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aries1988 : tax   1

If your pay is not yours to keep, then neither is the tax – Philip Goff | Aeon Essays

Here’s where we’re up to: to make sense of the idea that taxation is (moral) theft, we have to make sense of the idea that each person has a moral claim on the entirety of her gross income, and this can be made sense of only if property rights are natural rather than mere human constructions. We need, therefore, to defend a theory of natural property rights.

In theory, Right-wing libertarianism does entail that people have a moral claim on their pre-tax income, and hence that taxation is theft, but only in hypothetical societies where there is zero or minimal state interference in the economy. In states in which the government intervenes in the economy through taxation – ie, in almost every developed state – market transactions are tainted and so are morally void. The Right-wing libertarian is perfectly entitled to campaign for the day when her minimal-government Utopia is brought about, but until that day she cannot consistently argue that she has a right to her pre-tax income, and hence cannot consistently complain that the government is taking what is hers by right.

Still, the vast majority happily vote for low taxes, rejoicing that they get to keep their morsel while in reality all they’ve done is protect the spoils of a tiny minority at the top. The result is our failure to create what we really need: a tax system that – as part of the wider economy – creates a just society.
tax  ethic  question  debate  economy  money  work  politics  philosophy  liberalism 
september 2017 by aries1988

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