Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Home-Owner-Ists' favourite kind of tax...

… is what, exactly?

IF you are hard-right, authoritarian and/or Faux Libertarian, you believe
a) that income from 'land' ranks equally with income from 'capital/labour', so you oppose taxes any of these,
b) that all citizens benefit equally from the way that society is organised
So you think the only valid form of taxation is a Poll Tax.

IF you are a socialist and/or anti-capitalist, you want taxes on income/wealth, whether earned or unearned.

IF you are free market liberal, you prefer LVT, which has the advantages of both Poll Tax and Income Tax but without the disadvantages of either.

Remember that LVTers come under fire from both sides:
- the Red Wing of the Home-Owner-Ist movement say that LVT would be a shift away from their favourite tax (Income Tax) and towards Poll Tax; and
- the Blue Wing of the Home-Owner-Ist movement say that LVT would be a shift away from their favourite tax (Poll Tax) and towards Income Tax.

Thus making it impossible to argue with them as they will contradict themselves once or twice a sentence, for example saying they hate Council Tax and would replace it with either a Local Income Tax or with a Poll Tax but for Heaven's sake, not with LVT.

As a matter of fact, we have a fairly socialist tax system (most taxes are directly on income) with a few Poll Taxes thrown in out of spite. But given the Home-Owner-Ists' aversion to LVT, which way do they swing: towards Poll Tax or towards Income Tax? That gives you a clue as to which wing you are dealing with and how inherently contradictory the whole philosophy is.

(Remember that welfare payments and the state pension, are the opposite of a Poll Tax, so if you support a Poll Tax, you must oppose the state pension).


Kj said...

I am under the impression that the faux lib are more often pro "small flat tax" on income.

Lola said...

Seen the Nolan Chart?

thethoughtgang said...


Isn't that just a step on the road to a poll tax?

Note, though, that a smaller and simplified (which doesn't mean 'flat' in the sense usually intended by 'flat tax' advocates) income tax is something that one can advocate as an accompaniment to LVT. At least, I hope it is.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Kj, they don't have a coherent philosophy, but from what i understand, they prefer "consumption tax" i.e. sales tax i.e. VAT, "because that doesn't hurt the producer".

L, I shall look it up.

TTG, in terms of making it "progressive", the income tax personal allowance is far more important than the rate. I'm with Milton Friedman on this, LVT is least-bad (i.e. best), flat income with large personal allowance second least-bad. All other taxes = shit.

Kj said...

TTG: I meant "low rate flat tax on income". And I don´t think it is a way towards the poll tax. Agreed it´s a tax that is fairly benign, as long as you don´t pile it up with E´sNIC and VAT.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TTG, Kj, in maths terms and for a fixed amount of revenue, a flat tax is a tiny little bit closer to Poll Tax than having personal allowance, basic rate and higher rate.

But any regressivity of flat tax or indeed flat LVT can be solved by simply having a high personal allowance or Negative Income Tax or Citizen's Income or whatever you want to call it.

LVT is of course inherently progressive, that's just the way it works, even without a personal allowance.