Taxation Office

Taxation Office

Taxation Assessment in 1889

The following information about Taxation is from the Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States by the Best American and European Writers:

“In addition to the opinions of recognized economic authorities above noted by M. Garnier, J. R. M’Culloch, whose article on “Taxation,” contributed to the Encyclopædia Britannica, James Mill pronounced “masterly,” thus expresses himself: “The truth is, that every burden laid, directly or indirectly, on any article for which there is any considerable demand, falls ultimately on its consumers.” (“Taxation and the Funding System,” p 17.) M. Thiers, as shown by an extract from his work, “Rights to Property,” quoted in connection with this article by the author, was an unqualified believer in the diffusion theory of taxation.

Adam Smith would also appear to have completely indorsed it, when he says, “No tax can even reduce, for any considerable time, the rate of profit in any particular trade”—i.e., all business—which must always keep its level with other trades in the neighborhood.” And again, in discussing the taxes upon luxuries, he says, “such taxes, though they fall indifferently upon every species of revenue, and are paid finally by whoever consumes the commodities upon which they are imposed,” etc. The reader will, therefore, notice that Mr. Wells’ views on this department of taxation are substantially in harmony with those of Adam Smith, Ricardo, James Mill, M. Thiers, J. R. M’Culloch, J. B. Say; they also found an earnest advocate in one of the soundest thinkers and shrewd practical observers America has ever produced—the late Isaac Sherman, of New York.—ED.

(…) As applied to the wages of labor, the truth of this principle is equally incontestable. “The sewing girl performing her toilsome work by the needle at one dollar a day, the street sweeper working the mud with his broom at a dollar and a half, the skilled laborer at two and three dollars, the professor at five, the editor at five or ten, the artist and the songstress at ten or five hundred dollars a day, are all members of the working classes, though working at different rates. And it is only the difference in their effectiveness that causes the difference in their earnings. Bring them all to the same point of efficiency, and their earnings also will be the same.” (W. Jungst.)

Other Popular Tax Definitions in the World Legal Encyclopedia



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