Neoliberal Social Justice and Taxation

Cowen, Nick (2022) Neoliberal Social Justice and Taxation. Social Philosophy and Policy . ISSN 0265-0525

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Neoliberal Social Justice and Taxation
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Abstract

Liberal egalitarians argue that the state is justified in taxing members of a political community to achieve distributive justice and ensure political equality and regime stability. This involves an uneasy compromise between equality and efficiency, a compromise that many argue has recently been undermined by the growth of unchecked wealth and income inequality. This paper argues that there also exists a trade-off between selecting fair processes for taxation and aiming for particular distributive outcomes. The way people accumulate wealth and the way states tax often matters more than distributive outcomes. Policymakers must allow for the fair assessment of tax liabilities, avoid excessive enforcement costs and prevent political actors from using tax systems to achieve their partial ends. Recognising these considerations both justifies a systematic scheme of taxation while constraining the mechanisms for collecting revenue. I justify this position using comparative analysis which I contrast with the conceptual intuitionistic approach associated with egalitarianism.

Keywords:realism, Wealth inequality, wealth tax, comparative analysis, knowledge problem, incentive problem
Subjects:L Social studies > L222 Democracy
M Law > M223 Property Law
L Social studies > L223 Plutocracy
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V520 Moral Philosophy
L Social studies > L171 Capitalism
L Social studies > L213 Socialism
L Social studies > L211 Liberalism
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:45566
Deposited On:02 Jul 2021 09:44

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