This morning I ran across a PEW article [Link] entitled “Growing Partisan Divide Over Fairness of the Nation’s Tax System.” As indicated there seems to be some major disconnect between Repulsians and Democruds over how taxes should be.
Before proceeding, let me state that taxes are the rent you pay for being a citizen and living where you do. Eviction will consist of some form of punishment whether it be incarceration or loss of property.
But what I was intrigued by was the question of “fairness.” So I started with my dictionary: the definition of fairness was useless, being the state of being fair; fair itself was more productive:
Fair 1. Free from spots, specks, dirt, or imperfection; unblemished; clean; pure. [1913 Webster]
This clearly implies that fair is subjective but implies uniformity. So let’s consider some “fair” tax schemes:
- Everyone pays the same amount; anyone who can’t pay that amount is punished;
- Everyone pays the same fraction of total money change over some interval
- Everyone is allowed the same amount of money change per year: rich people have the difference confiscated; poor people are donated the difference from the confiscation (less the government’s keepage;) or
- Everyone’s money change per year is confiscated and a uniform amount is donated back by the government.
I could come up with some others but this seems enough to pretty well span the space. That is, this list probably manages to offend everyone, which the Kingston Trio considered useful.
The problem is that we aren’t communicating. There is a lot of talk, but little listening and less concern for the good of the nation.