From The New York Times: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/09/what-you-add-is-what-you-get/
July 9, 2012
July 9, 2012
The Romney fundraiser in the Hamptons continues to inspire much justified hilarity. Matt Yglesias has fun with whining rich people complaining that they are the engine of the economy, pointing out that quite a few of the whiners make their money in ways that arguably does very little for growth — say, by running funds that collect so much in fees that they leave investors worse off.
There is, however, an even broader critique of the whole keep taxes low on jobcreatorsenginesoftheeconomy thing — it doesn’t make sense even when the rich really earn their money. I’ve tried to make this point before, with regard to optimal top tax rates, but without as much success as I’d like; so let’s try it again.
So, imagine a Romney supporter named John Q. Wheelerdealer, who works 3000 hours a year and makes $30 million. And let’s suppose that he really does contribute that much to the economy, that his marginal product per hour — the amount he adds to national income by working an extra hour — really is $10,000. This is, by the way, standard textbook microeconomics: in a perfectly competitive economy, factors of production are supposedly paid precisely their marginal product.