Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tax Justice and Political Philosophy

Tax Justice Focus Volume 5, Number 2
The JUSTICE edition

From Paul Sagar, guest editor

January 14th, 2010

The Justice Edition - click here

Welcome to a special edition on the theme of tax justice and political philosophy. In a world ruled by ideas, the apparently disconnected enquiries of philosophers eventually shape world-views, orientate debates, influence elections and direct policies. But there is more value to philosophy than its long-run impact on practical politics. For it is through philosophy that we explore our beliefs and discover where our values lie. This, after all, is particularly important for the Tax Justice Network and everyone who demands tax fairness – two terms loaded with centuries of philosophical baggage.

Fittingly, this edition introduces a spectrum of very different philosophical approaches, from the left to the far right.

Martin O’Neill draws on the work of Thomas Nagel and Liam Murphy to show how modern liberal egalitarian insights can make a compelling case for tax justice. From this perspective, tax avoidance is anti-democratic and oversteps the legitimate freedoms offered in a democratic society.

John Pugh MP offers insights from a faith perspective, arguing that those who seek to live within this tradition should follow a sincere and continuous self-evaluation of their mortal journeys – and a greedy free-rider is not a figure Christian ethics support.

In the spirit of debate we also publish a contribution from the libertarian right. Daniel Mitchell and Hiwa Alaghebandian of the Cato Institute present what they call the moral and philosophical case for tax havens.

Drawing on the Marxian tradition, Martin McIvor shows that Marx’s legacy takes the form of a powerful analytic tool for the critical assessment of the tensions of capitalist societies. On this basis, he argues, abusive tax practices are a symptom of an unjust, unaccountable and fundamentally unbalanced economy.

Richard Murphy looks back at the Noughties and, suppressing his anger about the prevailing spirit of unjustness, concludes that this was a decade of progress, not least because of the success of the Tax Justice Network.

All this, plus book reviews from Sheila Killian and Thomas Rixen, should provide ample food for thought at the start of 2010.

Best wishes

Paul

Download Tax Justice Focus Volume 5, Number 2 here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Physiocrat said...

Still nothing on land value taxation, then? I would have expected it from a faith perspective.

There is most of Leviticus 25 and the first verse of Psalm 24 "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

This puts a big question mark over the entire issue of land ownership, does it not?

Then there is Catholic Social Teaching which does the same thing.

1:22 pm  
Anonymous TJN said...

There will be a faith-based edition of TJF some time this year, we hope. We note your comment; thanks.

12:26 am  

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