September 23, 2010

"The tax man's taken all my dough and left me in my stately home... and I can't sail my yacht — he's taken everything I've got..."



That's the song playing in my head after reading about University of Chicago lawprof Todd Henderson, who's desolated that people don't sympathize with how hard it is to get by in Chicago on $250,000 a year. The pushback he got was totally predictable, and, indeed, it was only the anticipation of criticism that made it an interesting thing to say in the first place. How much courage does it take — especially for a highly privileged and experienced speaker — to state an opinion and stand by it when it's criticized? I really don't see why William A. Jacobson and Glenn Reynolds are babying this man.

UPDATE: I continue here.

67 comments:

Almost Ali said...

Henderson is in after-shock by the depth and extent of leftist derangement - a state of mind he apparently thought was reserved for War and Peace and Dr Zhivago.

Moral: Glenn's educational bubble is even more pervasive than Glenn thought. Like worms in horseradish, but in these cases - applesauce.

Palladian said...

Try surviving on 30,000 a year in New York City, asshole.

sunsong said...

I'm kinda interested in the fair tax . I'm not sure if it would generate enough money - but it would do a lot to eliminate lobbyists and reduce the power in DC.

Synova said...

Did you see the comments he got?

I sympathized and I don't understand why everyone assumes that people who have made reasonable economic plans and choices can pull more money out of their a** at a moment's notice because someone else decides that they have too much.

I mean... one person got on about how he was morally wrong to have children instead of paying more taxes in this economy, and someone else snarled that no one forced his wife to borrow money for medical school at gunpoint, and yet someone else hauled out one I haven't heard for a decade seriously suggested, which is that the rich ought to have their children held hostage in the public school system.

Maybe it sounded a little whiny but, you know, my husband and I would be really comfortable if we could just decide today to be in a less expensive house. It doesn't matter how *big* a house we are in, even if it's a fraction of the size of Henderson's house, we can *always* manage in a smaller one that doesn't push the limits of our budget. What we *can't* do is get out of the obligations that we've already got.

We can't just decide to live more affordably and have that happen.

Not any more than we can give our children back because teenagers are expensive and we should have known better than to have them to start with.

Not any more than anyone can just decide that maybe medical school or law school cost too much so they can give back their degree and not owe the money.

1jpb said...

Let's say they make $400M. So they'll pay around an extra 4.5% on everything above $250M.

So, they will pay an additional 1.7% of their gross monthly income.

Probably not the same thing as a commie takeover of America.

P.S.
I do realize that after 2013 they'll be hit /w an additional 0.9% Medicare tax on everything over 250M in wages and/or 3.8% for non-wage income above 250M. But, calm down cons, it's still not a commie takeover. Ike was had the top bracket at 91% (and until 1985 deductions and bracket levels weren't inflation adjusted, so 91% then was more burdensome than 91% today). And, Ike wasn't a commie.

Synova said...

I suppose that what I mean to say is... no one is as gleefully hateful to Althouse on this blog *ever*.

holdfast said...

Synova - I don't know, I sort of like the idea of forcing the kids of the rich into public school.

You know, like the Obama girls, Chelsea Clinton, the Gore girls, the Bush twins, etc.

Almost Ali said...

Try surviving on 30,000 a year in New York City

Net, or gross?

Dick Stanley said...

Henderson and all the rest of our feckless president's tax targets should arrange with their employers to be paid just a bit under $250,000 and take the rest in some non-taxable form.

But even that wouldn't help. The alleged threshold is a phony to begin with. Not that anyone will know it until the bill has been passed and, finally, read.

Tman said...

University of Chicago lawprof Todd Henderson, who's desolated that people don't sympathize with how hard it is to get by in Chicago on $250,000 a year.

That's not why he's "desolated" at all. It's because psycho leftists are threatening his family, and he just had a baby.

He's not whining that he can't sail his yacht.

Some things are more important than maintaining a blog.

bagoh20 said...

See, now that's the advantage of being poor: you can get all uppity and feel justified telling others how to live. Then if you get rich, you can still do that.

I think it's more fun when your rich, so yea tax the rich to death and to hell with their employees and anyone else who makes money off of them. Get that money and give it to a government employee where it will serve a higher purpose, like making them rich.

There will always be rich and poor. The only question is how they are selected - by merit or force.

jr565 said...

Sunny Afternoon is actually one of three songs on the album about a rich guy and his fancy house. In the first one "House In The Country" he's a smug prick who owns a house in the country and a big spprtscar, but he's socially dead. Then there's Sunny Afternoon where he's hit with tax bills and is left with nothing.
Finally there's "Most Exclusive Residence For Sale" where he ends up blowing all his money on girls and fancy jewelry and then finds himself in front of a judge and jury and has to pay, and ends up on the bottle and selling off his exclusive residence. So, for those who hate the rich there is a happy ending. At the end he's a broken man and gets his comeuppance.

M. Simon said...

Well yeah. The guy is stupid.

But threats to him over that? It seems a little over the top.

Ah. Well. Envy is alive and well in America.

Synova makes a good point. You plan your life and then the government comes a disruptin.

So. Uh. Althouse maybe that is why business is not hiring. Which is to say that there are a few clues here.

kimsch said...

The Obamas had a hard time getting along in Chicago on more than that. Remember Michelle talking about how much camp costs?

wv: dhoyanik (what you say after your yacht's been taken and you can't say ahoy anymore)

Seven Machos said...

Whatever, Althouse. What the man says is true and people who make $250,000 a year will send roughly $120,000 to various governments if Obama gets his wish. Is that fair? Is that remotely right?

Bear in mind that those hardworking poor folks making $40,000 a year with a house and a couple kids aren't paying jack in federal income tax.

But, yeah. Soak the rich. Soak the remotely well off, too. Hang 100 of those those fucking kulaks high on the lamp posts. Send rough men.

jr565 said...

Hey who said this?:
"I know we're spending -- I added it up for the first time -- we spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we're spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth. And summer programs. That's the other huge cost. Barack is saying, 'Whyyyyyy are we spending that?' And I'm saying, 'Do you know what summer camp costs?'"
Boo hoo, poor Michelle can't pay her 10,000 dollar dance lessons for her daughter, And boo hoo she can't pay off her college loan despite making upwards of 300,000 dollars.
Not to begrudge her doing well for her family, but if this guy is to be pilloried for complaining about hardship, I could give two flying fucks about Michelle Obama and her financial woes prior to Obama striking it rich by writing his memoirs. Perhaps those who felt it was their duty to put this blogger in his place for daring to suggest he was being gouged, should perhaps look to the president and his wife who lived even more opulent lives, despit him being a community organizer and complaining about it all the way.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"It's because psycho leftists are threatening his family ..."

Then he shouldn't have criticized the Democrats plan to raise your taxes.

Democrats are not going to sit idly by while free speech critical of their plans ccurs. Just ask the Secretary of Government Health and Human Suffering Kathleen Sebelius.

“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as the middle class blame their tax hikes us,” Sebelius said.

They're going to attack people who criticize them.

So if you don't want to be attacked, then shut the fuck up.

This isn't a free country any more.

It changed.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Henderson and Obama are two thieves arguing over how to cut up their ill-gotten gains.

Henderson himself is the government. He works for the state of Illinois. So does his wife.

They're all government employees. The question we should be asking is why the path to becoming rich in this country is to get a government gig.

What we need in this country is a good letting.

EnigmatiCore said...

I turned around and she said
"Why do you always end up down at Nick's Cafe?"
I said "I don't know, the wind just kind of pushed me this way."
She said "Hang the rich."

slowjoe said...

Did you miss the bit where he says that between student loan and mortgage the family net worth is negative? I think you need to fix the "straw man" headline.

Second, he's withdrawn to save his marriage. He identified his wife's place of work as being the same as Michelle Obama's. I'm guessing she copped a load of flak as well.

Third, I suspect that he failed to understand that his argument screwed up on the concept of marginal tax rates, so it was best to withdraw than have his reputation hit the rocks over this stupidity. That wouldn't have gone down well with his wife, either.

rhhardin said...

It's a misguided argument in the first place.

The reason not to tax the rich isn't that they're actually poor, but that the rich as a group spend the smallest percentage of their income on consumption.

After all, as Obama puts it, how many yachts do you need.

Exactly, except that that means that the rich, instead of consuming, supply capital, which is what extra money is; and capital raises the wages of everybody else.

A ditch digger with power equipment earns a lot more than a ditch digger with a shovel.

The difference is capital, and that capital comes from the rich.

New wealth is created, a lot of the new wealth goes to newly productive workers. That, not pennies falling from the pockets of the rich, is trickle-down.

If instead the rich get taxed more, fewer of them put extra money to productive use, sit instead on tax free municipal bonds; and the ditch diggers continue to work with shovels at lower wages.

AllenS said...

Me thinks that Glenn Reynolds and William A. Jacobson were looking at this with an eye on the first amendment. You would think that most law professors should be defending someones right to state their thoughts on line without being threatened. It sounds like it was more that simply being criticized. People come to your defense often. Nobody would accuse them of trying to baby you.

Bob_R said...

I agree that the attacks on the guy are way over the top and in that sense I sympathize with him. But if he has spent any time on the internet he should have been able to predict this, and so he shouldn't whine about it.

On the substance of his argument - he's got it backwards. It's not that he isn't rich - it's that we (Americans) ALL are rich. If $30,000 in NYC is such a tough life, move to a trailer court in Blacksburg. If you make the right choices, $30,000 will leave you plenty to pay more taxes. $30,000 is a LOT of money. Everybody in the US should stop whining about how tough life is.

But while everyone in the US is unimaginably wealthy on a global and temporal scale (what would people from 1910 think about the way we live today) that doesn't mean that anyone has a Scrooge McDuck money pool in a vault in his basement. The lawprof's point - that asking him to change his life so that we can grow the state is not really any different than asking Palladain to move out of NYC so that he can make a bigger contribution - is well taken.

traditionalguy said...

This class warfare started by Sweet Obama has its real support from the truly rich. Earning 300K or 500K really is not rich, but it allows a careful earner to save capital and some day join the truly rich...but for these confiscatory 40% Federal tax rates favored by the truly rich. The truly rich already live off their Capital's income . The truly rich have the planners and the money to arrange their affairs so that their tax rate is 10%. And what does a truly rich person hate most... The wage earners who wants to join them. That attitude is also reflected in the lies of the Eugenics/Malthusian ideology that is making a surge back after once being rejected for being a murderous Nazi Cult. Once again, every idea Obama sells is an older than dirt destructive LIE.

Synova said...

There is also the fact that some people may have gone after his wife at work.

He never says it explicitly, but from the other things he said, it's highly likely. He says that his family has been harmed, not just that people were mean to him.

ndspinelli said...

"I don't understand why she walk like a woman and talk like a man" Lola. A great song

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ike was had the top bracket at 91% (and until 1985 deductions and bracket levels weren't inflation adjusted, so 91% then was more burdensome than 91% today). And, Ike wasn't a commie.

That's fascinating. I had no idea that Ike raised the marginal tax rate to 91%.

Then again as usual, liberals completely miss the point. Its not that the 'rich' are paying more taxes than ever before, its that they are paying more in income taxes as a percentage of all taxpayers that is the issue.

Pogo said...

It must feel very strange to professor Henderson and his wife-the-doctor, after discovering that after half of their income goes to pay federal, state, and Chicago city taxes, they owe two mortgages: one on the house, and the other on the student loans. Apparently he posted enough financial detail to show they weren't wasting it on wine, coke, Xbox tournaments, gambling, etc. Now he has a preemie to take care of, and new taxes looming. And he has anxiety over how to pay the bills.

This guy probably believed that $250K/yr made you rich, not worried.

But yeah, it was wrong to mention his troubles, when others have it much worse. Not wrong enough to be threatened over it, but a d'oh moment.

Wisened, he will do what people in Europe and Russia did when the governments set their sights on their class. They'll spend less and less. No local restaurants, no boutiques for clothes, no community theater or museums, no little coffee shops. They hunker down, and save every cent (hoarders and wreckers!). And those businesses struggle, sputter, and die.

Some of this class leave entirely for more accepting shores. Their ancestors did it. Why not them? I'm sure their great-great grandparents never imagined leaving their home, then they felt they had to. But their wiles will serve them well, elsewhere.

It is the mark of decline when even modest wealth is attacked like this. Envy is not creative destruction, but ablative, like a scavenger picking bones clean. Soon you run out of meals this way, and they turn on each other.

This worries me, and tells me things are getting very very ugly.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Predictable" means pretty much the same thing as "justified", doesn't it?

Brian said...

I think he stated or at least implied that he was getting physical threats, people contacting his employer, etc. Althouse seems to have a kind of self-consciously hip view of free speech; some time ago, she was similarly dismissive when some law student got called scurrilous names, threatened with rape, etc. on a law student message board.

master cylinder said...

This man used his personal story as his argument for claiming 250k does not equal rich. He was not putting out an objective set of facts. His struggles included paying too much for his house in a fabulous neighborhood, not being able to afford tax help [?], the struggle to maintain private schooling and domestic help. He put his own stuff out there, and he sounded like a real baby himself. I read a lot of comments when they were still up, and most people rightly pointed out his situation was of his own making. It was a just a very bad bunch of reasoning.

The Drill SGT said...

I cant find the video, but I was struck by something Obama said in a recent town hall. He was talking about why repealing the tax cuts on the wealthy was an evil idea. You know, the classic class warfare pandering that drives people to harass the Law Prof in this posting.

But what Obama said was that by repalling the tax cuts "we'd be sending out checks to millionaires."

my point is that his mindset is that all income belongs to the state and that he allows people to get some of it back if they are the right kind of people.

rich people don't deserve to get(keep) any of their money

Jim_J said...

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Henderson and Obama are two thieves arguing over how to cut up their ill-gotten gains.

Henderson himself is the government. He works for the state of Illinois. So does his wife.

They're all government employees. The question we should be asking is why the path to becoming rich in this country is to get a government gig.

What we need in this country is a good letting.


===============================

Last time I checked the University of Chicago was a private university. Did that status change some time recently?

Pogo said...

"It was a just a very bad bunch of reasoning."

His primary mistake was thinking:
(1) that he made very much money; he isn't upper middle class at all, but mid-range at best, and only if he saves like hell
(2) that he believed what they told him in school about having no problem paying back all those student loans,
(3) that anyone gives a shit about your problems; nope, people will threaten to kill you and harm your wife if you mention your stupid bourgeois concerns.

Learn your place, boy, and shut the hell up. And pay the man, a little more every week, too. Shut up and pay, little man, because they got you by the short hairs.

Do that or move the hell outta Chicago. You're just another cow to be milked. Think yer special? Bullshit. Now you know.

Jenner said...

I always aspired to be one of the rich, so even as a kid I never understood why we should want to tax them more.

It doesn't look like that will ever happen, but I still feel the same way. I don't care if rich people have a lot of money. I want a lot of money! What's wrong with that?

It's not like they squirrel it away in their mattresses, taking it out of circulation. They spend it! And isn't that how we even know who they are? Sure, they buy nice stuff for themselves, but doesn't that money pay someone else's salary? And the really nice rich people even "give" away money.

If those bad mean rich people get their money taken away . . . oh, I see, they will be just as poor as the rest of us. It's all equal now. Good job.

FloridaSteve said...

"Try surviving on 30,000 a year in New York City, asshole."

To that person I would respond, Moron. If you're single and trying to survive in NYC on 30k a year then maybe it's time you A)get the fuck out and go somewhere cheaper. B) stop wasting time criticizing people you can't possibly relate to on blogs and go find some work. Idiot.

knox said...

An ugly post, and a lot of ugly comments.

$250K a year in a big city for a family of four does not sound "wealthy" to me. Especially with student loans.

Equating his situation with the character in that song is pretty mean. Suggesting that he had it coming? Baffling.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Quick poll: if it were Ann Althouse in that situation, how many people would she have demanded apologies from so far?

tim maguire said...

I have to wonder how many people on this comment thread read Henderson's post. He doesn't argue against taxing the rich, he objects to how low the bar is set. He points out, accurately, that when we think of "rich", we don't think of a dollar amount, we think of a lifestyle. The envy industry has set $250,000 as the amount of yearly income that makes someone rich.

Henderson, using himself as an example, shows how in at least some parts of the country, the income level decreed as "rich" does not support the lifestyle people think of as rich.

As an educated man familiar with the internet, he should have anticipated how viciously the envious left would react, attacking not only him, but threatening his family, contacting his employer and doing everything they can to destroy him for having the temerity to say something true about their pet cause.

There are so many previous examples of the left doing this that it shouldn't have been a surprise.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well I just got done paying off a $5500 dental tab on the daughter's braces and now, Mrs. Hoosier just informed me that in addition to some work we were having done on our gas guzzeling planet destroying mini-SUV, I need to get my rear brakes replaced so there's another $375 on top of the $300 we were budgeted for (never mind the $375 last month for new tires) which means now I'm trying to decide whether or not I should get my own fucking teeth worked on (I needed an implant from a tooth pulled last year) cause that's another $2000 out of pocket.

Then again I doubt that Obambi can relate when he and Michelle were bemoaning the cost of summer camp and dance lessons. But hey, that's ok cause we need to spread the wealth so screw you productive members of society. All your paychecks belong to us!

master cylinder said...

Paul, did you read the post? the comments?
Many people commenting suggested getting help
from Dave Ramsey, or Suze Orman, he came off that clueless. For an educator, he has a lot to learn.
He was completely playing the victim, as if he is powerless. Choices! We all make them. Jenner you are the perfect Republican, wanting to be in the club, supporting the club, even though you will never be in the club. Everything they do is designed to keep you out.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know one thing struck me in an earlier thread when FLS was touting Obama's 'work experience' which he proudly referenced and summarized consisted of working for some two bit law firm for 4 years and then part time and billed a total of 3000+ hours.

Well that's an amazing feat, especially when I can say that I pretty much surpassed the same amount of work time by the time I graduated high school. Maybe that's why Obambi isn't shy on soaking folks for more of thier earnings. He has no idea what is involved in actually getting a paycheck.

Hoosier Daddy said...

For an educator, he has a lot to learn.

Pfffft...hell, nearly every right leaning commenter on this blog has been saying that ad nauseum about those 'learned folks' in higher education.

Class factotum said...

Hoosier Daddy - have your implant done at a dental school. They are always looking for that level of patient to practice on. It's oral surgeon students who are already dentists, so you're in good hands. I paid only $600 for my implant at Tennessee's dental school (8 years ago).

(And I paid $495 for a root canal at Marquette a few days ago, but they charge for the dentist's time, unlike Tennessee -- still cheaper than the private doc, who wanted $1,000).

Karen said...

Ann, he didn't get "criticized" he got threatened! NOT the same thing at all.

master cylinder said...

Oh and Ramsey would have told him to get a part time job.

knox said...

"The envy industry"

LOL.

And what does a truly rich person hate most... The wage earners who wants to join them.

It is pretty hard not to believe this is true. Why else do many of the uber-rich support the Death Tax and various other tax hikes? Of course, they can easily absorb it, or won't pay it to begin with.

Yet they are eager to preach at others, who don't have billions upon billions, to carry the burden... the attitude is patently:

"I've got mine. Fuck the rest of you."

I'm looking at you, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Pogo said...

"I'm looking at you, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett."

Buffett said in an interview this week he would vote for Obama again.

So would I if he'd bailed my company out with taxpayer's billions.

Marshal said...

I thought his commentary was weak. He overstated the impact of the tax by not applying the difference only to income over 250k. He made some other statements I think aren't quite right.

Then he said something to the effect that he has to send his kids to private school "because I care about their education".

What an asshole.

He chooses to live where he does so he can be part of the hip scene instead of bourgeoisie suburbia. He's paying private school tuition as part of that lifestyle choice.

Obviously I don't support threats in the comments, although I didn't read through them to see if they really are threats or if he's mischaracteriszing them to pose the martyr. And I think threats against one's livlihood are particulary out of line because they are the most likely to be successful.

MadisonMan said...

It's too bad he's deleted the article, thank goodness for the google cache.

My advice to him: There are perfectly legal ways to reduce your tax bill, yet you appear not to have used any of them. It's silly just to roll over and have the taxman club you. Don't wait for the benevolent government to come in and save you. Save yourself; it takes energy. The energy you used to write the article could be better used to fix your own problems.

Calypso Facto said...

I hesitate to criticize the Professor's normally expert employment of language, but "who's desolated"?

Do you mean, "who's desolate because people don't sympathize" (adj form)
or
"who's been desolated by unsympathetic people" (imp. t. verb form)?
or
???

master cylinder said...

well said MM.

Jenner said...

How is everything "they" (you mean Republicans right?) do designed to keep me out?

Give me the freedom to make my own choices, good or bad. Let me suffer the consequences or benefit from the payoffs.

Under conservative principles more people have a chance to get ahead. Under liberal ideas, more people are kept down. I'll take my chances.

MB said...

One of the problems is what is rich? Usually it is someone who makes more than me, but income and life style are not linear, at least not in the ranges being discussed. At one point I was making $250K a year – working about 90 hours a week. (Now about 60 hours for maybe half that.) I had no significant disposable income. Luxury was getting a full car wash.

I had educational debt, had worked through my mid-thirties delaying starting a family while I watch my friends with their families and their more than 10 day vacations every couple of years. Some even went abroad! So I was well into my forties before actually had an income near what I have now.

So the combination of college and medical school debt and years of residency with low-income resulted in no significant savings or retirement until in my 40’s. Now out of my income, I have to pay for life insurance, medical insurance, CMEs, retirement and business expenses. I have 3 children with varying degrees of disabilities, that the public school system categorized as low aptitude therefore they met their expectations and did not qualify for additional resources! The middle low aptitude child just started college with an adequate ACT score of 28. If I had not pulled him from the public school system, there is no chance he would be in college now.

Now I have a liberal friend that is a state university professor making $40K. He likes to brag about his moral superiority. So from age 26, about $40K, housing allowance, full medical, dental retirement, most of the summer off or light schedule, sabbaticals, paid trips for conferences, etc. But he does not count that as income.

So, I certainly can understand why Mr Henderson does not feel rich. Presenting the two choices above, one where he potential income is high but not guaranteed, long working hours, short infrequent vacations, delaying starting a family by a decade or more an having to work until about age 70 to make sure I don’t out live my money, versus modest secure collegial life style, what would most 20 year olds take? Sure I have a nicer car, but his works too. Also I get to hear oh so many people tell me how greedy I am, including the hospital who want me to buy and donate equipment to them!

Why would someone subject themselves to this if they didn’t think there would be a reward at the end?

Certainly I am far better off than most, but that is not the question. If we punish and vilify people who sacrifice their youth obtaining skills that benefit everyone, will they continue to enter those arduous professions?

MadisonMan said...

One of the comments on this article that I read elsewhere made sense to me:

Prof. Henderson has two small kids, I think. When my kids were small, we also lived much more paycheck-to-paycheck than we do now. Things do get better with time.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There will always be rich and poor. The only question is how they are selected - by merit or force.

And THIS is the really important question that cuts right to the core of Obmanism/Socialism and the difference embodied in the American Dream.

Obama has decreed that at this level of income, you are rich and therefore do not deserve to have any more money. Unfortunately the level of envious richness is a moving target.
The class warfare and redistribution of wealth for socialism purposes that has been perpetrated by the Left and the Democrats and Obama is pure evil.

The man who states the truth is called names, threatened for his life, his children, his wife, has his career sabotaged.....and Althouse thinks he is being babied.

The crime of being sucessful and making a "MIDDLE" class income of $250,000 in a large urban city.....the horror.....he must be destroyed.

Try surviving on 30,000 a year in New York City, asshole.

@ Palladian. If that's all a person can make in NYC. Move!! There are places in the country where you can live on 30K. People aren't chained to their location. Move or shut up. What's the hold up?

Marshal said...

Everything they [the rich] do is designed to keep you out.

9/24/10 8:19 AM

Jesus, what an idiot. When lefties preach against hate a little introspection would be appropriate. I've never understood how someone whose entire worldview distills to envy somehow manages to feel morally superior about it.

traditionalguy said...

Obama has a winner here today. Blaming the victim is all today's commenters are willing to do. It's not up to the victim of an injustice to work harder and harder, or be blamed for getting mugged by the Mafia Godfathers that reign in DC through their soldiers called Congressmen. No wonder Palin is so feared at GOP headquarters. She wants to reduce the middleclass's taxes like Reagan did. Rich in annual income terms starts at about two million, not 200K.

slarrow said...

Althouse, I never read this professor's piece as requesting sympathy on "how hard it is to get by in Chicago on $250,000 a year." Instead, it was just someone who saw people in his class being anonymously demonized, and he was bold enough to say, "Here I am, a real person in that demon class. Do I really seem like such a caricature, a monster?"

It's a Shylock moment, and it's disheartening to see how many people are straining so hard to push this man back into the villain role. Including you.

Pogo said...

" If we punish and vilify people who sacrifice their youth obtaining skills that benefit everyone, will they continue to enter those arduous professions?"

Exactly.
That's why I counsel any young person who asks me to avoid becoming a doctor. You throw away about 20 years before you make any money. It's a stupid trade-off.

And now it's insane, given that under Obamacare your income will barely be enough to pay back the average student loan of $150K while doing anything else, like buying a house or car, etc.

Almost Ali said...

The number may seem arbitrary, even capricious, but $250,000 has a well established history in applied liberal economics. In many leftist jurisdictions, for example, $249,999 qualifies selected individuals for "affordable (subsidized) housing."

A penny more, and it's assumed you can afford to live comfortably in a gated community, that is, safely tucked away from such affordable housers - which specifically means former ghetto dwellers.

Of course, this Marxist formula does not necessarily apply to current, well placed ghetto dwellers, who might otherwise be forced to remain "trapped" in virtual squalor. Charlie Rangel, one of the pioneering originators of the $250,000 trigger - he qualified for subsidies via rent control. In fact, he qualified for no less than four rent controlled apartments, that is, after at least three now former rent-controlled single moms, and their feral kids, were forced to vacate the premises.

And there may be a lesson in here for Prof. Henderson, particularly after he visits Charlie Rangel's rent-controlled building - now affectionately referred to as Trump Harlem.

bagoh20 said...

Whining is a supremely unproductive activity unless you are female, young and hot.

$250K is plenty, but no amount is enough if you don't use the word "NO" often.

goyomarquez said...

Ann:
I think you need to tell him to get his man pants on.

MayBee said...

I read a lot of comments when they were still up, and most people rightly pointed out his situation was of his own making. It was a just a very bad bunch of reasoning.

His situation was of his own making, so he should cough up more money for people who also have situations of their own making but who we've been told we must have sympathy for.

Only one side of this social equation is allowed to complain, and it is the wanters. Not the givers.

MayBee said...

Synova at 9/24/10 12:11 AM -- exactly!

Almost Ali said...

Apparently Prof. Henderson also caught hell from his wife, which seems to be the main reason he's backed out. And I don't blame him.

Still, I'm wondering and worrying about his postpartum wife, and the appearance of her great expectations.

Trochilus said...

Come on, Ann! You were really over the top with your characterization of the guy! TMan above at 9/24/10 12:48 AM has it right.