The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Straight from the Father of Capitalism’s Mouth

Posted by brightcoast on July 17, 2010

Adam Smith that is:

“The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.”[93]

Smith even specifically named taxes that he thought should be required by the state among them luxury goods taxes and tax on rent. He believed that tax laws should be as transparent as possible and that each individual should pay a “certain amount, and not arbitrary,” in addition to paying this tax at the time “most likely to be convenient for the contributor to pay it”.[93] Smith goes on to state that:

“Every tax, however, is, to the person who pays it, a badge, not of slavery, but of liberty.”[94]

I came across this language in trying to settle a friendly wager. Disclaimer: this is from Wikipedia, and unfortunately, not everything on the internetz is always accurate. But, this seems like a possibility, and I thought that with all the recent obsession with Tea Parties, and the like, it was worth relaying some knowledge from the man credited in large part with the development of our Capitalist society.

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