poor would always be with us //   

       Not necessarily...   

       <obligatory Soylent Green reference/>
8th of 7, Jan 16 2017
  

       yes, they just disappeared :)
theircompetitor, Jan 16 2017
  

       I think the fundamental flaw in this idea lies in the assumption that inequality is bad.   

       I am fortunate enough to know quite a few people who are (a) very much smarter than me (b) have much better business acumen than me and (c) have much more money than me. I think that's excellent, and I don't begrudge them (a), (b) or (c).   

       If I were completely broke, then I would want more money - I wouldn't want to punish people who already have more money. In particular, I wouldn't want to unjustly clobber whoever had the most money, just for the spite of it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2017
  

       Reinstate the military draft. Allow people to pay for draft dodging. Remunerate veterans with the proceeds.   

       Yay, my click idea is worth billions!   

       Security, tax, profit ... meh. There are a few generations to pay-off before we get selfish. A few more if Trump goes rogue.   

       Reinstate the military draft. Allow people to pay for draft dodging. Remunerate veterans with the proceeds.   

       Rinse and repeat ... or not is preferable.
bigsleep, Jan 17 2017
  

       // I think the fundamental flaw in this idea lies in the assumption that inequality is bad. //   

       Ding ding ding.   

       Too much inequality leads to bad things. Inequality itself is inevitable, and in general a good thing.
Custardguts, Jan 17 2017
  

       Don't forget about the private equity firm whose owner pays peanuts, and the CEO who gets paid in stock options.   

       The system is highly rigged against the working poor. Keeping it marginally unrigged is the job of everyone.
RayfordSteele, Jan 17 2017
  
      
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