I did a little experiment with Excel. I played around with 6 simplified scenarios. The first set is the wealth accumulation of a tradesman, Joe Lunchbucket. Joe gets a job at age 18 and makes $20K. His expenses are the same. His income rises at 4% and his expenses at 2%. He then either gets married at 22 or not to a tradeswoman who works outside the house and then either gets divorced or not at age 35. If he marries, they have two kids and their expenses rise commensurately. Here's what their accumulated wealth as a function of age looks like. Click on the image for a larger version.
Here are the charts for Mortimer Whitecollar. Mortimer gets a BA and enters the workforce at age 22. He starts at $60K. He has the same growth and constraints as Joe.
What happens when you get tax cuts? How about tax increases? Well, move Joe's graph up or down by a couple hundred bucks a year. Move Mortimer's up or down by a couple of thousand.
Whoop de do.
David Wessel, writing in the Wall Street Journal, has an interesting column on the effect of the tax cuts on the Wealth Gap. If you ignore all other effects, the tax cuts make a big difference. If you look at the real world, they don't.
Politicians want to seem like they have some kind of major influence on your lives. They debate and posture and pose and blather endlessly about how they will get the country moving again or their opponents will bring about a new Dark Ages. Short of a Hugo Chavez-style socialist implosion, they really don't have much of an effect at all.
In terms of the Wealth Gap, you can't change the tax code to eliminate the effects of education and divorce. Divorce and education have million to multi-million dollar effects on net worth. Tax cuts are orders of magnitude less.
Post a Comment