One of our favorite financial journalists, Nicole Gelinas, says that John Edwards’ health care plan would not be good for America:

“Some of this ‘soak-the-rich’ policymaking will please voters who don’t understand how the economy really works. But despite what Edwards says, the engine of our economy is largely Wall Street (Washington is, alas, the caboose). Financiers and investment managers on Wall Street, and in London and Dubai, put their investment dollars into start-up companies as well as established companies all over America. If the cost of that investment capital rises-thanks to the U.S. government’s dramatically increasing its own percentage of any profits-then the capital will become scarcer. Investors may shun taking risks, knowing that the potential reward will be much lower. Further, Wall Street investment managers can easily move to Dubai, or Mumbai, or other exciting cities competing for our capital-and some entrepreneurs and start-up companies will follow, taking jobs with them.

“As for Edwards’s tax hike on ‘wealthy’ income earners, he doesn’t seem to understand that there’s no bright line between the ‘rich’ and the middle-class. Senator Clinton, for example, if she were brave enough, might point out that hundreds of thousands of her downstate constituents take home $200,000 a year, and still think of themselves as middle class. In fact, on the same day that Edwards unveiled his plan, New York City announced that it would start paying police captains a base salary of $142,000; a captain married to a paralegal easily could exceed $200,000 a year in household income. One reason that Edwards-style plans never seem to gain much traction with the public is that many voters believe that they’ll eventually be in the ranks of what Edwards defines as ‘rich’-even if, today, they earn only in the mid-five figures annually.”