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Quotation of the Day…

Posted By Don Boudreaux On August 29, 2012 @ 7:45 am In Inequality,Taxes | Comments Disabled

… is from pages 89-90 of Walter J. Blum’s and Harry Kalvin’s classic 1953 volume, The Uneasy Case for Progressive [1]Taxation [1] (footnote omitted):

It has been pointed out, by David McCord Wright for example, that as long as there continues to be a substantial amount of wealth passing privately from one generation to the next, a progressive income tax decreases the opportunity for new accumulations of comparable wealth.  And this in turn may result in the evils of a self-perpetuating elite.  Even in the absence of significant private inheritance, and so long as the state itself does not undertake to raise all the children, the equalizing of opportunity may turn out to be circular.  If the incomes of parents are subjected to a substantially progressive tax for the sake of equalizing the opportunities of the children, there will be a dilemma when the children grow up.  If their incomes are not subject to such a tax, the inequalities of opportunities will reappear among their children.  But if their incomes are subject to such levelling by taxation, they will be denied the opportunity to enjoy the differential rewards which they have earned.  In effect we would be first making certain that the conditions of the race are fair and then calling the race off.

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[1] The Uneasy Case for Progressive : http://www.amazon.com/Uneasy-Progressive-Taxation-Phoenix-Books/dp/0226061515/ref=la_B0034OQ4R2_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346240782&sr=1-1

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