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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 . . . → Read More: The Sales Tax: History of a Dumb Idea

Equity Premises and the Case for Socializing Rent

The Harvard Registrar reports the most popular undergraduate courses now are “Justice,” “Principles of Economics,” “The Concept of the Hero,” and “Literature of Social Reflection.” The “Me Generation” is passing; Justice, Heroism and Social Thought are “In.” Are economists ready for this future? I think not: changes must be made.
Classical political-economists were moral philosophers. They made distribution of wealth and income central . . . → Read More: Equity Premises and the Case for Socializing Rent

The Property Tax is a Progressive Tax

“The regressive property tax” has become a common block phrase among economists and in the popular press. President Nixon’s support for revenue-sharing is increasingly based on the need to protect the poor from heavy property taxes. Some prominent tax economists are favoring even sales taxes to make the tax system more progressive, by lowering the property tax.’ Even local income taxes, . . . → Read More: The Property Tax is a Progressive Tax

What is Property Tax Reform?

CAN PROPERTY TAX REFORM help the propertyless, the working men and women who-labor-for-wage incomes—the majority of Americans? Property is owned by people of property—the rich. Ownership of this rich tax base is concentrated in a few hands, much more so than income. The top 10 per cent of income receivers in the United States receive something like 30 per cent of . . . → Read More: What is Property Tax Reform?

Mason Gaffney’s Testimony to the President’s Commission on Urban Problems

The higher tax rate in cities drives investors elsewhere, both home builders and industry, because whoever puts un a new building under this state of affairs tends to become a fiscal surplus generator, and no one really wants to be that: it means you pay more in taxes than you get back in services.
Since there are many competing jurisdictions, . . . → Read More: Mason Gaffney’s Testimony to the President’s Commission on Urban Problems

Welfare Economics and Environmental Quality

Important as the physical environment is, the intellectual, social and psychological are more so. The greater gain of improving the physical world is improving the man who does it, the greater gain of achieving harmony of man and nature is achieving, through nature, harmony of man and man. In this case, the means may indeed be the end.

In Henry Jarrett (ed.), . . . → Read More: Welfare Economics and Environmental Quality