Public Finance Texts Cannot Justify Government Taxation: A Critique

20 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2011

See all articles by Walter E. Block

Walter E. Block

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business

Date Written: July 7, 2011

Abstract

In virtually all economic sub-disciplines, practitioners of the dismal science are exceedingly desirous of avoiding normative concerns, at least in principle. These are seen, and rightly so, as extremely treacherous. Being only human, they do sometimes stray off the path of positive analysis; but when they fall off the wagon in this manner, i f at all, i t is done relatively cautiously, and infrequently. There is one blatant exception to this general rule, however, and that is the field of public finance. Here, in sharp contrast to the usual practice, not only is normative economics embraced, it is done so with alacrity, and without apology. That is, most textbooks on the subject start off with one or several chapters which attempt to justify taxation on moral, efficiency, and other grounds. This occurs in no other field.

Suggested Citation

Block, Walter E., Public Finance Texts Cannot Justify Government Taxation: A Critique (July 7, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1881082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1881082

Walter E. Block (Contact Author)

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business ( email )

6363 St. Charles Avenue
Box 15, Miller 321
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
(504) 864-7944 (Phone)
(504) 864-7970 (Fax)

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