Rothbard Graduate Seminar

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Binary Intervention: Taxation I

  • Rothbard Graduate Seminar

Tags Taxes and SpendingAustrian Economics OverviewInterventionism

08/28/2008Jeffrey M. Herbener

The uniqueness of the Austrian approach to taxation is to first cover Public Policy, then Antimarket Ethics and finally Taxation. It is a praxeological development approach. Robbery and counterfeiting are the revenues to the state. You can't look at taxation alone, you must look at expenditures, too.

Those resources will never be available to private producers. There are net tax payers and net tax consumers. No tax is neutral for the market. Any tax distorts allocation of resources by its level of taxes, not by its form of taxation. Additionally, a tax severs income distribution from production. Taxes cannot be shifted forward.

Monetary inflation and credit expansion lead to boom-bust. All government expenditures are consumption; none are investment.

General sales taxes and general income taxes lower the standard of living of the taxpayers and reduce saving and investment. If an employer is paying your health premium, he has lowered your income to do so. When employers pay some share of your social security payment, they have lowered your income to do so. There can be no tax on consumption alone; all consumption taxes are taxes on income. Inheritance taxes are the most devastating - a pure tax on capital.

An Alice J. Lillie Seminar. This lecture covers pp. 1149-1191 in the Scholar's Edition of Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State.

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