Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone is not enough to produce widely shared prosperity.
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Protecting the Poor
Mason Gaffney: 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. (1) Even local income taxes, which are mainly payroll taxes, are being advanced to relieve property and the poor.

I find this implausible. To own property is to be rich, in the measure that one owns, and to tax the quality of richness should not be presumed to burden the poor more than the rich. As to the elderly, it is only traditional for interest groups to hide behind selected widows, and one should rarely take such appeals at face value. And so I propose critically to examine the bases for alleging the property tax to be regressive.

The Founding Fathers regarded property taxes as redistributive and equalitarian. James Madison wrote:
In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be unsure. ... Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, . . . . They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.(2)

Madison also wrote ". . . the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property." He foresaw that the landless majority might use government to redistribute property. "To secure ... private rights against the danger of such a faction ... is then the great object...... (3)   Read the whole article

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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper