A Picture of Society with Critical Tax Theory As Its Interpreter

41 J. Am. Tax'n Assocation 128 (2019)

6 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2020

See all articles by Bridget J. Crawford

Bridget J. Crawford

Pace University School of Law

Ashley Unangst

Pace University, School of Law, Students

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

This essay reviews Anthony Infanti's book Our Selfish Tax Laws: Toward Tax Reform that Mirrors Our Better Selves (MIT Press, 2018). Professor Infanti's work has long explored issues of bias and difference in the U.S. context, and with this book, he places his study of U.S. tax law in a comparative context with Canada, France and Spain. He uses the lenses of housing policy and the taxable unit to illustrate each country’s different values. Professor Infanti’s book illustrates the myriad ways that the U.S. tax law both supports and is a constituent part of a discriminatory legal system that treats people differently because of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, gender identity, and disability. In that way, the tax laws are a “mirror” of the society we currently have. But Professor Infanti goes a step further and calls readers to see, in the reflection of the tax laws, the possibility of our “better selves.” Professor Infanti recognizes the extraordinary expressive value of the tax law; he imagines a system of collection, enforcement and public spending that benefits all people and reflects the nation’s highest and best values of equal opportunity, human dignity and shared community.

Keywords: taxation, housing, taxable unit

JEL Classification: K1, K34

Suggested Citation

Crawford, Bridget J. and Unangst, Ashley, A Picture of Society with Critical Tax Theory As Its Interpreter (2019). 41 J. Am. Tax'n Assocation 128 (2019), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3531961 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3531961

Bridget J. Crawford (Contact Author)

Pace University School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

Ashley Unangst

Pace University, School of Law, Students

New York, NY
United States

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