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Matthew Jeffers

Abstract

Economists and philosophers discuss taxation in the context of the prevailing tax base. This prevailing tax base primarily consists of levies on earned income, capital, and consumption. In the optimal tax literature, economists find that this tax base possesses a problematic tradeoff between equity and efficiency. This tax base is also controversial amongst moral philosophers because it diminishes the principle of labor ownership. I explore a tax base that does not possess these two drawbacks and hence sidesteps problems with the current tax base raised both by optimal tax theorists and moral philosophers. Even partial replacement of the current tax base with the proposed tax base would increase efficiency, improve equity, and preserve labor ownership.

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Articles