Friday, July 25, 2014

What does it matter whether the Picasso, hanging on my wall, is worth 5 or 50 million? I did not pump up its value.

Yes, I accept that you might have a point thinking it is not fair that the Picasso that had I been rich could be hanging on my wall, should now be worth 50 million, instead of the 5 million it was valued when I would have had to pay inheritance taxes to keep it in my family? But I did not pump up its value...that was done by those who with their QEs and fiscal deficits injected so much liquidity. 

I swear, it is the same Picasso as always, I did absolutely nothing to it… in fact it has perhaps even lost some of its shine.

If the government now takes my Picasso in a Thomas Piketty wealth-tax, to help repay its debt… would it not then have to sell it, causing it only to hang on somebody else’s wall? 

Of course the government could export the Picasso to pay for oil… but what about when we run out of Picasso’s on our walls… and these all hang on their walls? Is that fair?

PS. Down here, on earth, with no Picasso, I am still envious of that 50 million Picasso hanging on somebody’s wall and wondering whether a little wealth tax would not be such a bad idea.