We have to think more rationally about taxes.

Because progressives have driven conversations about taxes for much of the last century, our thinking is all askew.  Characteristic of their approach is to focus on who is giving and receiving the money. This isn’t surprising, because like Karl Marx in their personal life, they’re obsessed with other people giving them money, but it generates the sense that momentary identities are decisive, like immutable states that aren’t affected by behavior and changing circumstances.

(Naturally, progressives will move people into different categories when it suits them.  We’re really observing, here, a simplicity of mind.)

Taxes are structural within a system.  They are meant to pay for those activities the system requires but for which it will not generate revenue if it’s not built in.  Therefore, the question ought to be what is generating money and what are government’s legitimate claims of contributing to having an in those revenue streams.

How it affects the system to take taxes out in a certain way or place is of course a consideration, but I’d argue it should be secondary.  To make it primary is to cede the conceit of experts who can make decisions that have no effect on decision-making itself.  In other words, choosing to tax X rather than Y because X has less of an observable effect on the natural operation of the economy establishes that the decision should be based on the experts’ judgment, not on something intrinsic within the system, such as the fundamental alignment of, say, government with the real estate that sets its boundaries.

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