Saturday, 7 February 2015

Who is rethinking taxation for?

(Or should it be For whom is Rethinking Taxation?)

My recent book Rethinking Taxation may appear to be a technical proposal that would be of interest to a narrow subset of policy-makers. I hope that such people would be interested in new ideas and proposals.

However, the proposals should interest to a much larger group than that.

Economists and those interested in political economy should be interested in the proposals as introducing hourly averaging (and indeed the wider CLIPH-rate tax if all components of my proposal were adopted) would change many aspects of the economy. Since my argument is that it would change them for the better economists should be keen to investigate whether my claims on this front are correct.

Obviously I am motivated by social justice, and this is something that might put some economists off as they do not wish to engage in such issues. However, since the economy (and certainly taxation) is bound up with social justice it would be wrong to ignore these issues.

On the subject of social justice I think anyone interested in making the economy fairer should be interested in the CLIPH-rate tax. I believe that everyone has a duty to do their bit to ensure that their society is fair (even if that is just making informed political choices when voting). While in theory I think that means that everyone should take an interest in new economic proposals I realise that some people will be more engaged with these ideas and debates than others.

Some people have expressed concerns about the CLIPH-rate tax, and I discuss these in my book and in blog posts. However, no-one has yet convinced me that these problems a) are insurmountable and b) outweigh the benefits of the system.

This isn’t to say that the world is a long way from introducing hourly averaging – totally changing the tax system isn’t an easy thing to do. But if it is the right thing to do then it should be done, and in the short term should be seriously researched.

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