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Farming the mailbox

Like the debtors at the other end of the wealth scale, the upper income/higher net worth quintiles benefit from dollar devaluation, as their leveraged investments can be more easily paid off and their non-dollar-denominated investments keep pace with, or grow ahead of, their earlier nominal dollar value.

Not so for the middle-income quintile: illustrate how such policies are designed to extract wealth to government from the very same middle-income quintile which typical politicians claim to be "defending". In the last decade alone, the Fed has diminished the dollar by 30 cents.

Like most other states, Vermont depends heavily on real estate values to generate the property taxes which pay for public education. Advocates of ever growing per-pupil spending levels are happy with a deliberately inflationary policy raising the nominal value of all that taxable real estate even more than any typical Consumer Price Index dollar-value-deflator indicates.

Here's a typical example of the above: the 1960 dollar, according to the Economic History website calculator, today matches $7.24; but the little house we bought for $18,000 then is worth almost $400,000 now. That's a multiplier not of approximately seven but of approximately 20, pleasing results for those who invested in real estate rather than savings accounts-equally pleasing for those who tax it for government spending.

Assuming rates have remained constant (actually, they're up), they're taking 20 times as much in the feudal annual rental-due-to-government from supposed free-hold landowners.

Another facet of the current economic picture: trustfunder "rural homesteaders", who now dominate Vermont politics, frequently (anecdotal information, no statistics) arrange to have their large purchases, such as land, McMansion, Prius towncar, boat, kids' college-funded directly by their trusts while they report near poverty level personal incomes, to qualify for various low tax-bracket, tax-abatement benefits, thus illustrating the skillful personal capitalism of avowed anti-capitalists.

Retired Vermont architect Martin Harris observes Green Mountain State politics from a safe distance-Tennessee.

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