Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone is not enough to produce widely shared prosperity.
Home Essential Documents Themes All Documents Authors Glossary Links Contact Us


Tax Bads, Not Goods


Joseph Stiglitz: October, 2002, interview

Q: In your opinion, would it be more effective to attempt to achieve support from economists about the need for such reform, or to bypass them in seeking to build popular support independently from them, in that the views of mainstream economists on the topic of land reform might fairly be characterized as an "intransigent"?

JES: There are some economists who are interested in this. I think most economists would like the idea, and would support it. But, economists spend their time on things that they think have marketability. So it isn't that they don't think it's a good idea; they don't think there's any resonance in it. President Bush is still talking about the inheritance tax, and income tax, and they want to get involved in what other people are talking about. It's a social phenomenon, I think. So, if you get a lot of other people talking about it, then they'll join the fray.

Q: You are aware that Henry George was a critic of the moral foundations of our economic institutions. What do you think of reform efforts toward land value taxation based on an appeal to morality?

JES: What it fits into is that there is a wide view today that we should tax environmental "bads" such as pollution and the like. And switch from taxing good things like labor. So, in a way, that's where it comes in: let's stop taxing good things like labor, and tax things that are resources. So the argument is, "why tax things that are contributing to society?" ... read the entire interview


To share this page with a friend: right click, choose "send," and add your comments.

Red links have not been visited; .
Green links are pages you've seen

Essential Documents pertinent to this theme:

Top of page
Essential Documents
to email this page to a friend: right click, choose "send"
Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper