The Corner

Peter Schiff and Occupy Wall Street

Last week, Reason TV followed investment guru Peter Schiff as he spent three hours with the Occupy Wall Street protesters in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.

An unapologetic member of the 1 percent, Schiff argued with all comers for the better part of an afternoon.

The most interesting part of this video is the moment when Schiff explains to one of the protestors that he employs 150 people. Then, he asks, “How many people do you employ?”

We can argue about whether the tax code is progressive enough; we can argue about whether the proper measure of progressivity is the federal tax bill or the overall tax bill. But one thing that is always omitted from this debate is what the top earners contribute to society beyond the taxes they pay — such as the fact that they employ people, that they create value for the consumers of the goods and services they produce, and that they support charitable organizations. It is worth thinking about.

Veronique de Rugy — Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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