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Vote For The World's Top Intellectuals

Taisei Yokusankai

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Wolfie n'est pas un idiot, et pour certains il compte. Je crois que le "mérite" de ce genre d'enquête n'est pas tant le résultat mais ce qu'il dit sur une certaine conception de l'intellectuel aujourd'hui. Et ce qui change avec d'autres enquête, c'est la largeur du panel.

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  • 2 weeks later...
And the winner is :  Noam Chomsky

Et l'année prochaine, le Nobel !

C'est décidé : moi aussi je veux être un anti-capitaliste comme à la manière de Chomsky :

One of the most persistent themes in Chomsky's work has been class warfare. He has frequently lashed out against the "massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich" and criticized the concentration of wealth in "trusts" by the wealthiest one percent. The American tax code is rigged with "complicated devices for ensuring that the poor -- like eighty percent of the population -- pay off the rich."

But trusts can't be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of $2,000,000, decided to create one for himself. A few years back he went to Boston's venerable white-shoe law firm, Palmer and Dodge, and with the help of a tax attorney specializing in "income-tax planning" set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam. He named his tax attorney (every socialist radical needs one!) and a daughter as trustees. To the Diane Chomsky Irrevocable Trust (named for another daughter) he has assigned the copyright of several of his books, including multiple international editions.

Chomsky favors the estate tax and massive income redistribution -- just not the redistribution of his income. No reason to let radical politics get in the way of sound estate planning.

When I challenged Chomsky about his trust, he suddenly started to sound very bourgeois: "I don't apologize for putting aside money for my children and grandchildren," he wrote in one email. Chomsky offered no explanation for why he condemns others who are equally proud of their provision for their children and who try to protect their assets from Uncle Sam. Although he did say that the tax shelter is okay because he and his family are "trying to help suffering people."


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