Six years ago, in another of his soak-the-rich socialist screeds (“Who needs property tax relief,” March 4, 2004), Edgar Allen Beem volunteered that less than $10,000 separated him from the poorhouse. In other words, he counted himself among that segment of the population consuming almost as much as it produces, an addiction that for the past several decades has contributed to the current economic crisis. His solution, then as now: raise taxes.

Those who have adopted a more frugal lifestyle are now seeing ever-increasing portions of their incomes going to taxes. Further increases at this critical point would have the exact opposite effect that Beem seeks, a lesson we should have learned from the Great Depression, when tariffs and taxes strangled the first signs of recovery.

Capital, especially now, is transferable globally at the push of a computer button, and will migrate not only to other states – a point Beem does seem to get – but also to countries where it can be more efficiently employed. Raising taxes will not, as Beem seems to think, share the wealth – it will further scare the wealth. Beem’s newest solution (“Raise taxes, please!,” March 4, 2010) is a recipe for extending to the rest of us the same kind of misery he and Wilkins Micawber inflicted on themselves.

So go ahead, raise his taxes, please, not mine.

Michael J. Cowell