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Wrong Thomas Donlan?

Thomas G. Donlan

Editorial Page Editor


HQ Phone:  (212) 597-5947

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Email: t***@***.com


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I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand that I will receive a subscription to ZoomInfo Community Edition at no charge in exchange for downloading and installing the ZoomInfo Contact Contributor utility which, among other features, involves sharing my business contacts as well as headers and signature blocks from emails that I receive.



New York City, New York,10036

United States

Company Description

Barron's ( is America's premier financial magazine, renowned for its market-moving stories. Published by Dow Jones & Company since 1921, it reaches an influential audience of senior corporate decision makers, institutional investors, individual...more

Background Information

Employment History


Editorial Page


Corporate Governance News

Board Member


Hamilton College

Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

master's degree

English Literature

Indiana University

Web References(180 Total References)

Editorial Team - [cached]

Thomas G. Donlan
Editorial Page Editor

Corporate Governance News: October 2008 [cached]

Barron's Editorial Page Editor Thomas G. Donlan has just come out with a new book, A World of Wealth: How Capitalism Turns Profit into Progress, touting the benefits of free-markets.
His timing is not so good, since many attribute the current economic free-fall to a failure to properly regulate markets. Donlan advocates the "tax magic" of trickle-down, "if you really want to raise taxes on the rich, you should cut their tax rates the way Congress and President Bush did in 2001, 2002 and 2003... America needs a flat-rate tax, on income or on consumption, with the lowest possible rate and broadest possible base. Donlan's words fail to ring true when taxpayers are bailing out firm after firm because they are "too big to fail." I do agree with Donlan that "real capitalists all too often attempt to use the power of government to their advantage, lobbying and bribing to obtain favorable treatment for their business endeavors. Donlan's solution is more limited government "foreclosed from absolute power.

Doug Thorburn | Notice: Undefined index: subject in /home/dougthor/public_html/newsdetails.php on line 21 [cached]

--Thomas G. Donlan, Barron's, May 18, 2009

Scorecard #12 - The Red Dragon and King Canute - GreensKeeper Asset Management [cached]

- Thomas Donlan, Barron's
King Canute the Great was an 11th Century king of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden. Like most powerful people, those around him praised his greatness and swore that he was all powerful. Growing tired of the incessant flattery all around him, legend has it that King Canute had his throne carried down to the seashore and commanded the incoming tide to halt. When the tide failed to obey and soaked his feet and royal robes the king leapt backwards, saying: "Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings.

Tax History Project -- Book Review -- A World of Wealth [cached]

A World of Wealth: How Capitalism Turns Profit Into Progress by Thomas Donlan.
Published by FT Press. 240 pages. Price: $24.99. A conservative like Thomas Donlan, editorial page editor of Barron's. In his recent book, A World of Wealth, Donlan has offered a fine, and very nearly pristine, case for minimalist, revenue-only taxation. Fine because it's such a joy to read: well-organized, legible, and polemical in all the best ways. Nearly pristine because Donlan tolerates remarkably few deviations from his free market thinking. Donlan begins by staking out his territory. There are two kinds of economists, he writes in the introduction: "Those who think the free market works, except when the results don't suit them; and those who think the free market never works, except when the results do suit them. In my view, the free market always works." Well, almost always. In scarcely more than 200 pages, Donlan tours the world economy and America's place within it. He considers energy, the environment, trade, immigration, healthcare, retirement security, and (of course) taxes. At almost every turn, he insists that the free market can provide the most efficient solution to the world's most intractable problems. The title of Donlan's chapter on taxation is revealing: "The Capitalist Take on Taxes: Keep Taxes Low and Equal. Low and equal does not mean distributionally neutral; Donlan endorses tax cuts on the rich, offering a concise briefing on what he unabashedly calls trickle-down economics. Lower tax rates will spur growth, he contends, raising the standard of living for everyone. He seems largely unconcerned by inequality -- and firmly opposed to using the tax system to do anything about it. Indeed, at various points he reveals a moral aversion to progressive taxation. "It is unjust," he writes, "to tax a dollar of income differently depending on who earned it." Not surprisingly, Donlan is no fan of the individual income tax. (Is anyone? I suppose there must be a few.) "The United States Congress has labored for almost a hundred years to produce a fair tax code, with impressively awful results," he declares. And who can argue? In Donlan's view, the search for perfect fairness has become an obstacle to good tax policy. "Just about every line on the tax form," he writes, "attests to the quest, in which each attempt to be fair to someone results in a dozen new ways of being unfair to someone else." Donlan is particularly dismayed by the proliferation of "tax-exempt citizens": Americans spared by high exemptions and ample deductions from having to pay income taxes. Donlan contends -- reasonably, in my view -- that people should have to pay at least some token amount of income tax, even if they ultimately get everything back in the form of social welfare benefits. In recent decades, the notion of tax consciousness has been co-opted by conservative ideologues. But once upon a time, even advocates of big government believed that people should be encouraged to pay attention to the price they pay for civilization. Predictably, Donlan calls for wholesale tax reform. He endorses a flat rate tax on either income or consumption, and perhaps a VAT. He even writes approvingly of a national retail sales tax, reveling in the discomfort that it produces among tax experts. For Donlan, the sales tax holds out the promise of horizontal equity. "For at least a while," he suggests, "the sales tax might not be subject to the host of special tax breaks that pollute the current tax code and deform the economy." Ultimately, Donlan doesn't seem much concerned with the details of tax reform. He knows what he doesn't like (today's tax system) and he knows what he wants (almost anything else). But I wish he had explored the alternatives more deeply; I suspect he would have interesting things to say. Every once in a while, Donlan deviates from his free market party line. For instance, he endorses a congestion tax like the one recently proposed for New York City. "We should make it a priority to tax what drags down the economy," he writes.

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