Monday, 18 May 2015

What E.P. Taylor Actually Thought About All the Time

 E. P. Taylor in the New York Times, January 16th, 1964:

“I believe we can cure our problems overnight with low income taxes, both corporation and personal, plus elimination of death duties, which account for only 1.5 per cent of Federal revenues any­way.”

Of all the arguments against inheritance taxes -- death tax! double taxation! what about the family farmers! discourages wealth accumulation and suicide! -- the least convincing one is that they don't raise a lot of money. ("Why, the fire department would hardly miss it, and I could buy another race horse."  Yeah, that's a winner.) But the super rich, and the think tank people they pay to make their arguments sound like anything but greed, are goddamn in love with it.  It's the cherry on the bullshit sundae.  They were saying it in Congress last month, while voting to eliminate a tax less than 5000 people -- the richest people formerly alive -- pay.  Because fairness.  And because, like E.P. Taylor would tell you, it's not a lot of money.

If it's not a lot of money, why won't dead rich people let a single penny of it go?

I loathe E.P. Taylor and even if Richard Rohmer doesn't -- I'm not an angry college student; I can read books by people I disagree with -- I think he disgraced himself, putting his name on Taylor's biography, a fatuous and dishonest piece of crap.

I wish there was a grade lower than F minus, but I guess there isn't.  So F minus.


  1. It's hard for me to loath E.P. Taylor for the simple reason that he was father to Judy Mappin. I loved Judy. Did you ever meet her? She ran the Double Hook. Always generous, always gracious, never anything but modest, she was a rare gem. Apparently, as a child she enjoyed riding horses along the Bridle Path with her father.

    Did you know Taylor rode? It's not in the biography.

    Judy herself appears only as a footnote - an afterthought when the birth of middle child Louise is mentioned.

    That in itself makes E.P. Taylor a piece of shit.

  2. I didn't know her, but I like the Double Hook a lot. I worked with one of Ivan Boesky's kids for a week, back in the 90s. He was okay. Hey, what are we doing next? Arctic Imperative? If so, I gotta order a copy.

    Not a lot of independent bookstores in Los Angeles specializing in Canadian lit.

    1. I'm all for doing The Arctic Imperative, if only because I already have a copy and can't bear the thought of Rohmer's Peter Munk bio.

  3. I'm ordering Arctic Imperative. (I just read a terrible contemporary review. Hold on to your hats: Apparently it's repetitive and reads like a bunch of speeches and news clippings.) Stan?

  4. The Arctic Imperative is in the library here, so I'll take it out and we can get to it.

    But I am telling you - I am absolutely DREADING it after this one.