Hall of Very Good Cars: #3, 7-14-2022

Acknowledgement of Bastille Day, anyone?

 

Money is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Like virtually everything else, money/income has diminishing marginal utility or usefulness. I believe, but am not certain, that the application of the diminishing marginal utility principle is the underpinning for progressive income tax systems. In principle, I agree with that concept.

That being said, I also strongly believe that the acquirer–not the government–should have first dibs on assets legally acquired. Marginal income tax rates of 70% or 80% constitute theft by government, in my opinion.

I believe in the “Rule of 49.” No one’s income, even if it’s a trillion dollars in a year, should ever have a combined marginal income tax rate (federal, state, local) of more than 49%. I don’t know if a similar idea is the reason that state income taxes can be deducted from federal taxable income.

In some countries, the maximum combined marginal income tax rate can be more than 50%. For example, a Canadian citizen living in the province of Nova Scotia can be taxed at 54% on the margin (33% federal tax, 21% provincial tax). It is interesting to me, though, that some countries seem to have adopted the “Rule of 49.” France has a 45% maximum national income tax rate plus a 4% surcharge on “high” incomes. Germany’s de facto highest income tax rate is 47.475%.

Sadly and scarily, people who are resentful and envious of those wealthier than they are and the politicians who stoke and take advantage of those feelings in order to receive votes think marginal tax rates of 70%, 80% or even higher are not only justified, but just. Obviously, I vehemently disagree. Oh, I don’t really think estates should be taxed at all (the income that generated those estates has almost certainly already been taxed, heirs will pay capital gains taxes on assets sold at a profit), but estate tax rates should also never exceed 49%.

In my utopian country, such a policy would be part of the national constitution. I don’t want to bore 99% of readers by outlining my constitutional principles in detail, but this is a topic about which I have thought long and hard. I really do expect the US to dissolve, which will give its successor countries an opportunity to fashion their own constitutions.

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OK, today’s car is German and not a power monster. However, in good conscience I could not ignore a car that I think is among the 10 or 20 best-looking cars ever made.

 

See the source image

 

This is, of course, the BMW 507. Designed by Albrecht Goertz, the car was supposed to be BMW’s entry into the US luxury car segment, but wound up almost bankrupting the company. When you tell a car person who doesn’t know otherwise that only 252 507s were produced, you’re likely to get a strong reaction of disbelief.

I think it would be, to borrow Pope’s phrase, breaking a butterfly upon a wheel to write about the 507’s engine or suspension. The car is rolling sculpture. That status forced me to hold my nose and to admit a German automobile into the Hall of Very Good Cars. I know many enthusiasts for whom the 507 is among their five or ten favorite cars ever, an Ultimate Garage car for them, if you will.

 

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#BMW507

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6 thoughts on “Hall of Very Good Cars: #3, 7-14-2022

  1. I shall not comment on your thoughts on income tax rates, as my doctor and I are trying very hard to control my hypertension with medications alone. Suffice to say, I agree in general with your thoughts.

    The French have their holidays and we have ours. I have never been a fan of the Frogs, er French, except home made French onion soup. We have a good recipe if you want it.

    Thanks for posting the BMW 507, which I have never seen prior to this post. Very graceful lines. Those of the spinning propeller logo make very good motorcycles and some nice cars. I understand your aversion to posting about makes from that country. More posts like this one please.

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  2. I despise the “revenuers,” of any shape or form. I don’t have a problem paying my FAIR share, but my definition of fair is far different than theirs. Between corporate taxes and personal income taxes my tax burden is close to 45% just for those. If you add up all the other taxes one pays through the year, for many folks it’s over 50% of their income. If I didn’t have my property zoned as agricultural, my property taxes would be nearly 3 times what they are. It’s no wonder that cheating on your taxes, a “side hustle” that pays cash, or bartering is becoming more prevalent. I blame unchecked government spending for the tax burden. They see all that money out there that THEY should be spending for us, as they know better what we need. Just a quick local example: The county I live in had a population increase of just over 50% in the last 10 years according to the census. Another fire station, and firefighters, is badly needed to serve these new residents. Instead, the fools running things decided that a rec center, with a swimming pool, tennis courts, outdoor basketball court and a running track was more important. All for the low cost of 29 million dollars. (insert middle finger emoji here)

    Rant over, for now.

    The 507 is a fine choice. It, along with the 503 which was made at the same time but about twice the quantity, would both be an admirable addition to any collection. Sadly, I think like most other manufacturers, BMW has lost that vision and now panders to the dumb masses.

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    1. Thanks, DDM. Obviously, not everyone’s definition of fair will be the same. My position is based on the fact that governments are supposed to protect property rights–that’s one of the major reasons for having government–and not to usurp them. Taking half or more of a person’s marginal dollar of income is a usurpation of property rights, my right to keep more than half of what I earn. Of course, many people disagree with me. Like you wrote, that’s a reason to practice tax avoidance, which is legal, as opposed to tax evasion, which is not.

      As for BMW, their pandering to the Chinese market has led them to leave one of their calling cards behind, styling. Their nightmarish front kidney grilles on steroids are an abomination, as far as I am concerned.

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