Institut de Recherches Économiques et Fiscales

IREF Europe - Institut de Recherches Économiques et Fiscales

Pour la liberté économique
et la concurrence fiscale

IREF - Institut de Recherches Économiques et Fiscales
Pour la liberté économique et la concurrence fiscale

Taxation and Justice : A classical Liberal Perspective

Abstract : We attempt to present a classical liberal perspective on the subject of taxation and justice. We start by reviewing the development of the notion of justice over time and across various schools of thought. We then proceed to examine John Rawls’ theory of justice and its policy implications and economic theory of optimal taxation. After finding both approaches unsatisfactory, we defend a libertarian stand on the issue of justice. The main result of our reflections are three criteria which we afterwards use to examine normatively di¤erent ways of taxation.

We conclude by saying that current tax systems satisfy neither of these criteria and deserve being changed.

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