Tax Reform

It is worthwhile to think thoughts through to their logical conclusion, e.g. tax reform. What does a tax system look like that is both socially just and ecologically accurate and guarantees a minimum income for all citizens? A century and a half ago, John Stuart Mill considered only the taxation of consumption to be socially just. What a nonsense to tax performance, whether that of a worker or a manager – performance benefits the community. But by consuming goods, the total amount of which is always and necessarily limited, each of us limits the consumption of his fellow human beings. However, a progressive consumption tax is only conceivable with today’s technical means. Ten years ago, I proposed such a system in “Wohlstand und Armut” (Metropolis). It will never be realized in this logically uncompromising form, but the direction is clearly marked out. Only in one point did I not go far enough. Herman Daly, the great American pioneer of ecology, went a decisive step further. It is not possible, he argued, to curb the consumption of resources through taxes, but only through capping, i.e. through steadily decreasing upper limits, e.g. for the consumption of coal, oil, gas etc. (published as paperback and Amazon Kindle edition). See:

Tax Reform