The Sales Tax: History of a Dumb Idea

Commercial-capitalist civilization has progressed in step with people’s success in fending off sales taxes in their various guises. We might begin with The Enlightenment, late 18th Century, with its epicenter in Versailles. At the core were the philosophes; at their core were les économistes, or Physiocrats; and at their core was the physician from whom they took their name, François Quesnay. One of their main causes was to rid France of its internal sales taxes and replace them with heavier taxes on property, especially land values.

Insights Column in Groundswell March-April 2005

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