“Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Deserving” according to Gregory Mankiw in the New York Times of 16 February, 2016.
No doubt, many can and many are.
Mr. Mankiw identifies himself as an economics professor at Harvard University. Yet, Professor Mankiw was also a loyal economic advisor to Mitt Romney. Despite the former Presidential candidate’s publicly cited net worth of $250 million, Governor Romney famously reported his effective tax rate during the 2012 election cycle as 15%, remarkably close to the 12.8% Professor Mankiw ascribes to the middle class. Confusing numbers.
The Professor anecdotally reports that most Americans are “unperturbed” when exorbitant salaries are earned “transparently” and explains that the tax dollars contributed by the wealthiest help build a better country for us all. Let me anecdotally suggest that the chronically unemployed and underemployed in this nation would be happy to contribute to those same tax coffers, if only their income were sufficient to tax. Income inequality and our regressive tax structure are complex problems that are grossly oversimplified by Professor Mankiw in this paean of gratitude to the super wealthy.