I was glancing through the various tax rates when America was the global powerhouse. It seems to me the tax rates ranged from 14% on the low to 94% on the upper ranges.
How did the nation survive with such rates while leading the world?
Loopholes galore. Our monstrosity of a tax code was a direct result of finding ways to avoid having to pay that 94% tax rate.
That, and there was such a boom in new technologies that even with those confiscatory tax rates, the people who were best positioned to profit from them still saw enough money after taxes to keep pushing forward.