Tax Tall People!

Tall people have many advantages in life, and not just when attending rock

concerts. They earn more money, they’re more likely to become president, they

can take stairs two at a time when they’re in a hurry. It’s not fair. We

should tax them!

Seriously. N Gregory Mankiw, A.B., Ph.D., Robert M. Beren

Professor of Economics at Harvard University, former chairman of the Council

of Economic Advisers, has written a paper

which argues that we should do exactly that, or at least that we should if we

believe in the Nobel-Prize-winning optimal-taxation ideas of William Vickrey

and James Mirrlees.

Our calculations show that a utilitarian social planner should levy a sizeable

tax on height. A tall person making $75,000 should pay about $4,500 more in

taxes than a short person making the same income.

To which Arnold Kling responds:

At first glance, this seems silly. On further reflection, it also seems silly.

Me? Well, I’m biased. I’m six foot two.

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