When the Rolling Stones Hit the Laffer Curve

Michelle V. Agins/The New York Time

An interview with the Rolling Stones reveals some of their business and wealth-protection strategies. “The whole business thing is predicated a lot on the tax laws,” said Keith Richards. “It’s why we rehearse in Canada and not in the U.S. A lot of our astute moves have been basically keeping up with tax laws, where to go, where not to put it. Whether to sit on it or not. We left England because we’d be paying 98 cents on the dollar. [This may sound like an exaggeration, but likely isn't.] We left, and they lost out. No taxes at all. I don’t want to screw anybody out of anything, least of all the governments that I work with. We put 30% in holding until we sort it out.”

The story of the Stones’ flight from Britain because of taxes is told a bit more fully in the recent documentary Stones in Exile, which was quite good. (Shine a Light, meanwhile, was a disappointment.)

As much as I love Keith Richards – am reading his memoir Life, and loving it as much as the critics – the likelihood is that his bandmate Mick Jagger is more responsible for the band’s business strategies. He is, as we put it earlier here, a true profit maximizer.

(HT: Greg Mankiw) [%comments]

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  1. TRad says:

    I don’t believe that “at the whole you were richer”. The way to wealth, collective or individual, is by work, not by taxation. High tax rates are poor incentives.

    And I don’t believe now you are “collectively poorer”. I think today people on welfare live better than working people in the 50s.

    And your infrastructure disintegrates for sure not because of too low taxes. I believe the public spending (as a % of GNP) is higher now than ever (not counting WWI and WWII). You decided to eat taxes instead of funding infrastructure, that’s all.

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